Applying The Clue-Bat.

I’m easily amused. For instance, it’s a great source of chuckles for me to note the differing methods of applying discipline in Fountain Pen Network and The Fountain Pen Board. If you make a nuisance of yourself in FPN, an admin will have a severe word in your shell-like ear. If you persist in your peskiness your offending posts may be disappeared and you’ll be booted out without further ado. Seems fair to me.

The Fountain Pen Board was set up, in part at least, in protest against the perceived heavy-handedness of the moderation in FPN. Much is made by the board’s owner and moderator of the absence of interference in the dialogue. That’s a very good thing, and the discussion in FPB is of a high quality, due, to some extent, to that very freedom to say whatever you want to say without fear of censure. But what do you do about the out-and-out pest who ruins everyone else’s fun with their hidden agenda, their inanity or their general peskiness?

Brutality seems to be the answer, carefully crafted verbal brutality of a high quality. So far, I would have to say, it hasn’t been especially effective in driving away the pestilential or making them mend their ways, but it’s in there with a chance and it’s hugely entertaining. Of course, it’s only likely to work well if the pesky don’t have the wherewithal to fight back effectively. The mod, to be fair, has a good left jab of sarcasm and a mighty roundhouse right of invective, but it doesn’t matter how good a fighter you are, someone bigger and better is just around the corner. If someone like that turns up, I suspect the group will become a blood-soaked battlefield with little room or time for pen discussion, but until that time draw up a chair and pass the popcorn.

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