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Posted by on Nov 19, 2012 in Uncategorized Posts | 10 comments

The Declining Stats of Freethought Blogs

While Freethought Blogs is still very popular I found something interesting over at Alexa, which ranks websites based on hit counts. The first arrow shows the point just after I left FtB’s. There were too many obnoxious writers and commenters for me to stay. The second arrow shows the point just after Thunderf00t was unceremoniously booted from FtB’s. The third arrow shows the point around the time that Atheism Plus dominated their discussions.

  • http://www.skepticink.com/backgroundprobability/ Damion Reinhardt

    Here’s hoping they go back to being a safe and welcoming place for freethinkers of all political stripes to discuss their differences in a calm and reasoned manner.

  • http://de-avanzada.blogspot.com/ Daosorios

     I’d advise you not to hold your breath!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NZMJ7JRYKH7WR6YTXJGG3PU65E John Grove

    Too many trolls, Christian infiltration that turns what could have been intelligent discussions into needless arguments. 

  • http://www.www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

    I feel badly that some great bloggers were drummed out; and that others who stayed may have their reputations stained by association with the more toxic blogs on that network (unfair as that might be).  Also, I miss Christina Rad. Is she not blogging there anymore? It’s been months since anything new. 

  • http://twitter.com/safeguardnda Safgard Endea

    The word “troll” should automatically wordfilter to “I have no actual argument against you so I am going to resort to name-calling”. 

  • zenspace

    John,

    You have made the comparison with A+ and McCarthyism in the past, and I think rightly so. Al Stefanelli made a post to his blog today that I think you will find relevant:

    http://alstefanelli.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/atheism-plus-radical-feminism-and-the-new-mccarthyism/#more-3359

  • http://twitter.com/iamcuriousblue iamcuriousblue

    She’s been active between her two (or more?) YouTube channels:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ZOMGitsCriss
    http://www.youtube.com/user/CrissRadVlogs

    I think she’s been traveling as well. But, yeah, nothing new on FTB. Even though she was defending them pretty strongly at first, I have to wonder if she’s had a change of heart about it.

    For the most part, the YouTube atheist community has not warmed up to FTB or Atheism+, Zinnia Jones being the exception. And that includes the large number of atheists there who *don’t* like Thunderfoot, and had issues with him long before the throwdown with FTB.

    “I feel badly that some great bloggers were drummed out; and that others who stayed may have their reputations stained by association with the more toxic blogs on that network (unfair as that might be).”

    As unfair as it is, I think FTB has acquired a particular identity, as much as they argue that they’re not a hive mind and have a few bloggers that don’t line up with the usual FTB causes. At this point, I think anybody who doesn’t line up with the politics of the more obnoxious FTB blogs isn’t going to join their network, and the current ones that don’t line up with those politics stay more out of inertia than anything.

  • http://twitter.com/iamcuriousblue iamcuriousblue

    I’m not sure if the trendlines from mid-2012 are large enough to be statistically meaningful, but it does seem like there are at least two distinct dropoffs in their traffic stats.

    Of course, best not to put too fine a point on it, because if it’s brought to their attention, the usual hotheads will go out and pick a fight or otherwise start drama for attention’s sake, and it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve done so.

  • http://www.facebook.com/albert.doyle.58 Albert Cornelius Doyle

    It has been borderline impossible to offer a mildly contrarian opinion there, more or less since Elevatorgate, and worsening since Atheism+.  And I’m not referring to anything remotely approaching MRA creepiness or Libertarian wingnut rage or Christian apologism or anti-evolutionary codswallop. Merely pointing out a logical flaw in an argument, or, worse, suggesting that their near-constant classism obscures realities in most of the world, where they see nothing but the privilege of atheists in American post-doc programs (who somehow spend most of their time speaking at conferences) to make fun of the poor and disenfranchised as being the most fundamental of all human rights.  Food, shelter, jobs, peace, education – em, not so much…..if you believe in anything other than what PZ says you should.  Atheism+ seems to have precious little to do with activism and human uplift, and much more focused on junior high school drama among competing cliques. 

    And, of course, determining which words in the English language are unacceptable.  Woe betide the commenter who says “Romney is tone-deaf to the ambitions of American women”.  Ableist bastard!  “Santorum is a raging lunatic”?  Bring out the ban-hammer!  They savaged a commenter yesterday for refering to the Irish victim by her first name.  He was a patriarchist.

    If you aren’t cheerleading with the hive, you’re toast.  It’s become decidedly unpleasant.  And I’m primarily a lurker, I’ve only bothered to weather their dander a handfulof times.  But on an almost daily basis I see terrifically well-reasoned and cordially-presented counter-arguments get deluged by demands for permanent banning.  And yes, of course, the immediate accusation of troll, which now means almost nothing except that you dare to disagree with PZ or Rebecca or Jen, the cool teens in the blue cafeteria.

    It’s sad — two years ago it was mostly about skepticism and evolutionary biology.  Now it’s a constant game of linguistic gotcha and a massive pigpile on the unsuspecting innocent who dares insert a word edgewise.

  • Jap Grrl

    They’re adding new blogs all the time.