It did feel jarring to learn that apparently any and all discussion about the article itself (as opposed to talking about what the article was about) is not only tagged as ‘off-topic complaint’ and removed from the conversation, but it’s considered so aggressively disruptive that I should be thankful it’s not deleted outright. This is a first for me here or anywhere else: ‘feel free to discuss this article, BUT NEVER THE ACTUAL ARTICLE ITSELF THAT SHIT IS TOXIC WE ARE WATCHING YOU’.
As much as it’s hard to argue with the ‘we’re just filing things in their proper places because the constant whine of haters harms the conversation’ it’s hard in this context not to feel somewhat punished without provocation, unlike the targets of disembolwment of old. As far as I remember those were an effective and entertaining way to deflate truly hateful, dickish or moderator-annoying behavior. Apparently the lines in the ground have changed and I’m the asshole now.
I’m sure you guys have reason to be tired of complaining in general and have the experience to know what works best for all, but in the same way I personally like my articles enriched with digressions and personality as opposed to just the facts, I also feel conversations are more interesting when non-show-stopper digressions are allowed or even encouraged.
I’ve come to love BB’s comments as much as the articles over the years precisely because I never knew what sort of lateral thinking such a community of clever and knowledgeable happy mutants could come up with from the starting point. Often I didn’t even care about the original topic of the post, but the ebb and flow of discussion proved fun and educational nonetheless. If ‘stick to the point’ is the new law and it’s so strictly enforced, it’s hard for the character of the conversation not to evolve into something different. Maybe better in the end, but not the one I personally have come to expect here.