Sin Bin

STF Quarantined 'Sin Bin' for  Unacceptable Comments

Some time ago we posted a set of guidelines designed to help keep comments on STFU civil and constructive.  However, they have been ignored by some who have posted offensive comments, lowering the tone of the discourse on the site and even, in some cases, being personally abusive.  In future, any comments that are judged to be aggressively personal, blatantly off-topic, or even excessively simple minded will be removed from where they were posted and put in this space as examples of bad internet behavior that we deem to be unacceptable on this site.

This is indeed a form of censorship, the rationale being that no one has a right to foul a public space established and maintained by others.  However, we are not permanently removing unsavory comments, we are simply relocating them here, where folks who don't want to waste time reading such childishness can avoid them but those who might be amused by them can more easily find them concentrated together.  Relocated comments will be identified on the basis of violations of our now slightly modified commentary guidelines, below.  However we also reserve the right to invoke additional criteria and will also delete any scatology and other naughty words, profanity, sacrilege, sexual innuendo, misogyny, homophobia, and gratuitous name-calling, etc.

STF is our club-house and we are within our rights to insist on a minimum dress code.

Some simple rules for the Screwtape Files Comments:

1) No profanity or sexual/sexist language.

2) No Ad Hominem irrelevancies

3) No gratuitous, insulting name calling or disparagement of others (even if you think it is really clever, funny, and especially deserving)

4) No identity spoofing (e.g., pretending to be someone else who also posts on STF or elsewhere)

5) No multiple identities - if what you have to say is worth other people reading, then do them the honor of presenting yourself consistently, but with an anonymous name/avatar if you so desire.

6) No advertising or crass promotion of your own site(s)

7) No blatantly off-topic comments completely unrelated to the article you are commenting on.

8) No obviously confrontational comments made just to get a reaction (as opposed to rational and/or evidence-based disagreement, which is very different)

1. First Example:

We may as well begin with this recent one:

             duggo said...

Dear Stuart,
Do try to grow up. If you are only 12 then I apologise.
You seem to carry some unrequited hurt.
I follow FOFOA because he has a certain "thoughtfulness" that is interesting if not blinkered and is certainly lacking in many of his followers (you are a glaring example). I keep explaining this to you but I notice that if things are not presented in a child's colouring book you are unable to grasp the point.

Just because I quote your "God" now and then doesn't mean you have to leap to his defence like some deranged religious follower.

Sun Jun 30, 05:58:00 PM GMT+1

Relocated by Slow Loris Larry on the basis that it is an unambiguous example of ad hominem personal abuse.  Apologies to Stuart for not doing this earlier, and for repeating it here as an example of what we will no longer tolerate..

2. SugarLover said...

I didn't realise the aim of this forum was to 'be a nice place' JdA.

Why do you imagine anyone is interested in your bottom-calling?

Serious question.
3. SugarLover said...

Who wants to hang out in a latrine? No one I imagine?

But who wants to hang out on a discussion forum related to gold where the....ah, forget it, you guys are just good mates with Fofoa, and he's told you to shut it down.

Enjoy the silence looking at trend lines.

Yes, that's about the level of discourse I've come to expect from you and your ilk, you never disappoint. Well done.
milamber said...
@ SL,

Sorry. As a Texan I was raised to have manners and always thank people when they compliment me. I'll try not to thank you in the future when you compare me to FOFOA.

Of course we were also raised to call BS when we see it too, so I can understand the deeply rooted source of your hostility.

But, alas, it is most unrequited.

SugarLover said...
There is no try, only do or do not.

Typical Yank, serve you all right, that attitude will be knocked out of you all soon enough when you're a big version of North Korea.

Free speech, liberty, except when it doesn't agree with your (Fofoa-esque) world view. Petty jibes, ignoring the facts of the argument, for obvious reasons.

Well, that's why we're here at another blog I imagine.
milamber said...
FIOS internet connection: $106

Dual XEON 2Ghz processor. 8GB Ram & 8 TB of hard drive storage (primarily to run VM's for labs & software testing): $1000

Two 24 inch monitors: $500

Watching SL twirl around in circles like a cat chasing a string: Priceless!

Oh, Happy belated 4th!


SinBin, here I come!!!!!
Good old Milamber, chuck us a few irrelevant quotes and then disappear, tail between his legs.

They are all the same.

Very amusing.

Relocated by JdA. SugarLover continues his brave battle against basic civility. Future comments of this genre will simply be deleted rather than 'sin-binned'.


Gary Morgan said...

Cool, perhaps Duggo could offer to sponsor the Sin Bin?

Hope this comment doesn't get moved to the Sin....oh, never mind!!

Warren James said...

For what it's worth, we have set up another satellite blog called 'Wormwood' and we'd be happy to let people post and even publish articles there if they like. This exercise is 100% about appropriateness of venue.

As far as I understand Larry's description for this page, comments on this page will not be moved, however content here may also grow as we progress with the cleanup.

Gary Morgan said...

I was just joking there Warren, entirely at Duggo's expense.

Anonymous said...

Well Well Well
I only ever respond to people in a negative way when they are FIRST negative in a PERSONAL way to me and this Unger character certainly was on a couple of occasions.

It seems you do not like people to defend themselves.

Desperado said...

The squeaky wheel gets the grease just like the thin skinned and easily "offended" commenters who trample basic freedoms of speech through secret back-channel emails.

It reminds one of the way hysterical safety nazis sacrifice our freedom to sooth their unending demands for more mommy's-womb-level security.

Its not enough that we are constantly being scrutinized by the NSA, the IRS and who knows else, but now we have Warren James and the Screwtape-fisa court conducting secret email communications that lead to secret judgements about whether a given statement rises to the level of an "ad-hominem" security threat to the harmony of this PC-womb.

Amerika is so screwed up and screwtape files is just more proof.

Anonymous said...

@ Desperado

It seems you will be joining me in the "Sin Bin" unless we refuse to play anymore.

Still there is one good point about this latest "directive". At least we can't be accused of being off-subject.

I can't help being amused and at the same time offended by being the publicised "poster-boy" for the Sin-Bin.

It feels somewhat like being verbally nailed to a cross.

Then again this is what life is all about in a totalitarian state. You must stick to the rules. Always be deferential and never ever be controversial.

The main-stream media have succumbed to this a long time ago. I suppose it must eventually happen to the internet.

I should image now the key to the Sin-Bin will be thrown away in my case.

Anonymous said...

A very good initiative, Warren/SLL. It has my full support.

It wasn't that long ago, I think, that I was pleading for posters to be able to carry on saying pretty much whatever they wanted: I remember banging on about 'free speech' quite a bit too.

I'm happy to admit that I was wrong, and you were right. What has happened over the last few months is that a small number of commenters have essentially taken over the BLT section. This has clearly put off many, far more insightful, commenters, from whom we now now longer hear. In addition, the subject matter BLT has shrunk to essentially two topics:

(a) whether TA is 'useful' or not

(b) why X got kicked off FOFOA's site and thinks that's terrible, and why Y thinks that's a good thing.

It bores me - and almost all our readers - to tears. And it's terribly unfair on all those who spend so much research and thinking time on putting together the excellent articles (and those who comment sensibly and thoughtfully on them). So clearly something had to be done.

The Sin Bin will be enforced strictly. Commenters who are polite and vaguely on topic will have no fear of being relocated here. Those who are not will receive no mercy. It's the only way to save what was once the best PM blog on the net from being over-run by idiocy and irrelevancy.

It's not 'censorship' in any meaningful way, as simply disagreeing with the author or other commenters will never end up in a Sin Bin move (we encourage dissent, and challenging questions!) Only anti-social behaviour will.

I would also suggest - speaking strictly for myself here - that any FOFOA-/freegold-related comments that do not either set out a reasoned argument (whether for or against is irrelevant), but simply says 'freegold is the only one truth' or 'freegold is nonsense', without any concrete analysis as to why, also be moved either to the Sin Bin or another page dedicated to just that topic. Perhaps it could be titled, 'substance-free discussion of FOFOA'?

Personally, I would be happy never to hear the words 'FOFOA' and 'freegold' ever again in the comments section... the debate is sterile, and there is a far more obvious blog that exists in which to have such discussions...

I will, however, miss the (non crass) sexual innuendo, and hope there can be some leeway on this point ;-) It would be very difficult to comment meaningfully on GM's social life without resorting to it.


Louis Cypher said...

Just an FYI. I personally don't think your comments are (that) offensive.
The solution Warren described above maintains the internal peace here, retains focus on our mission of bullshit busting
and also allows us freedom to let loose from the more serious stuff we publish.

With your help we can make the most vile and hated place on the internet :)

It will be riddled with pop up ads, begging bowls, dubious stock tips and truly offensive language. Along with slanderous, libelous, racist and preferably bigoted material with a right wing slant. Kind of like half the metalssphere.

Guest writers will include Brother John, Maggie Thatcher, Richard Nixon and at least one Borgia Pope.

Anonymous said...

Looks like I shall have to saddle-up my horse and move on.

I shall try to avoid Wormwoodfiles. It sounds a hideous contrived kinda town.

Gary Morgan said...

So, I see the FG ongoing discussion section, but it has no 'comments' button that I can find?

Nickelsaver said...

Yes. No commenting ability within the Freegold page. Which simply makes it a polite trash can. Lol

Very smart actually. I give the STFU staff Kudos for that.


I wanted to reply to Bron's comment regarding the difference in his view of LBMA versus FOFOA. I recall the discussion on the implications of that 2011 LBMA survey.

And what it boiled down to is that the survey rather gave the impression that the LBMA was like COMEX in that gold trade is also derivative paper on that platform (only a much larger scale).

This is a point which Bron disagreed with. And the origins of that discussion can be found here.

A simple google search using "fofoa lbma survey" should lead any interested reader to all additional discussion on that issue.

Please feel free to park this comment in its rightful place.



Funky Tape said...

Another sign of a market bottom. Y'all are tearing into each other like wolves. Keep it the "sin bin" of course.

I'm kind of waiting to see if the Large Commercials actually go net long rather than hedged short like they were in 2001 or so. Last COT I saw they were down to only 35k net short.

Epic times, my brothers (and sister).

Warren James said...

Apologies, the discussion page was not intentionally limited, I went to bed late without realizing it was closed. This is us working within the limitations of what blogger has to offer. Re-opened. I will start a new 'page 3' for that one, as the page is kind of full after shifting most of the freegold stuff there last night. -W

Nowhuffo said...

Your blog, your rules. What's the problem?

Anonymous said...


It's not actually possible for us to move comments to a comment section on another article, I'm afraid. The best I can advise is that you copy and past the part below your ---- and put it as a new comment on SLL's LBMA post. That's probably as relevant a place as anywhere.



criswa said...

Spot on!

Slow Loris Larry said...

@ Nickelsavor:

You can always post a query on Bron's own site:

I also note that he is the first one to post on 'page 3' of the Freegold Debate', which can be found in 'Freegold Discussion' under the 'Ongoing Discussion' heading in the upper left corner of the background main page. Not that your proposed query has anything much to do with Freegold'.


Robert said...

Once the so-called free speech advocates take over any finance-related message board, the quality of the board as a whole always goes to hell. I do not contribute much, but I too support this decision.

Tony said...

Count me as a supporter. If I've been guilty of "sin-bin" material in the past, I'm all for a little self-censorship from here out. Fact is, I'd like to see STFU get back to doing what it does best...commenting on the daily market ongoings, inventories, etc.

milamber said...

Great idea Screwtapers. I hope I don't get parked in here too often; but will completely understand when it happens. :)

And incidentally to those challenged by the applicability of words:

This is a blog. The legal requirement to provide a forum where "free speech" is protected much less guaranteed, is irrelevant here.

What the blog owners want to see is what counts.

Don't like it?

Set up your own blog & put 'em out of business.


Gary Morgan said...

'Relocated by JdA. SugarLover continues his brave battle against basic civility. Future comments of this genre will simply be deleted rather than 'sin-binned'.'

Oh dear, JDa's bias shining through again. VtC calls many posters here crackpots, and you let that one slide. You're all fucking hypocrites, and it's as funny as Milamber's crap.

How's that?

Happy deleting.

Gary Morgan said...

Why are you even here JdA?

You never write a post. Every comment you make is criticising those who have something to say. You just moan and whinge, and add literally nothing. I mean nothing, in fact your comments detract, because they always stifle debate and others expressing themselves. I will repeat, you add nothing.

You just enjoy being the site's police? Give you a buzz, the feeling of authority, moving and deleting posts at your whim and fancy?

You should take a look in the mirror, ask yourself a question or two. Sad, very sad.

Warren James said...

@SugarLover, no one is forcing anyone else to read nor write, very simple. We're all dead in the end, so let's just get along with what time we have on this earth shall we?

Gary Morgan said...

Yes, but VtC gets to call everyone who disagrees with FG a 'crackpot', and for some reason (bias, I don't know to be honest) his post remains.

Either the rules are enforced fairly, or it makes a mockery of the whole thing.

JdA, if tasked with enforcing this rule, needs to drop her/his bias.

Anonymous said...

@SL: I think it's fairly well known that VtC and I are hardly the best of buddies, so bias in favour of him is vanishingly unlikely.

VtC's 'crackpot' came at the end of a detailed and useful comment. It was - in my view - a pretty mild remark, not aimed at any one individual in particular. It also has to be weighed against his consistent history in posting polite, reasoned comments here - albeit robustly made.

This contrasts with your comment which was made with the sole purpose of criticising one specific person (Milamber), and added no value to the discussion at all. It also has to be weighed against your consistent history in posting abuse against other commenters and authors on this blog, your comments about me on this thread yesterday being another pristine example.


Gary Morgan said...

It's all subjective. Is pointing out that Milamber disappeared from the fray with is tail between his legs, as all FG followers do, really so upsetting to the site?

Really, you do need to look in the mirror, some of your comments have been very rude in recent months.

You just don't like any kind of push back front anyone, simple as that.

Now, lets see if VTC comes back to debate my point...or like all blinkered FGers, will he skulk away.

Anonymous said...

@SL - you are aware, aren't you, that I don't agree with just about any of the premises of Freegold, that I consider Another to be - on balance - a hoaxer, and that I fundamentally disagree with VtC's analysis?

So, you will realise how daft it appears to be accusing me of bias or stifling debate on this topic. Your comments are being consistently moved because you are being obnoxious. VtC's are not because he is not.

I often disagree with what he (and, for what it's worth, Milamber) say, but I - and our readers - enjoy reading and thinking about what they say. They make the site stronger. They make me want to re-engage with this site. They make me want to question my assumptions.

I - and most of our readers - do not enjoy your single purpose, personal, comments, and attempts to destroy threads. So, even though in a sane world we might be 'allies' in interpretation, I will continue to delete anything you write that is off-topic or obnoxious in order to preserve Screwtape as a forum for rational debate.


Anonymous said...

The more perceptive of our readers may have noticed that I ('anti'-Freegold) am moving the comments of the anti-Freegold brigade, and that Warren ('pro'-Freegold) is moving the comments of the pro-Freegold brigade.

We're smart like that... ;-)

Gary Morgan said...

Ah, you play the trumpet too know what they say about self-praise?

The more perceptive of the readers will have noticed that I subscribe to the inevitability of the collapse of the current dollar-based monetary system and the likely replacement with a Euro-based system, with floating physical only gold as a settlement asset.

I merely attempt to point out the hypocrisy of the FG clan in proclaiming knowledge and certainty of all things to come, and yet so many times they have been proved wrong, wrong and wrong again.

Not really sure what your role/aim is? You just float around, adding nothing. Maybe one day you'll do something radical, like a post: how to learn the trumpet in 2 weeks?

Anonymous said...

@Sl - I'm not sure why I'm even bothering to address this, but here goes...

I posted on a twice-weekly basis for the best part of 18 months at this site, as Screwtape's resident bear and investigator of the silverogosphere. I don't think my track record - neither in terms of writing contribution nor exposure of dubious interests nor prediction of market action - needs much defending.

Please feel free to go back over some of my posts since April 2011 - you might learn something about the real world of the metals. You may also notice the venom thrown in my general direction for encouraging readers to get out of gold since $1800. Pardon me for feeling vindicated.

I currently have no directional position in precious metals, so I feel that disqualifies me from posting here. I continue in my role as an advisor, sounding board, and moderator, however.

One day I will buy physical gold. On that day, I will certainly restart my posts. In the meantime, I may write a few things as and when I have time.


S Roche said...


Having no position is in itself a position. As the late, great Jesse Livermore said: "If you're not long, you're short".

On that basis I think you meet the Roche Rule, that all internet metals commentators should trade, preferably on margin and large.

Motley Fool said...

"I often disagree with what he (and, for what it's worth, Milamber) say, but I - and our readers - enjoy reading and thinking about what they say. They make the site stronger. They make me want to re-engage with this site. They make me want to question my assumptions."


"On that basis I think you meet the Roche Rule, that all internet metals commentators should trade, preferably on margin and large. "

I don't agree with this rule. But you are welcome to shuffle paper against paper, and I hope you do well. I am not interested in doing so, in the current market with it's manipulated everything.

When that changes, let me know, and expect tonnes of questions. :D