Glossary: The #Thuggerati…

Much as I’d love to claim the bragging rights, checking Twitter, thuggerati turns up sporadically over the last six years to describe a targetted badgering of individuals who speak against a given party or even a government’s position. Although the behaviour is prevalent here it is not specific to Northern Ireland. It is associated with authoritarian leaderships of both left and right and its specific aim is the organised suppression of dissent. This was my own first use of it on …

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Glossary: Fair Game

This is a systematised breach of Play the ball, not the man rule. It happens only sporadically on Slugger, but its intention is to uses the anonymity of the commenting zone to attempt to damage the reputation of some known public figure: politician; journalist; key witness; or even individual bloggers. The strategy was first outlined by L Ron Hubbard in 1965 as Fair Game Law. Hubbard’s target was in his own terms, ‘suppressive people’: Suppressive Acts are clearly those covert …

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Glossary: Blogs, bloggers and commenters

The term blog is a contraction from the original term Weblog. It developed from an originally discrete, online diary format, and uses a range of evolving connective tools to build and multiply an audience. Wikipedia lock it down as: “someone who maintains a weblog”. On Slugger, however, it is sometimes interchanged with the term commenter: ie, those “who leave remarks in the ‘comments’ section”. This is a purely local derivation, possibly because the commentariat play a larger role here than …

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Definition of the Day

future (verb). Definition: (in politics) to speculate on what might happen, in order to encourage the belief that it already has. Example: “Well I think if you are convinced, and remember we are “futuring” here, if you make a decision and you believe that it is the right political decision to make, then you have to stand over it.” Pete Baker

Mope, Moping and Mopery…

MOPE is an acronym that derives from the title of an essay written by Professor Liam Kennedy a few years back. It comes with the sub title: THE HISTORICAL SYNDROME OF THE MOST OPPRESSED PEOPLE EVER. As a notional ‘syndrome’, it affects the capacity of otherwise rational individuals to see Northern Ireland’s problems in context with other global (and much more traumatic) events. It is rooted in the feeling that Ireland’s trauma is not like anyone else’s: it is deep …

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Don’t listen to him, he’s a bollix!

That, in paraphrase, was the first comment posted in response to something we blogged from Minister McDowell some months back. I’ve just removed and banned someone posting here for the first time, for a nasty personal attack on the Blanket, which had nothing to do with the subject in hand. Whilst Slugger is neither Republican or Unionist, it does seek to create a space where all can put their views forward and have the reasonable expectation that they will be …

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What is a bigot?

Often used as a throw away insult between commenters on Slugger. Dictionary.com has extensive references. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

Glossary: sockpuppets

One of the sad things about Internet discussion is the reluctance of people to use their real names. In the context of Northern Ireland it is eminently understandable why people choose to remain annonymous. However, Sockpuppets take annonymity a step further. They are false, false identities if you like, often used by someone who is already posting under a ‘proper’ identity. They can be fun and entertaining. Occasionally they can be vicious, often being used as an attack vehicle: ie, …

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Glossary: Playing the ball not the man…

There are not many rules in Slugger’s rough guide to commenting etiquette. The most important is a golden coaching rule in Soccer: players must “play the ball and not the man” … or woman. In other words, people should be judged on what they say, not who they are! Or on how others view their motives. The aim is twofold: to encourage higher quality outputs from commenters and to retain a competitive edge to the dialogue. Played well it can …

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Glossary: What is Whataboutery?

Familiar to anyone who’s followed public debate on Northern Ireland. Some define it as the often multiple blaming and finger pointing that goes on between communities in conflict. Political differences are marked by powerful emotional (often tribal) reactions as opposed to creative conflict over policy and issues. It’s beginning to be known well beyond the bounds of Northern Ireland. Nice illustrative piece from the archives by the late Jack Holland.Some years back the BBC quoted Cardinal Cahal Daly as having …

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Slugger Glossary…

I thought it might be useful to begin to compile a glossary of terms that are either in common use on Slugger, or accurately describe what happens here. Rules of play are likely to be included, as well as things like the Godwin Rule on the emergence of the subject of Nazis in any given thread.I hope it will prove useful to those who are joining us for the first time, and help the rest of us to frame a …

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