Ever since the Puppy Powered Nomination Blowout Announcement there has been a lot of back and forth on various sites, blogs, etc about who the puppies are and why they have done what they have done. But in a development so predictable it was inevitable only one side of the equation seems to be willing to engage the other. I’ll give you three guesses as to which side that is, and the first two don’t count.

For example over at IO9 Charlie Jane Anders has been pushing the party line that the puppies are just a bunch of Hatey Mchaters who really hate women, minorities, and teh gays, despite the fact that they actually nominated many. And in a move that has surprised absolutely no one who has a functioning brain not one single pro-puppy comment has gotten out of “the greys” on either of her articles. As an example this comment by yours truly has been “pending” since April the 4th, while this comment has been “pending” since the April the 5th. More recently these two comments are still awaiting “moderation” and I predict will likewise never get out of “the greys”

In a similar vein the author of this laughable article has removed all comments including this rather well written one by Mr John C Wright, which had to be re-posted over at Vox Day’s site. She has further stated that she changed her site’s setting so that all comments are moderated automatically.

Meanwhile at the modern day Wewelsburg of the Chorfwaffen SS any dissenting opinion is simply disemvoweled.

On the other hand Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen, Sarah A Hoyt, and Vox Day all not only allow dissenting opinions on their sites, they actually engage with those who disagree with them.

There have been a few outliers. For example Mike Glyer over at File770, while certainly not pro-puppy, has at the very least been civil to them and is willing to report fairly honestly on all sides of this particular hot equation. What I find sad though not unexpected is how rare this attitude is. Even GRRM has taken a heavy hand to moderation at his live journal blog.

What I don’t think the anti-puppies fully understand is that this type of behavior is very telling. Sure it creates a nice safe space, also known as an echo chamber, in which you never need to hear those badthoughts from the wrongfans. It also gives a false impression that your side is far more powerful and popular than it really is. But even more perniciously, at least to me, is that by insulating your self from dissenting opinion, by refusing to allow anything resembling honest debate, you weaken your own sides ability to compete in any honest debate. And finally this type of “see no evil, hear no evil” philosophy tells any unaffiliated bystander that there is something wrong with you and with your arguments. As Larry Correia says, (paraphrasing because I can’t find the exact quote) “Arguing on the internet is all about the bystanders”. In other words its not about convincing your opponent, who most likely can’t be convinced to change their minds, its about convincing those in the audience who are still undecided.

And that is why, as Sarah Hoyt says, “in the end we win, they lose”