Abuse of Power - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-14-2013, 01:38 AM
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Why do moderators have the right to speak to people like this??? They are humans, we are humans, and as such they should realize that taking this kind of tone with someone will only escalate the situation. Why can't these kinds of "warnings" be given in nicer, more respectful ways? This makes it seem like Capstan is a police officer and I am a small time offender.

 

I cannot believe that this is okay. People here are being censored and told which words to use and how to phrase things. So, we all rebel against the meat-eating portion of society--we see the forest for the trees--but we are policed in these forums like drones by the Supreme Veggie Master???? Who the hell do these people think they are? Why do people put up with it?

 

And now Capstan has locked the "Feeling Judged by Vegan Friend" thread because I made a comment about moderators throwing their weight around where it is not needed. 

 

 

ABUSE OF POWER DOES NOT MAKE FOR HEALTHY DISCUSSION.

 

GO AHEAD NOW, ALL MIGHTY MODERATORS--LOCK THIS THREAD AND SUSPEND ME OR EXPEL ME OR PUT ME IN THE STOCKS--WHATEVER IT IS YOU DO TO THE WORST OF THE WORST.

 

Maybe some people will see this before it is erased.

 

[MOD POST-  This portion of this post is removed, because it is against our rules to publicly reproduce the content of personal messages, without permission from all parties.]

 

To quote Orwell: “There was nothing ..now except a single Commandment.  It ran:ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS”

 

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#2 Old 07-14-2013, 02:16 AM
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I too wish that people would sort their issues out without resorting to complaining to the mods but not everyone is prepared to do that.  It does really annoy me and I suspect it's the reason that I have one of the moderators 'following' me.  Of course it could be down to the fact they don't want to miss any of my razor-sharp comebacks and witty repartee but somehow I doubt it wink3.gif

 

Thing is, I accept that I can be OTT at times and blunt to the point of being rude so some people are bound to take offence.  There are times when I feel I've been in a contest of Preachy Vegan (me) vs Whiny Vegetarian (them) and neither of us have come out of the discourse covered in glory.  I've being trying to rein it in recently and I think I've been pretty successful; I'm sure someone will be happy to correct me if I'm wrong ...

 

I can see why you are upset but the moderators have a job to do and this forms part of it.  We agree to the rules when we sign up - even if, like me, you haven't necessarily read them!

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#3 Old 07-14-2013, 04:24 AM
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It must be extremely hard for the Mods to get the balance right when such strong and divergent feelings often get expressed here. I've been posting for something over a year now, and in that time my observation is that they do all really try hard to behave fairly. However it's inevitable that what they do won't please all members all of the time. And some decisions are bound to tread on the toes of some members.

 

A more laissez-faire approach would possibly be more appealing to some and less appealing to others. Having spent plenty of time on boards that are far more laissez-faire than this - and while I'm personally comfortable with a very loose approach to moderation - the petty *****ing, sniping and personal conflicts often get really tiresome to trawl through. Such boards can also feel too intimidating for a lot of folk to participate in and you end up with only a smattering of posters being willing to challenge the majority opinion, which results in an extremely stagnant intellectual atmosphere. As for swearing, well I don't give a **** about that, but lots of people do and it hardly adds anything of worth to the majority of discussions.

 

Overall IMO, as it's such a highly visible entity and as it's also a first stop for many veg-curious people, VB has a responsibility to be a comfortable place for all kinds of people to hang out in. It also needs to be able to maintain the appearance of a certain degree of public respectability, not for it's members so much but more on behalf of the v*gan movement.

 

As such, so far as this board goes, I personally support the way it's moderated. And in the time I've been here, I also don't believe I've ever witnessed what I'd consider to be any kind of genuine abuse of power, though others may have done so.


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#4 Old 07-14-2013, 05:56 AM
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MOD POST- It is against our rules for members to discourage other members from posting. By issuing a warning to another member to be careful about their choice of words implies a threat and discourages the member from posting. Jumpingspider was asked to rephrase their comment in a less intimidating and inflammatory way.

 

The "Feeling judged by vegan friend" thread was locked for the reasons stated in the thread.


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#5 Old 07-14-2013, 06:06 AM
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I personally feel it would be a good idea for the moderators to have an anonymous "Mod" account with which to convey messages when they feel it is necessary.

Both Capstan and jumpingspider22 are prolific posters on VB and now, unfortunately, there is a divide between them which affects the harmony of the board.

Moderators have the unenviable job of enforcing rules while trying to avoid hurting the feelings of those they feel are in need of correcting. An anonymous "Mod" account would allow them to do a necessary, if unpleasant, job without creating divide between two valuable posters.

My two cents.

_/\_
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#6 Old 07-14-2013, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Rinchen View Post

I personally feel it would be a good idea for the moderators to have an anonymous "Mod" account with which to convey messages when they feel it is necessary.

Both Capstan and jumpingspider22 are prolific posters on VB and now, unfortunately, there is a divide between them which affects the harmony of the board.

Moderators have the unenviable job of enforcing rules while trying to avoid hurting the feelings of those they feel are in need of correcting. An anonymous "Mod" account would allow them to do a necessary, if unpleasant, job without creating divide between two valuable posters.

My two cents.

_/\_

 

That's a good idea, Rinchen. Thanks. I'll see what the other mods think about it.


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#7 Old 07-14-2013, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpingspider22 View Post

Why do moderators have the right to speak to people like this??? They are humans, we are humans, and as such they should realize that taking this kind of tone with someone will only escalate the situation. Why can't these kinds of "warnings" be given in nicer, more respectful ways? This makes it seem like Capstan is a police officer and I am a small time offender.

 

I cannot believe that this is okay. People here are being censored and told which words to use and how to phrase things. So, we all rebel against the meat-eating portion of society--we see the forest for the trees--but we are policed in these forums like drones by the Supreme Veggie Master???? Who the hell do these people think they are? Why do people put up with it?

 

And now Capstan has locked the "Feeling Judged by Vegan Friend" thread because I made a comment about moderators throwing their weight around where it is not needed. 

 

NOTE: I moved this to site support, as it's about a specific site problem.

 

NOTE 2: For further notice, if you have a problem with a particular mod, please send me (or another mod) a message. It's fine to post that you have issues with the rules or how mods handle the rules, but it's not cool to post names. Mods try to stay away from posting names of people (publicly) that they're having an issue with, and it would be helpful if the rest of the community did too. 

 

Now, about the other issues....

 

I have a few ideas.

 

1) Maybe it's unclear what the compost heap is for. I noticed that the feeling judged thread was shut down, due to straying off topic, but that's sort of what (I thought) the compost heap was about. My thought is that we need to perhaps define what the compost heap is really for and post a sticky about it. Is it for any old topic, is it for debates?? Etc. 

 

2) If people need a place to vent, without concern that a mod is going to interfere, I think we need a non-moderated hyper debate area here. Due to actual web/site policy, a non-modded area, would NOT be totally un-modded, because there are a few rules that legally we cannot change, such as...  

 

 

However, if people want to say, "Vegan is better than vegetarian" or "Vegetarians are best" or "Hey, quit talking about how people who fail to volunteer at an animal shelter suck, because you still eat eggs" that would be fair game. It seems like lately, people really want a no-holds barred sort of area here to debate, one free from the normal niceties we try to stick with. In a space like this, people would need to understand that flagging someone for anything other than those three rules above will result in nothing. No mod warnings, no mod interference, etc. It would be a visit at your own emotional risk sort of area. 

 

 

3) Now, as to mods throwing their weight around. I'll say this. It's really hard to be a mod. People flag stuff, we don't always agree with what's flagged but we're also required to try and deal with it. If your post is flagged and you disagree, taking it public with names included isn't the best way to deal with it. A good way to deal with a situation like this would be to message me or another mod with your concerns so we can try to work it out before it escalates to a situation like this where everyone is feeling super angry, threatened and upset in a very public way. OR you can always post in site support - a general concern (without names) like, "Hey, the mods should try this instead of this because... "

 

4) Regarding warnings given in a nicer way - well, this is something the mods would need to work out among themselves. I'd remind everyone that mods are human like everyone else and we all have our own sort of style and manner and we don't all mesh with all members - but we're trying our best. If the community would be happier with a stock message for rules, we can actually work that out too.

 

@Jumpingspider - say someone flags your post. What, in your opinion, would have been a fair message to receive in this situation? I.e. a nicer warning or message? What would you say to someone in this situation? I'm not calling you out BTW. I agree that we can always work on how we interact with others, so I'm curious, because if members want us as mods to be nicer or more fair, it would be helpful to hear an example of that from members. 


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#8 Old 07-14-2013, 09:10 AM
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I don't understand all the mod hate lately, old regimes were AWFUL. This one is rosey compared to some.

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#9 Old 07-14-2013, 01:15 PM
 
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I actually think the mods do a great job on here. I think they can be quick to pounce regarding the whole 'offence being caused' debate but I think their intentions are only good ie to keep members and get new.

Obviously I'm biased but it would seem that when the whole vegetarian vegan debate kicks off the mods always seem to side with the non-vegans. It's annoying but like I said I think their intentions are honourable.
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#10 Old 07-14-2013, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by River View Post

I don't understand all the mod hate lately, old regimes were AWFUL. This one is rosey compared to some.

 

No mod hate from me, I think they do a good job.  I certainly wouldn't want to moderate a forum ~ too much hard work keeping my temper and trying to be even-handed.  I think I'd implode within a week.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rinchen View Post

I personally feel it would be a good idea for the moderators to have an anonymous "Mod" account with which to convey messages when they feel it is necessary.
 
 

Top suggestion by the way smiley.gif ^^^^^^  

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#11 Old 07-14-2013, 01:38 PM
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Whoo-hoo! Three nods for my idea. smiley.gif
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#12 Old 07-14-2013, 01:40 PM
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I don't understand all the mod hate lately, old regimes were AWFUL. This one is rosey compared to some.

Hate is a strong word and does not apply to my own feelings. Please try not to impose that word onto my reaction. I don't know how you would feel if you were accused of THREATENING someone, but until then you just don't know how it feels. It's awful and it made me feel about an inch tall; the tone that the mod used with me did not help in the least. Being spoken to like I am a subordinate is absolutely no fun, and it hurt my feelings greatly; you may have felt similar, who knows? But I have not an ounce of hate in me for the mod or anyone here, so please try not to use that word lightly. Thank you.

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#13 Old 07-14-2013, 02:05 PM
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 But I have not an ounce of hate in me for the mod or anyone here...

 

Took me many years to realise the futility of hating people. Less hatred will make the world a lot better place. thumbsup.gif

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#14 Old 07-14-2013, 02:05 PM
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Hate is a strong word and does not apply to my own feelings. Please try not to impose that word onto my reaction. I don't know how you would feel if you were accused of THREATENING someone, but until then you just don't know how it feels. It's awful and it made me feel about an inch tall; the tone that the mod used with me did not help in the least. Being spoken to like I am a subordinate is absolutely no fun, and it hurt my feelings greatly; you may have felt similar, who knows? But I have not an ounce of hate in me for the mod or anyone here, so please try not to use that word lightly. Thank you.

O.o mod hate just means a lot of people hating on the mods, not that someone actually... hates them.


I have had several infractions over the few years I've been here, including the "discouraging otheras from posting" at least twice, from a mod much... tonier than capstan. You shouldn't let something like that hurt your feelings, its the internet.

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#15 Old 07-14-2013, 03:04 PM
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You shouldn't let something like that hurt your feelings, its the internet.

 

Yeah, but sometimes it does.  You join VB and quickly feel like 'part of the family' which is a good thing.  Then you get a virtual slap in the wrist and you feel like crap* ... I think it's a compliment to this forum in some ways that people feel like that to be honest.  I've been slapped to death on other forums and haven't given a rat's anus about it as it was 'just another forum'

 

I hope that this will settle of its own accord as I have respect for both the posters involved.

 

ETA: * I haven't been 'slapped' here (yet ...) but I can understand how it would feel

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#16 Old 07-14-2013, 04:04 PM
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When conversations IRL go off topic, why doesn't  someone jump up and say "We must return to the orignal topic"?

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#17 Old 07-14-2013, 04:10 PM
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When conversations IRL go off topic, why doesn't  someone jump up and say "We must return to the orignal topic"?

 

Because actual conversation is free-flow and most people enjoy the diversity of differing opinions, which naturally leads to different subjects (albeit loosely related).

 

 Online topics seem far more rigid but that's because of the medium involved.  Nothing beats a face to face chat, or indeed, confrontation IMO.  

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#18 Old 07-14-2013, 04:50 PM
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O.o mod hate just means a lot of people hating on the mods, not that someone actually... hates them.


I have had several infractions over the few years I've been here, including the "discouraging otheras from posting" at least twice, from a mod much... tonier than capstan. You shouldn't let something like that hurt your feelings, its the internet.

As good as that advice is, it is just not easy to not be offended on the internet sometimes, especially when the offending happens in a cyber place that has come to be special and when the people there have begun to feel like a cyber version of family. I can't just not feel hurt because it's the internet.

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#19 Old 07-14-2013, 05:28 PM
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Because actual conversation is free-flow and most people enjoy the diversity of differing opinions, which naturally leads to different subjects (albeit loosely related).

 Online topics seem far more rigid but that's because of the medium involved.  Nothing beats a face to face chat, or indeed, confrontation IMO.  

This. Forums are inevitably going to be different than a face to face discussion, it's the nature of the beast.

Also if an off topic discussion starts that interests you you can always keep it going by starting a new thread on the subject or finding an existing one. We mods can also move posts to new threads for you if you want, you can just shoot us a PM. It helps keep things organized and flowing nicely. smiley.gif

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#20 Old 07-14-2013, 10:39 PM
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And now Capstan has locked the "Feeling Judged by Vegan Friend" thread because I made a comment about moderators throwing their weight around where it is not needed. 

Since we're on the topic of abuse of power, I was the supposed moderator who was "throwing their weight around where it is not needed" in the "Feeling Judged by Vegan Friend" thread, which now resides in the Compost Heap. I asked, politely, for people to stay on topic because there was a side discussion about pit bulls and that people are free to create a new thread for that purpose or join in one of the many threads on that subject. This is not uncommon in the Compost Heap, this is not uncommon on VB. While I am often guilty of side discussions, I really don't see a mod post reminding people about straying off topic as being considered "throwing their weight around where it is not needed."

Seeing as the majority of my posts (probably 75% +) have ever been in the Compost Heap since I joined in 2006, I have some knowledge about it and why it's there.

As a general statement to everyone though, if you feel any poster, including mods, are violating VB rules or are guilty of "Abuse of Power," please report the post (or PM) or if you feel uncomfortable, PM any mod or the administrator at any time.

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#21 Old 07-15-2013, 12:08 AM
 
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The only time I have been annoyed was when I was 'locked' out of a thread and those I was discussing it with were not, allowing them to continue.

This meant it looked as though I was in the 'wrong' and others were allowed to continue talking and dissecting my side of the discussion without giving me the chance to reply.

I don't think this should EVER happen. All parties should be banned from posting or the whole thread should be locked.
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#22 Old 07-15-2013, 12:10 AM
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The only time I have been annoyed was when I was 'locked' out of a thread and those I was discussing it with were not, allowing them to continue.

This meant it looked as though I was in the 'wrong' and others were allowed to continue talking and dissecting my side of the discussion without giving me the chance to reply.

I don't think this should EVER happen. All parties should be banned from posting or the whole thread should be locked.

I didn't even know that could happen.

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#23 Old 07-15-2013, 12:24 AM
 
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I assume that is what happened. The thread continued but I wasn't even able to view it due to 'not having sufficient permissions'. I had to log out to continue even reading the thread nevermind post in it. Left a sour taste in my mouth, when I complained I didn't even get a reply.
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#24 Old 07-15-2013, 01:30 AM
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I've always found the moderation on this forum fairly light. Just over a year ago, I was in effect banned on a vegan forum for having the same views on a certain subject as the Vegan Society (UK) and the International Vegetarian Union. Yes I know, I'm just a trouble-maker....shocked.gif

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#25 Old 07-15-2013, 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by ponyboy85 View Post

The only time I have been annoyed was when I was 'locked' out of a thread and those I was discussing it with were not, allowing them to continue.

This meant it looked as though I was in the 'wrong' and others were allowed to continue talking and dissecting my side of the discussion without giving me the chance to reply.

I don't think this should EVER happen. All parties should be banned from posting or the whole thread should be locked.

 

For the sake of balance, I remember that thread, to be fair I recall you referring to some of your fellow posters as "warped vegetarians". Not only is that pretty offensive but it was also on the vegetarian board. I replied jokingly to that comment (requesting a sub-forum for us "warped vegetarians") but then when I realised that you'd been blocked from posting any further on that thread I subsequently deleted that post. I also recall Joan quite politely inviting you to continue the discussion via PM, I don't know if you did so or not. I appreciate that being barred from posting on a thread means being denied a right of reply onthread and why that would annoy you, but my memory of that disagreement was that it was for the most part dealt with quite reasonably. 


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#26 Old 07-15-2013, 03:13 AM
 
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My comment of 'warped vegetarians' was because a single vegetarian was coming out with ridiculous comments. I never said all vegetarians were warped at any point on the thread. It basically turned into 2-3 people making jokes about a subject that I found serious. No one was banned for making jokes out of what I was saying and rightly so we are all adults and the discussion should be allowed to flow until someone starts trolling or is outright offensive. I don't believe calling someone warped for coming out with warped comments is overly offensive.

Of course you though it was dealt with appropriately because it was me that got banned and not anyone else. The fact that one of the posters who was involved goes around the forum looking for arguments especially with vegans and has never agreed with another poster yet was allowed to continue on the thread was laughable.
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#27 Old 07-15-2013, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Wolfie View Post

When conversations IRL go off topic, why doesn't  someone jump up and say "We must return to the orignal topic"?

I tend to do this. When people start chucking around aimless analogies because they probably don't care and haven't got any real sort of view on the subject and enjoy to sidetrack debate and argument. Yes, i know this seems to be part of conversation, but it's still so bloody irritating at times.

I received an infraction for "discouraging others from posting" which given what i had posted i thought was completely laughable, so i can understand jumpingspider's point of view.
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#28 Old 07-15-2013, 06:20 AM
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I don't understand the phrase "overly offensive." Is there such a thing as being just the right amount of offensive?
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#29 Old 07-15-2013, 09:13 AM
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I don't understand the phrase "overly offensive." Is there such a thing as being just the right amount of offensive?

 

This made me laugh!

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#30 Old 07-16-2013, 03:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Rinchen View Post

I don't understand the phrase "overly offensive." Is there such a thing as being just the right amount of offensive?


Technically speaking yes, offensive can be ( viewed as ) necessary, be it in language to for example force someone to move his bum instead of crying on his problems, or in say actions such as military operations if it males it more clear.

 

There is the amount that is needed ( "move you lazy useless sissy" ) and the over ( "move you [insert long chinese or french insult here ]" )

 

Like at war sending a sniper to kill hitler ( but the mission got cancelled ) or send a dozen atomic bombs.

 

Overkill.



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