It has come to our attention that the quality of fails that reach the main page on Failblog has been going seriously downhill lately. Many of us have stated in the comments section that we are uncomfortable with fails that bring out the haters, the bigots, the trolls and the kind of ignorant comments that make us *headdesk* and *facepalm* ourselves into actual injury. I and at least two other regulars have sent emails to The Powers that Be to ask that such “fails” not be posted on the voting page, but as you can see, the vote pages are chock full of problematic pictures that will inevitably bring the haters.

So. We need to do something about this, Failpeeps. We need to not only actually go and vote for the fails that we like, but we need to VOTE AGAINST the fails that we don’t want to see make it to the main page. The Admiral had an interesting suggestion on the final fail today:

“I don’t think we are doing a good enough job with voting, and if we aren’t voting we shouldn’t complain. I think we, the collective regulars, should institute voting Monday.”

Let’s do it, people. We are always so careful to preserve the community we have forged in the comments section against trolls and haters…let’s start thinking about preserving the integrity of the site itself. Let’s stop letting the trolls choose the fails we see every day. Let’s steer things back towards the truly funny, the HIGH-larious, and the types of Fail we can all truly enjoy.



  1. *Begins making whole new set of “I VOTED!” buttons/stickers*

    • fuzz on the concept

      I’ve left a comment here currently under moderation. Additional note: to vote multiple times, you need only refresh after each vote click and click again (up to five).

      • fuzz on the concept

        Additional additional note:

        I made a little survey of the Voting page — less than inspiring finding:

        Even fails that have ratios of greater than 100 to 1 votes in favor of them don’t necessarily end up on the homepage — several like that have been on the voting pages for months (and they have very innocuous themes, e.g., a car on a drawbridge). And yet ones like the Weather Fail that got posted today (Monday) get chosen by the Fail staff for public display, even though it had less than a 15 to 1 “approval rating” in votes. I made a list of ones rated 15 to 1 or higher — the Weather one isn’t on it.

        So, again, in support of what’s now a site with world-wide popularity having SOME greater aesthetic sense and more socially constructive profile, voting alone might not be enough. Folks may want to consider contacting the staff directly. I’ve emailed concerns such concerns before. They usually (but not always) make a respectful reply, along the lines of “we’ll take that into consideration before posting that fail to the homepage” — but those fails I’ve flagged to them as insensitive and potentially inflammatory remain on the Voting page.

        P.S. You can vote on the weekend days, too, apparently five times per Fail in a 24 hour period.

      • Say g'night, Gracie

        I tried that, but it won’t let me vote again. Maybe it’s my stoopid computer.

      • fuzz on the concept

        Trying to vote 5 times in succession is not working for me today, either (while it did work like that for several weeks, including yesterday). I don’t know whether they’ve changed it up now or what.

        I wonder if they want more traffic to the site … so perhaps you can vote multiple times in a day, but you have to wait a couple hours or something … I have a vague memory of it being that way a year ago.

  2. Hey, Qwaz, I’ll need a weeks worth of buttons, please. And, hurry, please! I’ve got a lot of work to do on the voting page!

  3. fuzz on the concept

    What one finds tasteless and unfunny is of course a matter of one’s taste and, um, funny bone. I, personally, am no fan of Fails that include:

    — racism (prejudicial stereotypes; historically unkind ethnic labels)
    — adolescently crass references to genitals and sex acts
    — !mages conjoining children with sex
    — depictions of real personal injuries and deaths

    Sometimes it’s the “how” of an image, rather than a strict “never” for a given content. Swastikas, for example — on the one hand, I myself wasn’t too bothered last year about a picture on Failblog of a barbecue pit which happened to have an efficient design shape making it look like a swastika. On the other hand, I do find repulsive an image that’s been on the vote page for some weeks now of a Nordic-looking woman putting swastika cookies into an oven. Last year’s BBQ pit Fail sparked some intelligent conversation (ht tp://failblogDOTorg/2008/08/17/bbq-design-fail/); but the mere fact that any swastika !mage appears in an picture on a site like Failblog is apt to inspire some ugly, trollish comments, so I for one would just prefer not to have those !mages show up here.

    Sometimes someone will say something funny in connection with an offensive !mage that will literally make me laugh out loud. But, in the end, it’s often just not fun to come to Failblog when there’s an ugly !mage as the fail or one that gives fodder for ugly comments.

    I think you can vote 5 times per image on the voting page per day (that may be just per weekday). And you can email the FB staff with objections to the !mages (one address = icanhascheezburger+copyright+failblogATgmail.com).

  4. Do I get a sticker when I vote?

    *hopeful look*

  5. Can I have a badge?

  6. Yay! A chance for fails that we all LIKE!
    AND my (step’s) computer actually let me vote too!

  7. fuzz on the concept

    Follow-up notes: I continued to do an informal track of the Fails over the past week chosen for the Home Page off of the Voting Pages.

    — MOST images on the voting pages get many more up votes than down. There were, though, over 100 fail pics on the most recent 100 voting pages that had a greater popularity than, for example, the “Poo Pye” Pet Name Fail that went up this morning (and some were much more popular). So, again, there’s not a very direct correlation between what gets the most votes, or what gets the highest proportion of up votes relative to down votes, and what the FB staff actually chooses to post to the Home Page.

    (My guess is they just go into the voting archives and somewhat randomly take ones that have, say, a 12 to 1 ratio or better; it appears that fails which are fairly close to one another on the voting pages tend to be chosen together.)

    — Last Monday’s “get out the vote” effort by the regulars appears not to have made a very big impress on the numbers. I think there are just too few regulars in comparison to the people across the world who vote (a large percentage of the latter, I suspect, are early teens). One of the new fails placed on the voting pages last Monday was a picture of a license plate that says, “SLAVERY”. That’s not the kind of Fail I suspect most regulars here would be very enthusiastic about. But at the end of Monday evening, that one had 200+ up votes and only 5 down votes.

    — (I find I can log 5 votes per fail per weekday from my home computer, but nowadays I can only log 1 vote per fail from work. I have no idea what that means.)

    So, as others have said, if and when the quality of images on the home page is poor and/or objectionable, direct feedback to the ICHC organization (and perhaps, for truly unconscionable material, to their advertisers) is likely the method that will most get their attention.

  8. fuzz on the concept

    So, last month Failblog posted several images with racist and/or racist “baiting” themes. A number of us objected and contacted the FB staff. I for one received an email informing me their staff would take my concerns into consideration when deciding whether or not to publish to the homepage a number of specific images on the voting pages I pointed out have racist themes. (The staff has not, though, removed those images from the voting pages.)

    Meanwhile, I’ve been dutifully voting down objectionable content on those pages, and voting up clever or absurd images that don’t possess a discriminatory quality and hate-baiting potential — only to find out, the voting really doesn’t make much difference. The FB staff have their own criteria for what goes to the home page that do not follow the popular vote totals. So, what’s the point of it?

    And now in the past three weeks they’ve posted two images of proudly gay establishments — the Philadelphia Home Art Garden, a.k.a., “P.H.A.G.” (9/28), and Mabel Peabody’s Beauty Parlor & Chainsaw Repair Night Club (10/14) — and today a personal ad from a mentally ill woman seeking companionship, and they stamped each of them “FAIL”.

    And I’m realizing, I can’t participate in this. It’s just too dumb. It’s just too unkind. It’s just too much the kind of gross insensitivity our world doesn’t need.

    FB images have always tended towards the adolescently crass and juvenile. But when I see posts from “fuzz on the concept” on other sites on the internet that publicize Failblog, it really bothers me to know I am contributing to publicizing not only adolescent humor but also an editorial policy that is at best oblivious to its promulgating hatred towards blacks and Latinos, persons of other cultures, gay persons, large persons, and mentally ill persons — then it “at best” takes the fun out of it for me.

    I, frankly, agree with some of the commenters who feel there’s too much “roleplay horneychat” and cliqueishly insular “cuddle puddling” filling much of the threads — but that stuff is a matter of taste and preference. That sort of thing I can live with and still have fun posting around. But for the management of the site itself to promulgate unkindness or hate towards groups of people is a different matter, especially when content I provide by way of posted comments gets used elsewhere to publicize the website.

    “Marius” today made a thoughtful post about it being sad to think a friend would not show up to a party based on something he disliked and thereby not connect with and celebrate what there is to like. But that’s not quite the fitting analogy here. There is funny stuff I enjoy and witty stuff I admire and occasionally beautiful sharings I am moved by in what gets posted to Failblog. But I presently feel the FB management is obtusely insensitive to the point of being unethical, and I don’t want to be a part of that.

    So, too much drama. Too much ugly. “Fuzz” is going to take a break.

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