Freethought Blogs

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Freethought Blogs (FtB) is a spinoff of ScienceBlogs begun by PZ Myers and Ed Brayton and having some of the same contributors. At its start, FtB hosted the following blogs: Comradde PhysioProffe,[1] Digital Cuttlefish, Dispatches from the Culture Wars (Ed Brayton), Pharyngula (PZ Myers), This Week in Christian Nationalism (Chris Rodda) and The Zingularity (Stephen Andrew).

Contents

[edit] Ads

The site hosts ads for revenue. While the owners want targeted ads to ensure relevance for their readers, the present state of the software used to target ads often leads to hilarious juxtapositions.[2] Also, they've chosen an ad network so eyegougingly obnoxious that people install AdBlockPlus just to get away from the zillion popups, popunders and auto-starting video with sound. But if you can tolerate it, it does provide the opportunity to cost luckless woo peddlers money every time you click.

[edit] Taking a feminist-skeptic stand

Post-Elevatorgate, Freethought Blogs is seen as one of the strongest and most prominent supporters of the feminist position within the atheist/skeptic movement. PZ Myers and other contributors frequently post about the continuing controversy, often strongly attacking those on the other side of the question, and their members include a number of second- and third-wave feminist skeptics, including Ophelia Benson, Greta Christina, Jen McCreight, Taslima Nasrin,[3] Zinnia Jones, and Stephanie Zvan. As a result, the ongoing war over sexism in the skeptical and atheist communities is a major part of the subject matter on the site, and sexism (a result of unexamined prejudices) is treated as just as much woo as any other; this has resulted in the creation of the Atheism Plus movement, a form of secular humanism focusing on skepticism and social justice issues.

The vlogger Thunderf00t briefly joined Freethought Blogs in summer 2012, but was quickly fired after repeatedly (and somewhat incoherently) blogging that those pushing for protection for women at atheist/skeptic events were wrong, or overreacting, or whatever. The vocal group of FtB anti-fans gleefully took this as another confirmation that FtB isn't about "freethought" at all because something-something-evo-psych-something girls are stinky, and some have taken as a hobby attacking the most vocal feminist bloggers. A somewhat common line of attack is accusations of groupthink[4] and claims that contrary to the site name, FtB "doesn't allow free thought at all."[5]

[edit] Blog list

The site has expanded significantly since its beginning, hosting the following blogs as of April 2013:

[edit] Former bloggers

  • Libby Anne's Love Joy Feminism joined for a brief period of time, but moved to Patheos, citing that she had positive experiences but felt it was better financially at Patheos, and would have joined their network if they offered prior to Freethought blogs' offer.[6]
  • Assassin Actual (the titular guy, a cavalry scout in the US Army, and this doesn't actually involve any horses). Went on hiatus in August of 2012, and hasn't been seen on the site since.
  • A Citizen of Earth (Hank Fox; Fox's blog was formerly known as Blue Collar Atheist). Now at Patheos.
  • John Loftus' Debunking Christianity also joined FtB and then left, for different reasons, and then Loftus burned his bridges by taking a bizarre (post-)parting shot at Natalie Reed.[7][8]
  • NonStampCollector (another atheist YouTube vlogger; joined October 2012; decided to take a hiatus from NonStampCollecting and ceased blogging (and Facebook-ing) in April 2013; his last post has fun exposing the stupidity hurled at him for associating with FtB.[9])
  • Thunderf00t was a member of the collective for a brief period of time, but was asked to leave shortly after joining due to issues relating to his professionalism and antagonistic attitude toward some other network members. (See his article for details.)
  • Blag Hag (Jen McCreight). Left the site in 2013, her last post was on Halloween of that year.
  • Greg Laden was removed by Freethought Blogs at the same time as Thunderf00t for using "violent threatening language" towards Justin Griffith of the Rock Beyond Belief blog.[10][11]
  • JT Eberhard's blog What Would JT Do? was hosted on Freethought Blogs, though unlike the above three he left for financial reasons as Libby Anne did; he quit his job with the Secular Student Alliance and moved his blog to Patheos with the reason that advertising revenue was higher, with his Freethought Blogs URL redirecting to the new blog.
  • Dan Fincke's blog Camels with Hammers also moved to Patheos in 2012; as with WWJTD, a redirect to the new URL is in place.[12]
  • Kylie Sturgess of Token Skeptic is a former Freethought Blogger who is currently located on the Patheos network.
  • Chris Hallquist of The Uncredible Hallq is also a former Freethought Blogger who is currently located on the Patheos network. As with the above, a redirect exists.
  • Al Stefanelli's eponymous blog moved back to a stand-alone blog. A redirect was left in place as with the bloggers that relocated to Patheos.

[edit] See also

  • Patheos, a religion-oriented blogging network with a handful of atheist blogs (including blogs from a few of the above-mentioned former FtB members)

[edit] External links

[edit] Footnotes

  1. First post: "We are live at Freethoughtblogs!! I am a punkeasse little guy compared to PZ and Big Ed. I will be posting on politics, practice of science, food, Yankees baseball, booze, and other shitte!"
  2. Why Evolution is True: What’s with Freethought Blogs? (Screenshots)
  3. Who, incidentally, is a perfect example of how not to be Thunderf00t. When she first came aboard, she took a deeply unpopular stance equating prostitution and sex slavery. Although nearly everyone disagreed with her, the whole thing was handled very well without immaturity or drama from anyone, least of all Nasreen herself.
  4. While the bloggers very often agree with each other on various issues, this is usually more due to their shared belief in skepticism and social justice rather than for the sake of conformity.
  5. Note that the meaning of the word "freethought" is not quite the same as its etymology, and that even if it was, "free thought" doesn't necessarily mean that one is obliged to give a platform to every shouty "dissenter" who comes along.
  6. Another Blog Move, Love Joy Feminism
  7. http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/02/21/john-loftus-has-left-the-building/
  8. http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/341/comment-page-1#comment-4834
  9. http://freethoughtblogs.com/nonstampcollector/2013/04/07/wrapping-up-my-blog/
  10. http://freethoughtblogs.com/rockbeyondbelief/2012/07/04/greg-ladens-sometimes-the-bad-guys-win
  11. http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2012/07/01/major-changes-at-freethought-blogs/
  12. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/camelswithhammers/2012/09/read-camels-with-hammers-at-patheos-starting-today/
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