Follow TV Tropes
According to the description, Bias Steamroller is supposed to be "If the critic has a strong bias against or in favor of a genre, style, director, actor, or what have you, and they allow that acerbic vitriol or blind admiration to fill their review."
According to this, a typical example should be along the lines of, "John Criticman hates movies with monkeys, and his review of Panda Bear Funtime Extravaganza focused on nothing but how much he hated the monkey character even though the movie was all about pandas and the monkey was barely in it at all."
However, most examples don't fit the above description, and instead fit one or more of the following categories of misuse and/or lack of context:
Even when used more-or-less correctly, many entries have a very complain-y tone, with descriptors like "painfully," "egregious", "reeks of this trope", etc.
Part of the problem may be that the description is very vague about what constitutes a "bias." A "genre, style, director, actor, or what have you" can be almost anything, especially when the description goes on to talk about tropes, meaning that almost any criticism leveled against a work, legitimate or illegitimate, could be labeled a "bias." Also, a lot of entries read like, "[Critic] is biased against [Work A] for not being [Work B]!" That's not a bias, it's a preference. Making value judgments of works and sometimes comparing them to one another is what critics do. One might almost say it's kind of their job.
And just as icing on the cake, many entries are for You Tube entertainers and/or Let's Players who merely express their own personal preferences as opposed to purporting to be giving a nuanced, objective critical analysis.
Going down the example list:
It's an under-defined, over-shoehorned mess and a complaining and natter magnet. I don't see anything worth saving here.
edited 16th Feb '17 3:43:43 PM by HighCrate
Nice solid OP!
Since you covered the vast majority of wicks examples, it looks like we got a good cutting candidate if that much wicks are problematic.
Edit: Thanks for the correction, Madru.
edited 16th Feb '17 7:31:46 PM by Berrenta
So we're troping what critics say? Is that really a thing?
Despite the old saw that critics aren't creators, we do trope them as such.
That's not the wicks. That's the examples on the page. There are 191 wicks, and 1691 inbounds. Even if the wicks have the same proportion of misuse, that's too many inbounds to just burn.
We don't trope critics as people, but things like this affect and show in their work as a critic.
I'd like to see a clean-up effort before we start talking about cutting or example Sectionectomying this page. The OP lays out the criteria clearly, if an example or a wick doesn't meet all of them :
Then it's not a complete example. Doing that will clear out most if not all of the Complaining About Critics You Dont Agree With
edited 16th Feb '17 6:27:39 PM by Madrugada
I feel that this trope should be kept. Critics allowing their personal bias against a genre, style, creator, actor, etc. to affect their reviews is something that happens frequently. Though the misuse needs to be cleaned up. I feel giving Bias Steamroller a stricter definition would help prevent further misuse.
I think getting rid of the examples without necessary context and shoehorns would be a good start. At that point we can see what's left and if we need to do anything else.
Probably the only example I noticed that didn't follow all those requirements that I'd keep is the Niko Nirvi one, as that's really more Conversational Troping, since he's talking about how reviewers score games according to the trope.
Lots of things that happen frequently we still don't want pages about, since they're off-mission and flame magnets.
I'll say +1 to the idea of a cleanup to see what we're left with.
(And I'll also throw out the possible alternative option of making this In Universe Only.)
edited 17th Feb '17 1:35:30 PM by Xtifr
If the inbound count is too high to allow for cutting outright, I'd support making it a redirect to something like Confirmation Bias (although that page has its own problems).
A cleanup isn't fundamentally unworkable, but it would leave us with an anemic and off-mission page that's likely to attract more complaining and misuse if left alone.
A redefinition to impose a stricter definition of "bias" could conceivably help the shoehorning problem, but I'm not seeing any way of redefining such a negative trope to avoid complaining.
Have there been any Edit Wars or Flame Wars involving Bias Steamroller in the past? Because I feel it'll set a bad precedent if we decide to cut a page based on potential Edit/Flame Wars instead of actual Edit/Flame Wars.
I've always thought that an argument about potential problems is potentially very weak so I can potentially ignore it.
Could we go for having the page left with no examples. And just the definition of the trope?
We can start off with that, then sort out the wicks.
+1 to that
It's not anywhere near the same as Confirmation Bias. That's ignoring information that doesn't align wit what you already believe. Merging tham would just ruin another page.
I also don't haven't heard any good reasons for Example Sectionectomy-ing the page, let alone cutting it. Those are radical fixes for pages that can't be fixed any other way. The penultimate and ultimate options, respectively.
I'd consider a 93%+ rate of misuse (and that's on the page; wick misuse is likely to be worse) to be a good enough reason to at least consider drastic measures.
I'm not of the opinion that it's likely to be salvageable, but that's just me.
I think we've talked through most of the options at this point, so let's put it to a crowner.
edited 20th Feb '17 2:25:38 PM by HighCrate
Having a hard time voting, because my preferred option is to do the cleanup and then see what we're dealing with.
That's covered by the Clean it up but take no drastic action at this time. Coming back again after a clean-up to see if it worked is always an open option. It doesn't need to be crownered.
edited 20th Feb '17 4:45:14 PM by Madrugada
Looks like I'm the one to blame here, since I'm the one who added the Mother's Basement example which started this discussion.
Welp, I'm done with TV Tropes. I tried to contribute as much as possible but I always end up making major mistakes that need TLC.
~Divine Flame 100
It would be better if you learn from your mistakes. You will get nothing worthwhile from quitting entirely after realizing you did something wrong.
This whole page needs major TLC. That Mother's Basement entry might have been the catalyst, but it was hardly the cause.
Anyway, consensus is overwhelmingly in favor of an example and wick cleanup effort over the other options put forward, so we can probably call this and move on with the cleanup.
I've already gone through the example page entry-by-entry and given my thoughts in the OP; if I were to clean up the examples myself, it would involve deleting over 90% of what's currently on the page. That's fine by me, but before taking such a drastic action, does anybody want to speak up in favor of keeping and/or reworking any of the examples above that I'd marked as bad?
edited 26th Feb '17 11:28:05 AM by HighCrate
I'd say move the bad examples that are missing one aspect to the discussion page, since many of them could be good if the missing element/bias/work/critic is provided. Cut the bad ones either move to the discussion or comment out the ZCEs. I prefer to move them to the discussion page, because commenting them out means the only people who will see them are people who have the page open to edit something else.
edited 26th Feb '17 1:40:55 PM by Madrugada
That would be dumping a LOT of content on the discussion page all at once. A better solution might be to copy the entire page as-is to a sandbox page, put a link to the sandbox in Discussion so folks can peruse at their leisure, and make the cuts to the live page in the meantime.
This isn't the first time I made a mistake that launched an entire page cleanup as a result. I don't know if you remember this but three years back, I made a huge mistake on the Complete Monster anime page by adding an example with no element, which started the whole cleanup of the pages. The mods called me out on it and gave me a warning. I'm sure they will call me out again for this mistake too.
I agree with using a sandbox. It's clean, easy, and separate from the live page.
edited 26th Feb '17 8:39:20 PM by pokedude10
Community Showcase More
How well does it match the trope?