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Rorschach
Good day to all

I am slightly unclear on what warrants justification for reporting posts. Should one report a post deemed insulting if the target of the insult is a third party? Should one report a post if political beliefs are slandered or mocked, as opposed to simply being disagreed with?

One of the things that has impressed me about this forum in my short time here has been the level of moderator interaction, as rare as it is welcome in such boards.

Rorschach
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Mike
Hi Rorschach,

We ask that members report posts when there is a violation of the Rules.

Of course I can't detail every circumstance-- we've averaged 1.8 reported posts per day over the last couple of years! ohmy.gif But, I can answer your specifics.

QUOTE
Should one report a post deemed insulting if the target of the insult is a third party?

If the third party is not a member of the forum, or if the third party is a public figure, then they are generally considered fair game. Of course, the posts have to fall within the rest of the rules-- constructive, on-topic, etc.

QUOTE
Should one report a post if political beliefs are slandered or mocked, as opposed to simply being disagreed with?

Belittling and insulting other members is not allowed, of course. We have always espoused that members should refute the post, not the poster. It would be near impossible (and quite bland) to attempt to stop all criticism of political positions while trying to make sure we host the most civil and constructive political debate around.

When in doubt, go ahead and report the post. The politically-balanced staff reviews the reports, discusses if necessary, and then acts if necessary. The identity of the reporter is never provided to the reportee(sp).

QUOTE
One of the things that has impressed me about this forum in my short time here has been the level of moderator interaction, as rare as it is welcome in such boards.

Thanks! biggrin.gif

We've been at it for 4 years and 4 months now. Our policies and procedures on the staff side are well-established, tested, and proven. Our rules haven't needed changing in at least two years or so, if I recall correctly. Our staff blows away any expectations we could have on a regular basis, in both their determination and dedication, as well as in their ability to set aside their own personal philosophies in order to ensure continued fairness. And of course, our members are top notch. thumbsup.gif

Let me know if you would like further clarification!

Thanks,

Mike
Blackstone
QUOTE(Mike @ Jan 11 2007, 05:44 PM) *
QUOTE
Should one report a post deemed insulting if the target of the insult is a third party?

If the third party is not a member of the forum, or if the third party is a public figure, then they are generally considered fair game.

I understand the rules about public figures, except for nagging question that I'm left with. If the poster is insulting the public figure merely for expressing a view that the poster disagrees with (something I've seen rather often on this forum), is that at all going too far? It seems to me that if the poster is saying, "Anyone with such-and-such an opinion is an idiot," that's not conducive to constructive debate, even if he doesn't mention another poster by name. Is it any different when he's calling a third party an idiot solely for holding that opinion?
gordo
I have been offended many times while being on this site so far from the things people say, perpetuate, etc... Simple thing like posting links and thinking people will read them, l-o-l laugh.gif laugh.gif

Personally I have nothing to do with the mods, personally I don’t care to make this site a site of being heavily policed.

Blackstone
(been busy for the past week)

QUOTE(gordo @ Jan 13 2007, 11:13 PM) *
Personally I have nothing to do with the mods, personally I don’t care to make this site a site of being heavily policed.

That doesn't change the fact that it is heavily policed. And if that's how it's to be, then it might make sense for the rules not to be so full of loopholes that their purpose is defeated. What's the point of having rules against personal attacks if members are allowed to personally attack each other by proxy?
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(Blackstone @ Jan 20 2007, 10:40 PM) *

(been busy for the past week)

QUOTE(gordo @ Jan 13 2007, 11:13 PM) *
Personally I have nothing to do with the mods, personally I don’t care to make this site a site of being heavily policed.

That doesn't change the fact that it is heavily policed. And if that's how it's to be, then it might make sense for the rules not to be so full of loopholes that their purpose is defeated. What's the point of having rules against personal attacks if members are allowed to personally attack each other by proxy?


Personal attacks by proxy are not permitted either. That includes even back-handed slaps disguised as compliments: "Theodore, you are the only intelligent Republican at AD" (for instance). "Everyone who think X is an idiot" is definitely off-limits. But, you can say that "believing x is foolish because..."

Like all human communication, it's a fine line and it often depends on the context. But at a site designed for people to discuss competing ideologies and ideas, the discussions are going to be emotionally charged at times. One can say that a politician's policies are foolish because of a,b, and c, even if other posters support those policies. They can, in turn, debate that point. This isn't considered an attack by proxy. There wouldn't be much of a debate otherwise.
AuthorMusician
QUOTE(Blackstone @ Jan 20 2007, 10:40 PM) *

(been busy for the past week)

QUOTE(gordo @ Jan 13 2007, 11:13 PM) *
Personally I have nothing to do with the mods, personally I don’t care to make this site a site of being heavily policed.

That doesn't change the fact that it is heavily policed. And if that's how it's to be, then it might make sense for the rules not to be so full of loopholes that their purpose is defeated. What's the point of having rules against personal attacks if members are allowed to personally attack each other by proxy?


This seems to depend on how closely one associates with a public figure or ideas floating about in the ether. I have no clue as to how a rule could possibly stop people from identifying with a proxy, and thereby offering ammunition to the opposition.

So, a good defensive position to take would be not identifying too closely with public figures or ideas. Go ahead, attack away! No skin off my nose.

And thus we demonstrate that we are indeed descended from scat-pitching monkeys.
lordhelmet
QUOTE(Rorschach @ Jan 11 2007, 05:27 PM) *

Good day to all

I am slightly unclear on what warrants justification for reporting posts. Should one report a post deemed insulting if the target of the insult is a third party? Should one report a post if political beliefs are slandered or mocked, as opposed to simply being disagreed with?

One of the things that has impressed me about this forum in my short time here has been the level of moderator interaction, as rare as it is welcome in such boards.

Rorschach


In my opinion, those who "report" posts on a regular basis are the moral equivalent of the little tattletales, who as kids, were first to run and "tell their mom" about some perceived playground slight. These people usually grew up to be wimps, trial lawyers, or democrat politicians.

Debate is the enunciation of a difference of opinion. Sometimes these differences can be quite stark. Sometimes the topics can be "sensitive" and capable of evoking strong emotions on both sides.

When one takes the passion out of debate, one hurts it. Sanitizing debate just eliminates the difficult topics (the fun ones) and reduces debate to the mushy middle of near agreement with differences on "fine points". However, this board is the property of the owners and as such, they have the right to set the rules and to enforce their version of "the law".

We have moderators and they are the police force of A-D. They have the power to sanction people if they cross the line and personally attack a poster, etc. I, for one, believe that attacking one's message and ideas should be allowed.

In my practical experience, those who are quick to "report" tend to be leftists who believe in the absolute superiority of their ideas and who wish to stifle dissent from those ideas in a way that would make the fascists of the 1930's and 40's proud.


Jaime
QUOTE(lordhelmet @ Jan 21 2007, 09:35 AM) *


In my opinion, those who "report" posts on a regular basis are the moral equivalent of the little tattletales, who as kids, were first to run and "tell their mom" about some perceived playground slight. These people usually grew up to be wimps, trial lawyers, or democrat politicians.


And we as the staff do not share your opinion. We very much appreciate all legitimate reports.


QUOTE(lorhelmet)
I, for one, believe that attacking one's message and ideas should be allowed.


And we don't and never will.

QUOTE(lordhelmet)
In my practical experience, those who are quick to "report" tend to be leftists who believe in the absolute superiority of their ideas and who wish to stifle dissent from those ideas in a way that would make the fascists of the 1930's and 40's proud.

This is absolutely not true and you have no way to support such a statement. Ad hominems like this only serve to inflame others and have no place on ad.gif
logophage
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Jan 21 2007, 05:20 AM) *
Personal attacks by proxy are not permitted either. That includes even back-handed slaps disguised as compliments: "Theodore, you are the only intelligent Republican at AD" (for instance). "Everyone who think X is an idiot" is definitely off-limits. But, you can say that "believing x is foolish because..."

Mrs. P, I don't believe we should even be using "believing X is foolish because...". This is a type of ad hominem (though mild) as well. If one disagrees with a statement, then say "I disagree with X because..." or "X is incorrect because...". There's no need to use emotionally laden terms like "foolish".
Google
barnaby2341
I declare that I will not now, nor ever, report any poster for anything they write about me or others. It is weak.

Miscellaneous and unnecessary words that fill up space for the sole purpose of avoiding the ever-ambiguos one-line rule. So on and so forth, from whence it came arbitrary statement followed by non specific rhetoric and to each his own.
CruisingRam
I have to admit, I still have a bit of a sheepish feeling for my one reported post, feeling a bit like a "tattletale"- but, I must also admit, this board is much better than say, freepers, and it is the rules that obviously make it that way.

I know I let my passion get the best of myself and get whacked for it on occasion, but it is best, like a man, to take responsibility, apologize, and move on, try to be better next time. I learn slowly but I do learn. blush.gif
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(logophage @ Jan 21 2007, 01:05 PM) *

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Jan 21 2007, 05:20 AM) *
Personal attacks by proxy are not permitted either. That includes even back-handed slaps disguised as compliments: "Theodore, you are the only intelligent Republican at AD" (for instance). "Everyone who think X is an idiot" is definitely off-limits. But, you can say that "believing x is foolish because..."

Mrs. P, I don't believe we should even be using "believing X is foolish because...". This is a type of ad hominem (though mild) as well. If one disagrees with a statement, then say "I disagree with X because..." or "X is incorrect because...". There's no need to use emotionally laden terms like "foolish".


You're right, logophage (nice to see you back, BTW) smile.gif. That was probably a bad example. I suppose the point I am trying to make is that, at times, it is really a post to post judgement call as to what is out-of-bounds emotional or in-bounds emotional. Of course, in the best discussions debaters don't use "emotionally laden" commentary, but we're also human and it can happen. In general, criticizing policies or ideas is not considered an attack by proxy.
Blackstone
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Jan 21 2007, 08:20 AM) *
One can say that a politician's policies are foolish because of a,b, and c, even if other posters support those policies. They can, in turn, debate that point. This isn't considered an attack by proxy.

And I wasn't suggesting that it was. That's different, howerver, from a poster calling a public figure an idiot for (say) supporting the Federal Marriage Amendment, and it's clear from the context that it's only for that reason that the public figure is being called an idiot. As far as I can tell, that would be functionally the same thing as calling anyone who supports the Federal Marriage Amendment an idiot.
Bikerdad
QUOTE(Jaime @ Jan 21 2007, 12:36 PM) *


QUOTE(lordhelmet)
In my practical experience, those who are quick to "report" tend to be leftists who believe in the absolute superiority of their ideas and who wish to stifle dissent from those ideas in a way that would make the fascists of the 1930's and 40's proud.

This is absolutely not true and you have no way to support such a statement. Ad hominems like this only serve to inflame others and have no place on ad.gif
This is an interesting one, because Jaime has identified LH's statement as a false, unsupportable ad hominem, yet LH clearly limited his statement to his own practical experience. Who is anybody here to accuse LH (or anybody else for that matter) of falsely representing their own personal experiences? While I can clearly see the likelihood of a reader to generalize based on our standard modes of conversation, is LH to be faulted when the reader does so in the more rarified and theoretically rational realm of debate? hmmm.gif

The failure in this instance appears to be Jaime's refutation of a generalization that LH didn't make, although LH may well have intended the generalization, yet we don't know. Furthermore, the manner in which the refutation was made could certainly have gotten one into a fight in a bar.

"Well, in my experience blah blah" cool.gif
"That's not true." sour.gif
"Are you callin' me a liar? That's my experience!" mad.gif
"I, er, ahhh..... would you like another beer?" flowers.gif
Looms
QUOTE(lordhelmet @ Jan 21 2007, 09:35 AM) *

In my opinion, those who "report" posts on a regular basis are the moral equivalent of the little tattletales, who as kids, were first to run and "tell their mom" about some perceived playground slight. These people usually grew up to be wimps, trial lawyers, or democrat politicians.

Debate is the enunciation of a difference of opinion. Sometimes these differences can be quite stark. Sometimes the topics can be "sensitive" and capable of evoking strong emotions on both sides.

When one takes the passion out of debate, one hurts it. Sanitizing debate just eliminates the difficult topics (the fun ones) and reduces debate to the mushy middle of near agreement with differences on "fine points". However, this board is the property of the owners and as such, they have the right to set the rules and to enforce their version of "the law".

We have moderators and they are the police force of A-D. They have the power to sanction people if they cross the line and personally attack a poster, etc. I, for one, believe that attacking one's message and ideas should be allowed.

In my practical experience, those who are quick to "report" tend to be leftists who believe in the absolute superiority of their ideas and who wish to stifle dissent from those ideas in a way that would make the fascists of the 1930's and 40's proud.


You don't say!!! rolleyes.gif Let's see, I believe this occurred within TWO DAYS of you joining AD:

QUOTE
ps, I find your avatar extremely offensive. Just to let you know, I'm going to lodge a formal complaint against it.


I believe the avatar in question was a burning American flag.

A day or 2 after that I reported you (the only time I ever reported anyone) after you responded to a questions in a thread by PMing me with a message that said "Go ____ yourself".

Reporting posts is perfectly fine when it's you who is offended, and completely wrong when it interferes with your personal trolling habits.

There's a word for this, it starts with an H and ends with YPOCRISY.
sour.gif sour.gif sour.gif

I believe the rules at this forum are strict, but reasonable, and the mods do a great job. There are times I disagree with them, sometimes strongly, but we are all human beings, and overall this site is great, I really find it hard to complain about it.
BoF
QUOTE(Blackstone @ Jan 21 2007, 02:48 PM) *

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Jan 21 2007, 08:20 AM) *
One can say that a politician's policies are foolish because of a,b, and c, even if other posters support those policies. They can, in turn, debate that point. This isn't considered an attack by proxy.


And I wasn't suggesting that it was. That's different, howerver, from a poster calling a public figure an idiot for (say) supporting the Federal Marriage Amendment, and it's clear from the context that it's only for that reason that the public figure is being called an idiot. As far as I can tell, that would be functionally the same thing as calling anyone who supports the Federal Marriage Amendment an idiot.


I can think of only one poster who consistently calls political leaders he doesn't like "idiots." I've called him out on this numerous times. I don't take it that he's calling me an "idiot," but rather a lack of command of the English language to choose a better variety of words.

I think Blackstone, your interpretation of proxy would tie this board in knots. It is, after all, a debate board.

I have been reading H. W. Brand's biography Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times, which aevans176 mention sometime back. During the 19th Century a common insult was the word "poltroon." It was an excellent term if one wanted to goad someone into a duel. The word is now considered archaic or poetic. If I called George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and others "poltroons" (cowards) I think I would be accurate - the contemporary word is chicken hawk. Neither served in Vietnam and, in fact, pulled strings to avoid active military service. Are his supporters "poltroons"? Some of them probably are, but Bush also has and has had support among members of the military fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. These soldiers are clearly not poltroons.

If I called Bush a "poltroon" and his staunch followers "dupes," I might be accurate, but this might also be a gray area concerning the “proxy” issue.
Hobbes
I think it would be beneficial to all if everyone continued this thread without calling out anyone by name (or by proxy, for that matter). That will only lead to the very type of confrontations that were probably the cause of this thread to begin with.
nighttimer
I was once sanctioned for calling Clarence Thomas a "Uncle Tom." I disagreed with the strike at the time because unless Clarence Thomas is a member of the board he is a public figure and public figures are fair game for scorn, ridicule and outright contempt.

I don't believe calling Clarence Thomas a Uncle Tom is the same thing as calling someone who supports and admires Clarence Thomas a Uncle Tom.

We are under no obligation to respect the same people others respect. Just as we are not obligated to worship the same religious deity we are not obligated to admire each other's heroes.

Frankly, I don't care if Poster X likes George W. Bush. I don't. I don't have to. If I think George W. Bush has the blood of over 3,000 dead American soldiers on his hands does that mean the blood is also on the hands of Poster X?

No. The responsibility of sending American soldiers off to die based upon a false pretense ultimately rests with one man. Anyone else who would claim by calling Bush a murderer is calling them a murderer by proxy is getting their ego in the way. They think this is all about them. That's just arrogant.

The protection of individual members to be free from personal attacks does not extend to their personal heroes. A public figure does not have share that immunity. Sacred cows make the best hamburgers and the day when ad.gif no longer permit them to be grilled and served up is the day I no longer want to be a part of it.

I will continue to heap scorn, ridicule and outright contempt on public figures, politicians, and Paris Hilton when they invoke my scorn, ridicule and outright contempt. If that happens to annoy a fan of that specific public figure, politican or Paris Hilton, I think they need to develop a thicker-skin and take their bruised ego out of the equation.

And my opinion of Clarence Thomas still stands. whistling.gif
Bikerdad
QUOTE(BoF @ Jan 21 2007, 08:24 PM) *

If I called Bush a "poltroon" and his staunch followers "dupes," I might be accurate, but this might also be a gray area concerning the “proxy” issue.
hmmm.gif

So, if I call supporters of Hillary "wenches", and supporters of abortion "baby killers", and supporters of Obama "sheeple" and....

Calling somebody a "dupe", unless they've self-identified themselves as such already, is an insult. Note that, as best I can tell, here on AD, absolute truth is not a defense, so even calling a hypothetical fellow poster with a certified IQ of <50 a "moron" would still earn you a moderator's attention. Thus, you must either strive to dance up to the line in courteously and subtly insulting others, or strive to meticulously refrain from offering offense. ermm.gif

Both are challenging, one just isn't nearly as much fun as the other. whistling.gif
lederuvdapac
I myself have felt that reporting a post is in a way acting like I am tattling and do not believe I have ever done so even in the face of personal attacks or offensive comments. In my view, we are all adults here and we should be treated as such. If someone makes a personal attack on me or says something offensive, my first move will always be to PM the member and let the concern be known. I would expect the very same if other posters had a problem with my comments. I feel that this should always be the first move because it leaves open the opportunity to end the problem civily. Of course if it cannot be resolved through PMs then reporting is an option. I prefer to withdraw myself from a debate that involves personal attacks or simply ignore the statements in the post when replying. The whole deal of personal attacks and reporting and then reporting in response and so on and so forth is very childish. Obviously this is a debate site and people are very passionate about their differing opinions, but I would hope that anyone on here who is told in a PM that their label or attack was inappropriate would find a better way to express themselves. I think the onus is on everyone. Just because you believe that Bush is evil and his supporters are ignorant doesnt mean that pointing that out in every post makes you any more knowledgeable. Same goes for those who like to say left-wing this, liberals that.

This site is not about who is right and wrong. In fact, that is nowhere near what this site is about and if thats the impression you have gotten then I think you need to find somewhere else to express your point of view. This site is about open, healthy, debate. The purpose is to learn about differing views and understand them so that you yourself can make an informed opinion. Calling out other members and groups of people solves no purpose except the self-satisfaction of the poster. I am not trying to speak from any ivory tower here because there have certainly been times that I have been as bad an offender as anyone...but I really believe that I have done my best to move past that and remember why we are all here: we love politics and love to talk with others who can offer different opinions and experiences.
lordhelmet
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Jan 21 2007, 02:21 PM) *

In general, criticizing policies or ideas is not considered an attack by proxy.


QUOTE(Jaime)


QUOTE(lordhelmet)
I, for one, believe that attacking one's message and ideas should be allowed.



And we don't and never will.



Perhaps the staff of A-D should clarify this issue since there is apparently a disagreement between the boss and a moderator?

If we can't attack someone's ideas, how in the world can we debate them?

Should we say....

"I'm sorry, and please don't take this the wrong way, but I find your position to be a little bit different than what I believed to be the case. And, don't take it personally... I think that you're a swell person and I don't want you to be mad....but is it possible, even remotely possible that a different possibility could be true? Maybe I was wrong after all. OK, you're right".

or....

"Your idea is just wrong".

Please don't take this the wrong way, and don't take it personally, but could you possibly clarify?

Thanks.
Renger
QUOTE(lordhelmet @ Jan 22 2007, 11:01 AM) *


If we can't attack someone's ideas, how in the world can we debate them?

"I'm sorry, and please don't take this the wrong way, but I find your position to be a little bit different than what I believed to be the case. And, don't take it personally... I think that you're a swell person and I don't want you to be mad....but is it possible, even remotely possible that a different possibility could be true? Maybe I was wrong after all. OK, you're right".

or....

"Your idea is just wrong".

Please don't take this the wrong way, and don't take it personally, but could you possibly clarify?

Thanks.

LordHelmet I believe one can debate someone's idea without attacking him openly. For me the whole thing about debating is trying to understand eachother better and try to figure out if maybe his ideas, even if you don't like at first, might have some merits and might show an angle to an issue you have overlooked. I believe nobody's opinion is perfect, or as Bertrand Russel said "I think we ought always to entertain our opinions with some measure of doubt". Although some people might disagree, I believe debating on this site is not about winning, it is about fine-tuning ones own opinion with aspects of other, perhaps conflicting, views. The end goal for a debate is not to settle who is right, but to reach to a better understanding of a certain issue and to learn something from eachother.

I believe adressing a certain conflicting opinion:
QUOTE
I'm sorry [...] but I find your position to be a little bit different than what I believed to be the case. [...] is it possible that a different possibility could be true?


is better and more constructive for a debate than saying

QUOTE
"your idea is just wrong".
lordhelmet
QUOTE(Renger @ Jan 22 2007, 06:05 AM) *

QUOTE(lordhelmet @ Jan 22 2007, 11:01 AM) *


If we can't attack someone's ideas, how in the world can we debate them?

"I'm sorry, and please don't take this the wrong way, but I find your position to be a little bit different than what I believed to be the case. And, don't take it personally... I think that you're a swell person and I don't want you to be mad....but is it possible, even remotely possible that a different possibility could be true? Maybe I was wrong after all. OK, you're right".

or....

"Your idea is just wrong".

Please don't take this the wrong way, and don't take it personally, but could you possibly clarify?

Thanks.

LordHelmet I believe one can debate someone's idea without attacking him openly. For me the whole thing about debating is trying to understand eachother better and try to figure out if maybe his ideas, even if you don't like at first, might have some merits and might show an angle to an issue you have overlooked. I believe nobody's opinion is perfect, or as Bertrand Russel said "I think we ought always to entertain our opinions with some measure of doubt". Although some people might disagree, I believe debating on this site is not about winning, it is about fine-tuning ones own opinion with aspects of other, perhaps conflicting, views. The end goal for a debate is not to settle who is right, but to reach to a better understanding of a certain issue and to learn something from each other.



I'm not advocating "attacking someone". I'm advocating attacking one's ideas.

For example, if you said "I'm a socialist from the Netherlands who believes in the principles set forth by Karl Marx".

I could respond that:

1. You are a commie. That would be attacking *you*. That would be against the rules.

2. The ideas of Marx have been proven not to work in the former USSR and its former client states, China and their former client states (which are abandoning those principles and incorporating capitalism), N. Korea, various African countries, and most of Europe which would collapse economically if the US did not rebuild most of the infrastructure after WWII and prop up their economies artificially during the cold war by almost entirely underwriting the entire continent's national security. That would be attacking your *ideas*. I don't see how that could not be allowed.

There is a difference. Debate is not possible unless one can attack another's ideas.
Renger
QUOTE(lordhelmet @ Jan 22 2007, 12:39 PM) *

I'm not advocating "attacking someone". I'm advocating attacking one's ideas.

For example, if you said "I'm a socialist from the Netherlands who believes in the principles set forth by Karl Marx".

I could respond that:

1. You are a commie. That would be attacking *you*. That would be against the rules.

2. The ideas of Marx have been proven not to work in the former USSR and its former client states, China and their former client states (which are abandoning those principles and incorporating capitalism), N. Korea, various African countries, and most of Europe which would collapse economically if the US did not rebuild most of the infrastructure after WWII and prop up their economies artificially during the cold war by almost entirely underwriting the entire continent's national security. That would be attacking your *ideas*. I don't see how that could not be allowed.

There is a difference. Debate is not possible unless one can attack another's ideas.


I would like to nuance this: debate is not possible unless one questions another's ideas. If for example I would say "I'm a socialist from the Netherlands who believes in the principles set forth by Karl Marx", you could first try to ask me why I believe in these principles, in which way I would like to see them form an intergral part of society, how I combine these principles with modern day reality and international developments, what my opinion is about the Chinese, Cuban, North-Korean and Russian communistic experiment etc. etc. Even if you abhor socialistic ideology you can still try to understand what drives me to follow these principles by asking questions and keep an open mind. Mutual respect, acceptance and understanding, that should be a key elements in every debate. A good understanding of the views of your 'opponent' will lead to a interesting and constructive debate and perhaps to new insights and an increase in knowledge. Randomly dismiss and/or attack principles or opinions without even trying to understand the other side will only lead to a clash in stubborness.


Lesly
QUOTE(nighttimer @ Jan 21 2007, 09:57 PM) *
I was once sanctioned for calling Clarence Thomas a "Uncle Tom." I disagreed with the strike at the time because unless Clarence Thomas is a member of the board he is a public figure and public figures are fair game for scorn, ridicule and outright contempt.

You've got to be kidding me. sad.gif

QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Jan 21 2007, 11:40 PM) *
So, if I call supporters of Hillary "wenches", and supporters of abortion "baby killers", and supporters of Obama "sheeple" and...

Baby killers has been bandied about in the abortion context on this site before. I never reported it and if it resurfaces chances of me turning pro-life will still be nil.

For those preferring black and white this is a gray area. Frankly I don't think any public figure, including Clarence Thomas, deserves the same courtesy we (well, most of us) expect from one another. The Supremes have a stricter libel standard for public officials, so why the hell should I tiptoe around them? The farther your derogatory description strays from a public figure and the closer your description applies to participants of this board the more likely you are to set off the report feature. But it's a judgment call and ultimately imperfect.
lordhelmet
QUOTE(Renger @ Jan 22 2007, 07:51 AM) *

QUOTE(lordhelmet @ Jan 22 2007, 12:39 PM) *

I'm not advocating "attacking someone". I'm advocating attacking one's ideas.

For example, if you said "I'm a socialist from the Netherlands who believes in the principles set forth by Karl Marx".

I could respond that:

1. You are a commie. That would be attacking *you*. That would be against the rules.

2. The ideas of Marx have been proven not to work in the former USSR and its former client states, China and their former client states (which are abandoning those principles and incorporating capitalism), N. Korea, various African countries, and most of Europe which would collapse economically if the US did not rebuild most of the infrastructure after WWII and prop up their economies artificially during the cold war by almost entirely underwriting the entire continent's national security. That would be attacking your *ideas*. I don't see how that could not be allowed.

There is a difference. Debate is not possible unless one can attack another's ideas.


I would like to nuance this: debate is not possible unless one questions another's ideas. If for example I would say "I'm a socialist from the Netherlands who believes in the principles set forth by Karl Marx", you could first try to ask me why I believe in these principles, in which way I would like to see them form an intergral part of society, how I combine these principles with modern day reality and international developments, what my opinion is about the Chinese, Cuban, North-Korean and Russian communistic experiment etc. etc. Even if you abhor socialistic ideology you can still try to understand what drives me to follow these principles by asking questions and keep an open mind. Mutual respect, acceptance and understanding, that should be a key elements in every debate. A good understanding of the views of your 'opponent' will lead to a interesting and constructive debate and perhaps to new insights and an increase in knowledge. Randomly dismiss and/or attack principles or opinions without even trying to understand the other side will only lead to a clash in stubborness.


A rhetorical question for you, Renger. I'm going to change a few words and see if you still believe what you just wrote:

"Even if you abhor Nazi ideology you can still try to understand what drives a Nazi follow these principles by asking questions and keep an open mind. Mutual respect, acceptance and understanding, that should be a key elements in every debate."

Or, would it be legitimate to just attack the ideas of Nazism as I would?
Renger
QUOTE(lordhelmet @ Jan 22 2007, 01:58 PM) *

A rhetorical question for you, Renger. I'm going to change a few words and see if you still believe what you just wrote:

"Even if you abhor Nazi ideology you can still try to understand what drives a Nazi follow these principles by asking questions and keep an open mind. Mutual respect, acceptance and understanding, that should be a key elements in every debate."

Or, would it be legitimate to just attack the ideas of Nazism as I would?


You are giving me an extreme example, but I will answer it for you.
Of course you yourself are free to attack the ideas of Nazism point blanc, but I stand by my own opinion. In order to have a constructive and insightfull debate it is important to understand, accept and respect the principles a Nazi might have. Of course this doesn't automatically lead to the conclusion that I agree with somebody who follows this ideology. I could still have a flaming debate in which I question his principles over and over again.




lordhelmet
QUOTE(Renger @ Jan 22 2007, 08:22 AM) *

QUOTE(lordhelmet @ Jan 22 2007, 01:58 PM) *

A rhetorical question for you, Renger. I'm going to change a few words and see if you still believe what you just wrote:

"Even if you abhor Nazi ideology you can still try to understand what drives a Nazi follow these principles by asking questions and keep an open mind. Mutual respect, acceptance and understanding, that should be a key elements in every debate."

Or, would it be legitimate to just attack the ideas of Nazism as I would?


You are giving me an extreme example, but I will answer it for you.
Of course you yourself are free to attack the ideas of Nazism point blanc, but I stand by my own opinion. In order to have a constructive and insightfull debate it is important to understand, accept and respect the principles a Nazi might have. Of course this doesn't automatically lead to the conclusion that I agree with somebody who follows this ideology. I could still have a flaming debate in which I question his principles over and over again.


Aren't there some ideas that do not deserve acceptance, respect, and the time of day?

Of course I posted an extreme example. It was intended to test your argument.
Renger
QUOTE(lordhelmet @ Jan 22 2007, 02:28 PM) *


Aren't there some ideas that do not deserve acceptance, respect, and the time of day?

Of course I posted an extreme example. It was intended to test your argument.


Personally I feel that there are of course ideas that are despicable and objectional, but if you are willing to confront somebody in a discussion / debate you should do this in a respectful way, trying to understand what lead him to his conclusions, and accept the fact that such opinions exists. Of course during the discussion itself you can try to convince him that his opinion is inaccurate. The best outcome is of course when your opponent is willing to change his opinion and to admit his views were wrong. But ... this can only be done when you show your opponent that you yourself are willing to respect understand and accept his point of view. Blindly attacking an opinion or a set of principles will only lead to a clash in which neither party is willing to admit his defeat or change his opinion. At the end of the day you might feel pretty good after raving against somebody's opinion, but what did you gain from it?
lordhelmet
QUOTE(Renger @ Jan 22 2007, 08:50 AM) *

QUOTE(lordhelmet @ Jan 22 2007, 02:28 PM) *


Aren't there some ideas that do not deserve acceptance, respect, and the time of day?

Of course I posted an extreme example. It was intended to test your argument.


Personally I feel that there are of course ideas that are despicable and objectional, but if you are willing to confront somebody in a discussion / debate you should do this in a respectful way, trying to understand what lead him to his conclusions, and accept the fact that such opinions exists. Of course during the discussion itself you can try to convince him that his opinion is inaccurate. The best outcome is of course when your opponent is willing to change his opinion and to admit his views were wrong. But ... this can only be done when you show your opponent that you yourself are willing to respect understand and accept his point of view. Blindly attacking an opinion or a set of principles will only lead to a clash in which neither party is willing to admit his defeat or change his opinion. At the end of the day you might feel pretty good after raving against somebody's opinion, but what did you gain from it?


I accept your position Renger. However, I do not share it. We'll have to agree to disagree.
Hobbes
QUOTE(lordhelmet @ Jan 22 2007, 04:01 AM) *

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Jan 21 2007, 02:21 PM) *

In general, criticizing policies or ideas is not considered an attack by proxy.


QUOTE(Jaime)


QUOTE(lordhelmet)
I, for one, believe that attacking one's message and ideas should be allowed.



And we don't and never will.



Perhaps the staff of A-D should clarify this issue since there is apparently a disagreement between the boss and a moderator?

If we can't attack someone's ideas, how in the world can we debate them?
Thanks.


LH, I believe Jamie's comments were directed at the context preceding the statement quoted above. As you point out, debating ideas is what the site is for--it is crossing the line and going after the messenger that is generally outside the rules. As has been discussed in this thread, there are ways to discuss the message that also fall outside of acceptable debate. This occurs when labels are placed on that idea that therefore reflect on the person/people supporting that idea. For example, saying you disagree with an idea is acceptable, whereas saying an idea is just plain stupid infers the same to those supporting it and is therefore not acceptable. Often, these fall under the realm of 'inflammatory', which is forbidden in the rules.
Blackstone
QUOTE(BoF @ Jan 21 2007, 08:24 PM) *
I think Blackstone, your interpretation of proxy would tie this board in knots.

Then I'll explain further what I mean. Calling the President a "chickenhawk" or whatever, however immature that might be, is not a personal attack on his supporters, because it refers specifically to his own personal life. In a similar sort of way, calling him a liar would not be a personal attack on his supporters, because presidents typically have access to information not available to their supporters.

By contrast, calling him an idiot or a bigot or something similar for supporting the Federal Marriage Amendment, is the same as throwing the same insult at anyone who supports the FMA. It's just a weaselly way of evading the personal attack rule (while hiding behind it to avoid retaliation).
BoF
QUOTE(Blackstone @ Jan 24 2007, 06:10 PM) *
QUOTE(BoF @ Jan 21 2007, 08:24 PM) *
I think Blackstone, your interpretation of proxy would tie this board in knots.


Then I'll explain further what I mean. Calling the President a "chickenhawk" or whatever, however immature that might be[, is not a personal attack on his supporters, because it refers specifically to his own personal life. In a similar sort of way, calling him a liar would not be a personal attack on his supporters, because presidents typically have access to information not available to their supporters.


Yeah. That's exactly why I indicated a preference for the archaic or poetic/literary word "poltroon." There's a nice quaint feel to it. smile.gif
BaphometsAdvocate
You know what this place needs? A no holds barred, curse if ya gott'em thread to insult each other.

It can be fun. Now I know what you're thinking - you're thinking Lou you already have a strike and you say mean things to people all the time...

Well OK, I'm with you but hear me out.

You have this one place were anything goes and if you disagree with me you take me to that place and tell me what an unmitigated moron I am and I tell you to go to Hell and then we go back to the original thread and discuss the topic at hand like civilized humans.

Oh and we don't report each other like Jamie is Mrs. Crababapple and we're the Little Rascals getting ready for the box car rally.
BoF
QUOTE(BaphometsAdvocate @ Jan 24 2007, 06:55 PM) *

You know what this place needs? A no holds barred, curse if ya gott'em thread to insult each other.

It can be fun. Now I know what you're thinking - you're thinking Lou you already have a strike and you say mean things to people all the time...

Well OK, I'm with you but hear me out.

You have this one place were anything goes and if you disagree with me you take me to that place and tell me what an unmitigated moron I am and I tell you to go to Hell and then we go back to the original thread and discuss the topic at hand like civilized humans.

Oh and we don't report each other like Jamie is Mrs. Crababapple and we're the Little Rascals getting ready for the box car rally.


That's tempting with a touch of humor, but mostly counterproductive.

A free-for-all section would reduce the credibility of the board as a serious forum. One can always have who-can-cuss-the-loudest contests on Saturday nights in local honky tonks and the like. zipped.gif
nighttimer
QUOTE(BaphometsAdvocate @ Jan 24 2007, 07:55 PM) *

You know what this place needs? A no holds barred, curse if ya gott'em thread to insult each other.

You have this one place were anything goes and if you disagree with me you take me to that place and tell me what an unmitigated moron I am and I tell you to go to Hell and then we go back to the original thread and discuss the topic at hand like civilized humans.


It seems to me once people start to "go negative" and call each SOB's it would be awfully hard to turn around and return to acting like civilized human beings.

I don't have any reluctance in reporting posts that are racist, sexist, homophobic or just plain vile. If that makes me a snitch, I don't care. This isn't kindergarten and I'm not phased by stupid schoolyard labels.

The Moderators of ad.gif work to make this board a place where flame wars don't break out and shouting and cursing each other isn't considered reasoned debate. Certainly at times I chafe at some of the rebukes by the Moderators or the closing of threads, but most times things are allowed to go unchecked until things are brought back to a degree of decorum and civility.

I think it was Mike who once said, "Nobody has to post on America's Debate." If you can't abide by the simple rules of the board, you found your way in and you can find your way out.

dry.gif
Paladin Elspeth
I think that where reporting is concerned, we need to remember that this is, after all, Mike and Jaime's forum, and as such, we should respect the rules that they have set forth. From time to time it becomes necessary to remind a member that there are certain expectations inherent in participating here.

While I would not encourage someone to report a post out of anger or spite, I would encourage taking measures to ensure that the standards set forth here are maintained. We participate in this forum because of the standards; they are what sets this forum apart from others where participants can be as crude and obnoxious as they want to be.

Making a report when it is necessary means taking ownership in ad.gif.
AuthorMusician
QUOTE(BaphometsAdvocate @ Jan 24 2007, 07:55 PM) *

You know what this place needs? A no holds barred, curse if ya gott'em thread to insult each other.

It can be fun. Now I know what you're thinking - you're thinking Lou you already have a strike and you say mean things to people all the time...

Well OK, I'm with you but hear me out.

You have this one place were anything goes and if you disagree with me you take me to that place and tell me what an unmitigated moron I am and I tell you to go to Hell and then we go back to the original thread and discuss the topic at hand like civilized humans.

Oh and we don't report each other like Jamie is Mrs. Crababapple and we're the Little Rascals getting ready for the box car rally.


This is an idea that already has its expression on the Internet, known commonly as a political debate site. AD is different, as should be obvious, and the reasons for the difference should also be obvious.

As a descendent of scat-pitching monkeys, I had my fill of this sort of fighting in what is often referred to as my childhood family. I'm sure many have had similar experiences, since 90% of families are dysfunctional and the other 10% are faking it. (Maybe I should point out that I'm kidding here.)

It has been suggested that if one doesn't want to play by the rules, one can take leave of the board. Nobody has to do this; it's not like a MacJob.

There's a parallel here between the US House of Reps and other governments. The House has a set of rules that, although sometimes broken, do come through eventually and actually become strengthened somewhat after enough members are caught cheating. House members seldom, if ever, physically attack each other as sometimes happens in other governments. This is a strong demonstration for the value of rules.

I am proud to say that I once garnered a strike, and I am smug to say that by gosh, I was right. The details don't matter. The point is that everyone at some time loses the cool and makes a fool of oneself. Some do it more often than others. Although this is a violation of the rules, a sharp debater can take the transgression and turn it on the transgressor, and in bouts of occasional sanity, I have found this technique to be quite satisfying.

I must confess that I have also tried to stretch the limits of the curse-o-meter. This shows another connection between me and scat-pitching monkeys who test the limits of their cages. I find it very comforting to be so closely connected to nature, while I am sure that others think this is the most gloriously stupid thing in the world, to which I comment mrsparkle.gif tongue.gif smile.gif sleeping.gif

A technique to view the world is to see everyone naked, an attempt to take away the trappings of office and position. I prefer to see everyone as monkeys. Works every time. Some are gorillas, not to disparage those gentle beings of the forest. And I have to say that the monkey image doesn't always apply. Some are sly foxes, not to put down those delightful creatures. Others are sinister predators without a touch of humanity. That actually is an accurate description that doesn't denigrate any forest spirit, clothed or naked.

I suppose the creators of AD could set up another site that allows free-for-all brawls. I suppose such a site would attract many of those who grew up in dysfunctional families, as it seems that such a thing is addictive. I just can't imagine why the creators of AD would want to do this, since that would be like opening up a pawn shop on skid row or a strip joint near to a military base. There's nothing special about these places, although some find pawn shops to be necessary and others find strip clubs to be entertaining.

The creators of AD want it to be different, a special place. Looks to me like they succeeded, and if anyone thinks otherwise, she;he's itching for a fight (apologies to Michael Feldman).
BaphometsAdvocate
QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Jan 25 2007, 05:22 AM) *

QUOTE(BaphometsAdvocate @ Jan 24 2007, 07:55 PM) *

You know what this place needs? A no holds barred, curse if ya gott'em thread to insult each other.

It can be fun. Now I know what you're thinking - you're thinking Lou you already have a strike and you say mean things to people all the time...

Well OK, I'm with you but hear me out.

You have this one place were anything goes and if you disagree with me you take me to that place and tell me what an unmitigated moron I am and I tell you to go to Hell and then we go back to the original thread and discuss the topic at hand like civilized humans.

Oh and we don't report each other like Jamie is Mrs. Crababapple and we're the Little Rascals getting ready for the box car rally.


This is an idea that already has its expression on the Internet, known commonly as a political debate site. AD is different, as should be obvious, and the reasons for the difference should also be obvious.

As a descendent of scat-pitching monkeys, I had my fill of this sort of fighting in what is often referred to as my childhood family. I'm sure many have had similar experiences, since 90% of families are dysfunctional and the other 10% are faking it. (Maybe I should point out that I'm kidding here.)

It has been suggested that if one doesn't want to play by the rules, one can take leave of the board. Nobody has to do this; it's not like a MacJob.

There's a parallel here between the US House of Reps and other governments. The House has a set of rules that, although sometimes broken, do come through eventually and actually become strengthened somewhat after enough members are caught cheating. House members seldom, if ever, physically attack each other as sometimes happens in other governments. This is a strong demonstration for the value of rules.

I am proud to say that I once garnered a strike, and I am smug to say that by gosh, I was right. The details don't matter. The point is that everyone at some time loses the cool and makes a fool of oneself. Some do it more often than others. Although this is a violation of the rules, a sharp debater can take the transgression and turn it on the transgressor, and in bouts of occasional sanity, I have found this technique to be quite satisfying.

I must confess that I have also tried to stretch the limits of the curse-o-meter. This shows another connection between me and scat-pitching monkeys who test the limits of their cages. I find it very comforting to be so closely connected to nature, while I am sure that others think this is the most gloriously stupid thing in the world, to which I comment mrsparkle.gif tongue.gif smile.gif sleeping.gif

A technique to view the world is to see everyone naked, an attempt to take away the trappings of office and position. I prefer to see everyone as monkeys. Works every time. Some are gorillas, not to disparage those gentle beings of the forest. And I have to say that the monkey image doesn't always apply. Some are sly foxes, not to put down those delightful creatures. Others are sinister predators without a touch of humanity. That actually is an accurate description that doesn't denigrate any forest spirit, clothed or naked.

I suppose the creators of AD could set up another site that allows free-for-all brawls. I suppose such a site would attract many of those who grew up in dysfunctional families, as it seems that such a thing is addictive. I just can't imagine why the creators of AD would want to do this, since that would be like opening up a pawn shop on skid row or a strip joint near to a military base. There's nothing special about these places, although some find pawn shops to be necessary and others find strip clubs to be entertaining.

The creators of AD want it to be different, a special place. Looks to me like they succeeded, and if anyone thinks otherwise, she;he's itching for a fight (apologies to Michael Feldman).


yes, yes, yes... but still sometimes it would be much more economical to post that you think so-and-so is bleepzingfludderfittangzippitttyzoing moron who can sassafrassfrickfrackflimflarm until they zabbadabbahickorystick to the zorpostonckaling.
AuthorMusician
QUOTE
yes, yes, yes... but still sometimes it would be much more economical to post that you think so-and-so is bleepzingfludderfittangzippitttyzoing moron who can sassafrassfrickfrackflimflarm until they zabbadabbahickorystick to the zorpostonckaling.


Heh, the Jabberwocky answer to civil debate, huh?

Well zippoff twarny vale, and stick it where the lumborly lies.

I'm all for it. No banned curse-o-meter words allowed. If it doesn't meet the nonsense rules, PAP goes the worsel, and it's dire dregafala with you!

I think this would be fun, somewhat challenging and a way to vent steam in a relatively harmless way.

The Jabber-thonkyew Casual Thread for the jumping Adadaddas among us. I'm twippy with it.

It'll drive the spell-a-rama nickles.


Blackstone
QUOTE(BoF @ Jan 24 2007, 07:35 PM) *
That's exactly why I indicated a preference for the archaic or poetic/literary word "poltroon."

Well, all that aside, the reason for my post was that you were unsure of what was meant by an attack by proxy. Has that been cleared up now, or do you still have questions?
nighttimer
Rather than opening an entire new thread, my issue may fit in this existing one.

In another thread I expressed my belief that it is rude and condescending to tell the creator of the thread they have posed the question(s) for debate incorrectly and then provide substitute questions of how the questions should have been posed.

In the journalism biz one thing we're taught is if you don't like the news go out and make some of your own. That same principle seems applicable to members who want to rewrite/redirect threads to their own satisfaction.

II. Personal attacks, name-calling, or belittling another member. This includes telling other members to shut up or be quiet, as well as telling other members they are not qualified to post their opinions.

There's a lot of wiggle room in what "belittling" another member is. Dripping, pointed sarcasm is one thing and lacerating dry wit another and outright taunting and insults still a third. However, trying to substitute your own questions into an already existing thread or hijacking it entirely is something that occurs fairly often on ad.gif.

Could a Moderator or Administrator please clarify how is the best way to handle this practice? Report it to a moderator with the system already in place or hope they will notice it themselves and take corrective action?

Please advise. unsure.gif
Jaime
QUOTE(nighttimer @ Feb 8 2007, 09:53 AM) *
Could a Moderator or Administrator please clarify how is the best way to handle this practice? Report it to a moderator with the system already in place or hope they will notice it themselves and take corrective action?

Please advise. unsure.gif


I'm glad you brought this up, nighttimer. I've noticed a slight increase in posts lately where members are questioning the intention of the debate starter rather than stay on topic and debate the questions. We would prefer members report posts where they see it going off topic because of questions about the debate starter.

Also, if you are one of the folks who feel a new topic is in violation of the rules, please report the debate questions rather than take the topic off course and/or belittle the topic starter within the debate. And by reporting posts, I mean hit the 'report' button and make an actual report. Please don't simply PM me (or another staffer) to complain.

smile.gif
bucket
I see nothing wrong with questioning a posters intent or wording of debate questions. I have done it myself, and I think often debates are presented in a way that makes it terribly unfriendly to all and places those in opposition to the poster's views already on the defense. It is not conducive to a good open debate and many times that is exactly why it is being posted as such. Not saying the post in question was or was not fitting of my above description. I just think it is wrong to assume that just because someone's opinion is being shrouded in bold with a question mark at the end of it it is somehow off limits to debate or discussion.

I have often felt like I had to reword or rephrase debate questions so that my argument was better understood, or could be more focused on the issue and not the poster's opinions of the issue.
And I don't think I should have to start a new threat in order to do this, are we going to have a separate thread for each political view of each issue or are we going to consider how other's view the issue as a worthwhile exercise in a debate?
Jaime
We ask that members do their best to keep editorials out of their debate questions. If you see this happening, report it. Oftentimes we can work with the topic starter to revise the questions before the debate gets rolling so that the debate questions are less biased. The topic starter is always free and is encouraged to revisit their own debate to add their opinion. It's just best to keep the bias and editorializing out of the very start of the topic.
BaphometsAdvocate
QUOTE(Jaime @ Feb 8 2007, 12:30 PM) *

We ask that members do their best to keep editorials out of their debate questions. If you see this happening, report it. Oftentimes we can work with the topic starter to revise the questions before the debate gets rolling so that the debate questions are less biased. The topic starter is always free and is encouraged to revisit their own debate to add their opinion. It's just best to keep the bias and editorializing out of the very start of the topic.

There's really no difficulty in posing a question without bias. There's also no reason that a thread can't be researched nominally before it is posted. I could include specific examples of utterly biased questions based on assumptions about topics that the Original Poster clearly has no real understanding of - I won't.

When a person starts a thread they should do all of ad.gif the service of having some idea about what they're positing on. Unless they are really asking a question (like the Vista thread) to be debated. When it is blazingly obvious that poster is asking biased questions calling them out on it seems like a duty. Hitting Report may be the only way to combat this but some how it doesn't seem like the correct way.

BoF
QUOTE(BaphometsAdvocate @ Feb 8 2007, 01:33 PM) *

QUOTE(Jaime @ Feb 8 2007, 12:30 PM) *

We ask that members do their best to keep editorials out of their debate questions. If you see this happening, report it. Oftentimes we can work with the topic starter to revise the questions before the debate gets rolling so that the debate questions are less biased. The topic starter is always free and is encouraged to revisit their own debate to add their opinion. It's just best to keep the bias and editorializing out of the very start of the topic.

There's really no difficulty in posing a question without bias. There's also no reason that a thread can't be researched nominally before it is posted. I could include specific examples of utterly biased questions based on assumptions about topics that the Original Poster clearly has no real understanding of - I won't.

When a person starts a thread they should do all of ad.gif the service of having some idea about what they're positing on. Unless they are really asking a question (like the Vista thread) to be debated. When it is blazingly obvious that poster is asking biased questions calling them out on it seems like a duty. Hitting Report may be the only way to combat this but some how it doesn't seem like the correct way.


While I agree with you that threads should be started from a neutral position, I don't find repeated badgering of the thread starter useful. It's fine to point this out, but nothing to make a federal case over. At some point it becomes nothing more than intellectual bullying.

I had this happen some months ago on a thread about teacher evaluation. A member hijacked the thread, which had to be deleted and rewritten.
Blackstone
QUOTE(bucket @ Feb 8 2007, 12:26 PM) *

I see nothing wrong with questioning a posters intent or wording of debate questions. I have done it myself, and I think often debates are presented in a way that makes it terribly unfriendly to all and places those in opposition to the poster's views already on the defense.

Even though it's against the rules to publicly question the intent or motivation of the topic starter (and rightly so), my understanding is that it's not against the rules, for the most part, to publicly challenge the premise of a question. Just to take an extreme example, if someone poses as a "debate" question: "Why do Republicans hate black people so much?", I don't think there's anything in the rules prohibiting members from subjecting that assumption to scrutiny. Likewise, I'm pretty sure that any statements made by the topic starter in the introductory comments can be subject to challenge on the thread. But of course, Jaime or someone else in authority can correct me if I'm wrong.
AuthorMusician
QUOTE(Blackstone @ Feb 10 2007, 11:57 PM) *

QUOTE(bucket @ Feb 8 2007, 12:26 PM) *

I see nothing wrong with questioning a posters intent or wording of debate questions. I have done it myself, and I think often debates are presented in a way that makes it terribly unfriendly to all and places those in opposition to the poster's views already on the defense.

Even though it's against the rules to publicly question the intent or motivation of the topic starter (and rightly so), my understanding is that it's not against the rules, for the most part, to publicly challenge the premise of a question. Just to take an extreme example, if someone poses as a "debate" question: "Why do Republicans hate black people so much?", I don't think there's anything in the rules prohibiting members from subjecting that assumption to scrutiny. Likewise, I'm pretty sure that any statements made by the topic starter in the introductory comments can be subject to challenge on the thread. But of course, Jaime or someone else in authority can correct me if I'm wrong.


I'm on board with this, although my role is not that of moderator. I've regularly pointed out loaded questions, non-sequiturs, straw men and the such, and it happens from all ends of the political sphere. (Spectrum seems so two-dimensional.) Sometimes the loading might be unconscious, coming from stereotypes or erroneous assumptions. Other times it's an attempt to get a point across straight at the beginning or to make an opinion take on more gravity than it deserves.

That's how it comes across to me. Figuring out intentions can be tricky from only text on a debate board. It's easier when you get the body language, tone inflections, spittle flying through the air and maybe a gavel or two. That's why emoticons developed from the early days of Internet yakking. There used to be a common term, netiquette, meaning how to be polite online. So the problem is old and still flies around, people letting their emotions run amuck without regard to the impact on others. What's that, net rage?

I'm certainly no poster child for netiquette. Sometimes I lose it too, or maybe start out a debate thread with ulterior motives. Recently I screwed up a title etiquette situation without understanding the etiquette, something I can also do in social settings. When drinking and near the boss, which is why I avoid that kind of setting. It's probably not a good idea to drink and speed-dial or post online too. Drink and snooze, and not in a moving vehicle under my uncontrol, that's my motto.

Anyway, the loaded question for debate is: Why do some people refuse to capitalize proper English nouns? Is it really to get to the other side or just because it's there? And just what is the meaning of it?

Bonus question: What is the meaning of IT?

Yeah, well . . .
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