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Old 07-11-2012, 11:08 AM   #15
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I didn't see anything wrong with the Rocker thread. He put forth a news story and started a conversation. Some people will undoubtedly be on either side of the fence. It was possible to have a civil and intelligent discussion going into the thread because of the way it was presented, but it was deleted.

On the other hand, the thread titled, "Pelosi is so darn cute", is still up. Even if the OP thinks that Pelosi really is cute, would this be the forum for his crush? Of course not. The title was meant to be condescending. That's no way to start a civil conversation. From the title to the clips to the comments the OP makes in the very first post, its obvious that the intent of this new thread was to needle members that hold a different opinion from the OP and not to invite them in for a genuine conversation about Pelosi. If I wanted to have a conversation about Pelosi, it's blatantly obvious that this wouldn't be the venue to do so. So what purpose does that thread serve? So far there's several posts in that thread that have nothing to do with Pelosi or politics. Why is it allowed to remain? Who here thinks that that thread is going to lead to a good, civil discussion by the way it was presented?

Richard, if you want to promote better dialogue on the PDB, hold thread starters more accountable. I'm skeptical of your desire to improve discourse when the thread you started appears next to a purposely inflammatory titled thread.

It seems that we're going about this the wrong way. The Rocker thread was deleted based on the potential that it could become ugly while a thread that starts adversarially remains. Are we hoping that a good conversation will begin in spite of the original post?

Thanks for the reminder. We can all use one. However, if you want to uplift the conversation let's do a better job of limiting the rhetoric that weighs its down...starting with the most obvious threads.
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcastic View Post
Slightly off topic, but this is the place for it

So, if I post obvious, OBVIOUS satire in a silly thread, meant to make a valid point without calling anyone out or calling them stupid, and the masses lock on and think I'm serious about what I'm saying in spite of 6 years of posting history on EE and PDB to the contrary, and they start calling me an ignorant fool, does it become trolling just because a few people are too oblivious to catch on?

Not calling anyone out, I've honestly wondered about the line between satire/humor and "trolling".

"Trolling" is a very subjective term. Typically, the person getting butt-hurt says "troll" and the person who gets it says "Sarcasm"
IMO, this is fine. In fact, in a good thread "trolls" will have a hard time taking over and will usually give up when both sane sides of the argument take aim at the troll. The problem (again, IMO) is when a terrible thread is allowed to remain as a safe haven for trolls. If the thread begins with a nonsensical, party rhetoric, extreme conspiracy theory, email chain based post, it's going to be ugly on page 2, page 7, page 13, page...

For all the talk about civilty, we're not promoting it when we allow these threads to hang around. If you turn to Cinemax at midnight, you're doing so for a reason. Don't complain at 2 a.m, that they're airing a bunch of debauchery. Turn the channel. Mods, if you want to see better conversation get rid of the junk threads when they appear. I'm more inclined to take Richard's plea to heart if bad threads weren't allowed to remain. No One is posting anything civil and intelligent in a threat titled "why are Republicans all crazy" or "Pelosi is so darn cute".
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:55 PM   #17
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C'mon guys it's not hard to know where the line should be drawn.

It's perfectly reasonable to argue points with passion and to disagree with each other - it's quite another when it all gets personal, the tone becomes abusive and the debate turns into name-calling.

It's actually a joy to get into a detailed and well-thought out discussion with people who have different views - as long as the tone stays respectful.

I can disagree with everything another man may believe in, but I don't have to hate or ruthlessly disparage that person's beliefs - or insinuate they're an agent of the devil etc because they don't agree with me.

Like a good boxer let's punch hard but always remember to shake hands before and after the fight.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:05 PM   #18
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Does this mean nobody can again say one of my posts is the most idiotic posts in the history of SR?


If so, then
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livefromDC View Post
IMO, this is fine. In fact, in a good thread "trolls" will have a hard time taking over and will usually give up when both sane sides of the argument take aim at the troll. The problem (again, IMO) is when a terrible thread is allowed to remain as a safe haven for trolls. If the thread begins with a nonsensical, party rhetoric, extreme conspiracy theory, email chain based post, it's going to be ugly on page 2, page 7, page 13, page...

For all the talk about civilty, we're not promoting it when we allow these threads to hang around. If you turn to Cinemax at midnight, you're doing so for a reason. Don't complain at 2 a.m, that they're airing a bunch of debauchery. Turn the channel. Mods, if you want to see better conversation get rid of the junk threads when they appear. I'm more inclined to take Richard's plea to heart if bad threads weren't allowed to remain. No One is posting anything civil and intelligent in a threat titled "why are Republicans all crazy" or "Pelosi is so darn cute".
Good points on the junk threads. Those are the kinds of threads that would be deleted in the future. I decided not to go back through all of the old threads and delete retroactively. If another mod/admin chooses to do so, I am not opposed to it, but the intention, as you suggest, is to delete those threads as they appear. Hopefully, members participating here realize we have jobs and lives and aren't on this board 24/7.

Addressing Ken-Bob's concerns, we don't intend to moderate content that exists within the rules. Someone may make a poor argument for their position, but they attempted to make a reasoned statement. We don't intend to moderate whether or not someone has made their point well. Andrus' statement about intelligent discussion seeks to eliminate drive-by posting of slams and consistent idiocy without an attempt at legitimate discussion. But it doesn't preclude humor or the occasional one-liners.

On another note, it appears that some here are under the impression that one day I had had enough and just decided to post a rant in this thread's first post. That post, written at DavidM's request and after receipt of a number of PMs from concerned members, had been sitting in the PM's of this site's admins for almost a month, waiting on feedback and changes. After consulting with them, the decision was made to go forward with the post as written. It was intended to come across as firm in order to show how serious the staff is about turning this board around. If that becomes too much work or not worth the trouble, I doubt the board continues to exist. But some of us still think it has value and want to preserve it. We hope members here feel the same way.
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:11 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livefromDC View Post
I didn't see anything wrong with the Rocker thread. He put forth a news story and started a conversation. Some people will undoubtedly be on either side of the fence. It was possible to have a civil and intelligent discussion going into the thread because of the way it was presented, but it was deleted.

On the other hand, the thread titled, "Pelosi is so darn cute", is still up. Even if the OP thinks that Pelosi really is cute, would this be the forum for his crush? Of course not. The title was meant to be condescending. That's no way to start a civil conversation. From the title to the clips to the comments the OP makes in the very first post, its obvious that the intent of this new thread was to needle members that hold a different opinion from the OP and not to invite them in for a genuine conversation about Pelosi. If I wanted to have a conversation about Pelosi, it's blatantly obvious that this wouldn't be the venue to do so. So what purpose does that thread serve? So far there's several posts in that thread that have nothing to do with Pelosi or politics. Why is it allowed to remain? Who here thinks that that thread is going to lead to a good, civil discussion by the way it was presented?

Richard, if you want to promote better dialogue on the PDB, hold thread starters more accountable. I'm skeptical of your desire to improve discourse when the thread you started appears next to a purposely inflammatory titled thread.

It seems that we're going about this the wrong way. The Rocker thread was deleted based on the potential that it could become ugly while a thread that starts adversarially remains. Are we hoping that a good conversation will begin in spite of the original post?

Thanks for the reminder. We can all use one. However, if you want to uplift the conversation let's do a better job of limiting the rhetoric that weighs its down...starting with the most obvious threads.
I'd like to reiterate that all PDB mods of all political persuasions want to promote better discourse. Richard just helped do the heavy lifting to get the ball rolling. Hopefully most members share those desires since we would much prefer a mostly self moderating community. Any ideas on how to best achieve those goals are always welcome. I think it can be accomplished since the PDB has a limited number of mostly well-informed posters compared to our other forums. Even in the current state it's far better than the average political forum or cable news show.

As David mentioned we also viewed the Rocker thread as acceptable and it could have remained up. Perhaps he could have made his opinion more obvious, but I don't think anyone viewed his post as an endorsement of Rocker's views. I see no problem with threads highlighting bigotry in politicians or political statements. Threads and posters clearly endorsing bigotry would be candidates for removal however.

Humor and satire are still welcome as long as it's done in a way that avoids insulting posters and derailing threads. Fortunately most of us know each other well enough to pick up on jokes and take some ribbing. If someone's humor is repeatedly misinterpreted then perhaps they need to reassess their comedic stylings.

Most of the PDB focused mods have been busy for various reasons lately so we've probably neglected moderating non-reported posts. I hope that Richard's message and other community developed reforms resonate with the board so we won't need to overly moderate the forum in the future. Those who can't get the message will be removed, but we want to retain and gain as many beneficial members as possible. Ideally the forum will be more about enjoyable factual debate and information and less about email forwards and insults.
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:56 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Severum View Post
I'd like to reiterate that all PDB mods of all political persuasions want to promote better discourse. Richard just helped do the heavy lifting to get the ball rolling. Hopefully most members share those desires since we would much prefer a mostly self moderating community. Any ideas on how to best achieve those goals are always welcome. I think it can be accomplished since the PDB has a limited number of mostly well-informed posters compared to our other forums. Even in the current state it's far better than the average political forum or cable news show.
Let me reiterate all of the above and provide some additional background, especially as it relates to some feedback over changes and questions raised about our ability to be impartial.

Richard, Severum and I assumed the oversight of this board some time last year and turned to other politically-interested staff to work together in its management. Because of the nature of political discussion and an awareness of the potential for claims of bias, a collective approach seemed the best course. The only agenda that we are interested in promoting is keeping the discussions as focused, enlightening, and civil as is practical.

I bring that up to point out that we have been overseeing this board for quite some time now and I don't believe anybody can accurately assert that moderation has been unfair or overbearing. If anything, we have been generous in the amount of leeway given to the point that some people have become too comfortable in being rude and offensive.

In that time, we have made some changes to the moderation approach here, understanding that politics can bring out the worst in people. We've preferred to handly things less formally through PMs when that has been reasonable to do so. Ideally, we really don't want to have to become more involved, or change our approach, now.

Some things have remained the same and that includes our desire to limit, as much as possible, the viral and baseless propaganda from having a place here. We realize that not everybody views that in the same way but there are plenty of other sites catering to the lowest common denominator and group-think if that is what somebody is looking for.

We have a more diverse representation of ideologies here over some comparable sites and we believe that is a good thing. If you prefer to discuss politics with people who think like you, or if you are unable to respectfully discuss politics with people who think differently from you, this probably isn't the place for you. If you think liberalism or conservatism (or whatever) is 'evil' and all who represent a specific view are your enemy, this isn't the right board for you. If political discourse for you amounts to derogatory commentary aimed at "the other side", this isn't the right board for you. If you primarily post inflammatory links, clips, images, or other media with the intent to stir up "the other side", this isn't the place for you. If it becomes apparent that you are consistently ignorant about the discussions you are participating in, or if you are trolling the board, annoying others, or otherwise causing problems, and efforts to remedy that aren't effective, you will likely lose access to this board.

To address a specific point that was brought up, links and blurbs about news events, including to start a thread, can be posted with limited or no opening commentary. A link and blurb from a legitimate news source can usually stand alone as a discussion starter. Just use good judgement. If you know something is controversial or criticial of an idea or group, provide some commentary to get a discussion started (something more than "What do you think?") So: If it's news from a recognized news source, it's probably okay without opening commentary, if you prefer. If it's an opinion piece, even from a recognized news source, it probably needs to be opened with some of your own thoughts. Definitely if it's obviously and overly critical and/or of dubious origin.


The overall point is that we donít want to have to be that involved in moderation and none of us plans to be a stickler about much of anything. What we are really hoping is everybody will read through this thread and take it upon themselves to be more diligent in keeping discussions civil enough and focused. We are not, however, be-nice-above-all-else types and all three of us agree that stupidity/ignorance is every bit as destructive to good discussion as being a jerk. To that extent, we will reserve the right to remove access to this board, temporarily or permanently, for anybody we believe demonstrates a pattern of being misinformed, spreading misinformation, or otherwise dragging down the discussions. If all you can do is parrot garbage, do it somewhere else. We want people who demonstrate an ability to do some critical thinking of the information they take in.

We didn't mean to cause unnecessary concern. The primary goal here is to improve the board for the majority of you who are putting forth the effort.
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Old 02-27-2015, 04:07 PM   #22
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It's nice to go back in here and get a refresher on what we're aiming for here..
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Old 03-10-2017, 02:29 PM   #23
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I saw this and thought it was very relevant for this board.

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Old 03-11-2017, 06:31 PM   #24
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Quote:
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I saw this and thought it was very relevant for this board.

That was excellent. So simple, too:

Don't assume bad intent.
Ask questions. (And listen. The message is 'you are being heard.')
Stay calm.
Make your argument. (back up your claim)
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