*IMPORTANT* A place for civil and intelligent discussion (1 Viewer)

Richard

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The Political Discussion Board was created out of members' desire to have political threads moved away from the Everything Else Board to a separate board. Members expressed dissatifaction with the way threads on the EE Board were overrun with nonsense posts, trolls looking to start arguments and driveby posts with little or no content or value. So Andrus created this board to accomodate members and provide a place to have "civil and intelligent discussion."

Moderators have tried a minimalist approach to moderating the PDB but it has become obvious that the board is deteriorating both in civility and intelligence. This thread is to put everyone who would like to continue to participate on this board on notice that moderators intend to be more "hands on" in the moderation of this board. As with any board, we all have jobs and lives away from Saintsreport, as well as a desire to read other threads on the site, so we may not catch problems right away. It is always appreciated when members help us by using the Report This Post feature.

Please understand that there are no new rules or infractions being added. We are simply going to make an effort to return the PDB to the vision expressed in Andrus' statement at the top of this forum titled IMPORTANT (Read first) Board Rules/Policies and Clarifications. This would be a good time to re-read the board guidelines to make sure there won't be a problem in the future.

http://saintsreport.com/forums/f60/important-read-first-board-rules-policies-clarifications-167130/

But if you read nothing else in Andrus' statement, you should pay particular attention to this paragraph:

We want the PDB discussion to be free of troll posts, thread-jacking, inflammatory drive-by posts, utterly stupid commentary, belittling, personal attacks, insulting behavior, or any behavior that incites malicious partisan bickering. This includes posting links to extreme views without explaining your own position, which otherwise is considered baiting.
The whole statement is well worth reading, but I will summarize some things you should know.

The troll posts/threads must stop. Don't just post a link to an inflammatory article, plug in a smilie or say "whatcha think?" and wait for the fall out. Such a thread will be deleted. Any thread or post deemed to be against the rules is subject to deletion and the member could face consequences.

The personal attacks must stop and that includes belittling someone for their beliefs or how they phrase their argument. Hiding behind humor to give someone a backhanded insult is just as bad as if you had left off the humor. Dancing on the fringes of calling someone an idiot while all but calling someone an idiot isn't going to work either. Try to remember that "civil" discussion is desired as well as intelligent discussion.

It is in the nature of political discussion to pick a side of an issue and argue one's position. You can argue and state your positions with conviction, but the obvious partisan bickering must stop. It is not necessary to be disagreeable when you disagree. Those who will moderating this forum don't care whether you lean left or right, but we do care how respectful you are on this site when having a discussion with someone with an opposite view. If you try to be respectful with those with whom you disagree, you may find that there are points of agreement.

Finally, if you can't follow the guidelines expressed in Andrus' statement, then we will remove your posting privileges. It's extremely simple. Follow the rules and you have no problems. Ignore the rules and you will not participate on the PDB.
 

Saintshizzle

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Well, you have to start with your own first Richard. Crosswatt posts junk from John Rocker...there was a time I would hold feet to the fire for someone posting an inflammatory article like that.

I just shake my head and keep it pushing these days.


John Rocker, really? Then basically leaves a "mmmm yeah" statement...akin to what you stated. Where do you think that thread is headed? Which is why I stayed away after a quick peruse.
 

DavidM

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Richard and I briefly discussed the Rocker thread. My opinion is that we're primarily interested in the inflammatory threads that are meant to poke at one side or the other and I don't see that with the Rocker thread. I'm also not a stickler for all thread-starters containing original commentary. For instance, sometimes a thread is started with a link and blurb to bring attention to a news event. But this can all be very subjective and certainly we want to be as uniform and clear as possible. With that in mind, I'd definitely like to get some feedback from the members here. That isn't an invitation to start calling each other or the site, out, but general comments that you think will help improve the board will be considered.

As Richard said, none of this new.
 

Saintshizzle

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I guess its all subjective. You both are right, nothing new. One man's harmless thread is another's firestarter.
 

BHM

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Thanks for the reminder to keep it civil. It is easy to get "passionate" and let emotions take over when discussing politics.

I offer an apology to anyone I may have offended.
 

FuzzyDunlop

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Thanks for the reminder to keep it civil. It is easy to get "passionate" and let emotions take over when discussing politics.

I offer an apology to anyone I may have offended.
I don't know, I disagree with most of your political opinions, but I appreciate that you at least try to explain why it is you feel a certain way.

I think that is what seems to be lacking the most, posts that are just empty vague opinions passed off as fact, without any reasoning or justification for why that person thinks that way. I don't think I've ever really seen you doing anything like that.

But you're right, it is extremely easy to get carried away while discussing politics, something that I personally could do a better job of avoiding.
 

6stringslide

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I think many of us disagree, and thats ok. I don't see the need to talk down to anyone, or call their point of view stupid because I disagree with it. I hope I haven't offened anyone....well I really don't care about dtc:hihi:. J/K. dtc is a pretty good example though. We disagree on many things, but I enjoy hearing his point of view. He gets his point across without being a jerk, and I hope I do the same, with a touch of humor:aargh:
 

bearze34

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So, Richard, who is the mind reader that will discern which posts are trolling and inflammatory and which ones are truly meant to stimulate a discussion? It is absolutely, by human nature, impossible to not let personal feelings and opinions color ones opinion of the importance or validity of one topic over another. It is very similar to discussing religion and while I agree with deleting posts that are degrading to others I don't agree with someone appointing themself the final arbiter of someone elses opinion if we are to have a section that is, by its very nature, based upon opinions.
 
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Richard

Richard

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So, Richard, who is the mind reader that will discern which posts are trolling and inflammatory and which ones are truly meant to stimulate a discussion? It is absolutely, by human nature, impossible to not let personal feelings and opinions color ones opinion of the importance or validity of one topic over another. It is very similar to discussing religion and while I agree with deleting posts that are degrading to others I don't agree with someone appointing themself the final arbiter of someone elses opinion if we are to have a section that is, by its very nature, based upon opinions.
Good question. We are in no way interested in stifling opinions or even determining what side of an issue a poster may fall on as it relates to their post. We don't care if you consider yourself Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative or any other label. What we do care about is how posters interact with one another. While you may consider it impossible for us to moderate a political board impartially, I would disagree. It may surprise you to know that some of my favorite posters on this board are people with whom I rarely agree on the substance of a particular issue.

What we need to do here is gain some respect for opposing points of view and realize that we may want the same things but disagree on how to get there. That's one of the reasons why I love Mr. Blue Sky's thread. His thread shows that people who may consider themselves to be on opposite ends of the political spectrum may not be as far apart on some issues as we thought. On individual issues we may be diametrically opposed, but that doesn't mean we have to be insulting to each other when we disagree.

Ultimately, the "mind reader(s)" who Andrus has chosen to monitor this board and others have an unenviable task of trying to get presumably intelligent people to follow a few simple rules. If it is too much to ask some members, they can find another board to discuss politics. But Andrus wants the board that he owns to be civil and the mods and admins will do the best we can to make sure it is civil -- impartially and without bias. We recognize that we can make mistakes and that's why we discuss situations and "problem" members with each other. And we do listen to explanations from members if they feel we have incorrectly dealt with a situation.

I hope I have calmed your fears that any mod or admin has appointed themselves anything. Andrus asked us to do the job of making sure people abide by his rules in his house and we agreed to try. Whether we are successful or not ultimately rest with the board's members and whether they really want a separate political discussion board.
 

crosswatt

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Concerning the Rocker thread, it is deleted. I in no way meant to support or give credence to his ideas or grant him extra attention, but found it so surreal that it even existed that I thought it was worthy of a collective "what in the world" from the board. My apologies if any were offended.
 

Saintshizzle

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Concerning the Rocker thread, it is deleted. I in no way meant to support or give credence to his ideas or grant him extra attention, but found it so surreal that it even existed that I thought it was worthy of a collective "what in the world" from the board. My apologies if any were offended.
Slippery slope. As I stated, just because I saw it as a thread that could be incendiary, probably does not make it such. Could be a thread that produces healthy discussion. Historically, all it takes is one Rocker lover to speak up and...well.

By no means should we become draconian. What I did with your thread is what I suggest we all do if something is posted that may be edgy, too edgy or way too edgy for us, or we dont like...shake head and just move on. Somebody(s) else my view it completely harmless.

Let it flow. I wouldn't have said a word about your thread, if Rich had not called out the board. I think Superfans threads are vomit inducing:hihi:, but I want him to keep posting. them. It seemed a double standard, calling out the board just when a mod post Rocker.

BTW, I disagree with you deleting your thread also. If it really hit me sideways, I would have responded, maybe I was laying-in-wait for a closet Rocker to chime in. Maybe I never click on it again, who knows, either way, let it flow.
 

Sarcastic

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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"
 

Ken-Bob

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I hope I don't step over the line with this statement, but...

There are those on this board (any board) who believe they are making a cogent, well thought out, and reasonably backed statement, when in fact they are not. Or, at least, they are not doing so in the eyes of others. Intelligent discourse is wonderful but on the internet, everyone is viewed as equals in their ability to dig deep and really take a topic apart for discussion purposes. In fact, we simply are not. I'm sure that I have made statements that come off as absolutely ignorant. I know I have read statements by others that I feel that way about (and there are times it takes an extreme act of will to respond in a civil manner - or, better yet, not at all (thank you for the thumbs up/thumbs down buttons, by the way :)).

The phenomenon of lack of civil discourse without knowledge that you actually are lacking the ability to converse intelligently knows no party boundaries (sometimes I'd like to think it does but it doesn't). It really does make things difficult. But isn't a judgment of a person's abilities in this are rather subjective in the first place? Certainly, we can say "you didn't back that up with data" but what if they did yet the data is flawed or otherwise biased? I think we all know that the internet is full of that.

Agreed that simply nasty comments should be kicked, though.
 

livefromDC

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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.
 

livefromDC

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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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