"fair and balanced" discussions

I’m a bit concerned about that approach. I mean, if there is an “issue” with self-editing of unpopular posts, I don’t think the solution is to self-edit popular posts. That in itself creates a problem of bias in the opposite direction.

As @KathyPartdeux quipped about upthread, artificially supporting unpopular positions doesn’t somehow magically make them popular.

I really don’t see any problem whatsoever with someone holding back a post that they think will be unpopular. If they don’t want to engage in a controversy, don’t post something controversial. If they lack the conviction to stand by an unpopular position, then it’s probably a good thing not to post it.

And the Mod team here has shown time and again that they will back up someone posting within the guidelines despite disagreement from a large number of other users.


this, absolutely. as long as a comment is within the guidelines it will remain.

to rephrase myself from above–what could be more authoritarian than to forbid criticism of an unpopular opinion?


My post immediately above yours that was hidden was also flagged. It seems that some folks thought the discussion was wandering off-topic (which is weird, since the posts were on the topic of charter schools). You can edit your post to bring it back, which is what I did.

With great respect to your point of view and contributions in that thread, characterizing the discussion there as (paraphrasing) “one side was posting facts and the other was ignoring them” is disingenuous. You say that each of those four points was unsupported, but there were several posters who included citations to support those points. It’s fair game to challenge the sources, but not fair game to call them unsupported.


That’s fair enough. I suppose all I’m really suggesting is that everyone can stand to consider before posting whether this post really a) adds anything to the discussion and b) whether it is the best post we can make at this time given the constraints time-wise, attentionwise, etc. we’re operating under.

Following my own suggestion, I really don’t have any further useful to add so I’ll bow out.


I find the idea of an “ignore” feature antithetical to a discussion board.

EDIT: this comment was moved to this thread because it was posted in the thread titled “ignore feature feedback” but which was really about bugs, not feedback. Topic title changed and my comments became off-topic.

It is, when you assume everyone is commenting in good faith. Otherwise, it isn’t antithetical to productive discussions at all.

Besides, I can choose whom I want to ignore, and you can choose whom you want to ignore, even if we both decide to not ignore anyone. This won’t shut down discussion at all. It will just make it easier to ignore users we would just scrollpast anyway.


Maybe there should be an “Ignore Thread” feature so you don’t have to read about the “Ignore Poster” feature?

The ignore feature has been really useful to me in other forums allowing me to not even have to think about certain toxic people in the forum or let them ruin the forum for me, and the implementation of it in Discourse/BBS has been good for me as I now no longer need to worry about the unilaterally declared/mod enforced “Don’t talk about anything I talk about in any thread” command I was issued by a forum member here. Instead, they are now free to use the ignore feature. It helps me even without my using it myself. And I can use it if I find anyone particularly annoying. It helps prevent unhealthy conflicts, effortlessly.


Or who regularly engage in bad faith behavior that targets particular people in a discussion, too. It allows people to make their experience more pleasant and let them feel safer without the mods having to get involved…


Yes, its how i would design an echo chamber. But maybe people prefer echo chambers?

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Even if everyone is commenting in good faith, the ability to ignore someone can be a good thing.


All excellent points.

I don’t think eliminating the posts of a few users one doesn’t get along with is an “echo chamber.” Facebook, with its algorithmic feed, on the other hand, is very much that. But BBS isn’t Facebook just because it has an ignore feature.


You make a good point about the bully-flagging that goes on. I think I know the person(s?) you’re referring to who doesn’t want certain people to reply to her comments. I thought about adding that person to my ignore list but when I thought about it, I didn’t like the idea of muting someone just because I don’t always agree with them.

I wish this place were healthier and that people would give each other a little more consideration. I don’t think the ignore feature is going to bring that about.

I don’t know that there is any perfect modding system. An ignore feature IMO is a good step in preventing certain conflicts, kind of like not seating people who don’t get along at the same table. I mean, sure, you could try to have someone at the table moderate the discussion, but it is way more practical for them just not be able to hear each other.


I suppose its a “self service” echo chamber. You get to pick which views/ people you engage with. Thing is you always had that option. So i guess you the difference is he user can choose whether they even see the irritating post/idea in question. It seems likely to lower engagement with views outside the ones you normally encounter

Of course FB is deliberately trying to maximize engagement, which apparently is best done with echo chambers. Turns out thats what people prefer.

That’s the beauty part of the ignore feature. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to use it.


a bit like carrots

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I admit that I do, to a degree. Its one of those things we know can be bad in the abstract, but not ours of course. My echo chamber is good. Your’s is bad. Also, my elected official is good, yours is corrupt and needs term limits.


i am doing my best to engage with people who think differently to me, but it often ends badly. I don’t really see eye to eye with neo-nazis. You end up with either inadvertent or deliberate trolling. Still, i am trying.

I don’t ignore people I just disagree with, I ignore people arguing in bad faith who don’t care about having a discussion, or people who engage in some low-level harassment, just skirting the edge of the rules.