This situation also causes people like me to shut up too, even if we’re not the ones banned.
I took a risk and responded personally to a number of troublesome posts this week, all of which seem to be gone now (without notice to me, BTW).
So I’ll be going back to a period of not wanting to post much, not go into depth too much, because it’s a waste of my time and effort. This isn’t the first time. I’m never able to get too comfortable here before getting another reminder that my words have no more value than the problem posters.
I won’t automatically assume someone is a problem, I just won’t ask for clarification at all, because those are the rules. It shuts down the possibility of reaching out to someone and getting them to see things a different way, or else seeing things their way.
Which is the main reason I don’t flag often: I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but that’s what we’re told we’re supposed to do. I’d rather have a more complex and messy discussion which includes more voices, even if I don’t appreciate all of them individually. If I can’t feel out what’s going on with a poster, I’m loathe to flag them because that’s ALSO work for the moderator. Someone’s got to figure out what the situation is, or else posters have to be dropped expeditiously without much confirmation that they’re actually a long-term problem. After all, everyone has bad days.
So, this sort of situation causes me to disengage. I can’t be the only one who feels that way.
Since we’re on the topic of productive vs unproductive discourse, I want to say I don’t find this to be very productive.
If you want to use the discussion in question as a case study, that would be really informative. Where exactly do you think it went astray, away from someone having a productive dialogue to “feeding the sea lions.”?
My post here was about how it’s difficult to gauge when or if we should flag versus when it makes sense to engage, give the benefit of the doubt, and see what’s up.
A lesson I have learnt twice in my time here on the Boing - a couple of years?
My original posts were an attempt at humour that fell wide of the mark, and it was thanks to Boingers pointing out where I stepped over the line that I learnt something positive, and my appreciation for the Boing crowd grew. Had I gone the other way, kicking back against the current, well, you probably wouldn’t be seeing this post.
So I guess my point is, you don’t have to find a hill to die on, there is always a way to stroll gently back down it, loss of face be damned.
From my POV, some of our more patient members try earnestly and repeatedly to engage such disingenuous users, based on that assumption of good faith, using the approved methods of interaction; asking sincere questions, staying on the topic, attacking the argument, and not the user…
Implying that we should just quietly let bad faith comments go unchallenged upon the realization that’s what we’re dealing with isn’t any sort of viable solution.
The fact of the matter is that some people actively aspire to be “disrupters,” and IMO that was what we saw demonstrated in yesterday’s little melee.
“Earnestly” being the key word. In this case no-one was being fooled into thinking he wanted to engage in earnest, so their responses were not earnest either.
From what I saw, @DukeTrout quickly (and correctly) determined that the other user was not interested in a good-faith discussion and replied mainly to help said “clever” user paint himself into a rhetorical corner on the matter at hand. In the process, it also brought out that user’s known tendency to sea-lion. When that became sufficiently undeniable, @DukeTrout used his Leader power to throttle the topic so that the moderator could sort things out.
It’s a tricky situation but it was handled well. Sometimes it takes several deliberately crafted replies to make that evident enough for enough people to flag the behaviour and bring it to the moderator’s attention.
From decades of fishing, I can say that when there’s a sea lyon under the boat, just fishing looks a lot like feeding the sea lyon… There are only two ways to solve the problem - move the boat and cede that stretch of water to the sea lyon or relocate the sea lyon.
Thank you for relocating the sea lyon. I like this stretch of water.
So as far as both those things go…I have been reluctant to use leader powers in cases where I am upset with one of the participants. In this case though it was extremely obvious it was a derail the moment Leon took charging someone with battering a homeless woman as an excuse for handwringing over if this is the best way to spend money instead.
It would have been easy for me to move and made clean-up that much easier for you. With flags I get your second opinion, with moves I don’t…but I wonder if you think I should have gone ahead anyway?
I honestly think that except for the very biggest expenditures, like wars and bank bailouts and tax cuts for the rich, crying over money is pretty much always a way of saying “I wish we didn’t do this” without giving the real reason. It definitely has been for right-wing politicians, whose concern over the budget only materializes when it goes to helping people.
Me too… my time here has certainly improved my thinking and my mode of argumentation as well.
And of course, part of the problem here is that we’re all gonna have different lines about when to challenge and when to push back… but that might not be what the mods think is the line. So, it becomes about trying to anticipate that rather than engaging authentically on pushing back…
I use flagging with “Something Else” if I just feel something is on the way to out of line or feels hinky. This let’s me write a note explaining to the mods why I think it might be an issue or seems likely to become one. I do this partly because it seems like now when I flag something in the other categories it is enough to get it temporarily hidden, and that is not my goal.