Re: Personal attacks on this forum


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LiquidTension
April 7, 2003, 02:47 AM
OK, why is it that moderators and members of this forum are getting their panties all in a bunch over "personal attacks" that happen here? You moderators close threads that include personal attacks on other board members, and yet you allow threads to persist that contain personal attacks on people that are NOT members here.

People that read these forums do so of their own free will and are perfectly capable of defending themselves. So why let personal attacks continue on people that are not here to defend themselves? It just seems a little two-faced to me.

I am neither condoning nor condemning any type of personal attack here, and I'm REALLY not trying to be an @ss. Why is it ok to insult people that probably will not see it? Is it because insulting someone behind their back is ok, but telling someone to their face (figuratively speaking, of course) is not politically correct?

Seriously, I'm not complaining about the job the moderators are doing, it just seems odd to me that it's ok to insult some people but not others.

If it is to keep threads from becoming pissing contests, I think that people will get tired of participating in that kind of thread and they will go away.

So...what's the deal?

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Tamara
April 7, 2003, 03:01 AM
There are only a few house rules:

1.) All topics and posts must be related to firearms or civil liberties issues.
2.) Multiple user registrations are prohibited.
3.) As a family-friendly board, we ask that you keep your language clean. If you wouldn't say it in front of your dear old Grandma, you probably don't want to say it here.
4.) Spamming, trolling, flaming, and personal attacks are prohibited. You can disagree with other members, even vehemently, but it must be done in a well-mannered form. Attack the argument, not the arguer.
5.) We cannot provide a comprehensive list of "Things Not To Say".Posts that are contrary to the above policies, or to the mission of The High Road, may be edited or deleted at our sole discretion. Membership may be revoked if such a step is deemed necessary by us. We're a private venture enabled by an all-volunteer staff. Please treat this venue as a polite discussion in a friend's home and respect the wishes of the hosts.

Obviously we cannot keep folks from calling every anti-gun public figure a dunderhead, but we would request that, should they enroll here, they be addressed as "Congressman Dunderhead". ;)

LiquidTension
April 7, 2003, 03:28 AM
I'm still confused. I know the rules, but that doesn't mean the rules make sense. Why are voluntary members of the forum protected from insults but not others?

I appreciate the response Tam, and would like to say again that I'm not trying to stir up trouble. Sorry about posting it in the wrong place.

LiquidTension
April 7, 2003, 03:30 AM
Oh yeah, the above should not be taken to mean that I think EVERYONE should be protected from insults, I'm just trying to understand why some people are and some are not.

Croyance
April 7, 2003, 03:55 AM
Many forums seem to have dissolved, or strayed from their original intent, because members started to snipe at each other. The quality of the "discussions" devolved.
It keeps posts on topic, rather than having the majority of posts become grounds for personal attacks. So people not in the forum are not protected, the forum merely becomes a neutral ground for members.
Verbal and written attacks are part of being a public figure, which none of us claim to be.
Just guessing. I thought of more possible reasons, but its just speculation.

telewinz
April 7, 2003, 08:14 AM
I support Tamara's position, no one should be permitted to call me a "jerk" and I should be protected until they know me personally. Then its OK:D

Felonious Monk
April 7, 2003, 09:33 AM
LiquidTension--
What's your agenda with this thread?
You are saying a bunch of things and expecting us to properly infer what you are talking about. Examples, please?

Do you not like Al Gore jokes about how he invented the internet?
Does bashing Daschle make you cringe?
Does Dubya's face compared (closely) to a chimp's offend you?

What's up? Say what's on your mind.

Alan Fud
April 7, 2003, 10:34 AM
I am by no means going to attempt to speak for the staff here but when I first started moderating over at the S&Wforums (http://www.smith-wessonforum.com/cgi-bin/sandwcgi//Ultimate.cgi) Dennis Bateman (an admin at TFL (http://thefiringline.com/)) gave me some pretty sound advise ... The Role of a Moderator

A good moderator not only keeps order in his/her forum but also sparks interest with his/her own posts & comments.

There are two conditions to a rule:
- It must be needed.
- It must be enforceable.

Then the rule must be enforced consistently. If the need for exceptions occurs (and they will), evaluate both the exception and the rule to see if either or both are valid.

Remember the mission of your unit takes precedence over your personal desires. Sometimes you will need to bite your tongue and remain silent when controversial issues arise because a moderator's comments carry a lot of weight behind them. While you have a right to speak your mind, you also have a higher obligation not to unfairly move a topic in one direction or the other as a result of your moderator status.

Finally, you must be thick skinned and have a sense of humor when dealing with members and the rest of the staff. ... I found those words of wisdom to be exceptional advise and it is the guiding force on all of the boards which I admin.

LiquidTension, to address you question, I feel that the rule is both needed to avoid chaos from breaking out and enforceable, as demonstrated by the fine job that the staff does here.

Now ask yourself, if such a rule is both needed AND enforceable against non-members of this board.

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whoami
April 7, 2003, 03:29 PM
What's your agenda with this thread?
You are saying a bunch of things and expecting us to properly infer what you are talking about. Examples, please?

Maybe it's just me, but I didn't think his post was all that unclear...and I've kinda noticed the same thing, but didn't really get in a wad about it.

To whit:

1. Calling (insert board member name here) a stupid flaming jackhole can and has gotten threadlock imposed, or at the very least a stern warning.
2. Calling (insert politician/actor/anti name here) a stupid flaming jackhole doesn't seem to get much of a blip on the radar.

It seems a logical disconnect in a sense. Take everything you can find that's been said on this board about Michael Moore. Now, take each of those posts and remove the words Michael Moore and insert the name of a board member. 80% of those posts would practically guarantee threadlock.

For example:
...that the unctuous fop leaves a wake like a battleship wherever he waddles. Complete with an oil slick to boot!

This piece of excrement has the extreme bad taste to trash his President, the war in Iraq and, by association, our Troops; some who are now POWs, just for self promotion.

This walking ****pile DESERVES the 'cement shoe' treatment and swim with the fishes. I haven't been this angry since he won the nomination for an Oscar...winning one used to mean something.

Moore is self-inflated sanctimonious jerk who hides his vindictiveness under a layer of folksy blue-collar blubbering.

Using those when referring to a board member would be CLEARLY out of bounds, as they are personal attacks/flames and have nothing to do with confronting arguments. What then is the logical difference that makes comments such as those in a sense acceptable (as indicated by the threads containing those quotes not being locked) in the case of Mike Moore, but not acceptable in the case of a board member? Should it not be considered unacceptable in BOTH cases?

bountyhunter
April 7, 2003, 05:49 PM
And if you want to see how "free form flaming" evolves past the "celebrity" cutoff, go over to the Glock forum. The rule of "anything goes" in terms of verbal assaults is extended to anybody who voices the opinion that:

1) The war in Iraq is a bad way to achieve our objectives

2) GWB did not/does not have the authority to go to war any time he gets ticked off.

Whether you agree or disagree, the bottom line is that the "fire when ready" unbrella can lead to a forum populated in large part by redneck thugs. I applaud the moderators attempts to keep it decent, wish it was more universal at other forums.

Ed Brunner
April 7, 2003, 09:33 PM
Isn't there some legal thing that allows you to badmouth a public figure, but not a private individual?

Steve Smith
April 7, 2003, 10:05 PM
I believe you are correct, Ed.

COHIBA
April 7, 2003, 10:23 PM
i think it only slander if its untrue.

whoami
April 7, 2003, 10:44 PM
Isn't there some legal thing that allows you to badmouth a public figure, but not a private individual?

I respect the decision and postition of the moderators of this site (part o' that pesky user agreement :D ). I do have to say though...that in my opinion, given the stated and understood aims of this site and the position and the desire to maintain 'the high road' in our discussion, that's one very poor reason. First, implicit or stated legality of an action has no bearing whatosever on the moral conduct of performing such an action. Second, if I desired to call someone posting to this thread a walking ****pile or self-inflated sanctimonious jerk, I have a perfectly legal right to do so (with the implicit understanding that my account would be locked due to such conduct!). That fact in no way justifies that conduct as proper.

I'm not intending in any way to defend the likes of Mike Moore, or Bill Clinton, or Sarah Brady......but I think it makes for a very interesting discussion as to just what stated elevation the 'high road' reaches.

LiquidTension
April 7, 2003, 10:46 PM
Felonious - I thought I was pretty clear. For further explanation, read what whoami said. I am definitely not above personal attacks. I see nothing wrong with calling people out (public figures or private individuals) when they deserve it.

I'm very logical by nature (many friends think I should take the LSAT for fun) and I just wanted to know why people that cannot fend for themselves are fair game but members here are not. I just look at things differently, I guess. I've never been a moderator and I know that I couldn't do as good of a job as the mods here do.

In the original post I stated that pissing contests would fizzle out eventually. I said that because before I came here I was at TFL and FAL Files. Apparently the sites that I DON'T go to have much more of a problem with the personal attacks than the higher class stuff that I read :D

As far as slander, yes it is only slander if what was said is untrue. But in this case it would be libel anyway, since it is written and not spoken.

LiquidTension
April 7, 2003, 10:50 PM
Oh yeah, my question has pretty much been answered. I was just thinking of the problem from a different angle. See why I wouldn't be a good moderator?

TheBluesMan
April 7, 2003, 11:17 PM
LT - Try on this logic for size.

If we allowed personal attacks against members - THR would devolve into something resembling hardcoretalk.com

If we disallowed personal attacks against members (which we have) - THR would be exactly like it is now.

If we allowed personal attacks against public figures (which we have) - THR would be exactly like it is now.

If we disallowed personal attacks against public figures - THR would be a pretty boring place.

Therefore, unless you would prefer either a boring version of THR, or a nasty version of THR, the rules are best left as they are.

Frank Zappa said: "The United States is a nation of laws, badly written and randomly enforced."

TheBluesMan sez: "The High Road is a forum of rules, well written, but 'humanly' enforced." :)

garrettwc
April 7, 2003, 11:21 PM
I believe that LiquidTension may be right, but for the wrong reasons.

The moderators do an excellent job of keeping the personal attacks between members to a minimum. But there is a fine line to walk when dealing with public figures.

Using the Michael Moore example, I have seen several choice phrases used to describe him. He no doubt has earned most of them.

However, when we lower ourselves to the "politics of personal destruction::rolleyes: we are no better than those we are opining on with such enthusiasm. In fact, we are giving them ammunition to use against us.

Whenever posting, especially in Legal/Political, I try to remember the forum name at the top of this page.

Using Pres. Bush as an example, he has had some pretty bad things said to and about him. Yet when speaking in public he still smiles politely and stays on topic. He chooses not to respond in kind.

I can see where LT was coming from. I just wish we (myself included) could maintain our online composure well enough that he wouldn't need to ask.:)

TheBluesMan
April 7, 2003, 11:28 PM
Garrett,

All I can say is, "AMEN, BROTHER!"

LiquidTension
April 8, 2003, 02:43 AM
BluesMan - I addressed your reference to hardcoretalk.com in my fourth post and attribute it to my attraction to the higher class of people present on this board. The thought behind the original post came when I started noticing many threads being locked. I have somehow missed many of the threads that are a problem, so I guess I wasn't aware of the scope of the problem until you guys started mentioning other boards. I'm pretty much done with this thread, but you guys feel free to continue :) Thanks for answering my question though.

Wildalaska
April 8, 2003, 04:23 AM
Frank Zappa said: "The United States is a nation of laws, badly written and randomly enforced."

Frank Zappa has been quoted, discussion finished...HE HAS SPOKEN!!!!

WildweaselsripmyfleshAlaska

Fuzzy dice, bongos in the back, my ship of love is ready to attack!

tyme
April 8, 2003, 09:40 AM
I hereby relinquish any special social status I may have as a thr member and permit anyone to call me whatever names they desire. :)

(rant on tfl/thr censorship of both inappropriate comments and threats omitted)

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