Feedback forum / thread?

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
37,953
It is a significant change to now deem it unacceptable to criticise or dismiss an argument or opinion on the grounds that it might get somebody's back up. It effectively contradicts the statement in the guidelines that controversy and argument are welcome.
That is a really stupid thing to say.

Brendan
 

Sarenco

Frequent Poster
Messages
5,530
That is a really stupid thing to say.
That actually makes my point rather well.

That phrase is not offensive, personalised, derogatory, insulting or abusive. It's just an expression of Brendan's opinion of my post and until recently I understood that was perfectly acceptable. Now I gather it is subject to deletion on the grounds of being "uncivil".

So what if Brendan had instead said; "I'm sorry but I find your post to be entirely incoherent and does not advance your argument". Is that acceptable? I've no idea.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
37,953
Hi Sarenco

That was deliberately offensive to make my point.

Fair play to you if you did not find it so. But it would get most people's backs up and they would respond in kind, and they whole thread would go off topic.
 

torblednam

Frequent Poster
Messages
410
Hi mathepac

If you say: All profits on the sale of family homes should be subject to CGT and I disagree, then I should be able to do it with respect.

If I say : That is nonsense, that is stupid, or that is rubbish - it ups the temperature and causes you to insult me as "stupid"

It's a matter of degree.

Maybe "abusive" is the wrong word.

10 Do not abuse other posters
Controversy and argument are welcome. But please keep your comments civil. Attack an opinion by all means, but please don't attack the person expressing the opinion.Posts or threads which use language designed to be deliberately offensive or just to stir up trouble will be deleted.

How about something like
10. Please remain respectful and civil towards those with whom you disagree
We promote civil and respectful discussion and argument. For example, describing someone else as "stupid" or "trolling" is a breach of this guideline. If you describe an argument as "stupid" you will get that person's back up and the the thread will quickly deteriorate. For that reason, we do not allow such comments.

Please do not respond to disrespectful or abusive posts. Either ignore them or report them. When we delete disrespectful posts, we delete all posts responding to them as well.
And this comes down to the nub of it Brendan: that is, in my view (and feel free to tell me I'm talking nonsense;)) an impossibly high standard to hold the conversation in an online discussion forum to.

I have no problem with someone telling me they think my post is nonsense or waffle and explaining exactly why, it's not at all disrespectful AS LONG AS THEY BACK UP THAT ASSERTION... I'd challenge anyone to show me any other functioning forum for meaningful discussion between adults, online or real world, where such a rigorous standard of decorum and language etiquette is required.

It basically equates to saying, "Don't bother trying to have an argument or robustly debate anything because it will be shut down."
 

Sarenco

Frequent Poster
Messages
5,530
That was deliberately offensive to make my point.
I really don't see why anybody would find that offensive. Why would I be offended because somebody criticised my argument in the context of an open discussion?

But really my point is where do you draw the line? Should I be less "offended" if somebody described my point as incoherent, nonsensical or absurd?

"Attack the argument, not the poster" is perfectly clear. "Don't say anything that could get somebody's back up" is arbitrary to the point that it potentially inhibits open debate.

If the forum is going down that road, I think it would be cleaner to simply ban any discussion on any topic that is likely to be controversial. I think that would be a pity but at least the position would be clear.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
37,953
It basically equates to saying, "Don't bother trying to have an argument or robustly debate anything because it will be shut down."
If the forum is going down that road, I think it would be cleaner to simply ban any discussion on any topic that is likely to be controversial. I think that would be a pity but at least the position would be clear.
With respect, I fundamentally disagree.

There has been a full discussion of the CGT on family home issues - more than 131 posts.

Most discussions on controversial topics eventually peter out without being closed.

We rarely close threads.

I'd challenge anyone to show me any other functioning forum for meaningful discussion between adults, online or real world, where such a rigorous standard of decorum and language etiquette is required.
Have a look at politics.ie. There doesn't seem to be any moderation. Most of it is just abuse. Now that is great fun if you like that type of thing. And if you don't like that type of thing, you will find Askaboutmoney boring.

The primary function of askaboutmoney is for people to ask for information and suggestions and to get answers.

The debating is a secondary function. But having said that, I think it fulfills that function fairly well.

Brendan
 

torblednam

Frequent Poster
Messages
410
torblednam and my self had some light hearted banter on the CCG postings yesterday. I do not beleve Torbednam took any offence and I certanely did not take offence.Hope ye all enjoyed the long week end I certanely did ,
Regards JJM
I think that's hitting the nail on the head jj.

Since I last posted, I went back over the posts on that thread one final time and I noticed that a post of mine and a reply by jjm, neither of which were reported (by either of us anyway) have been deleted. Presumably for being abusive, notwithstanding that as far as we were concerned we were engaged in a bit of good natured banter mid-debate.

The general gist of the deleted posts was that jjm had made a long and quite eloquent post which was largely on topic but at the final paragraph I think he veered off on a little bit of a tangent (fair to say jjm?!) so as to get in a mention of a topic close to his heart.

I replied, ribbing him a bit about his veering off to mention his favourite subject, saying his post had made me laugh so hard that my toddler had thought there was something up with me! He replied saying maybe she was right, and each of us used suitable emojis to convey the light hearted intent of the exchange. Both posts were deleted, with no explanation given as to why.

Did a moderator get offended on our respective behalves? Must have, though neither of us knows why, it's all a bit baffling really, and hence the thread.

My most recent review of the posts shows that this one by Early Riser doesn't appear to have set off the mods offensiveness radar...

"Folks - It is the long weekend of peak holiday season. How about getting into the mood with a competition to re-name this thread?:)

I'll start off with "The Wormhole of Absurdity" !"

Just to be clear, I personally don't find this remotely offensive.

However, applying the impossibly high standards of the website and the mods' zero tolerance approach to contextual humour as evidence by the deletion of myself and jjm's exchange, surely this post would be deemed offensive to everyone who has contributed to the thread. Early Riser is saying our discussion / posts are ABSURD! Doesn't that rank at least equivalent to waffle on the spectrum of offensiveness?
 
Last edited:

mathepac

Frequent Poster
Messages
6,745
It's not civil and it's disrespectful though isn't it?
You're making stuff up now. My purpose in posting is to knock down the opposing argument and describing it in unflattering terms is a means to achieve that.
How is it helpful to the discussion?
Why do my comments on another's opinion have to help the discussion, my purpose is to convince others of my opinion's veracity.
How could it be considered a useful contribution?
If it influences others' opinions to the validity of my point of view then it is useful.
Why do you want to upset the other poster instead of trying to argue your own points?
A number of posters seem concerned about upsetting people or raising the temperature overly. There is an example given above of posters engaging in what they saw as gentle banter. Their posts were not reported so the only people upset by them were the mods. How is it you (or others) presume to know what will upset other posters? Surely a mature person with debating experience knows the difference between an ad hominem attack and discourse on an opinion?
And how is the person on the receiving end of that supposed to respond in a civil or respectful manner?
And why would they not unless of course, you believe they will always need guidance for their interpretation of fair comment and the phrasing of their responses to it.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
37,953
mandldebrot

You miss the point.

There were about 130 posts on the thread.

There were some offensive posts on the thread.
They were reported.
I deleted them and all subsequent responses.
I closed the thread to give people time to cool off.

I reopened the thread.
It became offensive again.

I deleted all subsequent posts.

If you think that I am going to read through every post and carefully assess whether your hilariously funny posts are offensive or not, after there have already been 130 posts, then you are mistaken.

I didn't read your post or anyone else's after the offensive one.

In an ordinary thread with a few posts on it, we are more selective.

I very much doubt that we have lost any jewels of wisdom by deleting the posts we did.

Brendan
 

odyssey06

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,603
You're making stuff up now. My purpose in posting is to knock down the opposing argument and describing it in unflattering terms is a means to achieve that.
Why do my comments on another's opinion have to help the discussion, my purpose is to convince others of my opinion's veracity.
I'm making stuff up???
I'm saying that it is possible to be disrespectful and uncivil without being offensive. Agree? Disagree? Fine, but where did I make something up?

And the AAM charter indicates to be civil and respectful.
If someone can't knock down the opposing argument with an actual argument, and can only engage in cheap debating tricks like describing it in unflattering terms, then they are not shedding any light on the debate, or bringing anything useful to it, or bringing anything helpful to it.

You seem to think that that is a useful way to direct a discussion, I disagree 100%.
It's a sure fire way to dead end a discussion, or at the very least turn it into a slug-fest rather than an open discussion.
I can slug it out if needed, but my reading of the AAM charter tells me that's not what this site is for, and I think it would be a retrograde step for the site to go in that direction (not my call of course, but that's my opinion on it).

If it influences others' opinions to the validity of my point of view then it is useful.
Someone could make the same point to justify why they should be able to make personal attacks, though?
It might be useful to you - but it's not useful to the site or anyone else.
It's unneccessary. Leave it out.
If someone doesn't think they can convince someone of a point of view without engaging in these tactics, then my opinion is that they can't convince someone of their point of view.
The quality of their post has not been materially improved by one atom by them.

No third party finds them useful. They're just singing to the crowd and the discussion immediately loses focus on the topic in question and becomes a slug-fest between different 'big beasts'.
I that it is important and valuable that the AAM charter is trying at least to hold posters to a higher standard than that and it is a standard that I think is achievable and is not unrealistic.

A number of posters seem concerned about upsetting people or raising the temperature overly. There is an example given above of posters engaging in what they saw as gentle banter. Their posts were not reported so the only people upset by them were the mods. How is it you (or others) presume to know what will upset other posters? Surely a mature person with debating experience knows the difference between an ad hominem attack and discourse on an opinion?
And why would they not unless of course, you believe they will always need guidance for their interpretation of fair comment and the phrasing of their responses to it.
I don't think I have said any of the above points by the way. You are making a lot of presumptions.
I know that there is a lot of grades in between ad hominem attack and discourse on an opinion, and I feel that not all of it should be permitted.

Why do you presume to know what will not upset other posters?
If you presume that, you must presume to know what will upset other posters?
So why are you surprised that others can make the same presumption?
Why are you engaged in this thread if you have not make presumptions about what will upset other posters?
Either way, our presumptions are irrelevent, the only decision that matters is that of mods in carrying out the AAM charter, and the contents of that charter.

And I agree 100% with the charter proposal at post #16.

How about something like
10. Please remain respectful and civil towards those with whom you disagree
We promote civil and respectful discussion and argument. For example, describing someone else as "stupid" or "trolling" is a breach of this guideline. If you describe an argument as "stupid" you will get that person's back up and the the thread will quickly deteriorate. For that reason, we do not allow such comments.

Please do not respond to disrespectful or abusive posts. Either ignore them or report them. When we delete disrespectful posts, we delete all posts responding to them as well.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
37,953
I suspect from time to time posters report post just because they do not agree with other posters
Posts are not reported very often.

I have never noticed one reported just because they disagree.

But if I disagree with your point of view and instead of saying that , I just post "That is absolute rubbish jj" then you or someone else might report it.

Brendan

p.s. Please read back over your post. It is difficult to make sense of a lot of it.
 

torblednam

Frequent Poster
Messages
410
mandldebrot

You miss the point.

There were about 130 posts on the thread.

There were some offensive posts on the thread.
They were reported.
I deleted them and all subsequent responses.
I closed the thread to give people time to cool off.

I reopened the thread.
It became offensive again.

I deleted all subsequent posts.

If you think that I am going to read through every post and carefully assess whether your hilariously funny posts are offensive or not, after there have already been 130 posts, then you are mistaken.

I didn't read your post or anyone else's after the offensive one.

In an ordinary thread with a few posts on it, we are more selective.

I very much doubt that we have lost any jewels of wisdom by deleting the posts we did.

Brendan
But you didn't delete all subsequent posts Brendan; that bit of what you've just said there could be accurately described, with the utmost civility and all due respect, as a nonsense, and here is why:

Jjm posted at 9:08 am on Saturday. My reply and his further reply, both of which were deleted, were in the next half hour or so. There was then 17 further posts (excluding any others that may have been deleted) before the thread was closed on Saturday evening. For what you say to be correct, all of those posts would've been deleted.

So it appears selectivity was in fact applied, which brings me back to wondering what offensiveness test mine and jjm's posts failed in order to merit deletion. I'm 99% sure I actually "liked" his comeback to me, which would be a pretty clear indication that the exchange was a good natured one between regular posters who know each other's form.

Don't get me wrong though, I'm glad that the other posts that remain undeleted weren't arbitrarily deleted as your post above suggests, because genuine posters involved in debating an issue made good contributions on Saturday. It amounts to a frankly ridiculous "throwing out the baby with the bath water" to actually do what you described above. It can be hugely frustrating for people who have taken the time and trouble to draft on-topic and non-offensive replies. I actually closed a previous account (or Brendan banned me for the tone of a PM I sent him) over this practice of arbitrary deletion of posts just because the mods decide its expedient for them to simply delete everything after a certain point, rather than only deleting only the offensive posts.

Anyway, I'm waffling! :D Over and out!

Edit:
P.S. The post by Early Riser that I referred to, was AFTER the 2 posts of mine and jjm's that were deleted.
 
Last edited:

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
37,953
So it appears selectivity was in fact applied, which brings me back to wondering what offensiveness test mine and jjm's posts failed in order to merit deletion.
Hi mandelbrot

I went back and looked at the thread to see exactly what happened.

Stage 1
The initial offensive post and all subsequent responses were deleted and the thread was closed temporarily.

Stage 2.
I reopened the thread.
Some time later, Sarenco's post was reported.
The other posts didn't seem to quote Sarenco, so I did not delete them.
I closed the thread permanently.


However...
Other moderators had in the meantime, deleted some posts which had not been reported.

For the record, here are the posts which were deleted.

upload_2017-8-8_14-16-5.png


They were deleted on the grounds that they added nothing to the debate. But I would agree that most of the thread could have been deleted on that basis.

Brendan
 

torblednam

Frequent Poster
Messages
410
Hi mandelbrot

I went back and looked at the thread to see exactly what happened.

Stage 1
The initial offensive post and all subsequent responses were deleted and the thread was closed temporarily.

Stage 2.
I reopened the thread.
Some time later, Sarenco's post was reported.
The other posts didn't seem to quote Sarenco, so I did not delete them.
I closed the thread permanently.


However...
Other moderators had in the meantime, deleted some posts which had not been reported.

For the record, here are the posts which were deleted.

View attachment 2106

They were deleted on the grounds that they added nothing to the debate. But I would agree that most of the thread could have been deleted on that basis.

Brendan
So banter is strictly off limits?
 

Sarenco

Frequent Poster
Messages
5,530
They were deleted on the grounds that they added nothing to the debate.
Interesting. I wasn't aware of that ground for deletion of a post.

So rather than criticising a line of argument as waffle, the better course would be to report posts on the grounds that they added nothing to the debate.

Is that correct? Seems like a lot of work for the moderators.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
37,953
No, banter is not off-limits. There is plenty of it on Askaboutmoney- probably too much.

We delete it only where it's a distraction or taking a thread off topic. I delete it especially when it's distracting a Key Post. Sometimes if someone has cracked an hilarious (in their opinion) joke, I leave it for a day or two and then delete it.

A mod obviously felt that these posts were distracting and added nothing.

From time to time, I clean up important threads. The amount of irrelevant posts in some threads hides the good stuff.



Brendan
 

Leo

Moderator
Messages
10,154
One problem with more off-topic or banter type posts in an already long thread is that if makes the thread and the debate less accessible to those not invested from the start. Where that happens and a thread goes on into the 100+ post territory, you just end us with a small few posters and exclude others who may have something valuable to add.
 

Leo

Moderator
Messages
10,154
I think some posters may not be as good as others at making there point ,When you get a chance Look at the Bretix 2017 you will see my post no 197 i was making a point that it will be easier for the UK to export into Ireland because of the good services they provide, If you look close you will see group think in action , The penny is now only beginning to drop in ireland,

Anyone who take an intrest in Britex will see The irish Government is going to rise out old frend CCG to 15 million to stop irish firms who do a lot of buisness in UK from moving there
The Buitish Government may not be preparing for Britex but i can assure you that is not the case with british Busness,
Much of that is an example of something I'd usually be tempted to remove. You started well, but after the comma, the remainig 90% of that post has nothing to do with the subject matter here.
 
Last edited:
Top