Feeling safe posting on MetaFilter. Courtesy, disagreement, "welcoming" environments and related topics.
This came up in the Australian Racism MetaTalk thread, but I feel it could do with pulling into it's own thread because that one took a stranger turn.
We know MeFi is not always arms-wide welcoming to opposing viewpoints. It's pretty established, for instance, that conservatives in a politics thread won't have an easy time of it. But I'm worried that this is giving others a bad impression of MeFi - that it is not welcoming or safe if you disagree with the hive mind in any way - that you will be snarked at, insulted and then branded a troll if you disagree with the group consensus on anything.
I suspect that almost all of us would say that we don't want MeFi to be a homogeneous site, that differing opinions are part of what makes for good discussion.
Question: Is this something we as a community want to change? Is it something we should want to change? How welcoming should we even want to be? Is there anything we can or should do to reduce the take-away impression that MeFi is not welcoming?