I am concerned that it seems posts are being made that, deliberately or accidentally, are serving to act as proxy wars for fights that people have wanted to have in other places, but were prevented from by moderation. It is most visible in this thread
, and currently the gun debate, but I feel has occurred other times as well. I would like to suggest that the bar for potential proxy war subjects be raised, particularly when emotions are high.
posted by corb to Etiquette/Policy at 12:51 PM (398 comments total)
In the recent thread about the Navy Yard shooting, cortex
posted: Would be brilliant not to have folks descend into rote recital of various gun- and violence-related arguments and meta-arguments in here
, which seemed to stop a lot of those that usually happen right after some flashpoint. However, a day later, the post about the Starbucks CEO popped up, and it seemed to act as a proxy war - everyone who had arguments about the Navy Yard shooting just headed in there. The Navy Yard shooting and mass shootings in general were mentioned here
, for example.
Of the thread itself, just a quarter of the way down the page, I count 35 comments as having absolutely nothing to do with the actual subject of the FPP, but more about personal feelings about guns or people with guns - many of them disparaging. It feels as though people entered the thread less to talk about the subject, and more to talk about how they feel about gun people, particularly since they couldn't talk about it in the other thread.
I think this overall does not contribute to a better community - it encourages people to sling insults -or barely veiled insults - at fellow mefites at a time when tempers are raw, and it seems a way of kind of winking at the request not to have a repeat of the same wars we've always had.
I have certainly been a part of those wars, and I find them exhausting. I was really happy not to see much of them in the Navy Yard thread, and I think it markedly improved the conversation and kept upset feelings to a minimum. But I think having a proxy war thread removes all of that good intention, creating hot-button arguments doomed to rile people's feelings and get them into a good old-fashioned free-for-all, which seems like the purpose.