Public arguments make for a poor discussion. January 20, 2005 11:23 AM   Subscribe

Having a public argument among a few people limits the ability of everyone else to continue a discussion. If you need to have an intense back and forth, please consider moving your discussion to another forum. Please also consider limiting the number of comments you make in a thread so that others may have the chance to voice their opinions.
posted by spaghetti to Etiquette/Policy at 11:23 AM (25 comments total)

spaghetti - good suggestion. y2karl also had a good suggestion about limiting the number of comments per MeTa thread.
posted by mlis at 11:30 AM on January 20, 2005


Could you give an example or two of heated discussions that you find distasteful, and some reasons why you find them inappropriate?

I'm not trying to pick a fight here - I just want to understand your position.
posted by Dr. Wu at 11:31 AM on January 20, 2005


Me: The Alex Reynolds flamewar MeTa thread - Alex should have phrased what he said to dhoyt differently but people were savage to him. There was a blood lust in that thread that was sickening to see.
posted by mlis at 11:35 AM on January 20, 2005


There was a blood lust in that thread that was sickening to see.

Therefore we must resurrect it and talk endlessly about it at every opportunity!
posted by jonmc at 11:45 AM on January 20, 2005


The first request makes sense, the second doesn't.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:46 AM on January 20, 2005


I didn't know that making comments interfered with the ability others to do the same.
posted by trharlan at 11:47 AM on January 20, 2005


EB ref joncmc:

But still, there's "charmingly oafish" and "willfully boorish" and you don't seem to know the difference.

jonmc no one mentioned your name - is there something you feel guilty about?
posted by mlis at 12:01 PM on January 20, 2005


I'm actually with jonmc on this one. Yes, it was an ugly thread. But surely there are other examples of distracting personal arguements. That wasn't just an arguement between a few people, it was nearly a national disaster. Jon's got a point. Let's not turn this into another bash-the-drama-queenery, because that won't be productive and spaghetti has a good point about personal arguements.
posted by raedyn at 12:06 PM on January 20, 2005


Yeah, it was a horrible thread and I don't particularly associate it with jonmc, although it's true he participated heavily in it.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:08 PM on January 20, 2005


No, I was merely making the observation that people who claim to be disgusted by that thread seem to take an awful lot of pleasure in bringing it up.

As to the question, some of the intense one-on-ones (and I don't mean brawls) have been some of the best things I've seen on MeFi. Watching two smart articulate people go back and forth on something they feel passionate about is a pleasure in the same way watching two NBA All-Stars play 1 on 1 half court would be a pleasure.
posted by jonmc at 12:09 PM on January 20, 2005


I was under the impression spaghetti was talking about arguments in the blue.
posted by The God Complex at 12:27 PM on January 20, 2005


I have to agree that the good ones are the best reason to come to MeFi. The blue copyright post, which featured breath, bingo, and kyrademon going at it civilly and intelligently, was informative and entertaining. But perhaps that's not what you were talking about.
posted by goatdog at 12:28 PM on January 20, 2005


Watching two smart articulate people go back and forth on something they feel passionate about is a pleasure . . .

I'm with jonmc on this one. I actually learn a bit by watching some of these intense debates.
posted by Juicylicious at 12:52 PM on January 20, 2005


The extended discussions (as opposed to rancorous arguments) are some of the best parts about MetaFilter. Just because a couple of people are going at it doesn't mean you can not contribute to a different aspect of the thread. Some of the best threads have two or three discussions going simultaneously, wickedly difficult to follow at times but fun.
posted by caddis at 1:38 PM on January 20, 2005


I hereby present the new bar, set for MeFi discussions:


posted by mkultra at 1:46 PM on January 20, 2005


Therefore we must resurrect it and talk endlessly about it at every opportunity!

Well, for the record, you made 54 of 300 some comments there.
posted by y2karl at 1:55 PM on January 20, 2005


I submit that there's a difference between debating the subject of the post (ie: if copyright is a detriment to cultural development or an important protection to creators) vs. personal arguements which sometimes dominate threads (ie: "mr.X you always say dumb stuff" "mr.Y you are dumber yet. allow me to bring up every thread that we ever butted heads in" "you are a poopoo head" "you are a smelly poopoo head" "I fucked your mom")
posted by raedyn at 2:05 PM on January 20, 2005


I would like to retract the EB quote I posted. It was impulsive and unnecessary.

I do stand by the remark to johnmc. I did not single him out. I do not want to endlessly discuss the AR thread - but it was offensive to me and am I supposed to forget it ever happened?

I thought y2karl's suggestion was a good starting point for a discussion on the topic of comment limits. Something to consider.
posted by mlis at 3:05 PM on January 20, 2005


MLIS,

If a posts comments are offensive to you, don't read them. Problem solved.

How you ask? Scan the user names of the posts for those big bad posters that are oh so offensive and just skip right past.
posted by Jeremy at 3:42 PM on January 20, 2005


I agree in theory with spaghetti's original point, but in practice what may seem or even start out as merely a "personal argument" can quickly become more a discussion of issues directly relating to the site, and I think those are important. Also, I don't understand the notion that if two or three people are commenting, that two or ten more can't also comment—the structure of the site says otherwise.
posted by rushmc at 4:16 PM on January 20, 2005


consider limiting the number of comments you make in a thread so that others may have the chance to voice their opinions

Not to argue your basic point, but I don't understand this part. How does one person commenting prevent another from doing so?

If a posts comments are offensive to you, don't read them. Problem solved.

Heh. That would be nice, but quantum physics currently doesn't allow for you to find out whether a comment offends you without reading it.
posted by scarabic at 6:48 PM on January 20, 2005


I don't have a job that lets me read metafilter all day. I often only get one shot a day to peruse the links/comments. There have been several cases where I want to make a point that hasn't already been made, but I don't because the thread has already been turned into pissing match between a few users. Funny enough it is often the same users over and over. Who ever would'a guessed? Yes I could just ignore it but by the time a thread has been filled up with the online version of shouting really hard and hoping they drown everyone else out, I feel anything I'm going to add is just going to be lost, and shrug and move on. I knew I wasn't the only one, and I'm glad to see someone else ask for a little bit more calm.
posted by aspo at 8:12 PM on January 20, 2005


If you need to have an intense back and forth, please consider moving your discussion to another forum.

*considers*

No offense intended but why should I or anyone else? To appease your or someone elses comfort level? MF does a great job of handling the huge blowouts and hemmoraging comments. Sure, some of it is not all that appealing but most of its just damn funny and enlightening. Feelings are hurt, people say mean things they didn't mean to say and then we all kiss and make up (well 80% of us at least). I'd prefer to see that all played out in the blue.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:42 PM on January 20, 2005


aspo, and anyone else who feels lthat way please add your points to the discussion and ignore the pissing match because you might jsut be the one who puts the thread back on track. When pissing matches occur I look for any new (to the thread) users input and read their comments just to see if they have something back-on-topic to contribute. I would welcome any comments away from the pissing match, and I'm sure so would plenty of others.
posted by dabitch at 2:36 AM on January 21, 2005


scarabic,

I do it all the time. If after many comments I find a certain commentator unsavory I will scan usernames on posts and skip the comments by those who I have targeted with my MIND BULLETS!
posted by Jeremy at 8:17 AM on January 21, 2005


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