Open Discussion on SC

Discussion in 'Feedback' started by 4xdblack, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. 4xdblack

    4xdblack Accomplished Booty-Cop
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    I'm gonna be honest here. So please don't discard this post as trolling.

    After Shi's post, the strawmanning incident, and several other comments made by the staff.. What I'm really getting from all this is that the current administration of the forums is encouraging the censoring of open discussion. Whether they realize it or not.

    Call me biased or whatever, but if I were you, I would sincerely reflect on a solution before you start turning away members due to the excessive restrictions on what can and can not be said.

    It is necessary to have order when it comes to politically charged topics like we have on SC.. But in order to keep that order, there has to be a certain amount of objectivity. Which as far as I can tell, none of the admin staff could be considered objective. In fact, quite the opposite. The staff is actively involved in these discussions, which is okay, we should encourage open discussion, not discourage or censor it. But it's literally impossible to stay objective, especially when it involves rules and regulations, when you yourself are actively involved in the discussion.

    I fear for the health of the forums at this point. So If I may suggest... Either remove the current events section entirely, or find someone who can stay objective about what goes on in those threads. At this point it's not about fighting censorship, but rather the inevitable repercussions that will come from it. (I.e. turning away members.)

    So I implore you, please reconsider some of your policies, and the possible solutions to maintain order within the current events section without censoring open discussion.

    That is all. Thank you for your time.
     
  2. Harlequinn

    Harlequinn Edgy Teenager
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    I'm not a Current Events frequenter, but from what I've seen I have to agree that there does seem to be pretty tight restriction on the content of replies. I do think organization is important, and tangents can indeed be unproductive and distracting, but at the same time I don't think having the discussion move in different directions is necessarily a bad thing (but from what I've seen it's being treated as such).

    I think some changes would be good, and while I don't have any good suggestions at the moment, I will say that I don't think closing the current events section altogether is a good move. In the context of censorship, I believe shutting it down would be the highest example.
     
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  3. Mr. Mister

    Mr. Mister Is Breaking Down

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    I simply try to not discuss politics here. Simple observations of how the conversations go here and I knew I didn't want to dive into that one bit. It goes south incredibly fast. I may read posts, but I rarely, if ever, get involved in the discussion myself.
     
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  4. Shannon Apple

    Shannon Apple Sour Apple
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    4xD you actually admitted to making stuff up to get one over on your "opponent." Not trying to be argumentative here, but when one actually admits to doing that, the staffs point is made.

    This isn't reddit, and we don't intend to let it get like that. There's nothing wrong with having different opinions. It's how people behave in that section that we have a problem with.

    Strawmanning is not allowed. Its killing decent debate. Some people don't realise they are doing it and when called out, they stop. Others are fully aware. There are even websites that teach people how to strawman, but people like us who have been moderators for over a decade can spot it a mile off. In this case, it's trolling, pure snd simple.

    Respect. That's what's important here. If a person can't respect that this forum has a multitude of nationalities and races here, then they will get in trouble. Discrimination of any kind isn't going to go down well. Thing is, free speech applies to American laws, but this forum isn't a country, therefore, one can have very toxic opinions, but we don't have to listen to them, or host them while they do it. A very small number of people got told off for accelerated bs. I mean very small. And it wasn't a one sided thing. Not sure why you think it's only a few people on the right that were told to stop.

    People have left BECAUSE we weren't modding CE, and sent feedback to that effect, so we're most definitely not driving members away. We put the foot down for the greater good of this site. I'm willing to let people decide what happens to CE, but we are not going back to just letting people say whatever toxic stuff they like. Debates don't have to be toxic, one can be mindful of how they go about it.

    (Excuse any typos, typing on silly phone)
     
    #4 Shannon Apple, Feb 7, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
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  5. Kuze

    Kuze Heaven's not enough
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    I suppose it all comes down to how users carry themselves in these sorts of threads and more importantly the words you use and the tone in which you try to get your point across. Trying to win a debate instead of trying to create some kind of understanding does result in unpleasantries and a dip in quality discussions. Plus, sticking to the facts and not attacking/mocking/condescending/concentrating on opinion-driven dialogues would help one's cause for staying objective.
     
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  6. Shannon Apple

    Shannon Apple Sour Apple
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    Actually going back to this since I was on my phone earlier and I was re-editing tons of typos, I'll add something.

    Here's an example that I want to share with you guys:
    During the initial presidential campaign, I certainly wasn't a fan of Donald Trump and his running mouth. During that time, a few people in my Facebook friend's list started voicing opinions on both sides. That was all very good. Then I noticed that over a couple of days that my feed was filling with stuff like "women were made by God for men, I don't see why they think they should be equal to men. They're job should be rearing children and making sure they clean house and have food on the table." That was only one example of the toxic posts by this person who was on a super posting spree of misogynist and "coloured people" posts. I didn't even respond to that. I removed him from my "friends." He can rant all he wants, but I didn't have to listen to him. Another one got removed several weeks later for similar posts and for fighting with my personal friends. That's not okay.

    BUT... on the opposite side of this, a Canadian friend of mine was writing some posts that were anti-Trump in nature, but certainly not toxic. Some people in the Trump camp were debating on his posts. It was all very civil and none of those Trump supporters had toxic opinions. Anyway, I got into it with one friend of his who is an American and big-time Trump supporter. He was good natured about the whole thing, and had a sense of humour. His daughter who was a liberal was involved in it too. "Ganging up on Dad" but again, it was just a bit of fun, and no one prevented him from speaking. He actually sent me a friend request, and I accepted because I enjoyed discussing this stuff with him in a civilized manner. Debates with this guy are fun.


    Therefore, IT IS possible for two people to be on two different sides of that political argument, while at the same time holding your dignity and not stooping down to certain levels of NOPE. Not all Trump supporters are bigotted clowns. I don't believe that all of SC's Trump supporters are bigots either, but if someone does think it's okay to spew some opinion that is on that line, we don't have to give them a platform, since free speech doesn't apply here. That is against our rules since we're an international forum with people from all walks of life. I also don't believe that all liberals are extremist SJWs who want to crawl all over whatever opinions the right might have. There are more levels than simply right vs left. The staff aren't out to silence one political side, we're just making it clear that certain types of behaviour is not acceptable.
     
  7. Dunn x Dolo

    Dunn x Dolo King of the Chatroom
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    To be perfectly honest and of course @Shannon Apple will totally agree with me on this one, I troll all serious threads. :p

    On a serious note though, I do see a lot of the serious political threads basically turning into strawman arguments, butt hurt opinions, and people getting slandered for bringing up bad shit about Trump. I do not think it is the admins trying to censor you guys, but honestly read the threads and see where they point out the faults and I think they were mostly right on what they pointed out. Keyword "Mostly," meaning I don't agree 100% with some of the things they remove/delete but they are pretty good with what they do remove.

    If you guys could have decent debates without it turning butthurt feelings getting involved then you wouldn't be having these issues. The solution starts with you. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but when you start acting like your opinion is "fact," then that's when it turns messy.

    Also off Topic, was I the only one who thought it was epic how @Shi came into the trump thread and laid down the law? :D
     
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  8. Novaire

    Novaire Serial Editor
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    Honestly, I avoid posting in CE like the plague, because fundamentally, I don't want to get into it with people. I am, however, irredeemably curious, and I check pretty much every post that happens in there.

    The thing about debating is that people just get further entrenched in the opinion they had before, and will do whatever is necessary to ensure that said opinion is validated, regardless of how they achieve that feeling. That includes derailment, straw manning and the like. Civil debate is often something of a fallacy, as some people are unable to separate themselves from their beliefs, and feel that if someone challenges those deeply held values, that they themselves are being insulted.

    The vast majority of the time, I have to err on the side of the staff for post removal, as some of the things said in these posts by certain individuals are abhorrent, and well deserving of such. Other times, they stray from the original idea and are policed, as is written in the forum regulations. Seriously, it's turned as sour as the final debates between Buckley and Vidal in some of those threads.
     
    #8 Novaire, Feb 7, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
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  9. Shi

    Shi The Aspirer
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    @Dunn x Dolo pretty much hit the nail on the head. As for me laying down the law, well, the beast was awoken. Not sure what else to say. :)

    A genuine problem with the populace here on Sakuga City when it comes to those political threads is empathy. Trust me when I say this, but show a little empathy and you'll start having constructive discussions without anyone having to moderate. I can list out a handful of people who simply show up to these threads simply to "post" an opinion without "participating". It's very easy to pull up an argument from Google and repurpose it as your own, which in turn, creates an echo chamber. It's not interesting nor is it conducive to a positive discussion and more so than not, it makes you look like a tool.

    Honestly, if I have to go into a thread, delete a bunch of garbage, frame the discussion and then put rails on it, I'm going to do it. If you don't want me to do that, then show some empathy for other members and discuss things in a manner where I wouldn't have to do that.

    Really, it's that simple.
     
  10. Scruffie

    Scruffie Pro Tarantula Bro-Fister
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    I agree with the part about empathy but honestly I am not surprised people often don't stick around to have a back and forth. There is a difference between arguing your side and defending it, and the majority of the time those posts turn into the later.

    No one's opinion is going to be changed by a post on an anime forum. But when people can open their minds just a little and at least try to understand things from both perspectives, (which can be hard, especially on the big topics like abortion and gun control that always seem to come up and people usually only seem to think their side is valid) is when you start seeing that things aren't black and white, there's a whole grey area in the middle. No one expects someone else to change their opinion. But if you expect your opinion to be heard and respected, you have to do the same in return. And I'll bet at least a couple of the people this is directed at don't realise it and are thinking "yeah, they really do that!"

    Rather than piece by piece, quoting and tearing apart and trying to (because most people who do it aren't as good at it as they think they are) ripping someone else's argument to shreds, try and understand why they are coming from where they are. Ask questons or just freaking let it go every now and then.

    It's ridiculous how often seeing the same handful of names in a thread makes me just go "you know what? Fuck it," and just not want to post there bevade even though the issues are serious and warrant discussion, it's like watching children fight over a toy.
     
  11. Oh Snape

    Oh Snape House Bantsratheon
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    Yeah current events was a lot better when I posted in it.
     
  12. Harlequinn

    Harlequinn Edgy Teenager
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    Yeah a lot of the time CE just feels like a toxic circlejerk.
     
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  13. 4xdblack

    4xdblack Accomplished Booty-Cop
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    I think literally every single one of you has completely missed the point of this thread... Except for maybe Harley... If this was a CE topic, all of your posts would be deleted by Shi right now... Which is where my problem begins...

    Let me reiterate what I was trying to say in the original post.

    Yes. The CE can get toxic at times. I know because I have been directly involved in it for a while. And it is necessary to maintain order so that it doesn't turn into an unholy shitstorm that it can so easily be. That's a given.

    The point of this thread is that the rules and regulations that are supposedly meant to prevent such a shitstorm from happening are beginning to overreach and instead of ending toxic conversations, it's starting to end conversations entirely.

    When you set out specific guidelines on what you can post about, then what's the point of even having a thread? There is no open discussion when the conversation is decided for you by the staff.

    You say we can stay off topic as long as it isn't biased or spinning the truth. According to who? By whose righteousness are you going by? Are you sure you can be objective? Because every single admin on this forum is actively involved in the CE section.

    Open discussion means that the topic can flow from one thing to another, that doesn't mean a total derail, but it means that the conversation progresses. It grows into new and interesting and engaging topics which aren't always unrelated to the original one. This type of flow isn't a bad thing. It's how all conversations should happen. It's how you increase activity.

    But that's not what's happening right now. You start by banning strawmanning. Okay, that's fine.. Are there more people crying strawmans when there isn't one? Yes. But like you said, strawmanning doesn't allow for a civilized conversation or debate. But now you're regulating what can be spoken about on a specific thread. That's quite literally the censoring of open discussion. I understand that this forum is not a country and it's your right as admins to regulate what is said on the forums. But you're beginning to go past the censoring of free speech when you regulate and control that speech entirely.

    I'm not saying that you are already there, but you are getting very close to it. and I fear that if you continue down this path, the CE section will turn into nothing but an authoritarian rule. And I'd rather the CE section be removed entirely before that happens.

    I don't want it removed. But if you can't find an appropriate way to objectively maintain balance within that section , I would rather it be removed until you can.

    Not really.. That's what made me begin to fear for the CE section to begin with. It didn't sound like laying down the law. It sounded more like the start of an authoritarian rule that would be just as poisonous for the CE section.


    I know I sound over emotional or like a conspiracy theorist.. But I am literally invested in these forums, and I don't want to see them go down the path that we're starting to go down.
     
    #13 4xdblack, Feb 7, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  14. Interest1ng

    Interest1ng SC's AmbASSador.... MAWP!!!

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    I think you miss the point that everyone is trying to convey. Which is that if you (including all others not actively projecting their opinion in this thread) could learn to be civil with one another it wouldn't have gotten to this point. I mean 90% of the stuff that is spoken about ticks off the other side.

    Yes you can debate, yes you have freedom of speech, but at the end of the day why are you wasting your time just to get a rise out of someone? Is that the point of doing it? Are you literally just wasting your time to watch someone flip a switch or be pushed to the edge of defensive posting?

    Learn to appropriately debate rather than flame posting each other. And belittling someone else's view just because it does not fall in line with whatever it is that you believe. Treat every with an equal right to debate a topic than feeling that you are the superior intellect in the debate and everyone is ultimately wrong.
     
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  15. Shannon Apple

    Shannon Apple Sour Apple
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    No one can cry "strawman" when there isn't one. We're perfectly capable of identifying a strawman on our own without anyone reporting it. We can read. If someone falsely reported one we'd just review the thread and say "actually, you did say exactly that" or "indeed this guy has created a strawman" and deal with it appropriately. We've been known to ban people from the previous iteration of this community for their ability to destroy every topic they ever got involved in using this method without remorse, or any attempt to improve.

    I don't believe that any of us missed the point at all. So far, most people who responded to this thread disagree with you, and are happy that we are FINALLY doing something about the CE section. I will admit that we were slack, and over the past week or two, we have been discussing this issue at length. If people are unwilling to change their ways and respect other users, then we're not beyond actually removing people from that section, rather than depriving the entire userbase of the ability to discuss current events. However, if the majority of the users wanted it closed, we'd consider it too.

    As we have already pointed out, since this is a forum, it doesn't need to be a platform of free speech in that people can spew whatever they want. Actually, @wastaz posted this from xkcd recently and it is exactly how we feel about all of this:
    [​IMG]

    No one is debating that people shouldn't be allowed to voice different opinions, so long as they fall within the rules of common decency. What people don't have the right to do is make things up as they go along to "win" an argument. These threads aren't about winning. The aim should be to get someone to see your point of view and understand why you have that point of view. The goal isn't to change people's minds, only open them a little and help them understand your position. No one is actually going to listen to you, or think you have valid points when you aggressively push things in a certain direction, or attack a twisted version of a valid point.

    Honestly, if within a thread, a completely off-topic issue comes up that you want to discuss and you know that it's straying completely from the original discussion, guess what? You create a new thread for that particular issue. No one is saying that you can't branch out a discussion, but each thread should have it's own main topic.
     
  16. 4xdblack

    4xdblack Accomplished Booty-Cop
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    And I completely agree. But that doesn't negate the fact that the current approach is not an appropriate one.

    People are being asshats on the CE section. So what do you do? Do you regulate what people can or can't say, and what topics they can or can't talk about? That goes beyond the lack of free speech, that a direct path into the censorship of speech entirely. Which as I see it, that is just as toxic for the CE section as a bunch of shitheads flaming each other.

    That is not the right way to go about maintaining balance. In fact it is the exact opposite. So we need to find a solution before it gets worse. Whether that be removing the CE section, or finding a new way to prevent flame wars.
     
  17. Interest1ng

    Interest1ng SC's AmbASSador.... MAWP!!!

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    You have to mitigate the issue. And if the only way to do it by force cause you all wouldn't listen when they tried to tell you in plain text. Probably times new roman or whatever the font style on the forum is. The point being is they gave you multiple opportunities to calm down. And you can't say that they didn't because you can look at all the long drawn out posts before the shit storms started flying in both directions.

    Most uproars on here are caused by miscommunication and people with piss poor reading skills. You all can type out long winded words to belittle, but can't read the small words that explain to settle it down. You (sorry no one else is here but you) just keep going with your flame battle cause you believe that your pride has been struck by someone on either the opposite side of the table or hell the opposite side of the globe.

    When did anyone's opinion on here matter? Does it adversely effect you if someone thinks Trump is a God or an Asshat? Does it really effect if someone is a true believe or totally against his policies and executive orders?

    What it all boils down to is how prideful someone is about something and the constant wanting to win like someone is going to give you a participation trophy when you finished typing your post.

    Also on the point of toxicity of the CE section. Flaming is more toxic than censorship. I mean the admin/mod team could deliberate tonight and Shi could submit an EO that KT would sign off on that would remove the lenient rules on swearing. We would go back to (whoopee cushion sounds) and silly words to replace others.

    You keep saying we need to find a solution instead of saying you will be the solution. Don't add to the issue and figure out a better way to attack the problem.
     
  18. StrawHats

    StrawHats Stuck in a chair
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    It was a guideline to stay *on-topic* and to discourage posts that didn't make any healthy contribution to the conversation/debate. No one was dictating what one can or cannot say; it was a reminder of what the thread was about and anything that didn't belong would be removed. Also, most--if not all--posts that were deleted included content that violated forum regulations.
     
  19. Shi

    Shi The Aspirer
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    @4xdblack
    "Framing" a discussion is not the same thing as "censoring" a discussion.
     
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  20. 4xdblack

    4xdblack Accomplished Booty-Cop
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    No.. But it's only a few steps away... And personally I consider "framing" under the threat of penalty much worse.
     

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