Designated Political Arena constructive criticism & suggestions for improvements thread

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I apologized to Craytab, and now I apologize to you, the mods, and everyone here. I will do my best to be civil and stay within the rules. If I don't live up to that, I hope that Spark or another mod will show me the door, but I will sincerely try to be respectful to everyone and work within the rules.
No worries. It happens.
 

rje58

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While we're cleaning things up:

Let's all agree to leave out words like right-wing extremist, lefty/leftist, sucking off his gun barrel, commie, Trump c-cksucker, fascist, capitalist pig, socialist, bitter clinger, gun-grabber, NRA goon and a number of even more perjorative terms by which some posters refer to other posters in the PA on the regular. On the other hand, if personal attacks are intended to be one of the regular features of PA, then please ignore this suggestion: it's all going just fine over there.
 

rje58

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Agreed! My post was uncalled for, and I should be held to account.

Ha! No offense taken my guy. Rather the opposite. I feel a little embarrassed for you. This is tech support and we are discussing a serious topic. I am asking a serious question to the people in charge. I even got an answer that I am very appreciate of hearing. No need for hyperbolic posts like yours in a serious discussion. You were given good advice to take it to the PA.
 

marchone

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I am grateful to Spark Spark for making the changes here. I like not having my moniker posted in the PA forum every time I post something there. It's already an improvement and know that more positive changes will come. This forum is a vital community. The ar15.com debacle was illuminating. These are trying times for the whole nation.
 

HJK

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I believe that 90+% of the problems in the PA could be eliminated if the mods there announced that henceforth they will ruthlessly and unbiasedly enforce a zero tolerance policy against discussing other people, instead of discussing issues. Saying that only a scruffy, brain-dead, nerf herder could believe or support x, y, or z is not a discussion of the issue: it is an ad hominem against those who disagree with you about x, y or z. No one should have to decide whether a remark about another poster is an unacceptable personal attack or something less. Just leave out ALL comments whatsoever about other posters or the nature of people who hold contrary views to your own, and confine posts to arguments about the issues themeselves. This would leave out words like lefty/leftist, commie, fascist, socialist, gun-grabber, and a number of even more perjorative terms by which some posters refer to other posters in the PA on the regular.
Well taken suggestion. Very very difficult to enforce but worth a better try
 

lieferung

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I also agree that personal attacking should be toned down and the aforementioned "names" be prohibited. It does not make for good discussion and is probably the source of all the malcontent there. Politics can become heated but passions should be directed at issues not other members. I realize it may be difficult and make more work for mods, but for the sake of this thread topic I will say improvement is not always easy. Maybe more mods should be added to ease the load, or maybe any regular trouble makers should be dealt with.
 
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HJK

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While we're cleaning things up:

Let's all agree to leave out words like right-wing extremist, lefty/leftist, sucking off his gun barrel, commie, Trump c-cksucker, fascist, capitalist pig, socialist, bitter clinger, gun-grabber, NRA goon and a number of even more perjorative terms by which some posters refer to other posters in the PA on the regular. On the other hand, if personal attacks are intended to be one of the regular features of PA, then please ignore this suggestion: it's all going just fine over there.
Well that is generally an excellent idea provided something is used as an insult and not a description. Some people in fact are proud leftists and socialists, quite a few are right wing and a little extreme in those views ( are there no poorhouses!?) and some attitudes are in fact fascist. In accord with what Virgie said, the basic principle should be not to talk about other members at all and if it is used as a description and not an insult one should be able to characterize the views in question as right wing or left wing or fascist, when in fact a credible argument can be made to that effect. Otherwise it isn't a viable political discussion. Sometimes it's a very close call.
But no question these terms are too often used as an insult against members. That has been raised in the forum recently and we've been trying to cut it out. Infractions may be necessary
 

rje58

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I think we are all seeing positives coming from discussion of this issue, and hopefully we can get to a better place.

Your post brought up a question that I think needs to be discussed and resolved in order to really prevent further protests against Bladeforums and PA:

Everyone seems to agree that it's a bad idea to direct heated comments and remarks at other members. We have a consensus there.

But it's hard to discuss politics without discussing politicians and public figures. Perhaps impossible! So in order to prevent a repeat next week or next month of these same protests, how is the forum going to handle comments directed at politicians, public officials and public figures?

for example:

"Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are homophobic SOBs who deserve to be shot!"

"Joe Biden is a liar and a jerk and if he didn't wake up tomorrow, I wouldn't lose sleep over it myself."

"Thomas Jefferson was a bloodthirsty imperialist and rapist and animal abuser and even his own mother didn't like him!"

"Obama is...."

You get the idea.

I also agree that personal attacking should be toned down and the aforementioned "names" be prohibited. It does not make for good discussion and is probably the source of all the malcontent there. Politics can become heated but passions should be directed at issues not other members.
 

Pàdruig

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Well taken suggestion. Very very difficult to enforce but worth a better try

I do not envy you or Codger - you already had a difficult job, now it's become even more so. I do wonder, should these guidelines create the civility that is being asked for, would it create a more welcome atmosphere and might it not invite more balanced discourse? I suppose time will tell. Regardless, a thick skin is always going to be required, one cannot expect that everyone is going to be a smooth and charismatic communicator nor should one expect that their positions won't get challenged.
 

lieferung

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I think we are all seeing positives coming from discussion of this issue, and hopefully we can get to a better place.

Your post brought up a question that I think needs to be discussed and resolved in order to really prevent further protests against Bladeforums and PA:

Everyone seems to agree that it's a bad idea to direct heated comments and remarks at other members. We have a consensus there.

But it's hard to discuss politics without discussing politicians and public figures. Perhaps impossible! So in order to prevent a repeat next week or next month of these same protests, how is the forum going to handle comments directed at politicians, public officials and public figures?

for example:

"Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are homophobic SOBs who deserve to be shot!"

"Joe Biden is a liar and a jerk and if he didn't wake up tomorrow, I wouldn't lose sleep over it myself."

"Thomas Jefferson was a bloodthirsty imperialist and rapist and animal abuser and even his own mother didn't like him!"

"Obama is...."

You get the idea.
They have a thread going on over there discussing a politician and it's basically all what you said. The gist from the mod response was that politicians are fair game. I think anyone should be fair game for fair criticism, but most of it is straight up insults. Maybe defending a viewpoint with rational discourse should be strongly encouraged.
 

KingMC

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I think we are all seeing positives coming from discussion of this issue, and hopefully we can get to a better place.

Your post brought up a question that I think needs to be discussed and resolved in order to really prevent further protests against Bladeforums and PA:

Everyone seems to agree that it's a bad idea to direct heated comments and remarks at other members. We have a consensus there.

But it's hard to discuss politics without discussing politicians and public figures. Perhaps impossible! So in order to prevent a repeat next week or next month of these same protests, how is the forum going to handle comments directed at politicians, public officials and public figures?

for example:

"Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are homophobic SOBs who deserve to be shot!"

"Joe Biden is a liar and a jerk and if he didn't wake up tomorrow, I wouldn't lose sleep over it myself."

"Thomas Jefferson was a bloodthirsty imperialist and rapist and animal abuser and even his own mother didn't like him!"

"Obama is...."

You get the idea.

This topic is addressed in the PA "read before posting" rules thread:

With that in mind, some of the things that the Political Forum shouldn't be are

...

4. a place to launch Ad Hominium attacks. Make your point and support it. To name a particular politician or policy over and over again in a prejoriative way is False Redunancy, it merely accomplish slander, not informing the the Forum.
5. Photoshopped pictures should be kept to a reasonable minimum. Yes a picture of the politician dejour who is on your nerves is funny, it can be assuaging, but please refrain from making every post a display of one's photoshop ability. Over time, they waste time and bandwith.
 

Pàdruig

Live and Let Die
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I think we are all seeing positives coming from discussion of this issue, and hopefully we can get to a better place.

Your post brought up a question that I think needs to be discussed and resolved in order to really prevent further protests against Bladeforums and PA:

Everyone seems to agree that it's a bad idea to direct heated comments and remarks at other members. We have a consensus there.

But it's hard to discuss politics without discussing politicians and public figures. Perhaps impossible! So in order to prevent a repeat next week or next month of these same protests, how is the forum going to handle comments directed at politicians, public officials and public figures?

for example:

"Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are homophobic SOBs who deserve to be shot!"

"Joe Biden is a liar and a jerk and if he didn't wake up tomorrow, I wouldn't lose sleep over it myself."

"Thomas Jefferson was a bloodthirsty imperialist and rapist and animal abuser and even his own mother didn't like him!"

"Obama is...."

You get the idea.

You raise a good point. One one hand, I think public figures are fair game (we've been mocking our political leaders for centuries) - on the other, for the sake of maintaining some form of civility, calling our President names doesn't necessarily further an objective discussion.
 

rje58

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I agree! I think the mods in PA and Bladeforums all do a great job! and I appreciate that Bladeforums is what it is because of the work they do and because of Spark.

I hope no one will take offense if I note that even avatars - some that say things as innocuous as "Live and Let Die", are offensive to some. The old saying "you can't please everyone" is certainly true, and that makes for a lot of headaches for Spark and the mods in every forum!

I do not envy you or Codger - you already had a difficult job, now it's become even more so. I do wonder, should these guidelines create the civility that is being asked for, would it create a more welcome atmosphere and might it not invite more balanced discourse? I suppose time will tell. Regardless, a thick skin is always going to be required, one cannot expect that everyone is going to be a smooth and charismatic communicator nor should one expect that their positions won't get challenged.
 

rje58

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Understood, but it still seems rather vague. How many times is "... over and over again ..." ? and does that means it fine to do it as long as you only do it "three or four" times? In a day? a week? a month?

There's no need to pursue this further, unless there is a consensus to do so, but I think it once again points out how difficult the mods jobs are, and how subjective "acceptable" and "unacceptable" are, and how cases can be made either way in so many instances.

This topic is addressed in the PA "read before posting" rules thread:
 

HJK

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You raise a good point. One one hand, I think public figures are fair game (we've been mocking our political leaders for centuries) - on the other, for the sake of maintaining some form of civility, calling our President names doesn't necessarily further an objective discussion.
Tell that to WaPo and CNN and MSNBC et al.
It's difficult to isolate BFF from all that and one of the reasons for the rudeness on the right is the rudeness out there in the real world and the frustration that seeks an outlet denied to them pretty much everywhere else.
I'm not justifying it, I'm trying to understand it and explain it, which you will hear me do often with positions I don't agree with of all kinds.

It's an uphill battle but we can do it. I think.
 

000Robert

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I was talked to worse in W&C than I ever have been in PA. But words don't really bother me much. I support Free Speech. Speech that is censored is not 'Free'. But it's Spark's call and I will abide by the rules, or just never go back there anymore.
 

Pàdruig

Live and Let Die
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Understood, but it still seems rather vague. How many times is "... over and over again ..." ? and does that means it fine to do it as long as you only do it "three or four" times? In a day? a week? a month?

There's no need to pursue this further, unless there is a consensus to do so, but I think it once again points out how difficult the mods jobs are, and how subjective "acceptable" and "unacceptable" are, and how cases can be made either way in so many instances.

I am not a mod, nor can I speak for one, but I do think they have discretionary powers. I agree that subjective interpretations make things difficult from a moderation standpoint but personally, I can read enough of a member's content to get a good idea of one's intent and meaning behind their posts. From there, it isn't too difficult to determine whether one is attempting to push a boundary or not.
 

jlauffer

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I was talked to worse in W&C than I ever have been in PA. But words don't really bother me much. I support Free Speech. Speech that is censored is not 'Free'. But it's Spark's call and I will abide by the rules, or just never go back there anymore.

But that's what W&C is for, and some elevate it to an artform. It's the only place on BF where it's officially allowed, and some take full advantage.:D
 

Pàdruig

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Tell that to WaPo and CNN and MSNBC et al.
It's difficult to isolate BFF from all that and one of the reasons for the rudeness on the right is the rudeness out there in the real world and the frustration that seeks an outlet denied to them pretty much everywhere else.
I'm not justifying it, I'm trying to understand it and explain it, which you will hear me do often with positions I don't agree with of all kinds.

It's an uphill battle but we can do it. I think.

I understand that. I certainly wouldn't advocate for people to refrain from insulting our leaders - it's a time-honored tradition, in my opinion. For some reason though, we get real attached to our leaders and are quick to take offense when they get insulted - things just devolve from there.
 
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