25 votes

Addressing topic areas that chronically engender "low quality" discussion

It is pretty clear there are certain subject areas where the discussion simply never goes well here. This isn't a Tildes thing really. Frankly these topics rarely go well anywhere online but, as we have aspirations 'round these parts of being more sophisticated than the Reddit rabble, I think it's worth digging into.

Overall Tildes is a fairly low-activity site, but if I ever see a topic that even tangentially touches on "identarian" issues get past double-digit comments, there will almost surely be an acrimonious exchange inside. I don't want to pretend I'm above this, I've been sucked into these back-and-forths myself as, I think, has almost every regular poster at one time or another. I've largely disengaged from participating in these at this point and mostly just watch from the sidelines now.

Unlike most of the common complaints with Tildes, I don't think this one will get better as the site grows and diversifies. If anything, I think it's going to end up creating norms and a culture that will bleed over into other controversial topics from tabs/spaces to iOS/Android. To keep that from happening, the community will need to form a consensus on what "high quality discussion" means and what we hope to get out of having conversations on these issues here.
To start, when I say "doesn't go well" I'm thinking of indicators where some combination of the following happen:

  1. None of the participants learn anything new about the subject, themselves, or another viewpoint
  2. Preponderance of "Malice" and "Noise" tags
  3. Heated back-and-forth exchanges (related to the above)
  4. Frequent accusations (and evidence) of speaking in bad-faith or mischaracterization of peoples' statements

These threads end in people being angry or frustrated with each other, and it's become pretty clear that members of the community have begun to form cliques and rivalries based on these battle lines. It also seems like the stridency and tone are making people leave out of frustration, either deleting their accounts or just logging off for extended stretches of time, which is also an outcome we don't want. So let's go into what we can do to both change ourselves and how others engage with us so people feel like they're being heard without everything breaking down into arguments.

The "Whys" of this are varied and I'm sure I don't see the whole picture. Obviously people come into any community bringing different background experiences and with different things they're hoping to get out of it. But in my view the root cause comes down to approaching discussions as a win/lose battle rather than a shared opportunity to learn about a subject or perspective. From observing many of these discussions without engaging, there are evident patterns in how they develop. The main thrust seems to be that criticism and pushback pretty quickly evolve from specific and constructive (e.g. "This [statement or behavior] is problematic because [reason]") to general and defamatory (e.g. "[Person] is [bad thing], as evidenced by them doing/making [action/statement]").

This approach very quickly turns a conversation between two people into a symbolic battle about making Tildes/the world safe for [community], defending the wrongfully accused, striking a blow against censorship, or some other broad principle that the actual discussion participants may or may not actually be invested in. Once this happens the participants are no longer trying to listen or learn from each other, they're trying to mine their posts for things they can pick through to make them look bad or invalidate their participation. This has the effect of obliterating nuance and polarizing the participants. Discussions quickly devolve from people speaking candidly to people accusing each other of mischaracterizing what they've said. This makes people defensive, frustrated, and creates a feedback loop of negativity.

The win/lose battle approach permeates political discussion on Tildes (and elsewhere), which is a separate issue, but it gets especially problematic in these threads since the subject matter is intensely personal for many people. As a result, it's important to take care that pushback on specific positions should always endeavor to make people feel heard and accepted despite disagreement. On the flip side, there needs to be a principle of charity in place where one accepts that "no offense/harm intended" actually means no offense intended without dissecting the particulars of word-choice to uncover secret agendas. If a charitable interpretation is available, it isn't constructive to insist or default to the uncharitable one. It may not feel fair if you know that the more negative interpretation is correct, but it is literally impossible to have productive discussion any other way. If you can't imagine that a well informed, intelligent, and decent person might hold a certain view then the only conclusion you can draw is that they're either ignorant, stupid, or evil and every response you make to them is going to sound like you think this of them. That's not a position where minds are going to be changed from. English isn't necessarily a first language for everyone here and, even if it is, not everyone keeps up to date on the fast moving world of shifting norms and connotations in social media. What's more, not all cultures and places approach these issues with the same assumptions and biases you're familiar with.

Now I don't actually believe in appealing to peoples' sense of virtue to keep things going constructively in situations like this. Without very active moderation to reinforce it, it just never works and can't scale. So I think operationalizing these norms is going to take some kind of work. Right now we freeze out comments when they have a lot of back-and-forth, which I think is good. But maybe we should make it a bit more humanistic. What if we rate limited with a note to say "Hey this discussion seems to be pretty heated. Maybe reflect on your state of mind for a second and take a breather if you're upset."

Or, in long threads with lots of my bad indicators, the submit button can send to the post preview rather than immediately posting. It could then flash a banner to be a quick reminder of the ground rules (e.g. Try to assume good faith, Remember the Human, Listen to understand rather than respond, Careful with the snark, It's not about winning/losing, etc.) This would introduce just a touch of friction to the posting process, hopefully just enough to make people think "Maybe I could phrase that better" or "You know, this isn't worth my time" and disengage (Obligatory relevant XKCD)

Alternatively, maybe it is the case that this is honestly just intractable without some sort of third-party mediation mechanic and we freeze out comments under such topics entirely. Like I said before, I worry the frequency with which these discussions turn dispiriting has a chance of acculturating new users or signaling to prospective users that this is an expected way for this community to engage.

This is a long post, and I hope it does not itself turn into another case study in the issues I'm trying to raise. I want to open the floor to anyone who has other ideas about causes and solutions. I also ask that we try to keep any critiques to specific actions and behaviors without trying to put blame on any groups of people. We all contribute to the vibe one way or another so we can all stand to try a little harder on this front.

62 comments

  1. [9]
    kfwyre
    Link
    I don't know that I'm a great person to speak on this, as I have no doubt that my lengthy responses on things, especially when received as direct replies rather than top-level comments, tend to...
    • Exemplary

    I don't know that I'm a great person to speak on this, as I have no doubt that my lengthy responses on things, especially when received as direct replies rather than top-level comments, tend to come across more as a frying pan to the face rather than the thoughtful, constructive contributions I hope for them to be. Nevertheless, here's my take:

    With any comment, on any topic, there is a huge, non-neutral possibility space surrounding it. I think reducing that possibility space almost always benefits discussion, and the best way to do that is through longer comments. Or, stated differently: the shorter a comment is, the easier it is to project unintended meanings onto it.

    This does not mean that longer comments are necessarily better -- certainly not. It simply means that the likelihood of being understood for what you mean to say rather than what people assume you to mean increases as you put more words to your ideas. Greater depth of discourse removes uncertainty.

    This creates a new problem (one which people have no doubt faced when reading my regular walls of text): long responses are hard to respond to. Where do you start? What do you say?

    A method that a lot of people default to is the sort of quote/rebuttal rhythm, where they take a section of text, respond to it, and then move on to the next. I know some people find this valuable, and I don't want to take this away from them, but I consider this the text equivalent of a "reaction video". I don't really feel like it's "discussion" in as much as it is having one's say.

    Instead, I look at discussion, especially about difficult topics, as more akin to letter-writing. It's not about responding to every single point in their comment, but instead about keeping the larger issues in sight and covering the ground I feel necessary in my response. I think of it less as "what did they say?" and more "given what they've said, what do I want them to hear?". In a lot of my responses, I pretend like I'm drafting something I could seal up and send away in the mail if I had to. I try to personalize my responses and acknowledge the person I'm speaking to, as well as their points, even if I disagree with them. I try not to get hung up on the little things and instead frame the conversation around our larger common focus. Even if we fundamentally disagree on nearly everything, we're at least looking at the same thing. Do they have anything valuable to offer from their perspective, and what can I say to get them to see the valuable parts of mine?

    This is, admittedly, not a great way of having "discussions" because it inhibits back-and-forth. Letter-style responses require significant resources: they become huge timesinks, and it can be exhausting to keep up with things. In the recent Tildes survey someone mentioned that commenting could sometimes feel like doing a homework assignment, and I get that such a barrier feels like an overwhelming imposition.

    On the other hand, I think having a barrier like that genuinely is valuable. What follows is undoubtedly completely biased in favor of my own personal communication style, but it's honestly what I feel is accurate, at the moment, when it comes to the ideals of Tildes:

    I believe that quality discussion, as an ideal, is fundamentally not about "discussion" as a dialogue that goes back and forth, but it's about the ideas that people put forth as part of a broader dialogue. What I mean by this is that I think people tend to gauge the quality of discussion as measured by number or type of responses, rather than by the presence of quality comments, even if those are all independent of one another.

    Discussion doesn't have to be reply-based. In fact, the wider internet is a case against this. Twitter and reddit are arguments against "discussions" of this form, as there is plenty of engagement where people are talking to/at one another, often for extended periods of time, but much of it is, well, sheer garbage. Imagine, instead, a topic which has 10 top-level replies and no child comments, but each top-level reply is a thoughtful or insightful take on things. Is there a discussion being had here? It's easy to say "no", because no one is talking to each other directly, but people are still discussing the topic. Imagine a real-world discussion with 10 people in a room, with each person taking turns to give their thoughts on a particular idea. The form is pretty much identical, but I think most people would call that "discussion" on account of the idea that multiple people are speaking and multiple people are listening. I think we lose sight of that online. Imagine such a thing happening in the presence of an uninvolved audience, and we've effectively recreated panel discussions, which is effectively what every Tildes topic is: some people put themselves up on-stage to give their thoughts while the rest of the audience listens in and considers what's being said.

    I'm of the belief that quality discussions on Tildes shouldn't be about how to make back-and-forths the best they can be, but how we can make individual contributions the best they can be, and better back-and-forths will follow from that. Discussion is still discussion even in the absence of replies, because every comment on here fundamentally has an audience, and each topic introduced is effectively creating its own "panel".

    I say this because I ultimately think what people mean when they want good quality discussion is that they want quality arguments -- not "arguments" in the conflict sense, but arguments in the "rhetorical form" sense. The most valuable comments I read here aren't usually the ones where there has been a significant back-and-forth between two users: they're the ones where someone has taken the time to put forth their ideas in a digestible, accessible way that really makes me think about a topic or gives me a new insight. Those commenters have created a great argument, and even if I never respond to them, as I often don't, I still leave the discussion richer because of what they've said. The absence of replies isn't indicative of "bad discussion".

    This is why the "homework assignment" framework, while genuinely frustrating, does have some merit. If we want to create things worth reading, those things fundamentally do take time and effort. Again, I know this is biased, as I'm someone who regularly does write lengthy things and legitimately enjoys it, but I will say that this is literally the only place on the internet that I know of where I could write a comment as long as the one I'm currently typing and trust that it will be read and considered. It does stifle shorter and less substantial responses, and I totally get how that feels limiting -- I've hit that barrier myself many times and haven't been sure how to respond to it. But I think it also enables discourse of a different form, in a way that most other places online don't. That, to me, is what constitutes "good discussion" more than "better back-and-forths".

    14 votes
    1. [8]
      NaraVara
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      This is a useful point. It makes me wonder if part of the challenge is figuring out how to split the difference on what a useful style is for different subject areas. In some things, like people...

      I believe that quality discussion, as an ideal, is fundamentally not about "discussion" as a dialogue that goes back and forth, but it's about the ideas that people put forth as part of a broader dialogue. What I mean by this is that I think people tend to gauge the quality of discussion as measured by number or type of responses, rather than by the presence of quality comments, even if those are all independent of one another.

      This is a useful point. It makes me wonder if part of the challenge is figuring out how to split the difference on what a useful style is for different subject areas. In some things, like people riffing on each other to develop an idea, lots of back and forth is really valuable. But in other things, like nuanced discussion of touchy issues, something more like what you're talking about is ideal.

      On a site like this though, people will default to a specific format for interacting unless the interface or some very visible convention tells them to modulate their tone and behavior based on subject/context.

      6 votes
      1. kfwyre
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        After I finished my comment, I took my dog for a walk and made dinner, all while continuing to ruminate about this thread, and it was then I realized that I didn't really answer your question at...

        After I finished my comment, I took my dog for a walk and made dinner, all while continuing to ruminate about this thread, and it was then I realized that I didn't really answer your question at all! You basically asked "how can we reduce bad back-and-forths?" to which I gave a very lengthy reply that basically says: "bad back-and-forths are bad!".

        In fact, in doing so, I unintentionally highlighted an issue with favoring longer comments, which is that it's easier in them to lose sight of the original discussion, as I very much did. I do think there's value in walking down whatever paths our thinking lead, but I can also see how that's unproductive, especially in conversations like this which are aimed at producing specific outcomes.

        I don't have time at the moment for another "homework assignment" on this, and I actually don't even have my own thoughts on the topic fully together enough to make specific recommendations yet, but when I get time to sit down later this week I'll type up something that more directly answers you.

        8 votes
      2. [6]
        Gaywallet
        Link Parent
        I don't think we should over-analyze what the absolutely perfect method of interaction is. I'm a huge proponent of diversity and I don't think we should be striving to enforce conformity. However,...

        I don't think we should over-analyze what the absolutely perfect method of interaction is. I'm a huge proponent of diversity and I don't think we should be striving to enforce conformity.

        However, keeping in mind what @kfwyre has so eloquently put forth here may shape the style that you wish to employ in the future and may help you to understand why certain discussions seem to devolve into incivility so quickly.

        5 votes
        1. kfwyre
          Link Parent
          I very much agree with this. There are some concise writers here who would be ill-served if they were pushed to expound more at length, just as I would feel out of sorts if I were obligated to...

          I very much agree with this. There are some concise writers here who would be ill-served if they were pushed to expound more at length, just as I would feel out of sorts if I were obligated to write shorter comments. Accommodating a diversity of conversational styles is important because it lets people express themselves in manners they are most comfortable with.

          In thinking about my original preference for longer comments, I realize that part of it comes from the fact that, in online comments, bad faith discussions are so rampant that I favor length as a way of conveying to the community that I'm acting in good faith. It's not enough to just make my point, but I feel obligated to qualify and contextualize it a bit, just so that people know I'm speaking honestly and openly, without false pretense. Longer comments let people show their hand and put some skin in the game, while shorter comments let bad faith hide because they allow people to easily lob shots without opening themselves or their positions up to scrutiny.

          I also do the same with my intent -- if I ever feel a comment might be received negatively, I go out of my way to directly state in the comment that I'm not intending harm and that I'm trying to view the discussion as a collaboration rather than a competition. I think we're primed for conflict, so I try to head that off at the pass by an open showing of intent, rather than leaving it up to interpretation. I see it as sort of the discourse version of showing that one doesn't have any weapons on their person. I'm not quietly hiding a knife, trying to lure someone into melee range with my comments; I'm instead making it clear that there's no knife in my pockets in the first place.

          7 votes
        2. [4]
          NaraVara
          Link Parent
          The point is less about civility and more the inability to engender worthwhile discussions on hit button issues. Conflict isn’t the problem, lack of productive conflict is.

          The point is less about civility and more the inability to engender worthwhile discussions on hit button issues. Conflict isn’t the problem, lack of productive conflict is.

          Productive conflict is defined as “an open exchange of conflicting or differing ideas in which parties feel equally heard, respected, and unafraid to voice dissenting opinions for the purpose of reaching a mutually comfortable resolution.”

          2 votes
          1. [3]
            viridian
            Link Parent
            If your goal is to achieve productive conflict as written, I don't see how the suggestions in the OP walk that path. People will begin to skip boilerplate the second or third time they see it,...

            If your goal is to achieve productive conflict as written, I don't see how the suggestions in the OP walk that path. People will begin to skip boilerplate the second or third time they see it, that's human nature. Introducing hard friction in the form of posting timers discourages posting in any forum, no matter what the intent, and has the side effect of maligning people (speaking as a former forum admin of about 1000 people who implemented this very thing). Folks who post more will feel singled out for punishment.

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              NaraVara
              Link Parent
              Depends on how often they see it. If it only triggers on heated posts the way "slow mode" does then it would be novel more often. It would also be a forced "acculturation" mechanism to stave off...

              People will begin to skip boilerplate the second or third time they see it, that's human nature.

              Depends on how often they see it. If it only triggers on heated posts the way "slow mode" does then it would be novel more often. It would also be a forced "acculturation" mechanism to stave off the "Eternal September" problem with properly socializing new users.

              Folks who post more will feel singled out for punishment.

              Remember the idea was that this only triggers if some indicator of discussions going badly, like Malice and Noise tags or rapid back-and-forths, happen. Is it terrible for folks who frequently engage in controversial discussions to feel singled out in this regard? It isn't necessarily the case that it's always their fault, but where there's smoke. . .

              2 votes
              1. viridian
                Link Parent
                I wouldn't group quick replies with malice and noise tags, and in fact, I would argue the opposite on anecdote: my most productive discussions over text have been synchronous ones where folks are...

                I wouldn't group quick replies with malice and noise tags, and in fact, I would argue the opposite on anecdote: my most productive discussions over text have been synchronous ones where folks are engaging in a back and forth dialogue. Punishing the existence of the latter by design seems like poor design to me.

                3 votes
  2. [12]
    skybrian
    Link
    Huh, I must be oblivious then because I don't know who is on what side. I see regular posters, some of whom disagree on some political topics, and some are more polite than others, but it doesn't...

    These threads end in people being angry or frustrated with each other, and it's become pretty clear that members of the community have begun to form cliques and rivalries based on these battle lines.

    Huh, I must be oblivious then because I don't know who is on what side. I see regular posters, some of whom disagree on some political topics, and some are more polite than others, but it doesn't seem personal? I also don't see things being at the point where more moderation is needed. Hot topics having some heated discussion just seems normal to me.

    Perhaps I'm oblivious because I'm part of the problem, with some back-and-forth discussions seeming more heated to others than I thought! (In which case do let me know, publicly or privately.) Or perhaps I'm just skipping some particularly heated topics, and it's easy to forget about them when you do that.

    This sort of meta-discussion is hard to do without examples because then we're just comparing vague impressions. On the other hand, if examples are included then it risks igniting previous controversies and making things personal. It's a bit of catch-22.

    20 votes
    1. [2]
      Omnicrola
      Link Parent
      I think I spend a fair amount of time here, and I also have not noticed this being a problem. Which is not to say I don't see what @NaraVara is describing, nor do I want dismiss it as not needing...

      I think I spend a fair amount of time here, and I also have not noticed this being a problem. Which is not to say I don't see what @NaraVara is describing, nor do I want dismiss it as not needing to be addressed. I've just not seen it occur at a frequency that made me concerned.

      I can accept that I may have missed it, I don't read every comment, particularly when the comment chain strays to far off topic.

      I'm also fine discussing this in the context of "hey this isn't a problem yet but I'm concerned it might become one". So many of the existing social media sites have had issues that people have pointed out for a long time before they became a "serious" problem.

      16 votes
      1. NaraVara
        Link Parent
        Tildes is still an extremely small site, so almost nothing happens with any frequency. The issue is more that the site has no mechanism to stop certain patterns of engagement from derailing or...

        I've just not seen it occur at a frequency that made me concerned.

        Tildes is still an extremely small site, so almost nothing happens with any frequency. The issue is more that the site has no mechanism to stop certain patterns of engagement from derailing or "toxifying" conversations. So if it happens a little currently, it will happen more as time goes on.

        5 votes
    2. viridian
      Link Parent
      Likewise, I haven't really seen any signs of either cliquish behavior, or rivalrous behavior at all. That said, I have a couple folks tagged in tildes ReExtended as hostile people to not read or...

      Likewise, I haven't really seen any signs of either cliquish behavior, or rivalrous behavior at all. That said, I have a couple folks tagged in tildes ReExtended as hostile people to not read or engage with, and a couple others as youngins' (because that context matters a lot), so maybe those scant tags fix the problem completely.

      9 votes
    3. [2]
      Good_Apollo
      Link Parent
      Yeah I’ve yet to see Reddit caliber of arguments, insults, memes, useless drivel, ect. Almost every discussion seems polite and quality from what I’ve seen, even in some of the disagreements in...

      Yeah I’ve yet to see Reddit caliber of arguments, insults, memes, useless drivel, ect.

      Almost every discussion seems polite and quality from what I’ve seen, even in some of the disagreements in political topics...which obviously are usually the most vitriolic.

      Tildes still seems a mountain above other social media discussion boards.

      I believe @Deimos is exploring the ability to “cool down” users in heated situations.

      9 votes
      1. NaraVara
        Link Parent
        I'd argue this is a matter of scale more than anything else. The community being small, invite only, and directly moderated is what's heading it off. Over the long term those hurdles will go away.

        Yeah I’ve yet to see Reddit caliber of arguments, insults, memes, useless drivel, ect.

        I'd argue this is a matter of scale more than anything else. The community being small, invite only, and directly moderated is what's heading it off. Over the long term those hurdles will go away.

        4 votes
    4. [4]
      NaraVara
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Yeah I deliberately avoided bringing up any threads or people in particular because I don't want things turning into finger pointing. I don't think the problem is with any specific users (though...

      This sort of meta-discussion is hard to do without examples because then we're just comparing vague impressions. On the other hand, if examples are included then it risks igniting previous controversies and making things personal.

      Yeah I deliberately avoided bringing up any threads or people in particular because I don't want things turning into finger pointing. I don't think the problem is with any specific users (though some are more prone to falling into destructive patterns than others).

      I do think it's worth stressing, though, that the issue isn't with "heat" or "tone." It's with discussion being "low quality," specifically the first indicator I mentioned: "None of the participants learn anything new about the subject, themselves, or another viewpoint." Even if the discussion doesn't get personal, it still says something about the quality of the discussion when most of the time is spent mischracterizing each others' points or talking past each other.

      It's something that mostly seems to happen in identity politics/cancel culture related topics. I, for one, have stopped posting articles that relate to those because of how noxious the threads under them get. I suspect I'm not the only one.

      9 votes
      1. [3]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        I think that, if we are going to get good at conflict resolution, maybe we should practice it while things are smaller and more manageable? Part of that might be studying how certain conversations...

        I think that, if we are going to get good at conflict resolution, maybe we should practice it while things are smaller and more manageable? Part of that might be studying how certain conversations went off the rails after we've gotten a little distance.

        At Google we had the concept of "blameless postmortems" where there was an attempt to analyze failures to see what could be fixed, and the whole point was not to blame individuals, but to fix the procedures. But it's hard to do that for conversations since they are so much more personal.

        Possibly, some structural changes might help, but I'm thinking it's difficult to teach people different ways of interacting through structural changes alone. If the people involved aren't making the effort, getting discussions to die down without doing too much damage might be the best we can hope for? (That is, some kind of "time out.")

        7 votes
        1. [2]
          NaraVara
          Link Parent
          Yeah. In most smaller communities the "structure" also involves some active shepherding by moderators to ensure behavior that's congruent with the group norms. I think of sites like /r/AskScience...

          Possibly, some structural changes might help, but I'm thinking it's difficult to teach people different ways of interacting through structural changes alone. If the people involved aren't making the effort, getting discussions to die down without doing too much damage might be the best we can hope for? (That is, some kind of "time out.")

          Yeah. In most smaller communities the "structure" also involves some active shepherding by moderators to ensure behavior that's congruent with the group norms. I think of sites like /r/AskScience an example of this.

          2 votes
          1. skybrian
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Yes, the tried-and-true way of doing it on Reddit is the moderators post rules and enforce them. It implicitly relies on deference to some kind of authority.

            Yes, the tried-and-true way of doing it on Reddit is the moderators post rules and enforce them. It implicitly relies on deference to some kind of authority.

            1 vote
    5. AugustusFerdinand
      Link Parent
      Like you, I'm either mostly oblivious to them (I've seen one or two, but nothing I'd even remotely call commonplace) or this is a mountain being made out of a mole-hill.

      Like you, I'm either mostly oblivious to them (I've seen one or two, but nothing I'd even remotely call commonplace) or this is a mountain being made out of a mole-hill.

      7 votes
    6. HoolaBoola
      Link Parent
      I think it might be referring to the post about Glinner and his views on a specific IT Crowd episode being banned from showings. I guess I would be part of the problem, as well :)

      I think it might be referring to the post about Glinner and his views on a specific IT Crowd episode being banned from showings. I guess I would be part of the problem, as well :)

      2 votes
  3. [14]
    onyxleopard
    Link
    It feels like you’re trying to design around users’ proclivity to disengage with the site in certain situations as if disengagement is an inherent problem. I don’t think any design is necessary...

    It feels like you’re trying to design around users’ proclivity to disengage with the site in certain situations as if disengagement is an inherent problem. I don’t think any design is necessary here. Disengagement is a healthy solution for avoiding online conflict. It’s part of the beauty of asynchronous online communication. You don’t have to remain engaged. You can get up and go do something—anything—else. People spend oodles of time figuring out how to exploit human psychology in order to increase engagement on ad-driven social media. But I really just don’t think there’s any motivation for that here. People will engage with content if they want to. If they don’t, why is it important to try to influence their behavior to engage with topics they would rather not?

    15 votes
    1. [2]
      emdash
      Link Parent
      I completely agree with this. That being said, I have explicitly been told on Tildes before[1] by others in a similarly highly voted comment that if I have no intention of "following up", I...

      It feels like you’re trying to design around users’ proclivity to disengage with the site in certain situations as if disengagement is an inherent problem. I don’t think any design is necessary here. Disengagement is a healthy solution for avoiding online conflict. It’s part of the beauty of asynchronous online communication.

      I completely agree with this. That being said, I have explicitly been told on Tildes before[1] by others in a similarly highly voted comment that if I have no intention of "following up", I shouldn't create a comment in the first place.

      [1]: I'll try find a link to this later, because otherwise I do recognise it's he-said-she-said.

      9 votes
      1. onyxleopard
        Link Parent
        I hadn’t heard that, and I think that’s unfortunate. You can’t necessarily know, before you get into a thread, whether it’s something you’ll want to continue to engage with, so it seems a little...

        I hadn’t heard that, and I think that’s unfortunate. You can’t necessarily know, before you get into a thread, whether it’s something you’ll want to continue to engage with, so it seems a little unreasonable. That said, it would likely also be detrimental if a majority of people on the site contribute only by popping into the threads to leave a single comment and never reply or follow-up.

        9 votes
    2. [11]
      NaraVara
      Link Parent
      Disengagement is a symptom of the conflict being non-productive (which I phrased before as "doesn't go well"). And a non-productive conflict doesn't rise to the level of being a "high quality"...

      Disengagement is a healthy solution for avoiding online conflict.

      Disengagement is a symptom of the conflict being non-productive (which I phrased before as "doesn't go well"). And a non-productive conflict doesn't rise to the level of being a "high quality" discussion.

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        tindall
        Link Parent
        I don't necessarily agree with this. One of the discussions I put the most work into on this site, which I thought was very productive and involved me and, I thought, the other party learning some...

        I don't necessarily agree with this. One of the discussions I put the most work into on this site, which I thought was very productive and involved me and, I thought, the other party learning some valuable lessons, turned out to not have actually changed their mind in any meaningful way, and I've since seen them posting unsubstantiated arguments of exactly the kind we discussed.

        I mention this because I am not sure there's a way to determine whether a conversation was "productive" until a long time after the fact, and that conversation from months ago going so poorly is part of the reason I am now less engaged.

        7 votes
        1. [2]
          NaraVara
          Link Parent
          Usually it does take more than one lesson for a new pattern to stick. That person's interaction with you was one of countless ones they have every day. But if you learned something from...

          One of the discussions I put the most work into on this site, which I thought was very productive and involved me and, I thought, the other party learning some valuable lessons, turned out to not have actually changed their mind in any meaningful way, and I've since seen them posting unsubstantiated arguments of exactly the kind we discussed.

          Usually it does take more than one lesson for a new pattern to stick. That person's interaction with you was one of countless ones they have every day. But if you learned something from interacting with them, even if that something is just a better understanding of a certain type of personality or worldview, I'd say that was valuable no?

          When I say "productive conflict" I'm using it in this sense.

          Productive conflict is defined as “an open exchange of conflicting or differing ideas in which parties feel equally heard, respected, and unafraid to voice dissenting opinions for the purpose of reaching a mutually comfortable resolution.”

          On the opposite end of the spectrum, unproductive conflict is described as “an argument, especially a repetitive one, without resolution, that leaves both parties feeling more angry and frustrated.”

          So minds or behaviors don't need to be changed in order to qualify.

          8 votes
          1. tindall
            Link Parent
            Fair enough - I think that's a very sensible definition, and one that can definitely be worked with in this case.

            Fair enough - I think that's a very sensible definition, and one that can definitely be worked with in this case.

            9 votes
      2. [7]
        onyxleopard
        Link Parent
        Disengagement is a mature way of resolving a conflict, not a symptom. Disengagement should happen before deterioration of the discourse. You can’t see the direct evidence of appropriate...

        Disengagement is a mature way of resolving a conflict, not a symptom. Disengagement should happen before deterioration of the discourse. You can’t see the direct evidence of appropriate disengagement you aren’t involved in because it is manifest in an absence of discourse that doesn’t go well.

        3 votes
        1. [6]
          NaraVara
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          It’s sounding like your argument is that the ideal resolution to conflict is to simply not have conflict, which kind of renders the idea of a discussion moot. If you can’t discuss a charged topic...

          It’s sounding like your argument is that the ideal resolution to conflict is to simply not have conflict, which kind of renders the idea of a discussion moot.

          If you can’t discuss a charged topic at all, then how can one say high quality discussion is happening? What you’re describing is a chilling effect on discussion due to conflict, not a place where conflict being addressed in a productive or edifying way.

          What you’re saying doesn’t really address what I’m talking about, which is cases where the discussion does go south. And then avoidance of being able to speak candidly about the topics afterwards.

          3 votes
          1. [5]
            onyxleopard
            Link Parent
            Partly yes. The idea is to avoid unnecessary conflict by simply stepping away from the conversation entirely. While this isn’t always possible in person, online it is trivial. Plenty of people can...

            It’s sounding like your argument is that the ideal resolution to conflict is to simply not have conflict, which kind of renders the idea of a discussion moot.

            Partly yes. The idea is to avoid unnecessary conflict by simply stepping away from the conversation entirely. While this isn’t always possible in person, online it is trivial.

            If you can’t discuss a charged topic at all, then how can one say high quality discussion is happening?

            Plenty of people can discuss charged topics like adults. Plenty of adults also know when they should stop engaging.

            What you’re saying doesn’t really address what I’m talking about, which is cases where the discussion does go south.

            In the event that a discussion does devolve, that’s when moderators have to step in. If people preemptively disengage when they realize they can no longer contribute constructively, this prevents the discussion from going south, thus lowering the burden on moderators.

            4 votes
            1. [4]
              NaraVara
              Link Parent
              Conflict isn't inherently negative though, it just means some sort of tension exists. It's considered socially maladjusted to be overly conflict avoidant, so I don't think that's an interaction...

              Partly yes. The idea is to avoid unnecessary conflict by simply stepping away from the conversation entirely. While this isn’t always possible in person, online it is trivial.

              Conflict isn't inherently negative though, it just means some sort of tension exists. It's considered socially maladjusted to be overly conflict avoidant, so I don't think that's an interaction pattern to be encouraging. I don't see people feeling the need to disengage as a positive sign. I see it as a sign that discussion goes so badly, or the people involved are so unable to engage graciously, that it's chilling speech and participation. Which side of it you come down on (are the interactions bad? or are the people too thin-skinned?) depends on whether it's solvable or not but neither of them point to the situation being "good" or the people being "mature."

              2 votes
              1. [3]
                onyxleopard
                Link Parent
                If the disengagement is occurring at the appropriate time, it preempts discussions going badly. Personally, I’d prefer chilling speech and participation on particular topics for which discussion...

                I don't see people feeling the need to disengage as a positive sign. I see it as a sign that discussion goes so badly, or the people involved are so unable to engage graciously, that it's chilling speech and participation.

                If the disengagement is occurring at the appropriate time, it preempts discussions going badly. Personally, I’d prefer chilling speech and participation on particular topics for which discussion consistently devolves.

                Which side of it you come down on (are the interactions bad? or are the people too thin-skinned?) depends on whether it's solvable or not but neither of them point to the situation being "good" or the people being "mature."

                I guess we just fundamentally disagree on our value judgments as far as online interactions go. I place a good value judgment on a lack of uncivilized discussion. I would even go so far as to prefer that people simply avoid discussions that they know they are likely to only end up enflaming. Self-discipline in this regard reduces the work of moderators even at the risk of reducing engagement in certain topics. I think that’s a trade-off worth making. Otherwise, you end up with the now classic Reddit-style posts with dozens of threads remove by moderators where you know there was tons of heated flaming going on and it all could have been avoided if people decided not to comment in the first place.

                1 vote
                1. [2]
                  NaraVara
                  Link Parent
                  I think you're conflating "conflict" with "lack of civility" which wasn't what I was going for. I've posted elsewhere in this thread my working definition of "productive conflict." It's a term...

                  I think you're conflating "conflict" with "lack of civility" which wasn't what I was going for. I've posted elsewhere in this thread my working definition of "productive conflict." It's a term from relationship counseling to describe whether couples are able to disagree without hating each other. It's also been ported into the business world for teams to be able to argue without losing their espirit de corps or demoralizing their work environment.

                  1 vote
                  1. onyxleopard
                    Link Parent
                    I am aware of the nuances and ambiguities of the term conflict. I’m still of the opinion that civil discourse is more easily achieved by avoiding conflict, even if there are opportunities for...

                    I am aware of the nuances and ambiguities of the term conflict. I’m still of the opinion that civil discourse is more easily achieved by avoiding conflict, even if there are opportunities for productive conflict that are passed over. It’s too fine a line for most to walk most of the time. I guess it’s just simply a risk/reward thing and I know where I stand on that after observing enough online discourse to see how things go.

                    1 vote
  4. [10]
    Akir
    Link
    There is no reason to change Tildes. This is just human nature. These things are going to happen from time to time. Literally the only solution is to brainwash everyone to believe the same things....

    There is no reason to change Tildes. This is just human nature. These things are going to happen from time to time. Literally the only solution is to brainwash everyone to believe the same things. The solution is good moderation, and I believe that Tildes already has the best in the form of @Deimos' philosophy.

    I do see some merit to showing people's posts before submitting, but in all honesty I do not think that it will deter people like you think it will. I think it will just end up being another instinctual click-through.

    13 votes
    1. [2]
      LukeZaz
      Link Parent
      This honestly looks like defeatism. It's absolutely possible to tackle this issue, but it's definitely not going to happen if we just give up on doing it before we start. Hell, the philosophy you...

      There is no reason to change Tildes. This is just human nature. These things are going to happen from time to time. Literally the only solution is to brainwash everyone to believe the same things.

      This honestly looks like defeatism. It's absolutely possible to tackle this issue, but it's definitely not going to happen if we just give up on doing it before we start. Hell, the philosophy you mention here is likely one of the best tools we'll have towards solving this issue; combine it with the plans for scaling moderation down the line and I think this is absolutely something we can fix.

      7 votes
      1. Akir
        Link Parent
        I think you misunderstand me. I mean that there is nothing wrong with Tildes as a platform. The problem is human nature, and the solution is to encourage people to overcome their impulses....

        I think you misunderstand me. I mean that there is nothing wrong with Tildes as a platform. The problem is human nature, and the solution is to encourage people to overcome their impulses.

        Likewise, Deimos moderating is not enough. We are all necessary to set good examples of how to interact in our community. This is the only kind of action required. I didn't mention it because I think we are already quite well behaved.

        4 votes
    2. [7]
      NaraVara
      Link Parent
      "Good moderation" isn't a scaleable solution. In school did you ever have to submit a paper and notice a typo on the very first page right as you're about to hand it to the teacher? Just small...

      The solution is good moderation,

      "Good moderation" isn't a scaleable solution.

      I think it will just end up being another instinctual click-through.

      In school did you ever have to submit a paper and notice a typo on the very first page right as you're about to hand it to the teacher? Just small amounts of friction can nudge people to be their better or worse selves in the aggregate.

      3 votes
      1. [6]
        tindall
        Link Parent
        I don't think Tildes needs to scale. At the point that Tildes is impossible to moderate effectively with whatever size of team Deimos wants to sustain, it needs to begin to shrink until it is at a...

        "Good moderation" isn't a scaleable solution.

        I don't think Tildes needs to scale. At the point that Tildes is impossible to moderate effectively with whatever size of team Deimos wants to sustain, it needs to begin to shrink until it is at a sustainable size or fragment into federated communities managed by their own moderation teams. Anything else is, as you say, futile.

        3 votes
        1. [5]
          Good_Apollo
          Link Parent
          I hope Tildes never goes your latter route as that is the source for a lot of Reddit’s issues. I don’t know what Deimos’ goals for the site are explicitly but I would hope exponential growth isn’t...

          I hope Tildes never goes your latter route as that is the source for a lot of Reddit’s issues.

          I don’t know what Deimos’ goals for the site are explicitly but I would hope exponential growth isn’t one of them if the site wants to maintain civility and dignity.

          3 votes
          1. [4]
            tindall
            Link Parent
            Reddit implements neither of my suggestions.

            Reddit implements neither of my suggestions.

            3 votes
            1. [3]
              Good_Apollo
              Link Parent
              What do you mean? Reddit is entirely made up of independent sub communities moderated independently.

              What do you mean? Reddit is entirely made up of independent sub communities moderated independently.

              1. [2]
                tindall
                Link Parent
                They're all run by the one company, under one trademark and brand identity, and ultimately all moderated by one team, even though they delegate to individual community moderators.

                They're all run by the one company, under one trademark and brand identity, and ultimately all moderated by one team, even though they delegate to individual community moderators.

                4 votes
                1. Good_Apollo
                  Link Parent
                  Maybe in theory but my experience is that subreddit moderators run their little kingdoms with little oversight from the admins. Certainly Reddit was a even more like this before the big crackdown...

                  Maybe in theory but my experience is that subreddit moderators run their little kingdoms with little oversight from the admins. Certainly Reddit was a even more like this before the big crackdown and the admins took more control, starting banning a lot of subs and actually enforcing a site wide kind of standard.

                  2 votes
  5. [7]
    suspended
    Link
    This is an intimidating wall of text I'm sure that you've heard that sentence before. However, there is some 'truth' to this in my opinion. From what I have experienced online since...

    This is an intimidating wall of text

    I'm sure that you've heard that sentence before. However, there is some 'truth' to this in my opinion.

    From what I have experienced online since pre-Internet-as-we-know-it BBS, most people digest content in soundbites.

    There is going to be a significant percentage of users that will behave/interact in this way on Tildes.

    7 votes
    1. [6]
      NaraVara
      Link Parent
      Honestly I think the length probably weeds out people who think in soundbytes from a discussion that needs nuance.

      Honestly I think the length probably weeds out people who think in soundbytes from a discussion that needs nuance.

      7 votes
      1. [4]
        vord
        Link Parent
        Therin lies part of the problem methinks. In order to have some semblance of civility in a heated discussion...it can't be allowed to sink to quips. But since that's what the vast majority will...

        Therin lies part of the problem methinks.

        In order to have some semblance of civility in a heated discussion...it can't be allowed to sink to quips. But since that's what the vast majority will prefer, as a site grows it's likely to devolve in that manner.

        I'm one of those folks who has likely caused disengagements, and have rage quit a few myself. And I think a cool-off timer will help immensely.

        Another tip I've been working on is to avoid engaging too much in negativity, even at a reprehensible topic at hand where showing revulsion is important. It's sets off that negativity spiral, especially if someone vehemently disagrees with your revulsion.

        It's a tricky problem and likely will need substantial experimentation.

        9 votes
        1. [3]
          Grzmot
          Link Parent
          It doesn't have to, but in general I agree. It's really hard to write in a concise manner, especially when it comes to subjects you care about. I've often found myself writing a comment that...

          In order to have some semblance of civility in a heated discussion...it can't be allowed to sink to quips. But since that's what the vast majority will prefer, as a site grows it's likely to devolve in that manner.

          It doesn't have to, but in general I agree. It's really hard to write in a concise manner, especially when it comes to subjects you care about. I've often found myself writing a comment that resembles my train of thought more than my opinion, and in the end what comes out is a mess that has no red line a reader can follow. A lot of this can be fixed by simply rereading your posts, but when you write a 5 paragraphs totalling 5000 words on a message board, who wants to do that?

          7 votes
          1. [2]
            culturedleftfoot
            Link Parent
            I'm a frustratingly slow writer and fairly often end up fatigued from editing and streamlining my thoughts into a digestible format. I've toyed with the idea of posting my key points more or less...

            I'm a frustratingly slow writer and fairly often end up fatigued from editing and streamlining my thoughts into a digestible format. I've toyed with the idea of posting my key points more or less bullet-point style with no connective tissue... it would make it a lot more likely that I'd express the totality of my opinion on a topic, but probably more likely that I'd come off as dismissive or uncharitable, and I'm not sure how much worth it would hold to someone who doesn't share my frame of reference.

            8 votes
            1. Grzmot
              Link Parent
              The majority of Tildes is already very formal when it comes to the discussion. I don't think using bullet points is a bad thing, but you need to balance it out with some text inbetween or your...

              The majority of Tildes is already very formal when it comes to the discussion. I don't think using bullet points is a bad thing, but you need to balance it out with some text inbetween or your fears might come true and people might view it as you putting in less effort than they'd like you to.

              When it comes to editing, I get it mate. I write for fun, and I like to participate in online discussions, so editing myself is home turf for me. Sometimes when you've put in the work to get your thoughts to paper (or into bits, in this case), you just can't be bothered to edit it.

              2 votes
      2. mrbig
        Link Parent
        I believe that’s imprecise. Brevity can be full of nuance, and long form can be devoid of it. Remember the short story: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

        I believe that’s imprecise. Brevity can be full of nuance, and long form can be devoid of it.

        Remember the short story: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

        6 votes
  6. [10]
    AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    Proof? Again, proof? Which based on your conclusion/solution is precisely what you're trying to do while stating it's purely a symbolic battle. Every topic is intensely personal to someone. The...

    it's become pretty clear that members of the community have begun to form cliques and rivalries based on these battle lines.

    Proof?

    It also seems like the stridency and tone are making people leave out of frustration, either deleting their accounts or just logging off for extended stretches of time, which is also an outcome we don't want.

    Again, proof?

    This approach very quickly turns a conversation between two people into a symbolic battle about making Tildes/the world safe for [community], defending the wrongfully accused, striking a blow against censorship, or some other broad principle that the actual discussion participants may or may not actually be invested in.

    Which based on your conclusion/solution is precisely what you're trying to do while stating it's purely a symbolic battle.

    but it gets especially problematic in these threads since the subject matter is intensely personal for many people.

    Every topic is intensely personal to someone.

    So I think operationalizing these norms is going to take some kind of work. Right now we freeze out comments when they have a lot of back-and-forth, which I think is good. But maybe we should make it a bit more humanistic. What if we rate limited with a note to say "Hey this discussion seems to be pretty heated. Maybe reflect on your state of mind for a second and take a breather if you're upset."
    Or, in long threads with lots of my bad indicators, the submit button can send to the post preview rather than immediately posting. It could then flash a banner to be a quick reminder of the ground rules (e.g. Try to assume good faith, Remember the Human, Listen to understand rather than respond, Careful with the snark, It's not about winning/losing, etc.) This would introduce just a touch of friction to the posting process, hopefully just enough to make people think "Maybe I could phrase that better" or "You know, this isn't worth my time" and disengage

    The above is flawed in ways you already stated:

    Without very active moderation to reinforce it, it just never works and can't scale.

    I'm pretty sure Deimos didn't create the site to babysit discussions.

    Alternatively, maybe it is the case that this is honestly just intractable without some sort of third-party mediation mechanic and we freeze out comments under such topics entirely.

    Absolutely not. There can be no meaningful discussion on a site if sensitive topics are censored.

    As a result, it's important to take care that pushback on specific positions should always endeavor to make people feel heard and accepted despite disagreement. On the flip side, there needs to be a principle of charity in place where one accepts that "no offense/harm intended" actually means no offense intended without dissecting the particulars of word-choice to uncover secret agendas. If a charitable interpretation is available, it isn't constructive to insist or default to the uncharitable one. It may not feel fair if you know that the more negative interpretation is correct, but it is literally impossible to have productive discussion any other way. If you can't imagine that a well informed, intelligent, and decent person might hold a certain view then the only conclusion you can draw is that they're either ignorant, stupid, or evil and every response you make to them is going to sound like you think this of them. That's not a position where minds are going to be changed from. English isn't necessarily a first language for everyone here and, even if it is, not everyone keeps up to date on the fast moving world of shifting norms and connotations in social media. What's more, not all cultures and places approach these issues with the same assumptions and biases you're familiar with.

    This is the only point worth considering. The only way to converse is to assume the other party is as intelligent, informed, and well meaning as you perceive yourself to be until they blatantly prove otherwise.

    5 votes
    1. joplin
      Link Parent
      I can't speak for anyone else, but there have been times when I decided things were getting too heated for me, and I just stopped checking in here for a week or so.

      It also seems like the stridency and tone are making people leave out of frustration, either deleting their accounts or just logging off for extended stretches of time, which is also an outcome we don't want.

      Again, proof?

      I can't speak for anyone else, but there have been times when I decided things were getting too heated for me, and I just stopped checking in here for a week or so.

      18 votes
    2. [7]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      Since we aren't doing math, asking for proof seems more combative than necessary here. I think it's fair to ask for examples, though.

      Since we aren't doing math, asking for proof seems more combative than necessary here. I think it's fair to ask for examples, though.

      14 votes
      1. [6]
        AugustusFerdinand
        Link Parent
        Same thing, apparently some people don't like the word "proof" though.

        I think it's fair to ask for examples, though.

        Same thing, apparently some people don't like the word "proof" though.

        5 votes
        1. skybrian
          Link Parent
          Okay, understood. In scientific circles, examples are often dismissed as just anecdotes that don’t prove anything. Proof is supposed to be a whole lot stronger than that. But it’s kind of...

          Okay, understood.

          In scientific circles, examples are often dismissed as just anecdotes that don’t prove anything. Proof is supposed to be a whole lot stronger than that. But it’s kind of unreasonable to ask for in casual discussion since proving things can require a lot of work, and we are just chatting.

          11 votes
        2. [4]
          emdash
          Link Parent
          I don't think it's the use of the term "proof" that's caused your comment to be de-emphasised/labeled as noise, I think it's the overly curt, tit-for-tat style of reply you've given to @NaraVara...

          I don't think it's the use of the term "proof" that's caused your comment to be de-emphasised/labeled as noise, I think it's the overly curt, tit-for-tat style of reply you've given to @NaraVara here.

          Generally, the style of comment you've used here is most often seen in highly-contentious, heated, multi-level replies where those who are arguing with each other see a need to question—often in bad-faith—significant aspects/points of each argument. I'm not necessarily accusing you of doing this, but people have an aversion to having to read and process these sorts of replies, and that's why people have taken issue with your comment.

          At least, that's my guess.

          9 votes
          1. [3]
            AugustusFerdinand
            Link Parent
            Possibly, but it's been voted and marked exemplary as well so it's more likely that, just as on reddit, people here use the "noise" label as a downvote button for anything they don't agree with....

            I don't think it's the use of the term "proof" that's caused your comment to be de-emphasised/labeled as noise, I think it's the overly curt, tit-for-tat style of reply you've given to @NaraVara here.

            Possibly, but it's been voted and marked exemplary as well so it's more likely that, just as on reddit, people here use the "noise" label as a downvote button for anything they don't agree with. Something I've covered on tildes several times.

            Generally, the style of comment you've used here is most often seen in highly-contentious, heated, multi-level replies where those who are arguing with each other see a need to question—often in bad-faith—significant aspects/points of each argument. I'm not necessarily accusing you of doing this, but people have an aversion to having to read and process these sorts of replies, and that's why people have taken issue with your comment.

            Just because OP has elected to be extremely verbose doesn't mean replies can't be succinct. There are many claims in the original text that are unsupported and many other comments here stating they have never witnessed what OP is stating.

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              NaraVara
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              The post has a lot more votes than comments asserting this. I think you're pulling a biased sample. Not including your's there are 3 or 4 posts saying they haven't noticed it and 1 post brushing...

              There are many claims in the original text that are unsupported and many other comments here stating they have never witnessed what OP is stating.

              The post has a lot more votes than comments asserting this. I think you're pulling a biased sample.

              Not including your's there are 3 or 4 posts saying they haven't noticed it and 1 post brushing it off as "just human nature" on a thread with 23 votes. And another 2 or 3 comments you could interpret as verifying that it's a thing they've noticed.

              1 vote
              1. AugustusFerdinand
                Link Parent
                Again, votes are not an "I agree" button. I stopped counting at 5, not including mine. You appear to be ignoring takes that don't reflect your own. In fact if we go by top level only, there isn't...

                The post has a lot more votes than comments asserting this.

                Again, votes are not an "I agree" button.

                Not including your's there are 3 or 4 posts saying they haven't noticed it

                I stopped counting at 5, not including mine.

                You appear to be ignoring takes that don't reflect your own. In fact if we go by top level only, there isn't a single person that has stated they've seen the same as you claim to.

                1 vote
    3. NaraVara
      Link Parent
      No. Any "proof" is just going to turn into finger-pointing and laying blame on individual people rather than a community-wide problem. Moreover, most of these threads have been locked or deleted...

      No. Any "proof" is just going to turn into finger-pointing and laying blame on individual people rather than a community-wide problem. Moreover, most of these threads have been locked or deleted because of said issues.

      The rest of your post doesn't really add much aside from being glib and making a clear misunderstanding of what I'm saying about moderation.

      10 votes