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New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 02:43:21


Post by: RiTides


Hey guys,

If you've been following the thread in Nuts & Bolts (here) you know I'm considering starting up a political discussion space. Being a fairly non-computer-techy person, this means I'm probably going to be using a paid forum software - which isn't necessarily that cheap!

So, I'd love to get your input and ideas on how you'd most like to see the space set up structurally. Things I'm wondering are:

1. What's a good name? One I'm considering is "ETC" (Etcetera or Everything That Counts)

2. What subsections would you like to see? I assume there would not be more than a handful to start. Such as:

-------------A. Economics, Trade and International Relations
-------------B. Education, Technology and Exploration
-------------C. Elections, Democratic Institutions and Society
-------------D. Everything Else

Going with an "E" theme. Don't throw fruit...

3. What features would you like? If I pay for "the good stuff", there would be solid mobile access, which seems like a must. Are there others you'd be looking for?

The one thing I'd ask is, if possible, try to give constructive suggestions in here. We've got the "how to moderate the space" discussion going on at the link above already, and honestly that will likely evolve a bit depending on how things go. If it's a trainwreck, it might end up being a waste of time and money. But if it's awesome, it'd really be nice to be able to have some important discussions with the international group we've got here. So, basically, meeting "swear jar" rules for this thread, if you're willing - you can say something mean, but then you've got to put a dollar in a jar somewhere

Thanks for any input on this endeavor! Also, given some of the discussion in the thread linked to above, I think I'd likely step down as a mod here when launching this, just to avoid any idea / sense that the two places truly are connected - when they would not be at all, this is completely my idea and would be run by me. Again, thanks for any help on the logistics and ideas (anything I'm missing would be welcome, as well!).



New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 02:55:37


Post by: Tannhauser42


It may not even be necessary to have different subsections. Would there really be that many separate discussions going on at once? Even the Dakka politics era pretty much contained everything within a few big threads, with minor threads that popped up from time to time based on current events. The talked about stuff will remain at the top, and the dead topics will slowly drift down.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 03:03:28


Post by: Wolfblade


1. Name doesn't matter to me.
2. These all seem fine, it might also be a good idea to have a section for non-us politics, assuming USPOL is the focus.
3. I've already said my bit on moderation. You cannot have a successful political forum if you maintain dakkadakka's moderation policy. You have seen first hand how it failed horribly here. The hypothetical mod team needs to be able to recognize and deal with bad faith effectively. In a political forum, this is not optional.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 03:11:59


Post by: RiTides


Wolfblade, regarding number 3 see my post in the N&B thread (let's try to keep this one about structure, if possible). I certainly am open to updating my back-of-the-napkin initial ruleset which perhaps was a bit too idealistic. Crucially, if people are willing to entertain other views and arguments, but only push back about the way they are being made (i.e. disingenuously) that to me is something I'd be open to moderating. I want to have a healthy discussion space, obviously, and will be thinking a heck of a lot about that between now and then. Again, if anyone wants to weigh in on that more please do so over here (link to N&B thread where that discussion is ongoing).

Regarding your number 2 item (non-US politics) that is a great point! US politics tends to dominate the discussion even though, with Dakka's posters at least, there are quite a lot of non-US posters participating. But I'd be worried that if there were a section designated for non-US, then the rest would become default US which I wouldn't want?



New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 03:21:35


Post by: BobtheInquisitor


 Tannhauser42 wrote:
It may not even be necessary to have different subsections. Would there really be that many separate discussions going on at once? Even the Dakka politics era pretty much contained everything within a few big threads, with minor threads that popped up from time to time based on current events. The talked about stuff will remain at the top, and the dead topics will slowly drift down.


More threads would make firewalls between subjects, so that a discussion about Covid spiraling out of control won’t obliterate discussion of minimum wage. Different subsections might provide a sort of additional speed bump between, say, social issues threads and economic issues threads. I don’t know if that would really make much of a difference, but then it might?


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 03:22:10


Post by: RegularGuy


Off the top of my head:

-Psychology, Moral Philosophy, Religion, and Identity (Just who are people and what do they believe anyway)
-Governance and Civics (include education, elections)
-Inustry, Agriculture, and Logistics (what we produce and how we move it)
-Economy (all things trade, value, currency)
-Science and Technology
-Arts and Entertainment
-Diplomacy and Legal Matters (Civic to international)
-Armed Conflict (When all else fails, street crime to global wars)

And of course: General Discussion. This one might actually be the main one, and people can start threads in the lower ones to pick apart the specific slices of general broad ranging topics.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 03:25:58


Post by: BobtheInquisitor


It might help to have threads just for memes or lighter material, perhaps separated by party to avoid a lot of in-thread pushback.

—political cartoons and memes (blue)
—political cartoons and memes (red)

?


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 03:40:34


Post by: RegularGuy


 BobtheInquisitor wrote:
It might help to have threads just for memes or lighter material, perhaps separated by party to avoid a lot of in-thread pushback.

—political cartoons and memes (blue)
—political cartoons and memes (red)

?

There's more factions than red and blue though. So that's another important point though. It is challenging to run a forum with all perspectives running wild, yet it can easily become an echo chamber.


Perhaps a forum for "Factions" with sub forums with major classes of political philosophy groupings:
-Marxism & Anarchism (lenninism, stalinism, Maoism, Trotskyism, Syndicalism, etc...
-Classical Liberalism and Libertarianism
-Welfare Liberalism and Mercantilism
-Monarchism and Theocracy



New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 03:41:23


Post by: LordofHats


Honestly, I wouldn't bother spreading yourself out. It's just making work for yourself that comes to nothing.

A lot of what you'll need in terms of categories will come down to participation and frequency. Less is more. Start with a general board, let it run for a bit, and then start branching off into sub-boards as the traffic comes in and gives you an idea what you need. You won't need an Education section if there's only ever an education topic once in a blue moon.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 03:48:29


Post by: RiTides


RegularGuy - Holy cow . I hope you'll participate, as I'm not even sure I know what some of those descriptors are... and it sounds like you do!

Obviously, it might be appropriate to have no sections at all, and I don't want to have too many for sure - with the different options, I may be able to get a "tagging" system instead of having different sections. Takes away the "firewall" aspect, though

Bob, I thought about memes, but I personally really dislike them... don't have the best funny bone I guess. If they weren't given a space they might end up everywhere, though, so maybe they'd at least need a thread... I just never did get political cartoons. I mean, I "get" them, but didn't get into them, I guess.

LordofHats, yeah it would suck to have an empty section in there (but I added Exploration to it! Elon Musk and Mars, right?) so in that case a tagging system would definitely be better. Looking into the options...


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 03:51:45


Post by: RegularGuy


Feel free to PM me as you please. If you haven't had a chance to check out Jeremy Shearmur's "Ideas in Politics" 24 part series, it's a great survey of some of the main ideologies that are driving policy, discussion, and issues today.

Also: Definately include a Thunderdome subforum where topics are occasionaly posed by the mods and different people get X hours or days to argue it out.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 04:14:40


Post by: Jerram


I largely agree with LOH about having too many sections but I do think whatever you come up with as initial sections says something about what you want to be discussed there. I don't like the idea of separate faction forums but I like some of regular guys first set of suggestions and you should think about where those items would fit in a smaller set. To stick with the E thing I'd add entertainment. Do you really want national economics policy which is deeply tied to elections in the same same section as international trade and relations (and where you'd prolly talk war)?

Just some food for thought


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 04:47:08


Post by: LordofHats


 RegularGuy wrote:
Also: Definately include a Thunderdome subforum where topics are occasionaly posed by the mods and different people get X hours or days to argue it out.


That's actually a cool idea.

I do think whatever you come up with as initial sections says something about what you want to be discussed there.


That's fair. I think going as far as to name things 'Education' and 'Exploration' and such is maybe too specific.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 05:05:07


Post by: RegularGuy


Jerram wrote:
...I don't like the idea of separate faction forums but I like some of regular guys first set of suggestions and you should think about where those items would fit in a smaller set. ...

Less than half of what I come up with is usually worth while so at least I'm batting above average tonight.


Oh, check out the NationStates game forums... you get an open forum where diverse people postulate any number of political / societal expressions. Kind of interesting. Maybe there's something in all that you might want to borrow.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 05:46:31


Post by: greatbigtree


A distinction between current events, historical (20 years or more?) events, and politics in fiction.

A very firm policy about not calling other posters members of real or fictitious political parties. An outright ban on the three letters S, J, and W, in that order.

An introduction page that includes the basics of a logical argument, common logical fallacies (to recognize and avoid).

Perhaps an Appendix page, with links to common terms and famous political viewpoints. I remember learning the ropes of logical argument, and having no idea what a straw man argument was, or “begging the question”, appeal to authority... having a reference for when someone calls you a scrub for Sir Brucing a Thread. I think it would help to build a common “culture” for the site.

That way someone that is an enthusiastic amateur doesn’t have to learn in a cage match. They can learn the ropes in an organic way, as needed. I think that would be a great help in retaining fresh meat for this grinder.

A section or tag for people wanting to learn about a topic, not discuss or argue it. #SearchingFor information regarding the difference between dogmatic and pragmatic approaches.. if you are able to arm and armour your fresh gladiators, I think you’ll have more valuable discussions and better user retention over time.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 11:39:40


Post by: Bran Dawri


What about discussion about religion? It's the other big nono discussion currently, and can and does influence and inform political choices and outlook, so will occasionally come up.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 13:14:42


Post by: Jerram


I don't believe in banning words but maybe a sentence some where that says something like " If your best response to a discussion is to call your opponent a Social Justice Warrior, a Racist, etc, come up with a better argument"

I do like the distinction although I wonder if maybe something like current events, recent past<x years, history>x years and fiction would be better. I don't think 20 is long enough but I'm not sure what is.

Intro/appendix page overall great idea might be a good place for that sentence I wrote above as well as other suggestions tides comes up with to influence the culture. It would be a great place for him to include his intent for the site as he's typed in a few places on here already.

I think SFI is a neat idea but worry about the practicality of keeping it non argumentative unless its supposed to be very narrowly used.

Bran, I don't see how you don't allow religions discussions as it does and has influenced so much, or are you asking about having a specific section for it ?


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 13:27:30


Post by: RiTides


Greatbigtree - An introduction page laying out the ground rules and the goal of the discussion space (that somehow a user has to see before posting for the first time) is definitely something I want!

Bran - My intention with the draft title is that "everything that counts" towards an important discussion would be fair game, and that definitely includes religion. While I'm not personally eager to hash things out in a deist vs. atheist thread, it's a very related part for discussing governments and policies, as well as (obviously) religious freedom. So yes, that would definitely be allowed!

Jerram - Yeah, the labels / pejoratives are something that might could be addressed in an introduction page. Obviously, I think those terms should be allowed, but if that's what you're throwing around in an argument the argument doesn't stay below boiling temperatures for long. And the appendix both you and greatbigtree mention laying out more about the culture we're trying to foster is also a really good idea. I have to think about present vs. past discussions... I was honestly leaning only towards present, and past things relating to present times. That might be something to be added later depending on demand?



New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 16:58:37


Post by: BaronIveagh


I do think that threads should be given broad areas of interest. Not necessarily broken down by country, or political ideology, but maybe region?

It's one of the few things that I think actually worked sort of well in wasteland.

Further, and I think this will be really important, is support from Dakka. While we had it, Wasteland wasn't too bad, as Politics posters were sent our way. When we lost it, things began to deteriorate spectacularly, egged on by various problem posters.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 17:30:40


Post by: greatbigtree


My point on banning pejoratives is that any such use is an attack on the person, not the value of an argument.

Calling someone a Nazi, or Communist, does nothing to prove one’s point. That’s simply an emotional outburst. It is also dismissive of a point, without addressing the value it may or may not have.

Such a rule is essentially our Rule #1 here, and if I’m honest if you want discussion and not just monkeys throwing feces at each other, it would become necessary on a forum to keep it clear of, “Just like your mother likes it, Trebek!” Responses.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 17:50:04


Post by: Jerram


I don't think we're that far apart and I agree completely with your second sentence.

However there's a difference between banning a word from usage(which you called for) and banning calling the person you're having a discussion with the same thing and secondly I prefer a different way to get to the a similar endstate.

Imagine I'm in a heated discussion on affirmative action and get called a racist by poster A. I'm much rather that instead of a mod coming in and saying you're on a timeout, other posters who agree with poster As position respond and say " That's not conducive to having a discussion and not what we do here." That's how you build a community.

Yeah I know I'm an idealist at times


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 20:03:17


Post by: greatbigtree


Oh, to clarify, I don’t mean to ban the words themselves.

I mean to prohibit their use in “describing” a fellow poster. Like, discussing the historical roots of fascism and communism, and how it relates to current political activities should be on the table.

But calling *someone* a Nazi or Libtard or whatever a given poster thinks is bad, that should be prohibited as part of the culture. It doesn’t address a totalitarian removal of rights, or address “forcing” someone to be decent to another person (partisanship is showing!).

That’s what, in my experience, kills real discussion of Politics. I think the merits of differing opinions and values is possible, even without necessarily respecting the opposing view. But one has to stick to the topic, not the personalities involved.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 20:30:42


Post by: Wolfblade


So, just to be clear, calling someone a nazi or communist is obviously prohibited (both civility and being an ad hominem, neither of which are good for actual discussion), but would that at hand if someone was pointing out that a position someone else is defending or taking is racist and/or has its roots in racism (or any other form of bigotry)? but would that rule apply to the original motivations behind the subject such as the "All Lives Matter" counter-movement or US Voter ID laws which have their roots in racism and bigotry? I'm not saying that this should invalidate those posters taking the position so long as they aren't taking or defending it because of the bigotry, but when talking about either both would be important to mention and discuss.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 22:51:54


Post by: Prestor Jon


 Wolfblade wrote:
So, just to be clear, calling someone a nazi or communist is obviously prohibited (both civility and being an ad hominem, neither of which are good for actual discussion), but would that apply if someone was pointing out that a position someone is defending or taking is racist and/or has its roots in racism (or any other form of bigotry)? I.E. The "All Lives Matter" counter-movement or US Voter ID laws. I'm not saying that this should invalidate those posters taking the position so long as they aren't taking or defending it because of the bigotry, but when talking about either both would be important to mention and discuss.


I think you need to tread carefully when it comes to ascribing motivations to arguments. One can argue the merits and flaws of capitalism, communism, fascism, socialism, feminism etc without being an advocate for or against it or being an -ist of one or the other. A person can be cognizant of the flaws of something without being a _______ or being an adherent to any specific set of beliefs.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 22:52:22


Post by: queen_annes_revenge


The only rules should be to do with personal attacks and intentional logical fallacies. Everyone can tell what base name calling or insults looks like. They are unnecessary and unhelpful in any dialogue.
You could also have some limitations on encouraging/condoning violence, and libellous claims etc.

Everything else should be on the table.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Prestor Jon wrote:
 Wolfblade wrote:
So, just to be clear, calling someone a nazi or communist is obviously prohibited (both civility and being an ad hominem, neither of which are good for actual discussion), but would that apply if someone was pointing out that a position someone is defending or taking is racist and/or has its roots in racism (or any other form of bigotry)? I.E. The "All Lives Matter" counter-movement or US Voter ID laws. I'm not saying that this should invalidate those posters taking the position so long as they aren't taking or defending it because of the bigotry, but when talking about either both would be important to mention and discuss.


I think you need to tread carefully when it comes to ascribing motivations to arguments. One can argue the merits and flaws of capitalism, communism, fascism, socialism, feminism etc without being an advocate for or against it or being an -ist of one or the other. A person can be cognizant of the flaws of something without being a _______ or being an adherent to any specific set of beliefs.

Absolutely, I am a big fan of advocatus diablo (and the opposite advocatus sanctus)


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 23:03:59


Post by: Wolfblade


Prestor Jon wrote:
 Wolfblade wrote:
So, just to be clear, calling someone a nazi or communist is obviously prohibited (both civility and being an ad hominem, neither of which are good for actual discussion), but would that apply if someone was pointing out that a position someone is defending or taking is racist and/or has its roots in racism (or any other form of bigotry)? I.E. The "All Lives Matter" counter-movement or US Voter ID laws. I'm not saying that this should invalidate those posters taking the position so long as they aren't taking or defending it because of the bigotry, but when talking about either both would be important to mention and discuss.


I think you need to tread carefully when it comes to ascribing motivations to arguments. One can argue the merits and flaws of capitalism, communism, fascism, socialism, feminism etc without being an advocate for or against it or being an -ist of one or the other. A person can be cognizant of the flaws of something without being a _______ or being an adherent to any specific set of beliefs.


I'm not saying that those are the reasons the poster is defending or taking the positions, but because if a group does end up discussing say, voter ID laws, racism has been proven a major motivation/factor behind said laws being implemented, and it'd be important to discuss that aspect of it too. I thought I was pretty clear on that and made the distinction between the two. I think you need to reread my post.

edit: I see where the confusion might be, updating the original post.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 23:14:24


Post by: Prestor Jon


 Wolfblade wrote:
Prestor Jon wrote:
 Wolfblade wrote:
So, just to be clear, calling someone a nazi or communist is obviously prohibited (both civility and being an ad hominem, neither of which are good for actual discussion), but would that apply if someone was pointing out that a position someone is defending or taking is racist and/or has its roots in racism (or any other form of bigotry)? I.E. The "All Lives Matter" counter-movement or US Voter ID laws. I'm not saying that this should invalidate those posters taking the position so long as they aren't taking or defending it because of the bigotry, but when talking about either both would be important to mention and discuss.


I think you need to tread carefully when it comes to ascribing motivations to arguments. One can argue the merits and flaws of capitalism, communism, fascism, socialism, feminism etc without being an advocate for or against it or being an -ist of one or the other. A person can be cognizant of the flaws of something without being a _______ or being an adherent to any specific set of beliefs.


I'm not saying that those are the reasons the poster is defending or taking the positions, but because if a group does end up discussing say, voter ID laws, racism has been proven a major motivation/factor behind said laws being implemented, and it'd be important to discuss that aspect of it too. I thought I was pretty clear on that and made the distinction between the two. I think you need to reread my post.

edit: I see where the confusion might be, updating the original post.


I agree with you on that. The history behind such policies absolutely needs to be fair game in a discussion and often history can be quite nasty and bigoted.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/12 23:34:14


Post by: Wolfblade


Prestor Jon wrote:

I agree with you on that. The history behind such policies absolutely needs to be fair game in a discussion and often history can be quite nasty and bigoted.


Yeah, sorry, I realized I might have worded it in a confusing way now. I'm absolutely not trying to say someone defending something rooted in bigotry is automatically a bigot. They may just be uninformed on the true nature of the subject because subjects like voter ID (for example) tried very hard to obscure what they were really doing obviously.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 00:28:08


Post by: Prestor Jon


 Wolfblade wrote:
Prestor Jon wrote:

I agree with you on that. The history behind such policies absolutely needs to be fair game in a discussion and often history can be quite nasty and bigoted.


Yeah, sorry, I realized I might have worded it in a confusing way now. I'm absolutely not trying to say someone defending something rooted in bigotry is automatically a bigot. They may just be uninformed on the true nature of the subject because subjects like voter ID (for example) tried very hard to obscure what they were really doing obviously.


No worries. I think voter ID and voting laws in general are an excellent example. The pushback against early voting clearly has malicious motivations. I mean how can actively inhibiting peoples' ability to vote in a democracy not be nefarious? I honestly don't see how anyone could make a strong argument against early voting. We also have lousy election laws and it's not just a partisan issue. The special election for a congressional seat in NY had 20% of the absentee ballots thrown out because there's a litany of reasons that allow absentee ballots to be rejected. We also have 51 different elections run by 50 different states and DC. Very few, if any, of those states have robust and practical election laws, we're mostly still just using the honor system. There's a lot we can do to make voting easier, I firmly believe that high participation rates help keep a democracy healthy. While I don't believe that there is widespread voter fraud in the US I do believe that our antiquated systems and laws make the possibility of voter fraud far too easy. If we could get some kind of voter ID law that makes it easier to vote but also easier to attribute votes to each voter and record them making sure they count it would really improve elections here.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 00:53:25


Post by: greatbigtree


Describing the policies as racist is different to calling someone racist. That certain policies being advocated for or against are similar to the policies of former racist governments, that’s reasonable to point out. That is different to calling someone a member of those governments.

It is one of the differences in addressing the argument, or demonizing your opponent.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 01:28:28


Post by: Jerram


I'm not calling you a racist but you say racist things. How anyone can say that with a straight face is beyond me. Just because the monkeys are now flinging poo in the air so they hit the target from above instead of directly doesn't change the fact that the monkeys are still flinging poo.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 01:53:15


Post by: AllSeeingSkink


Jerram wrote:
I'm not calling you a racist but you say racist things. How anyone can say that with a straight face is beyond me. Just because the monkeys are now flinging poo in the air so they hit the target from above instead of directly doesn't change the fact that the monkeys are still flinging poo.


The indirect insults are one of the things that drove me to the opinion that the political thread was better off dead, and part of the reason I'm glad it's still gone.

People wouldn't say "you're racist/stupid/a bad person", they'd say people who hold XYZ views or say XYZ are racist/stupid/a bad person, as if that was an less of an insult... but because it wasn't directed at a specific person the mods would rarely pick up on it, even when reported.

Any meaningful and constructive discussion was done in the first few posts of any given topic, and the rest was just poo flinging.

Whilst I did occasionally get drawn into the political thread, I'm mildly surprised people miss the political discussion, it was such a cesspit that was only moderately better than youtube comment sections.



New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 02:20:37


Post by: RiTides


Hey guys,

Hopefully we're not stretching the patience of the other mods here, but the pejoratives discussion is useful I think - and here are my thoughts on it:

1. You absolutely need to be able to talk about policies having, for instance, a racist effect (intentionally, unintentionally, etc) to be able to have certain discussions, so you cannot bar that language.

2. Using labels like that as an insult is obviously problematic for a useful discussion that doesn't immediately become incendiary.

3. It's possible for posters to support and argue for a policy without subscribing to the pejorative motivation. Voter ID laws was mentioned last page, and this seems like a good example of one that A) Has had racist motivation in the past, but that B) It would be relatively easy to argue for the need of without racist motivation.

So, this is another area that is subjective. I don't think you can bar the language if you want to have a useful discussion, you can't have people lobbing labels all over the place as insults, but you also need to consider the possibility of that type of motivation for certain policies.

I'll certainly be doing my best to find the right balance, and also craft some more specific rules that allow for the discussion, but keep things level enough to make having that discussion worthwhile (not just a "poo flinging contest" as several posters above mentioned). A lot of this would be trying to set the tone early and pointing to some guideline pages on the type of discussions we're looking for, as well as making use of a "slow mode" or other moderation feature that would discourage people from posting in a "poo flinging" way only and not really engaging. Certainly doesn't sound very easy but again, I think we might sell this community a little short in that this is likely one of the most likely slices of the internet to be able to actually have one of these discussions in a useful way, if done in an appropriate setting. Will certainly be aiming for that, and soliciting feedback as we go to see if we are hitting the mark or not.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 02:38:28


Post by: greatbigtree


Jeram, I feel you’re missing my point.

The point is not to insult the *person*, directly or indirectly.

One can argue the current benefit of a policy that may be rooted in racist origins. One can discuss the benefit of registered voting, and include discussing the best ways to avoid discriminatory implementation.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 02:51:14


Post by: Gitzbitah


For an overall name, HERESY! seems appropriate to the 40k theme of the site, and would warn anyone of what's coming.



New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 03:29:57


Post by: Jerram


GBT,

Once again I don't really significantly disagree with what you meant. You should always look at the impacts policies will have as well as the impacts of any changes to that policy.


But that wasn't what was being asked by people you were agreeing with. "What are the racial impacts of this policy going forward" is different from "this policy has always been rooted in racism in the past"

One is intended to move the discussion forward and the other one is throwing a 50MT poo nuke. You don't throw nukes at people you're trying to have a discussion with. I could go in to trying to land a first strike VS MAD but really you just end up with a PA wasteland.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 03:47:59


Post by: Wolfblade


Jerram wrote:
GBT,
But that wasn't what was being asked by people you were agreeing with. "What are the racial impacts of this policy going forward" is different from "this policy has always been rooted in racism in the past"


I disagree, because there are very clear examples of policies where racism was a driving factor, and it's important to take that into account when discussing the policy, and its potential merits (or lack thereof) and/or the history of said policies. It's important to examine why a policy is harmful, just like it's important to examine why a policy might be helpful. Plus, laws and policies have been changed or ruled unconstitutional due to said racism (and sexism, and so on) and it's important to note that too.

Basically, it's all about factors that are very relevant to a policy. It's disingenuous to assume that pointing out a policy was created with racist intent as just "throwing a 50MT poo nuke."


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 05:20:37


Post by: AllSeeingSkink


 Wolfblade wrote:
I disagree, because there are very clear examples of policies where racism was a driving factor...
There's always a line though. If it's very clear, it probably doesn't bear mentioning, and if it's not very clear to the point it needs to be discussed, then chances are there'll be some people on the other side of the fence who disagree that racism/sexism/classism was a driving factor and it's very hard to have a conversation where you say a policy/opinion/ideal is driven by racism without the implication of that person being one of those dreaded -isms.

Not saying that those discussions don't need to be had on the appropriate platform, but when an internet forum is that platform, people rarely know where to draw the line without the insults flowing. Even when "intellectuals" discuss it on a controlled platform it so often goes south and observers just hear what they want to hear.

But I don't really care. I won't be partaking in a political forum because it seems unlikely that it ends in friendly and intelligent discourse once you get a few of the "usual suspects" in there (I'd say "you know who you are", but they probably don't ).



New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 06:48:28


Post by: Wolfblade


AllSeeingSkink wrote:
 Wolfblade wrote:
I disagree, because there are very clear examples of policies where racism was a driving factor...
There's always a line though. If it's very clear, it probably doesn't bear mentioning, and if it's not very clear to the point it needs to be discussed, then chances are there'll be some people on the other side of the fence who disagree that racism/sexism/classism was a driving factor and it's very hard to have a conversation where you say a policy/opinion/ideal is driven by racism without the implication of that person being one of those dreaded -isms.

Not saying that those discussions don't need to be had on the appropriate platform, but when an internet forum is that platform, people rarely know where to draw the line without the insults flowing. Even when "intellectuals" discuss it on a controlled platform it so often goes south and observers just hear what they want to hear.

But I don't really care. I won't be partaking in a political forum because it seems unlikely that it ends in friendly and intelligent discourse once you get a few of the "usual suspects" in there (I'd say "you know who you are", but they probably don't ).



I mean, some of those "very clear examples" had people denying them here back when politics was around, i.e. voter ID, so I'd say regardless, it's a good thing to be allowed to bring up because it's relevant to the discussion of those things. And personally, if they feel they're being called racist because the policy they support is racist and provably so, then perhaps they should reconsider their support of said policy and examine what the actual issues, if any, are on the topic (or larger "parent" topic so-to-speak) being discussed (i.e. voter ID being a subset of voter fraud) instead of "don't point out racism because they might feel like they're being called racist." Either way, the RiTides has already ruled on what his rules will be regarding that.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 08:00:26


Post by: greatbigtree


See, in a debate proper, it’s not about the persons presenting.

So I can advance a Racist policy in a debate. You can describe the policy as having racially biased outcomes. I can reflect on this, and then agree that the policy as presented had racist outcomes and now work towards creating a policy that keeps the good while eliminating the bad.

I can present this idea from a position of ignorance, rather than malice. In countering the flaw in policy, rather than calling me a racist, you advance the creation / discussion of an inclusive policy. By calling me a racist, in this hypothetical scenario, you have made a logical fallacy, the presumption of correctness. Thus, by calling me a racist the arguer is false, their argument has no value, because it is based on falsehood.

This is the point I’m trying to drive. Any personal attack is, potentially, a logical fallacy. Because it requires inside knowledge of the attacked person that is not available, and ultimately unprovable. There is no way to establish credibility regarding the assertions of motivations of another.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 09:24:25


Post by: Jadenim


AllSeeingSkink wrote:
Jerram wrote:
I'm not calling you a racist but you say racist things. How anyone can say that with a straight face is beyond me. Just because the monkeys are now flinging poo in the air so they hit the target from above instead of directly doesn't change the fact that the monkeys are still flinging poo.


The indirect insults are one of the things that drove me to the opinion that the political thread was better off dead, and part of the reason I'm glad it's still gone.

People wouldn't say "you're racist/stupid/a bad person", they'd say people who hold XYZ views or say XYZ are racist/stupid/a bad person, as if that was an less of an insult... but because it wasn't directed at a specific person the mods would rarely pick up on it, even when reported.

Any meaningful and constructive discussion was done in the first few posts of any given topic, and the rest was just poo flinging.

Whilst I did occasionally get drawn into the political thread, I'm mildly surprised people miss the political discussion, it was such a cesspit that was only moderately better than youtube comment sections.



I do miss the politics threads, because I find it interesting to talk about this stuff and, particularly over the past few years, cathartic given...everything...that has been going on in my areas of the world (I live in the UK and have family in the US). It also helps break the echo chamber, as here is a group of people from all walks of life, from all over the world, who have been brought together by a common interest (war gaming), regardless of political leaning. There were a lot of times when we had useful, polite discussion and I, and I think most people, went in with the attitude of “at the end of the day we’re all nerds who can go to other areas of the site and geek out of toy soldiers”. Unfortunately there were too many people who a) took things way too personally at times or b) just seem to enjoy flinging the flaming poop to see how big and stinky an inferno they could make for the threads to survive. Although I regret that they had to be closed, I can appreciate that the mods didn’t sign on for clearing up that gak and I agree with their decision.

I think you need to really think about your moderation strategy for type A’s on this new site. Type B’s are easy; kick ‘em, they’re trolls and bad faith posters. But someone who’s a little thin skinned or reactionary? That’s harder and, I would posit, possibly someone who would actually benefit from being realigned in positive debate.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 12:49:08


Post by: Prestor Jon


It is unfortunate that political discourse these days, across all media, is devoted far more to declarations along the lines of “those people support that are idiots” instead of any motivation to inform or intellectual curiosity or legitimate debate. Snarky insults and gotchas are more valued than any substantive examination of the issues.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 15:16:29


Post by: Kanluwen


Political discourse has gotten to that level because there are people who get their "news" from echo chambers that are effectively state media in levels of bootlicking. There is literally no point in trying to argue facts with someone who decries something as "fake news!" or who is convinced that there's some kind of conspiracy to cover their points of view less when there are fluff pieces published in major newspapers trying to humanize vulgar ideas into "economic anxiety" or other silly concepts.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 16:03:40


Post by: queen_annes_revenge


This is why dialogue should be done in a more 'socratic method' way, where definitions are established through mutual questioning, and the application of logic to the given situation, rather than trying to argue from a set position and finding facts to fit your view.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 16:12:30


Post by: Jerram


Prestor Jon wrote:
It is unfortunate that political discourse these days, across all media, is devoted far more to declarations along the lines of “those people support that are idiots” instead of any motivation to inform or intellectual curiosity or legitimate debate. Snarky insults and gotchas are more valued than any substantive examination of the issues.


Holy crap did a perfect example pop up fast.

People have to want to have discourse instead of being more concerned about winning an argument, based on what I've seen in these two threads Tides is going to need a miracle.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 17:17:09


Post by: Kanluwen


Jerram wrote:
Prestor Jon wrote:
It is unfortunate that political discourse these days, across all media, is devoted far more to declarations along the lines of “those people support that are idiots” instead of any motivation to inform or intellectual curiosity or legitimate debate. Snarky insults and gotchas are more valued than any substantive examination of the issues.


Holy crap did a perfect example pop up fast.

People have to want to have discourse instead of being more concerned about winning an argument, based on what I've seen in these two threads Tides is going to need a miracle.

I'm going to assume you're taking a potshot at me, since I responded to Prestor Jon.

Bluntly? "Having a discourse" cannot be done when one side is constantly posting and reposting debunked stats or articles. That happened all. the. time. in the politics threads. One cannot fathom how frustrating it is to constantly see that crap up there and reporting it as misinformative/misrepresentative...only to see it left there.

So please, since you're apparently so well informed, explain how you actually have a discourse with that situation happening? When someone is knowingly reposting misinformation or debunked stats--what do you call that outside of a bad faith argument?




New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 17:36:27


Post by: Matt Swain


Call it "The burning house: A sociopolitical forum."

As the klingon Kang once said "Only a fool fights in a burning house."

And to be honest that's what my country reminds me of, two groups of fools fighting each other while an arsonist burns their house down around them to collect the insurance....



New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 17:41:30


Post by: Jerram


If its truly debunked then you can explain how instead of what normally happens where a poster just screams debunked or points to an op ed where someone claims its been debunked. However normally its used the same way you used "bad faith" in the other thread to shut down arguments that are nothing of the sort.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 17:46:30


Post by: Matt Swain


Jerram wrote:
If its truly debunked then you can explain how instead of what normally happens where a poster just screams debunked or points to an op ed where someone claims its been debunked. However normally its used the same way you used "bad faith" in the other thread to shut down arguments that are nothing of the sort.


A reasonable idea except that some people will claim any views not in line with their own have been debunked completely, and cite what can politely be called "Alternative facts" to support the claim.

I'm reminded of a quote by the late great isaac asimov:





New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 17:49:50


Post by: Wolfblade


Jerram wrote:
If its truly debunked then you can explain how instead of what normally happens where a poster just screams debunked or points to an op ed where someone claims its been debunked. However normally its used the same way you used "bad faith" in the other thread to shut down arguments that are nothing of the sort.


I believe you missed the part where they literally don't care it's been debunked and how they repeatedly bring up the same debunked "evidence" or proven misinformation over and over and pretending previous conversations never happened. There are plenty of examples in the previous political threads about this type of posting, and it's bad faith.

You scoff and act like there was no bad faith, but it just isn't true. Calling things "bad faith" isn't being used to shutdown the other side, it's being used to describe posters and/or posting habits that are detrimental to the discussion. If you REALLY don't believe something like this has happened, or happened so often, let me know in a DM and I can provide you links to some examples that I'm pretty sure I cannot post openly here.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 18:01:17


Post by: Kanluwen


Jerram wrote:
If its truly debunked then you can explain how instead of what normally happens where a poster just screams debunked or points to an op ed where someone claims its been debunked. However normally its used the same way you used "bad faith" in the other thread to shut down arguments that are nothing of the sort.

Cool, so if I posted an article that I know has been debunked repeatedly and is published by a website that has zero fact-checking and knows that it ran a bad article...I'm not arguing in bad faith? I'm just "engaging in discourse"?

Because no, I'm not. I would be purposely tainting the conversation. When people have to expend effort to tell me "Oh well that's not true! You should know it's not because we showed you before that it wasn't!", I've done exactly what others pointed out that was a common issue: someone chose to post an inaccurate or misleading article into a conversation and then would defend it time and time again making the "discourse" not about the topic at hand, but the motive of the poster as time would wear on. Because it WOULD be a thing that happened and it WOULD be a thing that would continue to happen unless certain rules get put forward about discussion and articles to be discussed. There are sources that should outright be banned because they contribute nothing outside of distractions to the actual discussions at hand--and the people who would continually post them either did not care that the information was inaccurate or they would claim that everyone else was wrong or "sheep".


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 21:39:29


Post by: OrlandotheTechnicoloured


probably worth having at least a suggestion that backwards and forwards posting of basically the same thing by arguing/debating posters shouldn't be done

either introduce something new supporting your view or refuting theirs when you post,

pages of longer and longer quotes of 'yes he did' 'no he didn't' 'yes he did' 'no he didn't' are incredibly frustrating

i'm sure it will happen, but if you ask posters to think about it hopefully some of the less involved can ask the two of them to agree to disagree and move on


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 22:02:32


Post by: RiTides


One thing that has come up a lot is "repeatedly posting the same thing", although honestly that is true of a lot of forum discussions . But I definitely see the point of dealing with that and actually think it aligns well with what I want to do - I'd much rather reduce the frequency someone could post temporarily, rather than completely remove them.

As I said in the other thread, though, this would be a new space and thus anything would be judged solely on the merits of what is posted there. So the merits of why someone should, for example, have a slow-mode applied would have to be because of a contemporary reason.

Also not sure whether or not it would be helpful to have a "N&B" type section, since ours invariably turn into a "Discipline that guy!" type of discussion... which I really, really want to discourage. Does anyone have a suggestion on how I could get feedback without having that kind of dedicated space (which might result in just a lot of bickering not directly related to the topics we want to discuss)? The feedback in the N&B thread here, for example, was really helpful... but I'd like to at least start out the board trying to talk about issues, rather than talking about how we're talking about them


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 22:29:29


Post by: Wolfblade


 RiTides wrote:
One thing that has come up a lot is "repeatedly posting the same thing", although honestly that is true of a lot of forum discussions . But I definitely see the point of dealing with that and actually think it aligns well with what I want to do - I'd much rather reduce the frequency someone could post temporarily, rather than completely remove them.

As I said in the other thread, though, this would be a new space and thus anything would be judged solely on the merits of what is posted there. So the merits of why someone should, for example, have a slow-mode applied would have to be because of a contemporary reason.


So, to be clear, you are not ok with the same person repeatedly bringing up the same topic with nothing new to add? I.E., the immigration policy debate here on dakka, or "but her emails!" and so on. I can provide examples of what I mean if I'm not being clear enough.

As for a NnBs section, absolutely. It's a decent place to give feedback that won't be lost in other threads especially when you are inevitably going to run into issues that whatever rules you have thought up are not enough. And that's not a slight against you, no one can plan for every single potential violation obviously.

Another idea I'd like to throw out is a regular locking and starting of a new thread after it hits X amount of pages/responses/time passed which can act as a reset point and while it can disrupt a good discussion, it also has the advantage of acting as a clean slate that could include a recap of some of the recent topics/news in the first post. Plus, it also makes it easier to dig through for older posts if you know they happened in say, "thread #2 pages x - y" or "thread #4 jan 1st 2021 - feb 28th 2021"


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 22:40:33


Post by: RiTides


It's another one of those judgement calls - I'd only want to do something about it if it were disruptive and drowning out other points of view. To be quite honest, people probably wouldn't want this kind of thing strictly enforced in practice... there was quite a lot of repetition on this page already, for instance!

Like I said previously, I'm going to try to be very attentive and nimble to start with, but I actually want the debate to happen. I just don't want only one voice dominating it - no matter their point of view.

 Wolfblade wrote:
Another idea I'd like to throw out is a regular locking and starting of a new thread after it hits X amount of pages/responses/time passed which can act as a reset point and while it can disrupt a good discussion, it also has the advantage of acting as a clean slate that could include a recap of some of the recent topics/news in the first post. Plus, it also makes it easier to dig through for older posts if you know they happened in say, "thread #2 pages x - y" or "thread #4 jan 1st 2021 - feb 28th 2021"

I really like this idea! You really lose a lot of engagement once a thread gets past a certain length. Not sure what that length is... 10 pages? 20?



New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 23:19:09


Post by: Wolfblade


 RiTides wrote:
It's another one of those judgement calls - I'd only want to do something about it if it were disruptive and drowning out other points of view. To be quite honest, people probably wouldn't want this kind of thing strictly enforced in practice... there was quite a lot of repetition on this page already, for instance!

Like I said previously, I'm going to try to be very attentive and nimble to start with, but I actually want the debate to happen. I just don't want only one voice dominating it - no matter their point of view.

 Wolfblade wrote:
Another idea I'd like to throw out is a regular locking and starting of a new thread after it hits X amount of pages/responses/time passed which can act as a reset point and while it can disrupt a good discussion, it also has the advantage of acting as a clean slate that could include a recap of some of the recent topics/news in the first post. Plus, it also makes it easier to dig through for older posts if you know they happened in say, "thread #2 pages x - y" or "thread #4 jan 1st 2021 - feb 28th 2021"

I really like this idea! You really lose a lot of engagement once a thread gets past a certain length. Not sure what that length is... 10 pages? 20?



I'd say look for around 100 pages, though that's just an arbitrary number I picked based on how I've seen other forums moderate some of their topics, i.e. patch note discussion/etc. When it starts getting close, i.e. fewer than say, 10 posts within a day or something once it hits ~90-95 pages that'd be a good point to lock it and start fresh, and obviously once you see it hit page 101, lock it regardless unless people are actively posting within minutes of each other. Or you could just make it weekly/monthly based and refresh it on the first day of the week/month/moon cycle or whatever and that gives you a much more defined start and stop dates/times that everyone can predict. Usually, lack of engagement seems to be based on how often fresh news is brought in, and how hotly debated/interesting the news is.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/13 23:31:35


Post by: Prestor Jon


 Kanluwen wrote:
Jerram wrote:
If its truly debunked then you can explain how instead of what normally happens where a poster just screams debunked or points to an op ed where someone claims its been debunked. However normally its used the same way you used "bad faith" in the other thread to shut down arguments that are nothing of the sort.

Cool, so if I posted an article that I know has been debunked repeatedly and is published by a website that has zero fact-checking and knows that it ran a bad article...I'm not arguing in bad faith? I'm just "engaging in discourse"?

Because no, I'm not. I would be purposely tainting the conversation. When people have to expend effort to tell me "Oh well that's not true! You should know it's not because we showed you before that it wasn't!", I've done exactly what others pointed out that was a common issue: someone chose to post an inaccurate or misleading article into a conversation and then would defend it time and time again making the "discourse" not about the topic at hand, but the motive of the poster as time would wear on. Because it WOULD be a thing that happened and it WOULD be a thing that would continue to happen unless certain rules get put forward about discussion and articles to be discussed. There are sources that should outright be banned because they contribute nothing outside of distractions to the actual discussions at hand--and the people who would continually post them either did not care that the information was inaccurate or they would claim that everyone else was wrong or "sheep".


You keep making the same argument demanding the same set of rules that both Dakka and RiTides continue to explain that they don’t see things the same way. You never seem to accept this and just keep repeating your demands in multiple posts in multiple threads multiple times. I don’t think using more CAPITAL LETTERS and condescension is going to change minds. If you are only comfortable discussing politics within a very specific rigidly enforced set of parameters then you should find a lace like that or create one yourself. Getting angry and heavily emotionally invested in trying to bend others to your will really isn’t worth it for what is only a diversionary thought exercise to occupy free time. Maybe part of why one or two people engaged in the trolling behavior you describe was because you are very vocal about how it upsets you and RUINS EVERYTHING!!!111!!! Use the ignore function and move on.

Too many people turn political conversations into a stubborn game of chicken regardless of how negatively it impacts the entire situation. Nobody should enter into a discussion with the attitude of Michael Bolton in Office Space, “Why should I change my name? He’s the one who sucks.” It morphs every discussion into a version of the Ultimatum Game where the motivations have changed from acquiring mutual benefits to tearing down others out of spite. Don’t stay in an unpleasant situation just because you refuse to walk away letting that guy “win.” Personal happiness and health is worth a lot more than “winning” a meaningless argument on the internet.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 01:51:16


Post by: Manchu


Everything That Counts (ETC) is a fantastic name.

I agree with Tannhauser that (at least to begin with) there is no need for sub fora. The need may (or may not) emerge over time. It’s better to let things develop organically than try to impose a structure on something before it even begins.

One suggestion I have is to NOT use the quote feature we have here on DakkaDakka.

I am well aware of its many advantages.

BUT when it comes to a meaningful exchange of ideas, which I think is the goal here, that feature is really a stumbling block as it encourages/fosters replies that ignore the overall theme or idea of an argument in favor of taking constituent elements apart and examining them as if they were made as stand-alone arguments. This sort of “attack the premises” style is responsible for a lot of dead-end discussions. What is needed instead are replies that deal with an entire argument. To the extent that a reply needs to be structured point-by-point, it can be done thoughtfully with bullets or sub headings or just traditional rhetorical devices (“as to your point regarding XYZ, I disagree because ...”).

Over my decade as a mod here, I have noticed that the quote feature is strongly correlated to strawman-type replies, insults, and rants-disguised-as-replies.

When it comes to the sort of behavior that people talk about as “corrupting” the discussion, the truth of the matter is simple if also a bit hard to swallow:

People can say all kinds of things on the internet BUT AT THE SAME TIME ignoring people on the internet is also one of the easiest things anyone can do. The corollary principle is one of the oldest of all web truisms: feed not the trolls.

I notice the people who complain the loudest about the bad faith arguments and the bogus links and the uncited sources are the same ones who cannot seem to stop themselves from endlessly engaging with the posters they say they are destroying the world, one thread at a time. I know people who have stopped posting on DakkaDakka and other sites/formats because they wish that their thoughtful posts, which they spent so much time and effort on, got even a fraction of as much attention as the flame bait; when in fact no one or hardly anyone bothers to engage with them.

Once you have determined that someone has nothing valuable to contribute, just ignore them. It truly doesn’t matter whether they go away or not if no one is engaging them.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 02:21:24


Post by: BobtheInquisitor


Manchu wrote:..||...


You make an excellent argument against the quote feature.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 02:32:43


Post by: greatbigtree


I find the quote feature to be irritating as all get out.

I agree entirely that if you have to pick apart an argument line by line, you’re probably skipping the forest to chop down some trees. The forest typically continues to stand.

And reading through a quote war? Argh. It’s like watching a pissing contest, except you have to replay the pissing at each other before you get to the next point. Like, if American football had a play, then you had to rewatch the play before the second play, and then you had to rewatch the first and second plays before you could see the third... and so on.

If a quote feature didn’t show up on ETC, that would be nice.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 02:36:52


Post by: Jerram


RiTides; If you want N&B section that isn't used for poster complaints. Then have a N&B section and put a note at the top that says "Any poster using this section to complain about another poster will be sanctioned" Be explicit about what you want out of your site, then take actions consistent with that. If you haven't yet I encourage you to write down what you want out of the site and then keep it some place where you can bounce the rules and enforcement of the rules against it. It will help the big picture not get destroyed by the minutiae.

Manchu, that's an interesting idea. It wont always help but maybe in enough cases it will.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 02:37:06


Post by: Manchu


Another idea I really like ITT is a slow down sanction in place of temporary suspensions. Honestly, they amount to the same thing but the slow-down is less work and more directly addresses the problem, which is essentially getting disproportionately emotionally invested in a semi-anonymous internet argument. In fact, now that I think of it ...

Maybe “slow down” should be the default rather than a sanction?

Like, all users get to post in a given thread only once per (let’s say, arbitrarily) two hours. And I would package that along with a feature where, when a user pushes “post” what comes up is actually a post preview with the message “Are you done editing? Keep in mind, users may only make one post per thread every two hours.” Perhaps this would encourage posters to make longer and more thoughtful replies addressing multiple posters’ points at once, and therefore spend more time considering what it is really worth addressing and what can be let go.

Two hours is just a number I picked off the top of my head. Maybe ten minutes, fifteen minutes, thirty minutes, or an hour is more appropriate; but I think the point is worth considering.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Gosh how about a forum built entirely around the moderation philosophy of REWARDING self-reastraint, thoughtfulness, and good faith with no or virtually no negative sanctions like warnings and suspensions?

Bear with me, this will take some time to describe.

So the forum would have two sections and two types of posters: The two sections would be General Discussion and Contentious Discussion. The two account settings would be Unlimited and Limited.

Upon signing up, all accounts would be set to Unlimited by default. A user could change their account to Limited setting but this setting would remain in effect automatically for one month. While an account is set to Limited, a poster is only able to post in a given thread per X amount of time. Posters who set their accounts to be Limited would have access to both sections whereas accounts set to Unlimited would only have access to General Discussion.

All threads would begin by being posted in General Discussion. Threads could be moved to the Contentious Discussion board by X number of posters with Limited accounts voting to move them. Alternatively, only a moderator could move a thread to Contentious Discussion as a judgment call based on user alerts. In either case, posters with Limited accounts could also vote/petition the moderator to move a topic back to General from Contentious.

In this way, the community of the voluntarily self-restrained posters could decide for itself what topics need a slower, more deliberate, a d user-restricted approach and which are fine for free-for-all participation. This would also mean the site administrator/moderator would have much less work and could actually spend more time participating than dealing with the site “as a job” (which in my experience can make a mod NOT want to participate). This would also limit the potentially ideological element of a moderator’s duties.

Of course, all this would take some amount of coding which I can’t say is difficult or easy, but is certainly beyond my capacity. It also has some implications of limiting the ability to edit posts, which would have to be addressed.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 03:34:25


Post by: AlmightyWalrus


You might have stumbled onto something Manchu.

As one of the people who'd prefer stronger measures against bad faith: if I didn't care, I wouldn't be part of the discussion in the first place. To me, taking part in a discussion which I did not care about would be rude to those that did. I do not find football interesting whatsoever, so I do not take part in discussions about football if I can avoid it. If I do find something interesting and wish to partake in a discussion on that subject, I expect my fellow discussants to care about the subject of the discussion enough to not waste people's time. Having someone come in with a wall of references in the way I've described earlier, for example, is a clear waste of everyone's time and a clear indication that the person in question either does not know how to have a civil discussion or does know but does not respect the fact that the rest of us care about the subject.

If I choose to ignore that person at that time the derailment caused by that person does not disappear. Me ignoring someone does not change the fact that they clog the thread up and contribute to it actively being made worse, just like ignoring a bully doesn't necessarily make them go away. This is the core of arguing in bad faith: taking the fact that someone cares about a subject and manipulating that to get enjoyment out of the ruination of that subject. "I don't care about this subject the way you do, so I'm gonna make you not care like I do! If I can't, at least I can make your caring pointless."

Telling people that care to just stop caring so much is capitulating to the bully. It is an abdication of the responsibility of a moderator. The problem isn't that we care, it's that there's a gakker trying to establish dominance by ruining something we enjoy. Yes, sometimes we really do need to step back and simply rethink whether there's a point to remaining in the discussion. At the same time, different things have different meaning to different people. I shouldn't mock people who passionately care about football and feverently support their favourite teams despite the fact that football culture seems ridiculous to me. Sometimes I do anyway and act like a right gakker, and need someone to tell me so.

You likely wouldn't accept someone in a public place jumping around you flailing their arms like a lunatic. The advice to someone in that situation certainly wouldn't be "just ignore the annoying gakhead".

Why is it that we are expected to put up with it?


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 03:40:56


Post by: Matt Swain


let's face it, if someone makes an argument using scientifically verified facts, someone will say the argument is false because "My holy book says...!"

If you claim that his holy book isn't valid, verified data, he screams "Religious persecution!"

You know that happens.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 03:45:47


Post by: Manchu


Walrus - The answer is, because a text-based internet discussion is not at all like a face-to-face encounter. In real life, there really is a very limited sense in which you can ignore someone who is making a physical disturbance. But in a setting where everything is “equal” in the sense of being no more or less than a matter of text, ignoring things is the default. In a world of text, ignoring something takes no effort while reading something and engaging with it takes effort. In a world of text, you reward whatever content you spend the effort to engage with. If you decide to engage with irritating behavior, you are rewarding it, reinforcing it, cooperating with it.

But anyway in my proposed approach, there would also be the option for those who care enough about the discussion to voluntarily limit their own participation to also exert some control over who else can participate and on what terms.

Matt - whether there is any such thing as a “scientifically verified fact” is pretty questionable in itself (Popper reminds us that science falsifies rather than establishes) and ultimately that kind of statement is its own flavor of appeal to authority. I’m not saying this to start a discussion about fallacies but just to demonstrate that some set of values imposed externally (e.g., “science good, religion bad”) is not the way we should be thinking about the structure of productive communication.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 04:05:54


Post by: AlmightyWalrus


Whether I engage or not the irritant has gotten what it wants. The very act of arguing in bad faith is the point. My response or lack thereof is largely irrelevant; the harm has been done. I'm forced to waste time and energy figuring out that my counterpart does not care. Further engagement with a bad faith argument after that does not help, of course, but simply ignoring the irritant will not make it go away. Slowing down the rate of response will do nothing to change this. Only being able to make one post every two hours does not prevent the message that "I don't respect that you care" from being shoved in my face.

Your proposal still seems like an interesting starting point to me though and I do think it would allow for a better discussion climate when people, including myself, could take it slower and take a step back. I'd argue that there still needs to be some mechanism in favour of those of us that "care" (used as shorthand for the stuff from my previous post) to counteract the above kind of "power play" though, just like I can see the use in making us chill out a little by not posting in the heat of the moment. Overall this is the first time I've actually felt some enthusiasm about the whole "new forum" thing.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 04:20:02


Post by: Manchu


On a related note, there is also the unfortunate fact that we tend to engage (and therefore reward) posts that we disagree with rather than ones we like and agree with. So for example, Great Big Tree made a post earlier that I fundamentally agree with but I haven’t engaged with at all until now. From his perspective, it feels like being ignored whereas in reality I read his post and noted to myself that he made what I consider to be insightful points. So maybe this is the value of a “like” button as an acknowledgement and encouragement even when one doesn’t have more to say than “agreed, good point.”


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 04:23:11


Post by: Wolfblade


 Manchu wrote:
On a related note, there is also the unfortunate fact that we tend to engage (and therefore reward) posts that we disagree with rather than ones we do. So for example, Great Big Tree made a post earlier that I fundamentally agree with but I haven’t engaged with at all until now. From his perspective, it feels like being ignored whereas in reality I read his post and noted to myself that he made what I consider to be insightful points. So maybe this is the value of a “like” button as an acknowledgement and encouragement even when one doesn’t have more to say than “agreed, good point.”


I'm torn on the idea of a like system. On one hand, it's nice to know other people like your post, on the other it kinda creates a reddit culture where people may or may not worry about their digital internet points, and either strive for the biggest number (likes OR dislikes). I also briefly considered the idea that enough "dislikes" would hide a post (and you'd need to click a button to reveal it) but that doesn't solve anything. I personally still think there needs to be a solid definition of what constitutes bad faith (more than the dictionary definition obviously), and punish those who violate it. Obviously not like, straight to a ban as warnings would make more sense, followed by temporary bans/mutes and the potential to appeal the first permaban for bad faith.

Obviously there's more to the mod system than what I listed here, but the idea of "just ignore the poster" or "slow mode will make everyone think things out" is not going to solve anything. I'm also for a quoting system that automatically starts collapsed, or links you back to the original post they're quoting, but without it, it feels harder to respond to some's post, especially if they make several posts about different topics, or if you want to talk about a specific point that was missed further back.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 04:28:22


Post by: Manchu


Wolfblade, we have had the discussion about a “like” button behind the scenes here on Dakka Dakka and I have always been against it for the reason you describe. (We ended up with the “exalt” button, which is not very useful.) But I am just spitballing the counterargument here, in the context of the idea that a forum community could be largely self-organizing, based on the principle that engagement is rewarding.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 04:31:23


Post by: Wolfblade


 Manchu wrote:
Wolfblade, we have had the discussion about a “like” button behind the scenes here on Dakka Dakka and I have always been against it for the reason you describe. (We ended up with the “exalt” button, which is not very useful.) But I am just spitballing the counterargument here, in the context of the idea that a forum community could be largely self-organizing, based on the principle that engagement is rewarding.
I mean, I don't think it would be used that way though. It'd most likely just end up like every other forum that has ever implemented it.

Maybe an "award" system where you could say "this post is thoughtful/insightful/whatever" but that's really just changing what you call the like.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 05:29:59


Post by: greatbigtree


I’m sufficiently introverted as to rarely feel ignored. It’s my preferred state 90% of the time.

The resentment over someone “taking up the air” in an argument again focuses on the arguer, rather than the quality of the argument. If I am angry at a *person* for presenting a garbage argument, I’m not having a discussion. It’s not a debate.

I’m scoring points. And the frustration is the result of recognizing one is in a no-win scenario. I can’t score more points than that person, if they rehash the same argument over and over with someone new. They score the same 3 points over and over! And their points are bogus! They’re cheating! That’s not fair!

Which... if we only care about the value of the truths we seek... is irrelevant. It changes the objective from winning to arriving at a better understanding of the universe.

(Coincidentally, probably a key factor in why political discussion doesn’t work on Dakka. By our natures, we are drawn to the site through our shared competitive hobby. People that tend to like tactical games tend to like outplaying their opponents. I almost never play 40k for a material prize, but I relish a tough victory. I like to overcome my opponents.

And so we approach our political discussions. Traps, killboxes, feints, clever disengagements. Points to earn, victories to claim. I miss that Avian Arsewipe some days. That poster was a true master of that game. I miss them sometimes.)

I hope ETC becomes a place built on respect for each other. Not on competition, but a shared desire to learn and see from differing viewpoints. To test our ideas against each other to measure their merits, not to destroy but to explore. Will my ideas stand the tests of others? Are they structurally sound?

I very much understand the desire to destroy your opponents. To shred the defences of their arguments. To not hold back because the stakes are high. To tear and rip them apart as the very rightness of your mind pierces them like a spear of thought. I get it. I really do miss having someone to drop the gloves with. So fully demonized in my mind that the only holds barred are outright lies.

But a forum of that would implode. A forum needs to be built, not razed to the ground every day. So that’s why it shouldn’t be like that.



New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 07:00:11


Post by: Wolfblade


 greatbigtree wrote:
But a forum of that would implode. A forum needs to be built, not razed to the ground every day. So that’s why it shouldn’t be like that.


I believe allowing bad faith would do just what you fear though. Having diverse viewpoints for the sake of having diverse viewpoints adds nothing to the conversation if they can't be backed up in a manner conducive to a good-faith discussion. There's no problem if people having diverse viewpoints have a spirited discussion about the merits and flaws of something, there is a problem if only one side (or neither side I suppose) isn't engaging in that manner.

I understand what you want, but realistically, it probably isn't going to happen unless there are clear and strict rules on what is and is not allowed. I've seen some great and interesting posts in the dakka politics threads, but the posters almost always got wrapped up in debunking bad faith posts for the sake of the viewers who were not posting, and/or in an attempt to find some sort of good-faith discussion that just never happened and caused them to get burned out.

If you want it to be "built, not razed to the ground every day" you should look at the rules as a way to enforce a structure that supports that. In doing so, you make it easier for good posters and posts to get the attention they deserve in trying to make the conversation better and make it harder (or at least shorten the time) for bad posts and posters to take hold and drag the conversation down. If everyone is replying to one person debunking various parts of their argument based in bad faith. I agree that, suddenly, the conversation has changed from being about whatever the topic is to whatever the bad faith poster has said, but bad faith posts are like a splinter in the finger, or irresistible bait to those who do want to engage in a proper discussion, not always because it's "easy points" to score but because seeing misinformation (especially that spread on purpose) irks or frustrates that to no end.

To that end, you have to decide who the target audience is. Is it people looking for a good discussion? If not, who then? Fit the ruleset to support the type of users you want, and expecting users to change to make your dream ruleset to work will always fail. We saw that here on dakka. Because the goal was a relaxed and friendly environment with little-to-no moderation we ended up with a near free-for-all that was anything but relaxed or friendly. It's a bit ironic, but to have that relaxed and friendly environment the mods have to work hard to make sure there aren't users disrupting it by riling up other users*, and that other users aren't disrupting it by having a kneejerk reaction to "different bad" or whatever.

*Obviously we've covered the difference between a bad-faith and good-faith discussion to death here, and an unpopular position made or defended in good-faith is not grounds for "this user is riling others up, punish them!" I think everyone agrees the goal is not an echo chamber, but a place where different ideas can be discussed and debated to learn, or news analyzed, dissected, opinions given, and predictions made.

(At least, that's the gist I got from your post. Correct me if I'm wrong. And obviously, I'm using "you" as a general term, not you specifically as IIRC, RiTides said he'd be the only mod on the site for now.)

@RiTides, another small (but semi-important) rule you should consider if you haven't already is a "no alt accounts" rule for the obvious reason of trying to bypass a slow mode/mod actions/etc. I'm not sure what tools/experience you have in detecting alt accounts, but it should be something you should look into if you haven't. Also, you may want to consider a "moderator's topic" depending on how frequent thread recreation is done, as a way to spur discussion on ideas that are currently in the news or relevant for whatever reason.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 08:22:13


Post by: Jadenim


 Wolfblade wrote:
 Manchu wrote:
Wolfblade, we have had the discussion about a “like” button behind the scenes here on Dakka Dakka and I have always been against it for the reason you describe. (We ended up with the “exalt” button, which is not very useful.) But I am just spitballing the counterargument here, in the context of the idea that a forum community could be largely self-organizing, based on the principle that engagement is rewarding.
I mean, I don't think it would be used that way though. It'd most likely just end up like every other forum that has ever implemented it.

Maybe an "award" system where you could say "this post is thoughtful/insightful/whatever" but that's really just changing what you call the like.


I have to say I really like the Exalt button (with no negative equivalent), as it feels more like a technical recognition than an opinion. I use it rarely and only when someone has said something very clever, funny or posted something amazing. I use it a lot less than the like buttons on other social media, because it has a subtle difference in my brain.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 12:30:14


Post by: Prestor Jon


I think that if there is no quote button then you might want to consider putting the whole site on “slow” mode. The best utility of the quote button was being able to pull up the post you are replying to after it got buried under another 3 pages of posts overnight. Limit the speed of posting and it will be easier to understand what points you are responding to without quoting. Enforcing a speed limit on everyone should also help improve post quality and keep things on topic.

You might also want to consider if you want to either discourage people from venting/ranting at all or designate a separate forum for such things. It’s easy for people to get worked up over politics especially when all the social media companies use algorithms that promote things that outrage you because you still logged on engaged longer when you’re upset. While it’s an understandable impulse rants can be detrimental to the discourse and awkward to respond to.

I also believe that having an exalt button is a good idea.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 13:19:38


Post by: Jerram


You could always take Manchu's idea of a general and a contentious section and let the section itself control the posting speed.


To address another point, is there a quote tool that will only allow grabbing the whole post and not breaking it apart? It would address Prestor John's concern which was in the back of my mind yesterday but couldn't phrase as eloquently.

On the exalt/like button idea, why not just encourage the culture of having people reply to post they like by putting a line in the intro page that says something like " Poster are encourage to respond to post they like whether its as simple as a "I agree completely" or a detailed addendum to the original post" I think over time you'll start to see more of the second by encouraging the first and that would only make the site better.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 13:34:43


Post by: Pacific


Manchu wrote:Everything That Counts (ETC) is a fantastic name.

I agree with Tannhauser that (at least to begin with) there is no need for sub fora. The need may (or may not) emerge over time. It’s better to let things develop organically than try to impose a structure on something before it even begins.


Agree that the name is a good one

Also on the score of limiting sub-sections of the forum initially. See what kind of traffic and subject themes come up, if a couple of threads are getting buried because of more prevalent topics then maybe split those other topics out into their own sub-section.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 14:10:44


Post by: RiTides


Guys, just wanted to say thanks for the extremely helpful suggestions and ideas on this page! I'm going to be using a paid service so will be mostly limited by what platform I can purchase to use, but will be trying to select that by next week (to go live at end of year) and will be using much of this as a "wishlist" guide when choosing. I'll keep you updated!


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 16:01:21


Post by: LordofHats


 Manchu wrote:
Wolfblade, we have had the discussion about a “like” button behind the scenes here on Dakka Dakka and I have always been against it for the reason you describe. (We ended up with the “exalt” button, which is not very useful.) But I am just spitballing the counterargument here, in the context of the idea that a forum community could be largely self-organizing, based on the principle that engagement is rewarding.


Just as an aside (about Dakkadakka) for whenever it comes up, I've always felt like the only real issue with the exalt button is that it's completely unclear what an exalt even does.

I also don't like 'dislike' options because I rarely see them used in a way that makes sense (user: asks basic questions because they're new, board: +100 dislikes because "we've answered this question already a hundred times waaaah"). The exalt feature is a cool idea. It's just baffling because it doesn't seem to do anything :/ A post is not marked as exalted, and I'm not even clear on what exalting a post actually does. It doesn't tell me the post is exalted. It doesn't tell the original poster. Does it push the topic to the "popular thread" thingie? That would be weird since it's the post that was exalted not the thread.

Exalting (and other similar mechanics) are cool and I like them, but on Dakkadakka it doesn't seem to actually do anything so it holds no real meaning.

RiTides could look at the kind of forum software that is employed by SpaceBattles and Sufficient Velocity. Both have pretty robust "like" functions and the very useful ability to thread mark specific posts or enable the maker of a thread very light 'moderation' powers (they can't ban, or kick or anything like that but are able to mark posts, and with the ability comes some means of 'directate' a thread without calling a full moderator onto it). A lot of those features were devised to support the fanfiction sections of the boards, but they could be useful for what RiTides is doing too.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 16:07:05


Post by: queen_annes_revenge


When I'm on my phone I end up accidentally fat fingering the exalt when I go to use the quote function...


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 16:25:28


Post by: Pacific


I don't know how anyone can use this forum on a phone without going blind!

Whatever tech Bolter and Chainsword and some other forums use seems to work well...

Another idea. There was a lot of comment in the other thread about 'bad faith' posting in the other thread. I think another way of describing this is 'gak stirring' (word for poop beginning with S as the first word there ). Someone posting a comment that they know will deliberately rile up other users. Perhaps not always done to try and get a rise out of people or be deliberately contrarian, but making those posts shoes a certain lack of sensitivity and the end result is the same.

Perhaps those users get an 'honourary' profile pic of a wooden spoon covered in some kind of brown material? Or even just someone stirring a pot?

A bit of fun (not humiliating) sometimes serves better than hard rhetoric, as quite often admonishments and even temporary bans just bounce off gak stirrers like summer rain, and at least would let other users know what to expect in responding to them.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 18:26:43


Post by: Manchu


There are two “exalt” functions on DakkaDakka. You can exalt a thread or a post. There is a “Thread Tools” drop down menu near the top of the page, under which you can find My Exalted Threads. So essentially that is kind of a bookmarks function. As for exalting a post, all that happens is there is an unseen counter that admins can access by running a report.

On some forums, the like button is packaged with the ability to see who liked the post. I think that is a good feature because it cuts against the impression of unanimous approval that can sometimes deter other posters from challenging seemingly popular opinions.

To be clear, I am not advocating for a dislike button.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 18:46:53


Post by: greatbigtree


@ Wolfblade:

My contrasting point regarding assigning a *person* as a bad faith poster is this.

In high school, I had classes with a guy that had been homeschooled in a (to me) hyper religious household. He was a decent guy. Held some strong right wing views, and I consider myself centrist with a bit of a left lean.

In the discussions we had, I think his views would have been what you would call bad faith arguments. Except, it was what he truly believed. It was how he was raised. The sources he was provided by the people he trusted were... I would call many of them inaccurate. But it was the information he had. He’d show me books “proving” his points.

He was an incredible insight for me. We could discus ideas. We were so far from “normal” to each other. It would have been false for either of us to have called the other “bad faith” in our arguments, but they definitely came from utterly alien perspectives.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 18:56:38


Post by: Rosebuddy


 greatbigtree wrote:
I agree entirely that if you have to pick apart an argument line by line, you’re probably skipping the forest to chop down some trees. The forest typically continues to stand.


On the other hand, using quote to reply to just a part of a long post is handy if that's the only thing to you have anything to say about. People don't have to go through several paragraphs to see exactly what you're replying to. Besides, if you're replying to a central, big point it doesn't much matter that you didn't reply to any lesser points.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 19:33:38


Post by: Jerram


Lack of a quote function could just be worked around by CTL-V, CTL-C in such cases. The open question is whether that extra effort would result in fewer posters trying to chop down individual trees rather than addressing the forest and if some unknown "fewer" is worth the extra work for everyone else, such as in the case you brought up. Not sure of the answer myself


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 19:36:04


Post by: Wolfblade


 greatbigtree wrote:
@ Wolfblade:

My contrasting point regarding assigning a *person* as a bad faith poster is this.

In high school, I had classes with a guy that had been homeschooled in a (to me) hyper religious household. He was a decent guy. Held some strong right wing views, and I consider myself centrist with a bit of a left lean.

In the discussions we had, I think his views would have been what you would call bad faith arguments. Except, it was what he truly believed. It was how he was raised. The sources he was provided by the people he trusted were... I would call many of them inaccurate. But it was the information he had. He’d show me books “proving” his points.

He was an incredible insight for me. We could discus ideas. We were so far from “normal” to each other. It would have been false for either of us to have called the other “bad faith” in our arguments, but they definitely came from utterly alien perspectives.


I don't think holding the potential forum to high-school level standards is a good idea. I think we should aim for something higher and expect people to use critical thinking skills to examine their sources and positions.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 20:03:45


Post by: Manchu


Jerram, it’a not only the forest/trees issue with the quote function but also the quote wars issue GBT brought up where you have giant, multi-nested eye sores.

The main thing is just to structurally discourage tit-for-tat sniping. You will never get rid of it, but you can at least make it more tedious to engage in.

Wolfblade, GBT was using an example from his highschool days as an aspirational goal rather than a lower standard. I daresay that his example is exactly what we should aim for: giving one another the benefit of the doubt in the face of deep-rooted, paradigmatic disagreement. Surely, this is the very highest standard.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 20:12:02


Post by: Wolfblade


 Manchu wrote:
Jerram, it’a not only the forest/trees issue with the quote function but also the quote wars issue GBT brought up where you have giant, multi-nested eye sores.

The main thing is just to structurally discourage tit-for-tat sniping. You will never get rid of it, but you can at least make it more tedious to engage in.

Wolfblade, GBT was using an example from his highschool days as an aspirational goal rather than a lower standard. I daresay that his example is exactly what we should aim for: giving one another the benefit of the doubt in the face of deep-rooted, paradigmatic disagreement. Surely, this is the very highest standard.


Up to a certain point? Sure. But there's a huge difference between a discussion about religion and a discussion about policy in politics. Policy thrives on facts and logic, religion does not to put it politely.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 20:47:08


Post by: RegularGuy


So I was thinking about this some more and I suggest that the Code of Conduct for such a forum has to enumerate some key tenets of good faith discussion and enforce it actively or it turns into something potentially counter productive.
It probably starts with "By posting in this forum, you agree that" and ending with "recurring inability to post in accordance with these tenets" leads to time outs or bans from that forum.

The trick then is a good codification of those tenets. Some that comes to mind include:
-People come from diverse backgrounds and perspectives. These backgrounds may have different world views and truth claims, and these may conflict or contradict other views. The purpose of discussion here must not be to defame or disparage or suppress any particular view, but to explore differences with an aim toward understanding and evolution of thought, always reserving the right to disagree."

What does this intend? Take any regular internet example of forum purse swinging. Let's say Catholicism vs protestantism. Suppose the argument goes into "Lutherans are the disease from which all spiritual corruption has spread from the reformation", this is clearly unhelpful. Similarly, someone stating "Catholics are members of the synagogue of satan" is also in the wrong. Followed by someone saying "All religionists are delusional and should be denied any opportunity to serve government or teach children, even their own!" All of this kind of trash discussion is what much of the internet is made of, but I suggest it is not helping humanity.

The requirement to continue participating in a political form then is the maturity to evolve beyond this type of discourse to something that is not about explaining why others are wrong or evil, but rather in each person explaining what they believe, and why, and why they may have a challenge believing or acting as another. All the while respecting the right of others to be from other backgrounds and to hold radically different views.

It is rare to build or maintain such a space, but if you insist on it being that, and actively moderate it to that end, it might be a gem that differs much from so many political fighting arenas around the net.

Even if the forum is ultimately empty because none can behave themselves, that might be better than harboring a mosh pit of discord and outrage.



New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 22:08:21


Post by: Prestor Jon


 Wolfblade wrote:
 Manchu wrote:
Jerram, it’a not only the forest/trees issue with the quote function but also the quote wars issue GBT brought up where you have giant, multi-nested eye sores.

The main thing is just to structurally discourage tit-for-tat sniping. You will never get rid of it, but you can at least make it more tedious to engage in.

Wolfblade, GBT was using an example from his highschool days as an aspirational goal rather than a lower standard. I daresay that his example is exactly what we should aim for: giving one another the benefit of the doubt in the face of deep-rooted, paradigmatic disagreement. Surely, this is the very highest standard.


Up to a certain point? Sure. But there's a huge difference between a discussion about religion and a discussion about policy in politics. Policy thrives on facts and logic, religion does not to put it politely.


It would be nice if policy was based on facts and logic. We’d certainly all be better off it that was true. However, what drives government policy is special interests/lobbying, popular misconceptions, perceived truths, political pandering and financial gain.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 22:14:02


Post by: Manchu


Facts are the creatures of worldviews, not the other way round. People have largely overlapping but still, in some facets, quite different worldviews. So it’s that element that is at stake, rather than just a fact sheet recitation.

Let’s also be clear that we’re just talking about discussion. We aren’t policymakers trying to solve society’s problems. The only plausible goal of the kind of discussions we’re talking about are to learn and grow, develop relationships, and that sort of thing.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 22:48:05


Post by: Wolfblade


Prestor Jon wrote:
 Wolfblade wrote:
 Manchu wrote:
Jerram, it’a not only the forest/trees issue with the quote function but also the quote wars issue GBT brought up where you have giant, multi-nested eye sores.

The main thing is just to structurally discourage tit-for-tat sniping. You will never get rid of it, but you can at least make it more tedious to engage in.

Wolfblade, GBT was using an example from his highschool days as an aspirational goal rather than a lower standard. I daresay that his example is exactly what we should aim for: giving one another the benefit of the doubt in the face of deep-rooted, paradigmatic disagreement. Surely, this is the very highest standard.


Up to a certain point? Sure. But there's a huge difference between a discussion about religion and a discussion about policy in politics. Policy thrives on facts and logic, religion does not to put it politely.


It would be nice if policy was based on facts and logic. We’d certainly all be better off it that was true. However, what drives government policy is special interests/lobbying, popular misconceptions, perceived truths, political pandering and financial gain.


Which would matter if we were putting actual policy into motion but we're not, so can you PLEASE stop pretending like that has some bearing on the discussion at all? Now, if start debating a specific example of how a policy came to be then obviously that aspect is important, but the vast majority of discussion there is more likely to be about the merits/impact of the policy.

Again, I thought I was clear I was talking about a discussion of said policy, not how actual policies get passed and it feels like you've purposefully misinterpreted this to be about something else or make another point twice now. No one is under the assumption we'll be influencing policy directly, but that doesn't stop us from discussing it, just like it doesn't make it acceptable for someone to push something blatantly racist or bigoted just because they have no direct influence over policy.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/14 23:23:02


Post by: greatbigtree


@ Rosebuddy:

I guess what I'm saying is, that if you're addressing someone specific, you can just do what I've just done... put @ Person Name: at the start. That clarifies which person you're talking to, and hopefully the reply makes sense to some part of their post. If someone else hasn't read Person Name's post, they probably don't care that you're replying to it, and don't need to see the quoted post again. If they have read it... they probably don't need to see the quoted post again, they'll already know what you're talking about. It's just a me thing, I realize other people don't mind quote walls and quote wars... I just find them irritating. I'm advocating to try to avoid it in a hypothetical future forum. No harm intended to the quote-lovers out there!


@ Wolfblade:

I am not advocating for the use of bad faith arguments. I am advocating for allowing a person to present their *opinion*, and present what reasons they have for holding that opinion. If another poster disagrees with the *opinion* presented, or believes the reasons for holding such an opinion are false, they can present that back. These posters can attempt to counter each other's points, but it is entirely possible that the two posters have different *value structures*.

Returning to my friend from High School, his *value structures* were what I might call tribal or clan-like in nature. I don't say that in a disparaging way, but in the sense that his culture was not widespread. Our peers were mostly secular (myself included). Our peers were mostly left-leaning (myself included, at the time). He was a true outsider at our school. In many ways, his entire mindset developed in a small, tight, group where the “other” was dangerous to their way of life. His *value structure* was protectionist, specific to his group. They couldn't save the whole world, so they saved themselves and whomever they could bring to their beliefs. They wished no specific harm on the “other”, but wanted them to stay on their side of the fence. Many things that I considered “backwards”, but to him was normal, and he had reasons he considered valid for his beliefs. We gave a lot of insight to each other by accepting that we could look at the same information, the same facts, and come to different conclusions about what to do with that information.

If we were trying to “win”, then we wouldn't have had the valuable exchanges that we had. Rather, if “winning” was the primary goal, it would have faltered. We both tried to sway the other to our way of seeing, but we usually didn't. It was usually more a case of trying to understand the other person's view through their *value structure*, instead of our own. We understood *why* we couldn't come to an agreement.

And we did this without labeling each other. I could have called him a racist, a facist, a bigot, a homophobe. He could have called me ambivalent, socialist (an insult, in his mind ), unwilling to protect our “way of life” and tollerant of socially harmful behaviour... and we did, a little bit, if I'm honest. I would hope that people are able to come to ETC and find that. Not a war zone, but a means of exploring other ideas and perspectives. I don't think that happens when we label *people* instead of dealing with arguments and ideas.

My perception is that you want to deny this by calling it bad faith. That an argument that you, personally, feel is in bad faith should not be allowed. This is a logical fallacy, in the presumption of correctness. It is possible the person is bringing a view that is so utterly alien to you, it seems false on first read. “A *person* could only believe that if they are BAD... or would only post that if they're a TROLL!” Instead, it may come from a perspective utterly foreign to you. By addressing the argument, the reasons and “evidence” you may find that there is a reason to it, even if you don't agree with it. Even if it does not align with your *value structure*, you may be able to understand it by understanding the other person's value structure.

From what I've gathered from your posts, I think you're looking to win the argument. Not learn and grow, but to defeat the other. In this regard, I think we have a differing value structure, and that we're unlikely to find agreement in how to best help shape the future ETC. That's what I mean by building up community, rather than burning it down. I understand that for some, Political discussion is verbal combat, and that's ok too. However, I think that what I'm trying to present is more community building. Positive, sharing, caring relationships between posters instead of different sides in a conflict. It can be both. I expect it will be.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 00:21:41


Post by: Rosebuddy


 greatbigtree wrote:

From what I've gathered from your posts, I think you're looking to win the argument. Not learn and grow, but to defeat the other. In this regard, I think we have a differing value structure, and that we're unlikely to find agreement in how to best help shape the future ETC. That's what I mean by building up community, rather than burning it down. I understand that for some, Political discussion is verbal combat, and that's ok too. However, I think that what I'm trying to present is more community building. Positive, sharing, caring relationships between posters instead of different sides in a conflict. It can be both. I expect it will be.



Then we'll have to decide some values that the community should share. "Learn and grow", okay, grow into what?


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 00:30:15


Post by: Prestor Jon


 Wolfblade wrote:
Prestor Jon wrote:
 Wolfblade wrote:
 Manchu wrote:
Jerram, it’a not only the forest/trees issue with the quote function but also the quote wars issue GBT brought up where you have giant, multi-nested eye sores.

The main thing is just to structurally discourage tit-for-tat sniping. You will never get rid of it, but you can at least make it more tedious to engage in.

Wolfblade, GBT was using an example from his highschool days as an aspirational goal rather than a lower standard. I daresay that his example is exactly what we should aim for: giving one another the benefit of the doubt in the face of deep-rooted, paradigmatic disagreement. Surely, this is the very highest standard.


Up to a certain point? Sure. But there's a huge difference between a discussion about religion and a discussion about policy in politics. Policy thrives on facts and logic, religion does not to put it politely.


It would be nice if policy was based on facts and logic. We’d certainly all be better off it that was true. However, what drives government policy is special interests/lobbying, popular misconceptions, perceived truths, political pandering and financial gain.


Which would matter if we were putting actual policy into motion but we're not, so can you PLEASE stop pretending like that has some bearing on the discussion at all? Now, if start debating a specific example of how a policy came to be then obviously that aspect is important, but the vast majority of discussion there is more likely to be about the merits/impact of the policy.

Again, I thought I was clear I was talking about a discussion of said policy, not how actual policies get passed and it feels like you've purposefully misinterpreted this to be about something else or make another point twice now. No one is under the assumption we'll be influencing policy directly, but that doesn't stop us from discussing it, just like it doesn't make it acceptable for someone to push something blatantly racist or bigoted just because they have no direct influence over policy.


I was attempting to point out that I believe the posting standard you’re setting is excessively specific. Discussing policies is very much a matter of perception and personal experience/personal benefit that may not be rooted in extensive knowledge of the facts of the policies or logic that meets the standard of others.
For example somebody could post that they think the president is doing a good job because personally things are going well for him/her. That post would be rebutted by someone who questions how the poster can have a positive view of a president who has said/some horrible things and points out that presidents don’t have much direct impact on our lives. The first poster might reply Well guess those negative things don’t really affect me so I’m not bothered by them and on the whole I think the president has been more good than bad. Which would be rebutted again with a reply like How can you hand wave away all of this racist/bigoted actions/statements/policies? What exactly has the president done that is so good that you’re okay with supporting such horrible things? Just your feelings and anecdotes? I guess my facts can’t compete against your feelings huh? This is such a garbage post and bad faith argument you should be banned.

If we want to discuss economic policy and our domestic economic response to the pandemic can we post opinions and ideas by themselves or do we need to include supporting evidence like quotes from Federal Reserve Chairs and links to Bureau of Labor Statistics reports? How much research and prep work should be done before conversing on the internet?

It seems like no matter what optimistic, possibly idealistic, comment is made there is always a rebuttal at the ready to make sure parameters, restrictions and punishments are in place to ensure that posts adhere to a specific template without deviation. It seems like RiTides desires and expectations are the antithesis of those who are most vociferously making suggestions for it.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Rosebuddy wrote:
 greatbigtree wrote:

From what I've gathered from your posts, I think you're looking to win the argument. Not learn and grow, but to defeat the other. In this regard, I think we have a differing value structure, and that we're unlikely to find agreement in how to best help shape the future ETC. That's what I mean by building up community, rather than burning it down. I understand that for some, Political discussion is verbal combat, and that's ok too. However, I think that what I'm trying to present is more community building. Positive, sharing, caring relationships between posters instead of different sides in a conflict. It can be both. I expect it will be.



Then we'll have to decide some values that the community should share. "Learn and grow", okay, grow into what?


Grow into a great big tree. ;-)


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 00:34:01


Post by: greatbigtree


Well, much like evolution, we aren’t evolving “into” anything. We just grow. Become more aware, increase our understanding of the universe. To be blunt, become more wise and informed.

A value that I would like to see brought to the community would be to have a place where the pursuit of greater understanding can flourish. Where, at least in one section, the goal is to try to understand different views, not defeat different views.

This does not mean we can’t have a combat zone. I love a good verbal scrap as much as the next guy. But that the former is the key focus of the site. A person can throw down most anywhere on the internet if they just want to scrap. I think a site whose focus is on increasing understanding would be more valuable, harder to find, than a written cage match.

What values would you like to see in the future ETC?



Edit: Pshhh. The people should be so fortunate as grow into a GreatBigTree. Henry Thoreau was way off. We can’t all be tall, tall trees. But those of us that can, should. And hopefully our metaphoric trunks can be made into something wonderful by the next generation. At the very least, we leave a bunch of fertilizer behind when we fall...


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 02:05:55


Post by: AlmightyWalrus


 greatbigtree wrote:


From what I've gathered from your posts, I think you're looking to win the argument. Not learn and grow, but to defeat the other. In this regard, I think we have a differing value structure, and that we're unlikely to find agreement in how to best help shape the future ETC. That's what I mean by building up community, rather than burning it down. I understand that for some, Political discussion is verbal combat, and that's ok too. However, I think that what I'm trying to present is more community building. Positive, sharing, caring relationships between posters instead of different sides in a conflict. It can be both. I expect it will be.


If I post 134 links that I haven't even read as an "argument", what learning and growing are you going to be doing with that post? What kind of "community building" comes from someone not even reading the things they refer to and claiming they say the opposite of what they do (and I'm not talking something that I interpret as saying the opposite, I'm literally talking "this one source is openly mocking the behaviour of the guy linking it that's claiming that it backs him up")?


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 02:08:02


Post by: Wolfblade


(After spending way too long editing and revising this, I'll just post it instead of creating a never-ending cycle of revision... and then forget to put this here. Sorry for the wall of text and no TL;DR!)

 greatbigtree wrote:

My perception is that you want to deny this by calling it bad faith. That an argument that you, personally, feel is in bad faith should not be allowed. This is a logical fallacy, in the presumption of correctness. It is possible the person is bringing a view that is so utterly alien to you, it seems false on first read. “A *person* could only believe that if they are BAD... or would only post that if they're a TROLL!” Instead, it may come from a perspective utterly foreign to you. By addressing the argument, the reasons and “evidence” you may find that there is a reason to it, even if you don't agree with it. Even if it does not align with your *value structure*, you may be able to understand it by understanding the other person's value structure.


Well, first off the stated goal of this future site is not about "understanding someone's value structure and why they believe X bigoted thing" but for political discussion and both would have pretty different rulesets to cultivate that type of atmosphere. I think if you recognize that, you may understand where I and others are coming from here and why we want a stricter ruleset to enforce that structure. Furthermore, just because a person really truly believes "X group is inferior/sinning and don't deserve Y rights and that's their value structure" does not lend any validity to the positions they take related to or based on that.

Anyways, your face-to-face interactions in high school provided both time and a personal connection an internet forum just cannot provide. "Deprogramming" someone of hate requires an immense amount of time, a personal connection, and a space in which they don't feel judged, but accepted. And make no mistakes, if they truly gleaned insight and came away different, that's what you were doing. Meanwhile, on the internet, if you get banned who cares, just make up another username and fake email address and feth that guy for being different! That mentality just doesn't work in real life, especially in a closed eco-system like high school. It's so much harder to convey the feelings and tone you want over the internet than in person. There's a complete lack of body language, no tone of voice, no eye contact, and so on. For example, sarcasm can be read as totally serious because there's no exaggerated tone of voice or body language. There's only text on a screen and maybe an emoji that may not perfectly express what you want it to.

Basically, you had an insightful conversation without any explicit rules or explanation on what a good conversation entails because you both were following implicit rules of social norms and decency in a conversation that you could gather a lot of context clues from. You had the threat of being a social outcast if either of you acted as most people act on the internet whether you realize it or not. Internet spaces only have the ones we actively choose to enforce and cultivate. Otherwise, it always sinks to however far people are willing to stoop which will inevitably drive people away, just like Dakka has seen. If we make those implicit rules explicit and enforce them on the new forum, you'll get the type of place you want. You'll certainly have a better chance than if you just cross your fingers and hope the Dakka model works this time.

So, to answer your point more directly no, that isn't what I want. What I want to see are actual, interesting conversations and discussions, especially from those with a large amount of knowledge in particular areas. I don't want to see the same old games of whack-a-mole as one person throws a stink bomb, leaves, and then does the same exact thing again next week. I don't want to be reading someone else's source to prove they didn't even read them. I don't want to see a novel's worth of text to disprove a paragraph, one that is devoid of any facts or straight-up denies them, that is then ignored and repeated almost verbatim next week. That's bad faith, and it's totally different than discussing the pros and cons of voter ID. I am not ok with someone who wants it because it either helps their party win or because it keeps certain people from voting because that only serves to drag down any conversation. I'm fine with discussing both illegal immigration and potential solutions to related issues. I'm not fine with automatically labeling illegal immigrants as criminals (and worse) or because they believe a certain physical feature will keep a certain group of people out and for no other reason. If you seriously don't believe me, DM me and I'd be happy to provide you with examples from Dakka showing you exactly what I mean by "bad faith" since an open discussion about political issues is still banned here.

Again, it is not about "differing view bad." It's more akin to someone saying a single IG conscript will beat the Nightbringer 10 out of 10 times, offers to simulate it and use mathhammer as proof, and then when the conscript loses, they pretend it didn't happen and issue the same challenge next week saying it hasn't been disproven or tested yet and ignore people who point out they've been through this song and dance before.

 greatbigtree wrote:

From what I've gathered from your posts, I think you're looking to win the argument. Not learn and grow, but to defeat the other. In this regard, I think we have a differing value structure, and that we're unlikely to find agreement in how to best help shape the future ETC. That's what I mean by building up community, rather than burning it down. I understand that for some, Political discussion is verbal combat, and that's ok too. However, I think that what I'm trying to present is more community building. Positive, sharing, caring relationships between posters instead of different sides in a conflict. It can be both. I expect it will be.


Can you have a good, diverse community if you don't cultivate a certain level of respect for each other among users? On the internet, can you really have a good relationship with a homophobe if you're gay, or with a racist if you're not of the same race as them? Can you have a good relationship with someone who is calling for the extermination of the Danes if you are a Dane? How on earth can you have a good relationship with someone who hates you, not based on their interactions with you, but for factors outside of your control? Do you seriously just pretend they don't want to exterminate all Danes or whatever? The onus should not be on the "good" person to ignore their flaws in order to build "positive, sharing, caring relationships between posters" but on the bigot to change or on the mods to punish such statements that don't build the community they want, but rather tear it down.

If you want a community to have good relations between members, you have to establish a structure that supports the interactions you want and punish or remove those who disrupt it significantly enough. Rules and vigilant, empowered moderation is key to that. It's why dakka is functionally a toxic wasteland with only the veneer of civility. Take a moment to scratch at the surface and you reveal the underlying passive-aggressiveness that has driven people away from here. If you bring up a radically different idea (such as FSM, or that the most recent star wars movies were great or anything related to "SJWs," among other examples) we aren't going to see many people saying "I respect your view and it's valid." You're going to see thinly-veiled flaming and gak-flinging between two or more sides because dakka's structure does not serve to enable a healthy discussion. Instead, the opposing posters drown out any real discussion and spread toxicity anywhere the topic goes, anywhere they see the "other" poster, and eventually, dakka bans the topic and pretends the problem was solved while never actually addressing the problem.

And I bring up Dakka's moderation because it's a failure at fostering a friendly community of people with diverse and potentially "extreme" views (in relation to the socially "accepted" position on certain subjects) which is what I'm trying to drive at. It's not about who I personally want to see gone or what views I disagree with, but what the structure needs to be in order to prevent it from being dakka v1.1 at best. Hell, you don't even seem to want dakka v1.0 so I'm unsure why you expect its ruleset to be moved somewhere else and get a different result or outcome.

I agree that we probably won't find common ground here, which is weird considering we both want the new site to have the best chance it can have. I just don't see it thriving long term if it includes people who support/encourage bigotry or engage in bad faith repeatedly. I'm all for giving everyone a clean slate to prove themselves there, but I also want there to be rules to at least try and prevent it from devolving into what politics here did because dakka's rules failed horribly.

(As for your view on quotes, I absolutely understand walls of quotes can absolutely be annoying especially if someone uses larger font sizes to simulate yelling, but not everyone checks threads as much as you or I do, and may only do so once or twice a day for a limited period of time and may come back to see several new pages per day. A better option imo is to have the quotes start in a collapsed form (i.e., like with an ignored user's post when you have to click a button to show it) and see how that works instead of jumping to the "extreme" decision of axing the quote feature altogether.)

Prestor Jon wrote:
I was attempting to point out that I believe the posting standard you’re setting is excessively specific. Discussing policies is very much a matter of perception and personal experience/personal benefit that may not be rooted in extensive knowledge of the facts of the policies or logic that meets the standard of others.
For example somebody could post that they think the president is doing a good job because personally things are going well for him/her. That post would be rebutted by someone who questions how the poster can have a positive view of a president who has said/some horrible things and points out that presidents don’t have much direct impact on our lives. The first poster might reply Well guess those negative things don’t really affect me so I’m not bothered by them and on the whole I think the president has been more good than bad. Which would be rebutted again with a reply like How can you hand wave away all of this racist/bigoted actions/statements/policies? What exactly has the president done that is so good that you’re okay with supporting such horrible things? Just your feelings and anecdotes? I guess my facts can’t compete against your feelings huh? This is such a garbage post and bad faith argument you should be banned.

If we want to discuss economic policy and our domestic economic response to the pandemic can we post opinions and ideas by themselves or do we need to include supporting evidence like quotes from Federal Reserve Chairs and links to Bureau of Labor Statistics reports? How much research and prep work should be done before conversing on the internet?

It seems like no matter what optimistic, possibly idealistic, comment is made there is always a rebuttal at the ready to make sure parameters, restrictions and punishments are in place to ensure that posts adhere to a specific template without deviation. It seems like RiTides desires and expectations are the antithesis of those who are most vociferously making suggestions for it.


1. Your example seems like it would fall under the "do not attack other users, but their ideas" clause, no? A proper response would be pointing out how it has negatively affected others, and if the response is "well, I don't care" then it kinda gets hard to maintain a good discussion if one side is only worried about how they personally are doing.

2. You don't need to be an expert or have a PhD to have a discussion on policy, but you should have some familiarity with the policy you're talking about. It would also probably be handy to have links to various reports and other sources to back up your position. (Was that supposed to be like, a crazy and outlandish suggestion or something? That's a pretty common feature in good-faith discussions, sourcing yourself and stuff.) However, if you choose to not familiarize yourself beforehand anyways, you should be prepared to do some research if someone brings up a counterpoint or admit you don't know much about it and explain why you're taking the position you are. That leaves plenty of room for a discussion to happen and insight/knowledge to be gained.

3. I'm all for what he wants, but I, and several others, believe he isn't going to get it if he just attempts to copy Dakka's ruleset and hands-off approach. The idealistic model of users primarily policing themselves (and just themselves) has already been tried and it failed. Badly. It did not create a community that had engaging political discussions with each other in any sense.

 AlmightyWalrus wrote:
 greatbigtree wrote:


From what I've gathered from your posts, I think you're looking to win the argument. Not learn and grow, but to defeat the other. In this regard, I think we have a differing value structure, and that we're unlikely to find agreement in how to best help shape the future ETC. That's what I mean by building up community, rather than burning it down. I understand that for some, Political discussion is verbal combat, and that's ok too. However, I think that what I'm trying to present is more community building. Positive, sharing, caring relationships between posters instead of different sides in a conflict. It can be both. I expect it will be.


If I post 134 links that I haven't even read as an "argument", what learning and growing are you going to be doing with that post? What kind of "community building" comes from someone not even reading the things they refer to and claiming they say the opposite of what they do (and I'm not talking something that I interpret as saying the opposite, I'm literally talking "this one source is openly mocking the behaviour of the guy linking it that's claiming that it backs him up")?


Walrus isn't exaggerating. The person said (and I quote exactly as they typed it) "Under every recount scenario, X would've won Y... ESPECIALLY under a state-wide recount." after posting a source which said, "X would not have won if a full recount was done," more or less.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 02:34:53


Post by: AlmightyWalrus


That's not even the incident I was thinking of, which just makes my point stronger.

To be clear, we're not arguing for an instant ban as soon as someone argues in bad faith (at least I'm not). By all means, give people the benefit of the doubt. At the same time, you have to be more willing to drop the hammer and make people face consequences for repeated bad-faith posting. It doesn't even have to be permabans at first, obviously. Just something more than a slap on the wrist and a "you naughty boy!" from the moderators. I'm still completely flabbergasted at the fact that I've only gotten a single official warning during my time at Dakka considering how many times that I, in hindsight, was being an ass (and the one warning was totally deserved).


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 02:58:43


Post by: Wolfblade


 AlmightyWalrus wrote:
That's not even the incident I was thinking of, which just makes my point stronger.

To be clear, we're not arguing for an instant ban as soon as someone argues in bad faith (at least I'm not). By all means, give people the benefit of the doubt. At the same time, you have to be more willing to drop the hammer and make people face consequences for repeated bad-faith posting. It doesn't even have to be permabans at first, obviously. Just something more than a slap on the wrist and a "you naughty boy!" from the moderators. I'm still completely flabbergasted at the fact that I've only gotten a single official warning during my time at Dakka considering how many times that I, in hindsight, was being an ass (and the one warning was totally deserved).

Oh, I know it isn't, it was just the most recent example of what you're talking about, and I'm not arguing for an instant ban either for record, it's why I suggested warnings and temp bans/mutes.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 03:12:05


Post by: Manchu


Walrus, the reason you have only netted a single warning is probably because Dakka moderators take a very light-touch approach. And that in turn contributes to my (and probably also RiTides’s) resistance to a rules-heavy approach to a prospective politics discussion forum.

This is not just a matter of theory. The light-touch approach is the product of collective decades of experience of work as moderators. First of all, we have found that suspending and banning accounts is of very limited value, speaking practically, except in the most extreme cases. Second, punishing people is not fun. Like, at all. Having to punish posters is by far and away the leading cause of mod burn-out.

Moderation on Dakka is built around two fundamental principles: (1) the concentration of enforcement power in moderator hands and (2) negative sanctions. This schema works okay for moderating hobby discussion, but much less for moderating discussion of subjects like religion and politics. This was a contributing factor to the decision to ban those topics, whenever they don’t explicitly relate to hobby discussion, on this site.

So from practical experience, I would say that a board dedicated to political discussion must rely less on rules and moderator enforcement and more on principles of positive reinforcement and self-organization.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 03:39:03


Post by: Wolfblade


Then the board will fail. We saw it here at dakka with a full team of moderators, and the new board will have even fewer resources.

Moderating a political discussion is not easy, and trying to take a figurative shortcut will not work.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 03:41:26


Post by: AlmightyWalrus


Or, alternatively, we already have such a forum: the Wasteland.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 03:41:33


Post by: Manchu


Wolfblade, I don’t think you quite followed my post. The moderation structure of Dakka is not appropriate for fostering healthy political discussion. Keeping that same structure and simply doubling down is not the solution. The solution is a different kind of structure.

Walrus, Wasteland is simply no moderation. Again, what we need is a structure that encourages posters to be thoughtful and restrained. And a structure where the community itself has some control over the tenor and pace of discussion.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 03:57:36


Post by: Wolfblade


I was referring more to "I would say that a board dedicated to political discussion must rely less on rules and moderator enforcement and more on principles of positive reinforcement and self-organization." And I think the main difference between dakka's politics thread and the wasteland is that people can openly insult each other to be honest.

Because, again, that's just Dakka. Mod action outside of locking threads and finger wagging was non-existent in the politics thread. There were no seriously enforced rules besides "civility" (sometimes) and very little, if any, positive reinforcement. There was self organization though, a lot of us got fed up with the trolls and bad faith posters... But it didn't help in any way. It just became an "Us vs Them" thing because the mods wouldn't do anything about the problem posters.

So yeah. The Wasteland is just dakka without some of us pretending to be civil anymore.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 06:24:30


Post by: greatbigtree


@Wolfblade:

I’m not sure if you’ve done this on purpose, but you’ve enacted every version of “bad faith” and logical fallacy that I know of, within this thread.

You attempt to straw man my arguments by waving them away as “high school stuff. Time to be grownups!” Which also draws upon an appeal to authority. (That you are wise enough to judge my statements to be naive.)

You misrepresent my motivations. You argue that I have expressed a belief that the “Dakka” style of moderation would work on this new site, while I have repeatedly argued that political discussion does not belong on Dakka. I have doubts as to RiTides methods. He’s much more hands off and patient than I am. We have different value structures... but I think his way will ultimately be successful. I feel that Dakka doesn’t suit political discussion because the culture is competitive. We wargame. That’s what brings us here. There was no push for greater understanding in those threads. It was a fight, each time. The fight would have occurred with, or without bad faith. It will occur anywhere that there is a drive to defeat your enemy, instead of trying to learn.

My motivation, is to hopefully be able to foster an experience for others, that I am fortunate to have experienced. I have had similarly interesting exchanges with very left wing people as well. With people of many walks of life. I find it has helped lead to me leading a fulfilling life. I think education and learning are the tools for people to advance their lives in the way of their choosing. Someone may come to ETC looking to scrap. But maybe they take a few hits on the chin, and want to learn how to avoid getting duped into an argument they can’t win. So we (might?) have a combat zone, and an education zone. A place where people can learn how to debate, argue, and reason. And in doing so, much like mastering a martial art, the student learns that conflict isn’t necessarily the best means to reach the best end. That it is ok to make a mistake and learn from it, instead of slugging it out in a trench.

Another misrepresentation, is that I don’t want respect between posters. I do expect respect between posters. Respect, in my view, is to have the discussion attempt to form the best synthesis of ideas presented. Not that one party is defeated by the other, but to have both parties walk away with a better idea or plan than they walked in with.

You continue to flaunt the same argument... the Boogeyman of the poster that posts in deliberate bad faith. This does not need to be overcome, in a discussion / sharing model. If one party presents “evidence” that is unworthy, or invalid, then that person’s opinion can be disregarded. They’re free to post, and free to be judged unworthy of discussion. They may learn, change, and grow into becoming worthy, or they may not. They may learn from their experience, or they may not.

Such a boogeyman, is a *person*. The *person* doesn’t matter.

Repeating the same, debunked boogeyman threat has become a bad faith argument in its own right. Your indirect personal attacks regarding my motivations have been shown to be incorrect, due to the active logical fallacy of presumption of correctness. Your attempts to straw man my positions have been shown to have failed. Your misdirection in implying that I *desire* to have racists and bigots given an “equal credibility” is shown false in my reminiscing about my friend with distasteful views. I am actively in favour of inclusivity. I want anyone to be able to have the chance to change their ways. You have shown your inability to accurately asses the information presented to you, in an attempt to win an argument that can’t be *won* in the sense you imagine. Because we have different value structures, I have come to the understanding that I can manipulate you into playing the role of an antithetical argument, while I play Plato. We have performed for RiTides, the only person in this discussion who’s opinion really matters.


As my experience with RiTide is that he’s hella-patient, and genuinely impartial and open to ideas. So to most effectively try to shape the future of his website, I would need to convince him by engaging in a logical argument, in the face of the very nature of argument that *shouldn’t* be the style cultivated.


And in doing this... I get to win. I’ve got my cake and I get to eat it too. Had it both ways. No regrets.

Nah, I’m just messing around. Or am I? Is this a ring within a ring, within a ring? Was I engaging in good faith before? Am I now? Am I using the tools of my enemies against them? Can I use them against my enemies, if we are here as fellow students and not enemies at all?

Mic’s over there, if you want to take a crack at winning.



New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 06:26:53


Post by: Manchu


It’s a bit funny to me when people who insist on facts in theory don’t do so in practice, but I guess that is human nature.

Moderation on Dakka is confidential. Just because you don’t know what happened doesn’t mean nothing happened. And there’s also the issue of discretion, meaning that just because something was done differently to how you think it should be done (when you actually know what happened) doesn’t mean what was done was done incorrectly.

This is the kind of exchange that, from my perspective, only reinforces that this draconian insistence that there be all kinds of rules and constant bans is not to be taken seriously. What you get with that is a blog rather than a discussion forum. But like I said, that is a decade of moderation experience talking. And that’s why I advocate for a different kind of structure, based on transparent community actions rather than behind-the-scenes policing.



New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 09:02:18


Post by: Wolfblade


 greatbigtree wrote:
You attempt to straw man my arguments by waving them away as “high school stuff. Time to be grownups!” Which also draws upon an appeal to authority. (That you are wise enough to judge my statements to be naive.)

Uhhhh... No. I did not handwave it away as "high school stuff" but I seriously doubt you actually read anything I wrote judging by your admission of bad faith. You did however provide a perfect example of why bad faith posting should be curtailed. Here I thought I just wasn't being clear enough, but you were just being purposefully dense.

So congrats, you successfully trolled me because I expected better from you, but you also proved my point by making yourself a perfect example, which is more valuable than almost any other evidence that myself or others could provide.

 Manchu wrote:
It’s a bit funny to me when people who insist on facts in theory don’t do so in practice, but I guess that is human nature.

Moderation on Dakka is confidential. Just because you don’t know what happened doesn’t mean nothing happened. And there’s also the issue of discretion, meaning that just because something was done differently to how you think it should be done (when you actually know what happened) doesn’t mean what was done was done incorrectly.

This is the kind of exchange that, from my perspective, only reinforces that this draconian insistence that there be all kinds of rules and constant bans is not to be taken seriously. What you get with that is a blog rather than a discussion forum. But like I said, that is a decade of moderation experience talking. And that’s why I advocate for a different kind of structure, based on transparent community actions rather than behind-the-scenes policing.


Community actions (and correct me if I'm wrong) sounds like it amounts to "ignore/block users" which didn't work here, and it certainly did not work in the wasteland. I and others are in favor of some sort of actual structure because regardless of the mysterious and arcane workings that went on behind the scenes (whatever they were) failed. Hell, one of the mods got called out over posting something that got the thread locked earlier and then the same mod locked the thread that they created an issue in. And obviously, there was a thread in NnB about it, and taking a quick glance there made me chuckle a bit. I honestly forgot about the "mods are dictators, feth the community's wants, deal with it" rant at the very start.

Anyways, the users who consistently dragged the threads down and generated mod alerts were still around until the very end. Threads were created here in NnB pointing out the issue, as were posts within the threads themselves, and posters overall were asking for more structure/a crackdown which didn't happen. There was even a rule that was supposed to help in that respect (rule 3 of the last two politics threads for the record) and we could argue what "devoid of 'discussionable' content" really means (i.e. if the exact same subject has been discussed 5 times in the same thread, or if a user tries a gish-gallop of links without reading them or if it only applies to actual spam such as image-only posts or whatever) but whatever it meant and applied to doesn't matter as it did not solve the problem.

Ironically, you're making a strawman too. I'm not advocating for an immediate ban, let alone a permanent ban immediately, or a draconian ruleset, but a series of increasing punishments (barring something serious which may warrant skipping steps). I'm advocating for a ruleset that defines what bad faith is, and what good faith is, and the punishment that will be used to curtail the former and encourage the latter. I also really think you should go back and actually skim some of those threads (and the NnB thread I mentioned) before dismissing the idea of stricter guidelines not being the solution to the shitfest that happened in the politics thread here.

And if you are accusing me of "not using facts" it's only because I'm probably not allowed to post them between it probably not being "civil" and/or the politics ban. Or if you're talking about my stance on dakka's moderation actions and the perceived total lack of it in the politics thread, well, I'd be more than happy to be proven wrong in that regard but I don't think that's realistic for obvious reasons. For now, all I can go on is what I saw happen during the 5 months of the last two threads which was a mix between nothing and spitefully locking a thread after they created an issue in it.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 09:43:44


Post by: Manchu


What you’re describing (a system of incremental sanctions) is what we already use on this site.

As for a clear definition of a rule against “bad faith arguments” — this is a mythical concept, at least as you seem to be using it. Bad faith argument, most concisely defined, is a kind of deception; in other words, it is a matter of a subjective mental state. Accusing someone of arguing in bad faith is always going to be a subjective judgment. It is not just an evaluation of the argument, it is a matter of joining the argument. As soon as a moderator accuses someone of bad faith, (s)he effectively stops being an impartial third party and instead takes a side in the argument itself. The rule you want boils down to a rule against making certain arguments, rather than kinds of arguments. In other words, the risk of bad faith is a necessary factor of freely discussing political subjects; it cannot be eliminated by any rules system.

In a free discussion, participants must work out for themselves what is a strong or weak argument, what content is worth engaging, and which users should be ignored. The politics ban here is largely the result of posters generally doing a bad job with this, not just the bad behavior of a few problem posters who, from a necessarily uninformed perspective, appeared to go unpunished. Our system, built on a small number of users policing a much larger number of users armed only with negative sanctions, simply does not fit with the nature of the problem. As I said, simply “modding harder” under these conditions won’t work.

What I mean by community action is more than just being personally responsible in what you decide to ignore or engage, and thus reward. (As I laid out in my post above; I won’t repeat the whole thing here.) But that kind of responsibility is inescapably the basic requirement for free discussion about controversial subjects. This is a classic “beam and mote” question, if there ever was one.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 09:59:26


Post by: Da Boss


I think a lot about systems these days, in my work.

But I think that this is really something you cannot deal with on a systematic level.

No system can really handle the shifting ideas and perspectives on a political or religious discussion, not if you want it to actually be free and open.

Dealing with bad faith and free speech is kind of the defining problem of our era, and I don't think we have much in our toolbox except relying on the people engaging with arguments and discussions to use their best judgement.

It is unsatisfactory, I know. We want some sort of justice to be done, we want some sort of consequence for poor behaviour. But ultimately we can mediate that ourselves, and that is all we can do. Use ignore, don't engage, try to model what you want to see.

Yup, super unsatisfactory and not very cathartic, but probably the only way to really have political discussion that is totally open and does not descend into an echo chamber.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 10:10:22


Post by: Manchu


Da Boss, you’re spot-on and the issue is of course compounded by what tends to motivate these arguments which has been summed up by others ITT as scoring points. I like and agree with your implicit diagnosis as well, of people looking for some kind of catharsis. That is a goal much better suited to therapy than free discussion.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 10:10:58


Post by: Not Online!!!


 Da Boss wrote:
I think a lot about systems these days, in my work.

But I think that this is really something you cannot deal with on a systematic level.

No system can really handle the shifting ideas and perspectives on a political or religious discussion, not if you want it to actually be free and open.

Disagree, it is the system that influences the culture of debate to be had, and the later part is also verifyably visible.

Dealing with bad faith and free speech is kind of the defining problem of our era, and I don't think we have much in our toolbox except relying on the people engaging with arguments and discussions to use their best judgement.

It is unsatisfactory, I know. We want some sort of justice to be done, we want some sort of consequence for poor behaviour. But ultimately we can mediate that ourselves, and that is all we can do. Use ignore, don't engage, try to model what you want to see.

there we have the issue, modern political discussions based in "representativ systems" automatically force people to proclaim colour even if they don't cary the associated agenda, polarisation then worsens this and you get what we have in the USA. And ignoring /non engaging is not the solution period.

Yup, super unsatisfactory and not very cathartic, but probably the only way to really have political discussion that is totally open and does not descend into an echo chamber.

Debates about the standpoint on free speech are allways difficult, but the concept of justice has nothing lost within it by association.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 11:06:51


Post by: Herzlos


 LordofHats wrote:
Honestly, I wouldn't bother spreading yourself out. It's just making work for yourself that comes to nothing.

A lot of what you'll need in terms of categories will come down to participation and frequency. Less is more. Start with a general board, let it run for a bit, and then start branching off into sub-boards as the traffic comes in and gives you an idea what you need. You won't need an Education section if there's only ever an education topic once in a blue moon.


This seems to be the sensible approach - just create a Politics section here with a "no being a gak" rule, appoint a few more mods and ban anyone from the group that can't behave. Put a huge disclaimer on it that it's a gakshow and be done.

You certainly don't need a separate forum for it, paid or otherwise, and the more subcategories you add the more fragmented it'll become (even though it's all inter-linked anyway so policing the subcategories will be hell).

If any of it becomes too big, split it off.


As a long-time user who doesn't get much gaming time at the moment, it was really only the political commentary (which seemed pretty reasonable on the whole) that kept me visiting, but if I need to go to another site or not trivial to access I won't bother.

One other forum I'm on has a politics subforum, which you can only access having been a member for 1+ month with 100+ posts, which at least keeps the trolls and sockpuppets to a minimal. You can even hide it from anyone not logged in so search bots can't direct traffic to it.



Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Jadenim wrote:

I do miss the politics threads, because I find it interesting to talk about this stuff and, particularly over the past few years, cathartic given...everything...that has been going on in my areas of the world (I live in the UK and have family in the US). It also helps break the echo chamber, as here is a group of people from all walks of life, from all over the world, who have been brought together by a common interest (war gaming), regardless of political leaning. There were a lot of times when we had useful, polite discussion and I, and I think most people, went in with the attitude of “at the end of the day we’re all nerds who can go to other areas of the site and geek out of toy soldiers”.


Exactly this. The forum here gave a much higher quality of debate than any other I'd seen, and from a UK point of view seemed very open and fair. I understand the US stuff was a bit wilder though.

It should be fairly obvious who is/isn't acting in good faith.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 12:15:44


Post by: AlmightyWalrus


Edited to be more constructive:


To try to salvage what is rapidly becoming a self-demonstrating thread, how do we empower the community itself to deal with people who post objective bollocks repeatedly (again, not something people disagree on, literally "my source says the opposite of what I claim"-levels of bollocks)? If the mods can't/won't do it, what do we want the community to do other than pretending there's not a massive [expletive] among them?

On the resistance to mods being subjective, you already are. "No genocide promotion" is a subjective stance. "No personal attacks" is a subjective stance. Why don't you just ignore someone sending death threats and let the community decide whether they're merited or not?

You're correct that the Wasteland is "no mods", more or less. The difference between that and what you envision is inevitably going to include subjectivity on the mods' part. That doesn't have to be bad enough to negate the upsides.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 12:33:17


Post by: Not Online!!!



 AlmightyWalrus wrote:
Edited to be more constructive:


To try to salvage what is rapidly becoming a self-demonstrating thread, how do we empower the community itself to deal with people who post objective bollocks repeatedly (again, not something people disagree on, literally "my source says the opposite of what I claim"-levels of bollocks)? If the mods can't/won't do it, what do we want the community to do other than pretending there's not a massive [expletive] among them?

On the resistance to mods being subjective, you already are. "No genocide promotion" is a subjective stance. "No personal attacks" is a subjective stance. Why don't you just ignore someone sending death threats and let the community decide whether they're merited or not?

You're correct that the Wasteland is "no mods", more or less. The difference between that and what you envision is inevitably going to include subjectivity on the mods' part. That doesn't have to be bad enough to negate the upsides.






New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 12:40:37


Post by: AlmightyWalrus


I changed my post to be more constructive, can I ask that you please edit the quote accordingly?


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 12:51:45


Post by: Manchu


Walrus, you are right, when we mods enforce Rule Number One here on Dakka Dakka, we are taking a side — but not a side in the substance of the underlying argument. Telling someone not to call another person a troll, for example, is not validating or denying the accusation in question. Telling someone that they are making a bad faith argument (or an appeal to authority, or a false dilemma, etc, etc) is just engaging in a counterargument against them. It’s not moderating; it’s joining in the very debate in question and, when you do that while at the same time explicitly threatening to suspend someone’s account, it becomes abusive because of the power differential.

On some extreme topics, such as explicitly advocating genocide, it is justifiable to evoke that power differential. But not so when it comes to the usual political disagreement. In the last few years, there has been a tendency in rhetoric to try to equate anything one doesn’t like with the worst things imaginable, in order to justify abusive practices against people with whom one disagrees. Resisting that trend doesn’t mean that we will abandon clear opposition to the actual worst things, such as genocide.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 12:55:16


Post by: Not Online!!!


 AlmightyWalrus wrote:
I changed my post to be more constructive, can I ask that you please edit the quote accordingly?


Since you asked friendly no worries.
But you raise a good point here.

One poster insisted and turned his argument into bad faith territory, the reaction wasn't lucky.

How to salvage or avoid that...

Now that is an issue.

Normally i am a big proponent of subsidiarity and only intervention upon need. Call me culturally damaged if you want.

I think a slow mode COULD allready alleviate a lot of issues.
Further, i think you'd have to put up with it. ( the bollocks part that is). It is fair play to point out that this isn't accurate but just as much as language populism can win a matter of fact calculated response calmly uttered has a simplistic beauty to it.
I believe it is perfectly fine when at this point when posters call the "arguments" out or quote former answers reminder the arguments not the poster. The beauty of the forum after all is that Ctrl C and V is available as a tool.

This MAY also require an more active moderation to point torwards the issue.AKA the worst bad faithers (and they are exceptions and most often trolls) could be curbed by simply having a mod act upon a clearly stipulated predetermined path for a counter argument. F.e. someone is blatantly anti vax and posts nonsense and the answer could be xyz from valid sources like Healthorganisations of nations etc.

However, exclusion is not something that i am personally comfortable with, out of the simple fact that by the off chance you get someone out of his bubble and make him understand that the world is not black and white but a gakton of other colours aswell then you have done democracy at it's core tenant a bigger service.




New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 13:04:12


Post by: AlmightyWalrus


"Stop telling people that your links say literally the opposite of what they actually explicitly say" isn't taking a stance on the person's argument either.

Do we let the community somehow vote to censure individual posts? It'd still be subjective, but the censure or lack thereof would have the legitimacy of having been handed down by the community itself rather than the dictatorial edict of a mod. There's obviously plenty of problems with such a system that would need to be hashed out, but as a starting point?


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 13:10:12


Post by: Manchu


Not Online, subsidiarity is exactly what I am advocating both for this site and RiTides’s prospective forum.

The difference is, this site’s structure has been built around the concentration of power in the hands of a few, which is fine for moderating discussion about toy soldiers — but not discussion about politics. So I am arguing that a site about the latter should be structured around diffusing power to moderate among the actual participants, albeit without emphasizing exclusion.

Walrus, I laid out one potential approach in detail already ITT. I think further suggestion along those lines would be helpful. But voting to ban people is definitely not an approach I could support.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 13:25:37


Post by: Herzlos


Leaving it up to the people runs the risk of people being voted out based on their stance and not the quality of the arguments.

Another forum I am on (and has since closed the politics forum) was rife with one group reporting literally anything that disagreed with them.

Something like the slashdot up/down vote could work, where you can filter for posts above a threshold and rely on the user-moderation to be fair enough. The actual mods would potentially only need to step in to remove anything offensive or deal with people making malicious votes to silence others.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 13:30:33


Post by: Manchu


I estimate about a quarter of user alerts here can be summarized as people reporting something they disagree with, and just declaring it to be off topic or political or rude. And that is already taking the politics ban into account. It was far, far worse before.

I think the key is related to the slow down concept. Somehow, those contributors who voluntarily take a measured response to posting should have the ability to slow down others who are getting too caught up in the heat of the moment.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 13:37:44


Post by: AlmightyWalrus


Slow-posting will not solve the issue of posters that repeatedly (as in, over a longer period of time) post things that they (self-admittedly!) have not read. I really do not understand this resistance to holding people to the standard of "at least read your own links before you post", especially when you're at the same time arguing for slow-posting so that people can post in a "measured" manner.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 13:55:35


Post by: Jerram


People are still looking for a way to win an argument, instead of just having a discussion.

This isn't the digital equivalent of all of us on a debate stage but I think more the digital equivalent of all of us sitting around a firepit in Tides backyard shooting the breeze. Yeah occasionally crazy uncle bob says something completely out there but after he's done everyone just kind of rolls their eyes and steers the discussion back in a way they want to. As long as Uncle Bob isnt hogging all the air time /shrug, everything will be all right.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 14:01:06


Post by: Manchu


Walrus, Ignoring someone with a well-established history of posting crude, un- or misinformed, uninsightful, self-contradictory garbage is an entirely appropriate, reasonable, and sufficient response. Getting validated by an intervening third party is not necessary or helpful.

The slow down piece is just one aspect of what is necessary to build an overall tone or mood of self-restraint, thoughtfulness, and most importantly friendly/fraternal communication. The slow down piece of that puzzle can be fostered “externally” by structure. Other facets of it will necessarily have to come from “within” the contributors themselves.

Jerram, Luckily on a discussion forum no one can hog all the airtime because it’s just text, which everyone is totally free to read and respond to or just ignore. This is especially true when a posting rate can be slowed down.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 14:30:12


Post by: Scrabb


This thread has been cathartic for me personally.

Thanks RiTides for being the kind of person who could continue to post and act and listen as you have to all this.

Shoutouts to greatbigtree and manch as well.

The internet is a crummy place right now and y'all made it less so for me at least.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 14:35:23


Post by: Herzlos


 Manchu wrote:
I estimate about a quarter of user alerts here can be summarized as people reporting something they disagree with, and just declaring it to be off topic or political or rude. And that is already taking the politics ban into account. It was far, far worse before.


Do you have any mechanism to inhibit the "reporting because I don't like it" posts? Like preventing serial reporters from making reports?

I think the key is related to the slow down concept. Somehow, those contributors who voluntarily take a measured response to posting should have the ability to slow down others who are getting too caught up in the heat of the moment.


I can't help but think the slow down concept will produce the save level of arguing but over a longer timescale. It may be possible though. I do no know the threads tended to move pretty quickly.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 14:39:02


Post by: BaronIveagh


You know, one thing I found works fairly well is having a hard limit on how many reports per day a single poster can make.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 14:43:20


Post by: Manchu


Scrabb, I must admit when I first read about RiTides’s plan, I thought it would be a waste of time. But the more I thought about it, the more I understood that it’s a very noble project. We used to be able to talk to each other about serious issues. The time has come to recover that basic level of interaction.

Herzlos, No we (moderators) cannot limit who post alerts or how many alerts a poster reports makes — nor do we necessarily want to, because we’d generally prefer someone hit the user alert button than lash out at the person they disagree with. Better they take their frustration out on us! The only time we have really disciplined someone for abusing the user alert function is in the case where a poster hits many dozens (or even hundreds) of posts out of spite because they have been recently warned about one of their own posts. But even this is something we rarely punish. Maybe twice in the last ten years?

About the slow down, I find that it is pretty difficult to stay mad enough to insult a stranger on the internet over the course of a few hours. Now, this is obviously impacted by whether there is an established pattern of animosity between given posters, which certainly can happen.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 14:51:21


Post by: Kanluwen


 Manchu wrote:
Walrus, Ignoring someone with a well-established history of posting crude, un- or misinformed, uninsightful, self-contradictory garbage is an entirely appropriate, reasonable, and sufficient response. Getting validated by an intervening third party is not necessary or helpful.

Nor is ignoring someone and then having others get sucked into their pattern of trashposting/misdirection.

The slow down piece is just one aspect of what is necessary to build an overall tone or mood of self-restraint, thoughtfulness, and most importantly friendly/fraternal communication. The slow down piece of that puzzle can be fostered “externally” by structure. Other facets of it will necessarily have to come from “within” the contributors themselves.

Jerram, Luckily on a discussion forum no one can hog all the airtime because it’s just text, which everyone is totally free to read and respond to or just ignore. This is especially true when a posting rate can be slowed down.

This is not true and you should be exceedingly aware of this. If someone wants to suck the oxygen out of a thread, they can do it. We continually have threads that have specific posts resurrected later because someone going through them from the start to end replies before seeing moderator warnings to drop it or things like that.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 14:58:00


Post by: Manchu


It’s up to every single contributor to restrain themselves from rewarding garbage posts by engaging with them. In my experience, the problem is almost never naive posters getting hoodwinked but rather experienced users who just cannot seem to help themselves, and use all kinds of justifications (such as protecting other, more naive posters or people reading without posting), to “fight the bad guys.” The answer is to not fight. Less experienced posters will learn soon enough for themselves that this or that poster is not worth engaging; they don’t need other posters to step in on their behalf.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 15:00:01


Post by: Kanluwen


Or the answer is for the moderators to actually do something about the post when it's flagged, rather than leaving it up, when they later post warnings or tell people to "not reply" to said posts.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 15:02:40


Post by: AlmightyWalrus


Again, explain how it's reasonable to expect "I don't even read my own links" to not be sanctioned, and this time do so without just repeating your argument of "it isn't". Why is it reasonable to expect the entire rest of the forum to adapt their behaviour instead of just telling the person doing this to stop? Ignoring the poster doesn't mean that the poster can't disrupt the discussion. It works as a stopgap measure when those with authority to do something refuse to. Given the history of Dakka I'm curious as to why you'd think that people would stop poop'n'scoot posts just because the tempo of the thread is lowered.

We seem to be arguing about two different things. I agree completely that a lower posting tempo will at least somewhat mitigate the back-and-forth sniping matches, but it will do absolutely nothing to curb the drop-and-done BS that derails threads. To continue the crazy uncle analogy, the problem is that you're expecting the entire forum user base to be static, with long experience of the behaviour of posters. If I join an already existing forum I have no way of knowing that someone is a known gak-stirrer, but the forum as a collective sure as heck does. Similarly, while you might now that ol' Uncle Jeb is a KKK Grand Cyclops and to thus just filter out what he's saying, the random hikers you're sharing your fire with don't. Everyone who's been around the fire for long enough knows Jeb is a nuisance, but the people who don't have that experience will continue to engage with Jeb in the belief that there is a point in doing so.

To take an example from the Wasteland, I've repeatedly argued that whembly posts in bad faith. I don't think you can get more obvious proof than a poster admitting to not reading their own links before posting, which is why I've consistently used that as my example in this thread. Despite this, I've never stopped engaging with whembly in that thread because when he is not posting in bad faith there's things to learn, even if only from having to argue my own position. I've learnt a bunch about the process behind the ratification of the US 14th amendment that I otherwise wouldn't have, for example. Everyone would be better off, however, if there were a mod that was actually willing to put their foot down and tell whembly to stop posting bs posts or else. To clarify, a bad faith poster does not always post in bad faith. It is entirely possible to make some posts that are excellent while also making posts the only purpose of which is to talk gak (and, again, this is not me ascribing motive to whembly in this example, he admitted to not having read the links himself and posting them because "everyone else was doing it"). What we're trying to argue is that if the gak-stirring actually had consequences the non-gak posts would be left, substantially increasing the quality of discussion.


EDIT because you've mentioned part of this while I was making this post:

 Manchu wrote:
It’s up to every single contributor to restrain themselves from rewarding garbage posts by engaging with them. In my experience, the problem is almost never naive posters getting hoodwinked but rather experienced users who just cannot seem to help themselves, and use all kinds of justifications (such as protecting other, more naive posters or people reading without posting), to “fight the bad guys.” The answer is to not fight. Less experienced posters will learn soon enough for themselves that this or that poster is not worth engaging; they don’t need other posters to step in on their behalf.


It's not the posters needing to be defended, it's the flow of the thread. By the time the new hikers have learned that Uncle Jeb isn't worth engaging with there'll be new hikers at the fire, repeating the cycle ad nauseam. Further, even if this weren't the case your "solution" kinda fails to take into account that people clearly do not act the way you wish they did. Even if we accept, for the sake of argument, that the problem is other posters engaging, the fact that people do kinda makes your solution a non-solution. It's kinda like going "if there were no tax fraud, we could save millions on not having to audit people!" and then defunding the IRS based on an ideal-world scenario. If you assume that people largely will not change how they act without external input, how would you go about solving the problem?


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 15:13:42


Post by: Manchu


Walrus, it sounds like you’re arguing that even what you consider to be bad faith posting has had a net positive effect on you by inspiring you to further inform yourself in order to respond.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 15:29:18


Post by: Herzlos


 Manchu wrote:
It’s up to every single contributor to restrain themselves from rewarding garbage posts by engaging with them. In my experience, the problem is almost never naive posters getting hoodwinked but rather experienced users who just cannot seem to help themselves, and use all kinds of justifications (such as protecting other, more naive posters or people reading without posting), to “fight the bad guys.” The answer is to not fight. Less experienced posters will learn soon enough for themselves that this or that poster is not worth engaging; they don’t need other posters to step in on their behalf.


Absolutely, and I'll admit I'm terrible at just letting someone be wrong on the internet. The problem is as Walrus said - ignoring the bad faith posters only works if everyone knows to do it, and that requires a lot of assumed knowledge.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 15:32:16


Post by: Manchu


Every one of us gives in to it from time to time. It’s just a fact of life that we must accept to some extent, even while never ceasing to try to do better.

And based on Walrus’s post above, it seems there are positive, productive results from NOT ignoring bad faith posters all the time. This would be equally true of experienced and inexperienced posters.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 15:39:08


Post by: AlmightyWalrus


 Manchu wrote:
Walrus, it sounds like you’re arguing that even what you consider to be bad faith posting has had a net positive effect on you by inspiring you to further inform yourself in order to respond.


That's on me for not being clear enough about bad faith posting. I've been using "posting in bad faith" in a way that makes it seem as though I'm accusing people of never posting in good faith, which is not what I've meant. The posters that have a history of making bad faith posts over time do not post exclusively bad faith posts. There is legitimate discourse to be had with even such posters, provided the bad faith gak-posting can be filtered away. That's why I'm so ardent that there be some sort of consequence for wasting everyone's time: even whembly, who I consider the paragon of bad faith posters in the Dakka context, has given me a bunch of legitimately interesting stuff to think about when he's not posting in bad faith. Just like you're hoping that slowing down posting will reduce the "in-the-heat-of-the-moment" type of posts (which I agree with), I'm arguing that taking a stance against low-effort bullgak will cause such posters to improve their noise-to-signal ratio, as it were. Cut out the posts with personal attacks by sanctioning such behaviour, cut out the back-and-forth sniping by slowing down the flow of posts, cut down on the low-effort bait by actively telling people to cut it out.

To be clear, I'm not claiming to be some paragon of post integrity. I'm probably guilty of this sort of post that I'm describing in the past myself. If I'm being an ass I want someone to step in and tell me so, because it gives me a chance to reflect and change my behaviour. Judging what is and is not appropriate behaviour is always going to be subjective in the first place, which is why we have mods with the capacity to put their foot down and unambiguously, finally say "no". Otherwise you just get people insisting that you can't judge them because you can't read their mind and thus can't know what their motives for making their posts are and then proceeding to act exactly like you'd expect them to.

EDIT:

 Manchu wrote:
And based on Walrus’s post above, it seems there are positive, productive results from NOT ignoring bad faith posters all the time. This would be equally true of experienced and inexperienced posters.


Agreed, which I'd argue is another reason that "just ignore them" is not optimal. I'd rather have the bad faith behaviour thrown out while keeping the rest than just giving up on it entirely and declaring it lost. I just checked, and over the course of my more than a decade on Dakka I've got a whopping one user on my ignore list, because that user just kept personally attacking me. In every other case I've been loath to simply discard a person's posts because there's points in there that do make sense. This doesn't mean I appreciate the fact that people post glorified spam.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 15:46:30


Post by: Manchu


What has in fact been done about that issue here on Dakka Dakka is, such posters have eventually been banned, after repeated warnings and long back-and-forths via PM, for months or even permanently from the OT sub board.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 18:09:14


Post by: BobtheInquisitor


 Kanluwen wrote:
Or the answer is for the moderators to actually do something about the post when it's flagged, rather than leaving it up, when they later post warnings or tell people to "not reply" to said posts.


But what if the mod likes that the poster is just “telling it like it is”?



New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 19:26:14


Post by: Kanluwen


 BobtheInquisitor wrote:
 Kanluwen wrote:
Or the answer is for the moderators to actually do something about the post when it's flagged, rather than leaving it up, when they later post warnings or tell people to "not reply" to said posts.


But what if the mod likes that the poster is just “telling it like it is”?


Then that mod either shouldn't be getting involved in the discussion or shouldn't be moderating it if they're involved. You can't be the person shutting it down when you're actively engaged in the crapstorm.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 20:04:18


Post by: Herzlos


 BobtheInquisitor wrote:
 Kanluwen wrote:
Or the answer is for the moderators to actually do something about the post when it's flagged, rather than leaving it up, when they later post warnings or tell people to "not reply" to said posts.


But what if the mod likes that the poster is just “telling it like it is”?



Ideally, you'd have a wide enough range of mods that they wouldn't all share the same biases.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 20:30:17


Post by: AllSeeingSkink


 Manchu wrote:
I estimate about a quarter of user alerts here can be summarized as people reporting something they disagree with, and just declaring it to be off topic or political or rude. And that is already taking the politics ban into account. It was far, far worse before.
I seem to recall having some disagreements with mods over what constituted rude in the old political thread. The old thing of indirect insults can be a fine line, and indeed I recall some of the mods saying things that I thought overstepped the mark for polite discourse.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 20:44:51


Post by: Manchu


Sure, the trouble with concentrating power in the hands of a small number of moderators is that they might not agree with your perspective.

I can say that a given poster has an X% chance that some other poster has reported them to us and a Y% chance that we have decided it warranted action, where X is almost invariably much greater than Y and where as X increases Y almost invariably seldom does. This is not a policy, just an observation of fact.

And this is also one of the reasons I’m arguing that a politics-focused discussion board should not be designed around a set of quite particular rules enforced by negative sanctions.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 21:59:04


Post by: Jerram


 Scrabb wrote:
Mods are just people.


One of the smartest things posted in this thread


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/15 22:49:33


Post by: greatbigtree


Ahem...

I think my moustache twirling, Saturday morning cartoon villain impression hit its mark.

I hope it can be viewed (by others) in hindsight as an antithetical argument. I hope that if my posts in this thread are reviewed, that hints and side-eyes can be found, that indicated that it was coming.

I hope that by displaying a cut-throat style of argument that the need for a section in the future ETC where that is *not* the objective has been demonstrated.

I hope that it shows that approaching an argument as a conflict just winds up with people failing to move forwards with understanding. That there were no "winners", despite my exaggerated claims to the contrary. A win in this scenario would have been understanding each others view points. Understanding, even if we don't agree, the other's position.

I hope it shows how valuable a resource the ETC could be, to help train people to argue in a way that promotes these ideals. By teaching about logical fallacies. By teaching about how to spot a bad faith argument.

To which, I hope that in (other's) hindsight, my overall stance has been consistent. That I have held good faith to my point of view, even if at one point it was delivered sharply. Sometimes my trixy nature gets the better of me. I hope I have an opportunity to help mentor future debators and arguers in the future of ETC.

If not... thanks for all the fish!


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/16 02:58:40


Post by: RiTides


Sorry to pick just one thing to give a good response to at the moment, there has been a lot of great feedback and I am reading everything! But it's the holidays so, also, crazy

Herzlos wrote:
Leaving it up to the people runs the risk of people being voted out based on their stance and not the quality of the arguments.

This is my concern with a community-self-moderating model, and a few of the paid options I looked at that had this didn't seem like the best fit to be honest. I would certainly Love to be able to "share the load" on moderating to the community, but some of the polar responses on issues also extend to people's views on moderation.

The concern about a biased mod is also very valid, obviously... for better or worse, at the start it's just going to be me, so the only bias is mine. I've noted a few times in the other thread that I'm an independent voter and not registered to either party in the US, and have voted for both or even for split tickets many times. This might already be concerning to some but just noting that I truly don't have a dog in the fight on a lot of issues here, and am interested in seeing a robust debate more than anything. Also just to reiterate, that I won't be participating in any of those debates myself.

Really hoping to use the holiday break to get everything sorted on this front. I'm fortunate in that our entire company closes down from Christmas to New Years, so I can have some time to get things ready

I'll keep reading all the suggestions here, thanks again for the interest and for the excellent feedback!


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/16 06:03:40


Post by: NinthMusketeer


 RiTides wrote:
Also not sure whether or not it would be helpful to have a "N&B" type section, since ours invariably turn into a "Discipline that guy!" type of discussion... which I really, really want to discourage. Does anyone have a suggestion on how I could get feedback without having that kind of dedicated space (which might result in just a lot of bickering not directly related to the topics we want to discuss)? The feedback in the N&B thread here, for example, was really helpful... but I'd like to at least start out the board trying to talk about issues, rather than talking about how we're talking about them
Are you talking about having us talk about how to talk about talking about issues? Because I could converse upon that topic.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/16 07:39:26


Post by: cuda1179


I'd like having a political discussion with other scale modelers. I'm sad to say that that was a disaster here on Dakka, almost entirely due to users. I can see why the mods ended it.

I got the hankering for it a few months back and checked out the Wasteland.... and that place is way more toxic personality wise than the Dakka forums ever thought about being.

My decision not to join that forum was heavily weighed by repeated acceptance of a call for genocide. Now, I am mostly in favor of a light touch from mods, but seriously, there ARE certain lines you do not cross, EVER.

Some of the best mods I have seen in action from other forums have taken a neutral stance, even in topics they themselves were discussing. It's depressing whenever a situation boils down to using the mods as a tool to silence the opposition because you don't like what is being stated.

As a side note, there is no "Political Discussion" if no one wants to have a discussion. Sometimes you're just in an echo chamber with people parroting the same idea. If someone with a conflicting opinion comes in it can be helpful to play devil's advocate and argue against you're own point. It's not that you are a Gak person, you are only acknowledging and trying to understand the other side. If you easily get mad when you're stance is challenged than you're stance is likely not as strong as you think it is.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/16 10:43:54


Post by: Pacific


 cuda1179 wrote:

As a side note, there is no "Political Discussion" if no one wants to have a discussion. Sometimes you're just in an echo chamber with people parroting the same idea. If someone with a conflicting opinion comes in it can be helpful to play devil's advocate and argue against you're own point. It's not that you are a Gak person, you are only acknowledging and trying to understand the other side. If you easily get mad when you're stance is challenged than you're stance is likely not as strong as you think it is.


Yes that's very true. You could see in the Nuts & Bolts discussion on this topic you could almost visualise a few posters starting to kit themselves out ready for the new forum like...


Hopefully I think it should be fairly easy (with an ignore function) to recognise the people that just copy-paste the soapbox argument of what they think (and is posted purely just for the purpose of shouting it at people) and then only engage with people when it is a discussion.



New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/16 17:16:00


Post by: Da Boss


On the user behaviour front, I will freely admit that every time I interacted with someone who was (in my view) being an intolerable eejit on this forum I did it because I on some level wanted to pick a fight with them.

I wanted some sort of justice, and I was never gonna get it. If political discussions were opened up here again, I would probably do it again at some point. It is just part of all of us.

I dunno, As soon as I saw certain names eventually I would just scroll on by. But that took years, honestly. So I dunno that we can get there because everyone is gonna be at different places in terms of how they want to engage, their mood that day, and their level of experience with that poster.

So then you try and design a system. You make it so there can only be a certain number of reports per day, you make it so that there is a dynamic moderation team with a clear set of guidelines, you put in a slow mode to allow people to reflect, and you have a series of hard and soft bans.

Well I 100% promise you someone will look at that system and figure out how to take advantage of it to be a pain in the backside to the rest of us. Even if no one sets out to do it because it is funny, someone will eventually stumble into it because of the unintentional systemic incentives and then use it to "win" at internet.

Like, if we could come up with a system that could really stop bad behaviour online, we should be friggin patenting that crap and retiring millionaires on top of a mountain of boutique resin miniatures.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/16 18:35:12


Post by: Not Online!!!


 Da Boss wrote:
On the user behaviour front, I will freely admit that every time I interacted with someone who was (in my view) being an intolerable eejit on this forum I did it because I on some level wanted to pick a fight with them.

I wanted some sort of justice, and I was never gonna get it. If political discussions were opened up here again, I would probably do it again at some point. It is just part of all of us.


I pointed it out in the nuts and bolts.

Maybee it's just a different perspective because contrary to you i live in a democratic system in which my sole purpose as a citizen is not just electing every 4-5 years a bunch of hopefully not corrupt (i wish locally one got fined for dumping garbage in a lake....FFS) politicians and have actual influence upon policy itself.
The whole justice and picking a fight is something of a behaviour which i only see associated with representative systems ironically, and i still think that has to do with A matureity and B more importantly the enormous weight given to singular persons and parties in representative systems, which in turn forces people to conglomerate torwards parties, which in term forces people into corners because they feel the other is XYZ level of bad. Making debate about People and party instead of policy.
The former two are seriously subjective and highly emotionally unstable, dare i say the shitshow is preprogrammed. On the later you can have often a far more objective basis to argue from and with.

Not saying that it can't be also highly emotional but it tends to be far less namecalling inducing.



New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/16 19:07:57


Post by: Da Boss


Hmmm, maybe you have a point, but the two places I am "from" (Ireland and Germany) have proportional representation, and Ireland has a lot of referenda for issues (not as many as you guys, admittedly).

I think it might have some impact, but I don't identify strongly with ANY political party in Ireland or Germany, at all. I would actually like it if I did, but I find all of them pretty deeply flawed in one way or another.

I mean, maybe no one from Switzerland picks fights or trolls online, but honestly that smells like exceptionalism to me.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/16 19:43:12


Post by: Not Online!!!


 Da Boss wrote:
Hmmm, maybe you have a point, but the two places I am "from" (Ireland and Germany) have proportional representation, and Ireland has a lot of referenda for issues (not as many as you guys, admittedly).

I think it might have some impact, but I don't identify strongly with ANY political party in Ireland or Germany, at all. I would actually like it if I did, but I find all of them pretty deeply flawed in one way or another.

I mean, maybe no one from Switzerland picks fights or trolls online, but honestly that smells like exceptionalism to me.


hell no, we do pick fights, but there is a baseline understanding that when the people have spoken that you accept that. Which makes the whole atmossphere a lot less hostile.
Infact that was one of the main reasons as to why the system got implemented, propper representation of the people and for the people.

So no, picking fights and trolling still happen, but in combination with the slower system it leads to a lot less excesses.

Hence why i think the slow down system will allready filter a lot of the potential issues.
Further,since the system is policy centred, maybee forcing the discussion into policy and about policy might lower the issues associated with the representatives.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/20 09:32:59


Post by: Matt Swain


To see if this would work I propose people mentioning topic they would like to discuss on such a forum and seeing what the reactions are.

In my case I'll mention 2.

1. I believe it is necessary to split america into two countries as the divide between the right and left has been intentionally aggravated and inflamed to the point no reconciliation is possible.


2. (This is a topic i asked a mod about and he said it was a worthy topic but not suited to dakka dakka so it's a good example) How should society deal with sex offenders, especially ones who have violated children? Should they be locked up forever? Should they be sent to prison then after their sentence is done placed in "mental hospitals" (Prisons with fewer rights for the inmates) until they are cured or die? Should they be released but placed under such restrictions it is generally impossible for them to get a job, find a place to live and function in society?


If you want to post topics you'd like to see in a proposed political/societal forum please do, but please don't debate them here, just say whether or not you think they can be discussed without degenerating into flamewars .If we can't even have a reasonable debate on what topics would be fair to put in a new area of discussion then the whole thing is probably moot anyway.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/21 15:00:53


Post by: greatbigtree


All things being equal, I don't think that's a good idea. It's like pushing the envelope, it falls off eventually.

Every machine is a smoke machine, if you use it wrong enough.

Maybe just wait till the site opens?


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/21 16:11:20


Post by: Tyran


I have a prediction of what will happen.

Immediately there will be Republican vs Democrat debates in which the Republicans will be immediately outnumbered. Most of the Republicans posters will leave the site, with only a few remaining out of sheer stubbornness.

Without the Republicans to serve as a convenient enemy, the Democrats will splinter in the different wings that make the party and will start the traditional left-wing circular firing squad, only uniting each time one of the remaining Republicans trolls them with their continued existence.

This prediction is based on what I have seen in other forums in which political debate is allowed.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/21 17:59:18


Post by: BaronIveagh


 Tyran wrote:
I have a prediction of what will happen.

Immediately there will be Republican vs Democrat debates in which the Republicans will be immediately outnumbered. Most of the Republicans posters will leave the site, with only a few remaining out of sheer stubbornness.

Without the Republicans to serve as a convenient enemy, the Democrats will splinter in the different wings that make the party and will start the traditional left-wing circular firing squad, only uniting each time one of the remaining Republicans trolls them with their continued existence.

This prediction is based on what I have seen in other forums in which political debate is allowed.




That would probably depend on what you mean by 'Republican'. Most of the supposed 'Republicans' I've seen on this sort of site turned out to have IP addresses in Russia. And, as a Conservative myself, we can do without that sort of poster, no offense.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/21 19:12:24


Post by: Tyran


 BaronIveagh wrote:

That would probably depend on what you mean by 'Republican'. Most of the supposed 'Republicans' I've seen on this sort of site turned out to have IP addresses in Russia. And, as a Conservative myself, we can do without that sort of poster, no offense.

I mean a supporter of the current Republican party and of Trump. That of course excludes NeverTrumper Conservatives like the Lincoln Project, former Republicans that have left the party and any other Conservatives that for some reason or other are not aligned with the current Republican party.

The current primary division of American politics is one based on Party lines, it is not really a Left vs Right or Conservative vs Liberal.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/21 19:31:37


Post by: Matt Swain


 Tyran wrote:
I have a prediction of what will happen.

Immediately there will be Republican vs Democrat debates in which the Republicans will be immediately outnumbered. Most of the Republicans posters will leave the site, with only a few remaining out of sheer stubbornness.

Without the Republicans to serve as a convenient enemy, the Democrats will splinter in the different wings that make the party and will start the traditional left-wing circular firing squad, only uniting each time one of the remaining Republicans trolls them with their continued existence.

This prediction is based on what I have seen in other forums in which political debate is allowed.
Speaking as an american democrat (who uses an IP to avoid being tracked down by right wingers in america and possibly threatened or attacked) I have to say I agree with this post to an extant and am, not offended by it.

Wow, someone saying they're not offended. I'm glad I have an IP to hide behind or i'd have groups attacking me for offending them by implying it's possible not to be offended by everything.

But yes often you can see democrat pages and sites becoming warzones mostly over "I'm more woke than thou!"

So as a democrat i can say this post didn't offend me. it's a start towards showing some people can discuss some things reasonably.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/21 19:57:38


Post by: Tyran


 Matt Swain wrote:
Speaking as an american democrat (who uses an IP to avoid being tracked down by right wingers in america and possibly threatened or attacked) I have to say I agree with this post to an extant and am, not offended by it.

Wow, someone saying they're not offended. I'm glad I have an IP to hide behind or i'd have groups attacking me for offending them by implying it's possible not to be offended by everything.

But yes often you can see democrat pages and sites becoming warzones mostly over "I'm more woke than thou!"

So as a democrat i can say this post didn't offend me. it's a start towards showing some people can discuss some things reasonably.

I wasn't seeking to offend anyone, just a prediction and a recollection of current political debates on the internet.



New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/21 21:29:06


Post by: Matt Swain


 Tyran wrote:
 Matt Swain wrote:
Speaking as an american democrat (who uses an IP to avoid being tracked down by right wingers in america and possibly threatened or attacked) I have to say I agree with this post to an extant and am, not offended by it.

Wow, someone saying they're not offended. I'm glad I have an IP to hide behind or i'd have groups attacking me for offending them by implying it's possible not to be offended by everything.

But yes often you can see democrat pages and sites becoming warzones mostly over "I'm more woke than thou!"

So as a democrat i can say this post didn't offend me. it's a start towards showing some people can discuss some things reasonably.

I wasn't seeking to offend anyone, just a prediction and a recollection of current political debates on the internet.



yes i was saying as an american democrat was not offended. your post was fair, truthful and reasonable. people like you are ok to have discussions with.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/21 23:56:04


Post by: Jerram


 Tyran wrote:
I have a prediction of what will happen.

Immediately there will be Republican vs Democrat debates in which the Republicans will be immediately outnumbered. Most of the Republicans posters will leave the site, with only a few remaining out of sheer stubbornness.

Without the Republicans to serve as a convenient enemy, the Democrats will splinter in the different wings that make the party and will start the traditional left-wing circular firing squad, only uniting each time one of the remaining Republicans trolls them with their continued existence.

This prediction is based on what I have seen in other forums in which political debate is allowed.


That's definitely a danger.

Alot depends on the moderation, its one thing to be outnumbered its quite another to be outnumbered and feel like the powers that be are limiting your ability to make your case. I'm cautiously optimistic on this one.

The other heavy dependency I think is how many discussions are there that don't break along traditional "party" lines ? Do Matts Qs fall under this, I wonder

I guess the last heavy dependency is us, how much are we willing to call out our own side when they start making it an unwelcome environement for the other side ? (and yes that's a huge rabbit hole of a question)

The second two are the big question marks /shrug


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/22 08:01:42


Post by: Dreadwinter


Threads need a lifespan in politics. You can only talk about a topic so much before it becomes just a bunch of people grumping at each other over nothing.

Two Weeks then lock it. If some new information comes up it can be unlocked at the mods discretion. If people cant get in there and put their 2 cents for that amount of time, oh well.

Sticky topics for ongoing events like Covid-19 or Elections or any crisis. When those things are over, lock and drop them. Then start a new thread, a Post Covid-19/Election/Crisis thread with the two week lifespan.

Don't let people run wild in there. Random snark trolls need to be pruned and banned from the forum section. You should be more liberal with bans in this section and your bans should be more varied. 6 hour, 12 hour, 1 day, 3 day, 1 week. Build people up on things, figure out a system. If somebody gets hot, sit them out with a temp ban before they do something stupid.

Think of it as Hockey and everybody is trying to fight on the field. You are the umpire. Do what you gotta do. But let people know before they enter the forum that is how it is going to be with the mods and be that way. Don't halfass it or have one mod that is kinda strict and another that will hammer down on anything then another mod that likes to incite stupid activity. The mods have to be on the same page. You gotta work that defensive line. You cannot let them slam dunk on you.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/22 09:29:37


Post by: Jadenim


That depends; if you’re talking about historical politics, political theory or speculative “how could things be done differently?”, then none of those needs a particular hard-stop.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/22 13:11:40


Post by: RiTides


Sorry for the radio silence guys - holidays, who knew . My target date is the first week of January... will keep you posted!


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/22 15:03:44


Post by: AlmightyWalrus


Jerram wrote:
 Tyran wrote:
I have a prediction of what will happen.

Immediately there will be Republican vs Democrat debates in which the Republicans will be immediately outnumbered. Most of the Republicans posters will leave the site, with only a few remaining out of sheer stubbornness.

Without the Republicans to serve as a convenient enemy, the Democrats will splinter in the different wings that make the party and will start the traditional left-wing circular firing squad, only uniting each time one of the remaining Republicans trolls them with their continued existence.

This prediction is based on what I have seen in other forums in which political debate is allowed.


That's definitely a danger.


Why is this a "danger"? If the Republican posters in this example can't handle being outnumbered then there's never going to be a point of them being on the forum in the first place, assuming the mods keep people in line. If the point of the forum isn't to win but to learn and grow surely the Republican posters would be up for listening to people with a different point of view just like everyone else is expected to be, right?

I realize my post sounds like the usual passive-aggressive sniping, aimed at Republicans, but that's not my intention. If we're going to assume that the Republican part of the US posters are too thin-skinned to even handle diverging opinions then what's the point in trying to give a damn about them in the first place? Either we assume that Republicans will take part like anyone else, in which case we trust the mods to prevent abuse directed against them just like everyone else, or we assume they're not interested in honest discourse, in which case to hell with them. If someone doesn't like the discourse (assuming, again, that the mods do their job to prevent abuse) they don't have to participate.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/22 15:14:19


Post by: Matt Swain


One issue here is that in " 'murca" religion has become politics, so in any real political debate religion will get involved.

Basically people in " 'murca" believe that their views have extra importance because they're based on their religion and that their religious views give them a right to defy the law when they decide to.

So do you plan on dealing with religious issues on your forum?


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/22 15:21:37


Post by: greatbigtree


RiTides has already acknowledged that religion plays a key part in American Politics and that extricating the two is likely impossible. So, yes, there will probably be people talking about how religion impacts US policies.

Of course, American Politics aren't the be-all, end-all of the proposed site. I'm interested in Canadian and world politics. Getting a better pulse of what's happening outside of US borders.

So, yeah... Just like in real life, if Murica wants to Murica, they can Murica in their own little corner of the world, while the rest of the world does their own thing.


PS: Wait for like, 4 weeks and you can see for yourself!


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/22 15:33:23


Post by: Matt Swain


I'm hoping this opens as I would love to post questions to people outside 'murca about how their countries handles issues 'murca can't handle, doesn't handle or handles badly, like how does your society deal with sex criminals, especially pedophiles?

I'd like straight input directly from real people living in other countries unfiltered by talking heads, corporate media, etc.

Honestly, the media in 'murca tells the biggest lies about how tings are done in other countries, like the infamous recent one that universal healthcare leads to mass involuntary euthanasia in holland, with comic book villain level doctors lurking in every shadow, rubbing their hands together and cackling with glee as they looked for the slightest sniffle or limp in a person so they could leap out and race each other for the chance to euthanize him, and people had to wear big flashing neon "DON'T EUTHANIZE ME!!!" signs.

When people in holland and the netherlands openly refuted this nonsense the people pushing it as a way to kill universal healthcare in america so people who didn't want to die from treatable conditions kept on doing so in order to protect healthcare industry profits simply said "They're all lying." and kept pushing their horror stories.

You may think I'm exaggerating things but no, this is honestly my view on how that situation went and looked to me and that is pretty much how anti healthcare forces in my country were making things out to be in countries with healthcare.

So yes, I want this board to go online so I can talk with real people and get real people views without political or corporate input. I wish this effort success.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/22 18:38:29


Post by: Not Online!!!


Well, considering that recently macron had to explain what the feth laïcité is and defend it against those proclaiming that the terrorism in france was stocked by the french themselves...
Which was infact reported by what is generally assumed to be "quality" media...


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/22 19:01:23


Post by: BaronIveagh


 Matt Swain wrote:

Speaking as an american democrat (who uses an IP to avoid being tracked down by right wingers in america and possibly threatened or attacked) I have to say I agree with this post to an extant and am, not offended by it.


As an American Republican, I can completely understand that, as I've been hunted down and threatened by Trump supporters as I refuse to support him.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/22 19:04:00


Post by: Jerram


 AlmightyWalrus wrote:
Jerram wrote:
 Tyran wrote:
I have a prediction of what will happen.

Immediately there will be Republican vs Democrat debates in which the Republicans will be immediately outnumbered. Most of the Republicans posters will leave the site, with only a few remaining out of sheer stubbornness.

Without the Republicans to serve as a convenient enemy, the Democrats will splinter in the different wings that make the party and will start the traditional left-wing circular firing squad, only uniting each time one of the remaining Republicans trolls them with their continued existence.

This prediction is based on what I have seen in other forums in which political debate is allowed.


That's definitely a danger.


Why is this a "danger"? If the Republican posters in this example can't handle being outnumbered then there's never going to be a point of them being on the forum in the first place, assuming the mods keep people in line. If the point of the forum isn't to win but to learn and grow surely the Republican posters would be up for listening to people with a different point of view just like everyone else is expected to be, right?

I realize my post sounds like the usual passive-aggressive sniping, aimed at Republicans, but that's not my intention. If we're going to assume that the Republican part of the US posters are too thin-skinned to even handle diverging opinions then what's the point in trying to give a damn about them in the first place? Either we assume that Republicans will take part like anyone else, in which case we trust the mods to prevent abuse directed against them just like everyone else, or we assume they're not interested in honest discourse, in which case to hell with them. If someone doesn't like the discourse (assuming, again, that the mods do their job to prevent abuse) they don't have to participate.


Hint, if something sounds like passive aggressive sniping it probably is. Now multiply that by a a factor of at least 10

To answer your initial question prior to the sniping, its a danger because there's already 100s of places that are left wing echo chambers and "warzones mostly over "I'm more woke than thou!"" as Matt put it. I don't think Tides wants to waste his time setting up another.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/22 19:30:36


Post by: BaronIveagh


Jerram wrote:

To answer your initial question prior to the sniping, its a danger because there's already 100s of places that are left wing echo chambers and "warzones mostly over "I'm more woke than thou!"" as Matt put it. I don't think Tides wants to waste his time setting up another.


I think the issue is the existence of Echo Chambers of both sorts.

They're both equally useless, and both sides, at least on this front, are equally guilty, though certain right wing groups persecution complex does not help matters in this. If the only thing you want to hear is people agreeing with you, you're part of the problem, not the solution.

And that holds for both sides.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/22 19:45:33


Post by: Jerram


I think we can agree echo chambers are less than desirable as for the rest of your post I'll save that discussion for tides board but ill leave you with a thought

Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get me....


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/22 21:11:41


Post by: Mario


Jerram wrote:
To answer your initial question prior to the sniping, its a danger because there's already 100s of places that are left wing echo chambers and "warzones mostly over "I'm more woke than thou!"" as Matt put it. I don't think Tides wants to waste his time setting up another.
From all the online forums (or other social media) that I have read/seen/heard over the years it seems that time and time again the people who complain (about others being isolated in their echo chamber) seem to suffer from the actual issue the most. Their media diet tends to be very narrow and rather lacking of any nuanced understanding of alternatives (or as they call it: "the other side").

But Walrus' question is still relevant: What's exactly the danger here? Isn't the right side of the US political spectrum usually held up as the more pro free speech one? Shouldn't those proponents of more free speech (maybe they are even free speech absolutists) be able to handle some (written) opposition? What's so bad about (as already mentioned) civilised arguments that push back against your (the general "you", not you specifically) arguments? One shouldn't just label something an echo chamber because one doesn't understand it or is unwilling to engage with it but can't find a real argument against it.

To me echo chamber accusation seem to come more often with a implied/wanted chilling effect against the accused ones than with them actually suffering from it. As if the accuser wants to feel like a victim and/or curb speech without actually having to mention what it is that's causing issues (often because they can't). It's always just this echo chamber in general that makes it hard for them to discuss things, not that other participants are not giving in to their baseless arguments and showing them links with contrary evidence.

Maybe you (again: the general "you") are just not well informed on the topic you are trying to discuss with others and they are pushing back against bad data, information, or conclusions. That's not an echo chamber but a learning opportunity. But if your first reaction to any contrary opinion is to think they must be indoctrinated and live in an echo chamber then that sounds more like you (the general "you") are somebody who's actually living in an echo chamber and categorically unwilling to entertain other ideas as potentially having any value.

If people are already throwing around echo chamber worries before the forum is even online (while others have been asking about actual issues that previously caused disruption) then that feels more like they are looking to be protected against views they don't like than wanting an open discussion, which kinda loops back to paragraph one of this comment.

But I might be thinking a bit too much into this.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/22 21:19:29


Post by: AlmightyWalrus


Again, though, if Republicans were to act as you've predicted and not participate because they'd be in a minority then the problem exists outside of the forum in that Republicans refuse to be part of the conversation unless they are in the majority or otherwise able to dictate the premises of the conversation.

Put it this way: we agree that echo chambers are bad. In the above prediction, an echo chamber would allegedly arise* because the Republicans would just up and leave. If this is true and Republicans only participate in discourse when they're in control of the discussion or otherwise pandered to then there is no point in even trying to set up the forum to include the Republican point-of-view in the first place. If there's another reason for Republicans leaving in this scenario, such as abuse or personal attacks, the moderators literally exist to stop that. The way it was phrased Republicans would be "ganged up on" for being in the minority and thus leave. Considering how it's apparently expected of us to just shrug off trolls and bad faith posting, why would it be reasonable to assume that Republicans would just leave?
Surely both Baron and whembly, far from each other though they might be, are proof that this assumption is not true?

In summary, I don't believe the idea that Republican or Conservative posters would leave is actually true, but even if it were the problem, as described, would be one side being unable to accept not being in control of the conversation. If this truly were the mindset of Republicans in general (and, again, I don't think this description is accurate) then there is no point in including them in the first place, because being part of the "echo chamber" in this case would be "can handle being in the minority on a subject".


*Notwithstanding the fact that there'd be significant heterogeneity in the views even without Republicans, but for the sake of argument.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/22 21:22:30


Post by: Scrabb


In point of fact, we're where we are in the conversation as a result of a prediction republicans would vacate after being outnumbered, save for obstinate/intentionally obnoxious ones.

It wasn't made by a republican.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/22 21:26:44


Post by: Matt Swain


 BaronIveagh wrote:
 Matt Swain wrote:

Speaking as an american democrat (who uses an IP to avoid being tracked down by right wingers in america and possibly threatened or attacked) I have to say I agree with this post to an extant and am, not offended by it.


As an American Republican, I can completely understand that, as I've been hunted down and threatened by Trump supporters as I refuse to support him.


To quote Ash from Alien...




New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/22 21:36:27


Post by: AlmightyWalrus


 Scrabb wrote:
In point of fact, we're where we are in the conversation as a result of a prediction republicans would vacate after being outnumbered, save for obstinate/intentionally obnoxious ones.

It wasn't made by a republican.


We're where we are because I questioned why that was a "danger", given the previous debate about thick skin and shrugging things off.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/22 21:49:33


Post by: Scrabb


I was trying to come at Mario's musings on the 'chilling effect' 'republicans' want from this new forum.

I suppose we're where we're at now because of all the fine folk who put in the effort to invent, create and maintain computers and the internet.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/22 22:56:49


Post by: Jerram


Trying to figure out where anyone gets the idea republicans want to control and have a chilling effect after a democrat agreed about the tendencies of forums to trend that way.

For the people who seem to need me to restate what I said.

Two things make it a possibility that "republicans" will leave and thus be born an echo chamber.

"Impartial mod" putting finger on the scales of discussion (less worrisome with tides)

Constant snark that just gets tiresome (saying you know what you're writing sounds snarky but you put in a statement saying its not so its ok is pure bollocks)

Things that can help prevent it.

Community setting standards not the mod but other posters especially if they actually agree with the main point of the person they're trying to not be a bleep.

Not all topics having to be a left vs right fistfight (gives the opportunity to discuss with people you'd be getting excites about in other topics) nice chance to find common ground.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/22 23:16:05


Post by: greatbigtree


Hey kids, we’re veering into us vs them territory, specifically prohibidabido on *this* site.

So... quit it?


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/23 00:21:04


Post by: AlmightyWalrus


I'll point out that I explicitly argued that I didn't think the conclusion I was outlining was correct because I disagreed with the starting premise: that there would be the "problem" of Republicans leaving because they'd be outnumbered. I don't think it'd happen in the first place, using the examples of Baron and whembly to illustrate my point. I further argued that even if it did happen, in light of the previous discussions on the behaviour expected from users the two points of failure would be, in my opinion, the Republican posters themselves or the moderation team. I completely agree that having posters bullied away from the site would be unacceptable, but the way I read the original hypothesis seemed to suggest that it would be being outnumbered rather than being abused that would drive Republicans away from such a site. If I misunderstood that then that's on me.

I genuinely didn't intend to snark, I was outlining why what I see as the logical conclusion of the argument is irrelevant in my opinion. Being somewhat prone to snaking, however, I'm aware enough of the fact that I'd risk sounding like I was being snarky, so I mentioned the fact that this was not my intention.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/23 00:51:45


Post by: Jerram


You know what, you did point that out in your second post and you probably meant it in your first post but weren't as explicit. With that intent I could see the first post being alot less snarky. (I need a beer emoticon so I could offer you a beer)


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/23 00:52:34


Post by: AlmightyWalrus


I don't drink, but it's the thought that counts.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/23 01:35:35


Post by: RiTides


Well that's a nice resolution there . Seriously, awesome to see you guys work that out and looking forward to getting everyone talking about issues over there soon


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/23 03:32:55


Post by: LordofHats


 AlmightyWalrus wrote:
I'll point out that I explicitly argued that I didn't think the conclusion I was outlining was correct because I disagreed with the starting premise: that there would be the "problem" of Republicans leaving because they'd be outnumbered. I don't think it'd happen in the first place, using the examples of Baron and whembly to illustrate my point. I further argued that even if it did happen, in light of the previous discussions on the behaviour expected from users the two points of failure would be, in my opinion, the Republican posters themselves or the moderation team.


I think precedent actually works against you.

The past year alone, I've observed several political boards collapse because right leaning posters decided to just up and leave. The most egregious case is r/Conservative on Reddit, which basically imploded when the mods quit moderating it just awhile ago. The mods had meticulously policed the board, occasionally locking threads so that only flaired members could post in them and they basically made you prove you 'weren't a lib' to get a flair at some points, requiring you to actually log onto other sites and do an interview to prove your conservative credentials. This entire process eventually collapsed because it was reported to admins, violated Reddit's rules, and then the mods and many flaired uses quit the board because it was flooded by left leaning posters right after it had managed to rid itself of refugees from r/The_Donald (who they didn't want). The board is now basically dominated by bots and members of other reddits (r/LateStageCapitalism occasionally makes the entire page a meme zone). It happened on Spacebattles too, to a lesser degree. Anyone more right than a Republican in a blue state basically went off into a 'PM thread' that was outside the purview of the mods and they just echo chambered there for years until it was broken up by the admins.

The inverse has happened across Reddit, where many nominally neutral boards have been all but abandoned by right-leaning users and is now hitting social media as conservative personalities move to Pander. It's a stretch maybe to just assume it'll happen anywhere, but there is I think a clear trend that conservative leaning user quit boards they cannot control/direct and move themselves to places where they then complain about cancel culture and safe spaces with no hint of irony.

Of course, Reddit is basically dominated by bots, so we know the real villains are the bot nets XD


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/23 11:02:27


Post by: A Town Called Malus


I don't think r/Conservative managed to get rid of the "refugees" from r/the_Donald. Just look at how rabid they became over the claims of election fraud based on zero evidence for evidence of that.

And they still require users to get flair through a discord interview in order to participate in threads they lock down to flaired users only.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/23 14:34:00


Post by: Matt Swain


My tip is to go look at how rpg.net deals with politics, social issues and everything else, and do absolutely nothing anything like how they do it.

Believe me you'll be going in the right direction.

And personally i think dakkadakka is already able to support a political/social discussion forum, i've seen examples here aplenty that show people having civil disagreement on some political issues without going flamewar mode.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/23 14:53:12


Post by: RiTides


 Matt Swain wrote:
My tip is to go look at how rpg.net deals with politics, social issues and everything else, and do absolutely nothing anything like how they do it.

Believe me you'll be going in the right direction.

That's a decent rule of thumb lol

Yes, we obviously won't be doing anything like what rpg.net has done, as we want to foster debate and discussion, and not just "endorse" a single point of view on issues (even what I might personally think is the "right" view, and again I will be trying not to "put my thumb on the scale" in any discussion, and certainly not debating myself).

As AlmightyWalrus and others helped prove out, obviously there are limits to what I will allow, with the most obvious example being advocating direct violence (genocide was the example). But hopefully, as even demonstrated on this page, posters can set a tone for useful discussion that doesn't foster that sort of horrific posting.

I am also thinking of requiring something at sign up to discourage bots - it could be a wargaming challenge question (to focus on our group here), or a valid cell phone number, etc. Any thoughts on that?


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/23 15:20:40


Post by: Jerram


Not a cell phone number. I like the wargaming challenge question idea but it needs to be easy enough to get the answer so people don't get discouraged


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/23 15:24:58


Post by: Matt Swain


Maybe stuff like "If an ork model has W5, how many successful hits from a D2 weapon does it take to kill it"?

"If a weapon has a 1/3 chance of wounding a target, what is the minimum number you need to roll to successfully wound it in a game of WH40K?"

"What does the H in WH40K stand for?"

"Who killed Sanguinius?"

"What is the maximum number of wounds a D 1d weapon can cause?"


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/23 15:27:14


Post by: greatbigtree


A given wargaming challenge might fall outside of someone's experience, and the answer to a specific question may change over time.

If someone asked me the WS of an AOS model, regardless of how common, I wouldn't have the answer.

If someone asked "How many wounds does a Marine have" the answer just recently changed, you know what I mean?

Valid phone number is *hypothetically* discriminatory. If I didn't have a cell phone through work, I wouldn't have one at all.

Three or four *basic* math questions would probably suffice. While technically potentially discriminatory, I think I'd be cool with eliminating those potentially discriminated against. Looking at you, people that support policies I disagree with. Too stupid to answer basic math questions.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/23 15:33:51


Post by: Matt Swain


Ok, maybe "3 is the ----- root of 9?"

But if we're going to make it a forum for dakkadakka members maybe it should be game related questions? I mean "What is the standard issue weapon of the imperial guard" is pretty easy to look up. Likewise "A space maine's standard weapo is called a xxxxgun."


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/23 15:41:34


Post by: Jerram


As long as the answer can be found quickly on the net it should be alright but none that require detailed knowledge of a particular game. Matt's second set is perfect IMO.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/23 16:39:34


Post by: Tannhauser42


 RiTides wrote:

I am also thinking of requiring something at sign up to discourage bots - it could be a wargaming challenge question (to focus on our group here), or a valid cell phone number, etc. Any thoughts on that?


Alternatively, make any application for membership require your (or another moderator's) approval before the user can post. And part of the application could require someone to PM you on Dakka with the username they want to use on the new forum so that you'll know which ones to approve.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/23 21:58:40


Post by: Mario


Jerram wrote:Two things make it a possibility that "republicans" will leave and thus be born an echo chamber.

"Impartial mod" putting finger on the scales of discussion (less worrisome with tides')

Constant snark that just gets tiresome (saying you know what you're writing sounds snarky but you put in a statement saying its not so its ok is pure bollocks)
A lot of this thread has been about how the mods will try to foster inclusivity of all kinds of opinions. A few (mostly left leaning?) people have been asking about what even could attract the mods' attention (with examples of previous thread derailments and offers to show more examples outside of this thread so it doesn't get locked down for politics). The answer (at least my interpretation of it) was generally something along the lines of the mods not even wanting to care about dealing with people who repeatedly post badly sourced references for the sake of inclusivity (seemingly as long as repeated trolling can be interpreted as "opinion" it will be allowed).

That's literally the opposite of an echo chamber. It's the mods wanting to appear impartial while actually being biased against good discourse as long as it's worded politely. It's an invitation for naive fools to just repeatedly post nonsense without thinking because they can always be excused due to their naivety. No need to adjust to new facts if you can reword your previous wrong statement in a new, and polite, way. It also invites trolls because they can camouflage as said fools and get away with their bs as long as they appear polite.

And yet we have worries about some sort of leftist competition to out-woke each other and/or some SJW echo chamber? From how this discussion was going that was the least worrisome possibility anybody should need to think about. Might as well worry about a random meteor hitting your head.

People have been asking about this because there's precedent about a certain type of behaviour leading to a degradation of a discussion and they worry that if the mod team has such a lackadaisical attitude towards such simple trolling then the discourse will eventually turn into a circular "discussion", with fools/trolls posting badly sourced reference in short bursts that will get repeated long paragraphs/comments of corrections. And it seems like it will be seen by the mods as "discourse is happening" because it's worded politely.

In short: A few people have been worries about the mods allowing gish gallop tactics to flourish and the answer seems to be: Yes, as long as you phrase it politely. And that's worrying some people.

Or to use words "republicans" should understand:
Two things make it a possibility that "leftists" will leave and thus be born an echo chamber.

"Impartial mod" putting finger on the scales of discussion by letting fools/trolls off easy and prioritising decorum over anything else (more worrisome with the explanation we have been given)

Constant posting of badly sourced references/research that just gets tiresome to debunk, where one link needs multiple paragraphs of corrections… and then the same bs it posted a few pages later.
That's how impartial modding easily leads to an—intended or not—echo chamber.

LordofHats, over the years I've seen the same as A Town Called Malus on /r/Conservative, a rise of /r/the _Donald (and similar subreddit) refugees with a corresponding rise in conspiracies and mind bending explanations, justifications, and theories about everything; not some leftists infiltration. It just became /r/the_Donald_2 . I remember when /r/theDonald was just a meme subreddit until it was slowly taken over by true believers (same with how 4chan "evolved" from boundary pushing racist/white supremacist jokes to full racism and Neo-Nazi breeding/grooming grounds). All the sensible people stopped contributing and left instead of fighting a losing battle in a barely moderated online space.

RiTides wrote:I am also thinking of requiring something at sign up to discourage bots - it could be a wargaming challenge question (to focus on our group here), or a valid cell phone number, etc. Any thoughts on that?
You could forbid accounts with zero comments from starting threads. Bots usually want to post a new thread that gains some attention towards whatever they are trying to advertise. And if there's no "start a new thread" button they can't do that. I don't know how high of a post count you'd need to be able to start a thread (it depends on the forums' activity level) but even a rather low number of posts should help out with that.

From how I understand it, these bots (or account farms) usually don't read even simple rules and only try to create an account and post new threads. Sending new users an PM or some sort of easily accessible (and very visible) announcement that states that they need to first post a few times in existing threads seems to be a good enough filter. And if somebody has so little patience that contributing (not spamming) a few times before being able to start threads is annoying then maybe not giving them the ability to post new threads isn't that bad either.

Another option would be to automatically put posts by new accounts (or accounts under a certain number of posts) into a mod queue. Then a mod would need to look at it (to confirm that it's actual content and not an ad/bot/spam) before making it show up for the general audience.

I don't know how big that forum would be (user number) or how many mods there would be so these measures might not be scalable but such systems (that weed out bots and very simple minded trolls) tend to work better than CAPTCHAs or other technical solutions. Because if there's even a tiny bit of money (ads/spam) then they will find a way to circumvent the technological solution at some point.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/25 23:11:10


Post by: Dreadwinter


This thread is exactly what I was talking about. It has now gone on too long and outlived its purpose. People are starting to argue over seemingly nothing. Somebody is already feeling persecuted in this thread and it isn't even a political thread.

Kill it and move on. There will be no more information gathered from this thread that has any relevance.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/26 14:03:06


Post by: BaronIveagh


 Dreadwinter wrote:

Kill it and move on. There will be no more information gathered from this thread that has any relevance.


And it's clear you haven't read the last page so we'll just ignore this attempt to have the thread shut down again.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/27 04:11:00


Post by: Dreadwinter


 BaronIveagh wrote:
 Dreadwinter wrote:

Kill it and move on. There will be no more information gathered from this thread that has any relevance.


And it's clear you haven't read the last page so we'll just ignore this attempt to have the thread shut down again.


I very much did. Absolutely nothing was accomplished.

Not trying to shut it down. Just pointing out we hit the 2 week mark and absolutely nothing of value has been added. But continue if you want!


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/27 18:39:44


Post by: OrlandotheTechnicoloured


I'd avoid anything with a numerical answer as it's to easy for bots to 'guess'


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/28 14:17:25


Post by: Ensis Ferrae


 AlmightyWalrus wrote:
"Stop telling people that your links say literally the opposite of what they actually explicitly say" isn't taking a stance on the person's argument either.

Do we let the community somehow vote to censure individual posts? It'd still be subjective, but the censure or lack thereof would have the legitimacy of having been handed down by the community itself rather than the dictatorial edict of a mod. There's obviously plenty of problems with such a system that would need to be hashed out, but as a starting point?



I know reddit was mentioned earlier itt in regards to up/down votes but, In a couple of r/ subforums I follow there, they have a very useful automod feature where human mods can program in certain websites as being auto-removed from threads.

Typically, such as in the F1 subreddit, when the automod removes a post containing a "banned" source, it includes a message like, "automod has removed this because this source is known for x,y, and z"


At the point I'm typing this, I've only read up through page 4, so this may have been addressed numerous times already, but in large part, I agree with LOH and others saying fewer subforums are better. I know many have said none, but I personally think it would at least be helpful if there were, at the least a US subforum and a "non-US" subforum. Gauging by past periods where politics has been allowed in dakka, the US based threads got a lot of traction/activity, from everyone, while UK and EU based political threads seemingly did not get as much, but delineating the two would allow for better ease of discussing issues as they pertain to a given region. For instance, a healthcare thread dealing with US political policy will look entirely different to a healthcare thread on UK or EU policy.

A point from earlier not discussed as much, the page limit, I think doesn't work quite as such. By this I mean it needs to be somewhat fluid and up to mod discretion. Let's say this forum had been around in the 1990s, when the OKC bombing happened. . . During the day it happens, there's likely to be a flurry of activity as we deal with the immediate aftermath: who, what, where, and how bad. But it will likely take weeks to get a full idea on "why" it happened. Auto-locking a thread after 100 pages relating to a current event may only create clutter and duplicate threads as, after page 100 (or whatever the cutoff is), a user with new information will have to create another thread on the OKC bombing (to keep this example) just so that they can post an article that provides new information on the bomber's identity, or the state of the manhunt.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/28 22:41:26


Post by: Easy E


 Matt Swain wrote:
Maybe stuff like "If an ork model has W5, how many successful hits from a D2 weapon does it take to kill it"?

"If a weapon has a 1/3 chance of wounding a target, what is the minimum number you need to roll to successfully wound it in a game of WH40K?"

"What does the H in WH40K stand for?"

"Who killed Sanguinius?"

"What is the maximum number of wounds a D 1d weapon can cause?"


I have been wargaming since 1984, and played 1st edition 40K to 5th edition, Warhammer Fantasy 3rd edition to 5th edition, various versions of Epic, and many specialists games. I am not sure I would be able to answer all of these anymore.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/29 23:11:20


Post by: greatbigtree


While it would involve some manual labour, having any kind of basic survey as part of the application process would probably weed out bots.

What’s your favourite colour, and why?
Name two oceans.
Name two continents. (style points if they reply “in”)
Who was your favourite teacher, and why?
Type out the words for two different numbers (ie. One, twenty-five).

And then the human Judge just needs to determine if the answers are probably human responses. If you ask for a favourite colour, and the response is, “I can not describe the hue, as human eyes are incapable of receiving that light spectrum” the applicant is probably a robot, mantis shrimp, or an alien. In any case, *not* human.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/30 00:29:08


Post by: Mr. Burning


Captcha codes?
I am not a robot?

You know....something simple that the majority of boards implement as standard?



New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/30 00:55:32


Post by: Voss


 Mr. Burning wrote:
Captcha codes?
I am not a robot?

You know....something simple that the majority of boards implement as standard?



Ah. The 'by clicking this box you agree to let our software look through your browser history and determine if you're going to websites the way a human would (and nothing else, we totes promise)? And then if it looks a little borderline, we'll subject you to IDing crap photographs and handwriting.'


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/30 01:46:16


Post by: Laughing Man


Voss wrote:
 Mr. Burning wrote:
Captcha codes?
I am not a robot?

You know....something simple that the majority of boards implement as standard?



Ah. The 'by clicking this box you agree to let our software look through your browser history and determine if you're going to websites the way a human would (and nothing else, we totes promise)? And then if it looks a little borderline, we'll subject you to IDing crap photographs and handwriting.'

That's not how those work though...


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/30 02:25:46


Post by: Voss


 Laughing Man wrote:
Voss wrote:
 Mr. Burning wrote:
Captcha codes?
I am not a robot?

You know....something simple that the majority of boards implement as standard?



Ah. The 'by clicking this box you agree to let our software look through your browser history and determine if you're going to websites the way a human would (and nothing else, we totes promise)? And then if it looks a little borderline, we'll subject you to IDing crap photographs and handwriting.'

That's not how those work though...

You sure about that?

https://www.termsfeed.com/blog/privacy-policy-recaptcha/#:~:text=If%20you%20integrate%20reCAPTCHA%20through,website%20or%20app%20integrates%20reCAPTCHA.

First, the reCAPTCHA algorithm will check to see if there's a Google cookie placed on the computer being used.

Then, an additional reCAPTCHA-specific cookie will be added to the user's browser, and a complete snapshot of the user's browser window at that moment in time will be captured, pixel by pixel.

Some of the browser and user information collected at this time includes:

All cookies placed by Google over the last 6 months,
How many mouse clicks you've made on that screen (or touches if on a touch device),
The CSS information for that page,
The date,
The language your browser is set to,
Any plug-ins you have installed on the browser, and
All Javascript objects
It's because of this personal information collection that the requirement by CalOPPA is triggered and a Privacy Policy is required when reCAPTCHA is integrated.


It digs into enough personal information that any website that uses it requires a privacy policy and in the EU, explicit consent from the person on the other end.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/30 10:55:42


Post by: Mr. Burning


To be slightly blasé about this.

Pretty much like we have been offering our info up on a platter for the last 20+ years.

If I want to post Ill click.



New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/30 17:00:22


Post by: greatbigtree


Yeah, I mean, Internet privacy is not one of my big concerns. If a website wants to know the configurations or naked people I like to see, and my preferred hair colour, all the power to them.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2020/12/30 20:14:24


Post by: Voss


That's fine. I just like a little informed consent myself, not shrugging off personal information delves as 'the standard' or misinformation that 'it doesn't do that.'


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2021/01/04 13:10:26


Post by: RiTides


Hey everyone, here is an update!

Despite my really wanting to launch today (first Monday of the new year) I've decided to wait 3 weeks for the following reasons:

1. I'm just not ready

2. The current political climate in the US, which I had thought would be ripe for us to begin general policy discussions at this moment, is in the midst of some turmoil and I'd honestly just prefer to start with a clean slate after inauguration day. I feel like that would overshadow everything we'd like to talk about and "taint" any other discussions, and not let us start out on the right foot.

We've waited a while to have an alternative space, so I'd like to do it right and with the best timing. Hopefully this is understandable... see you in 3 weeks! I have also updated the title to reflect the launch date.



New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2021/01/04 15:33:06


Post by: Laughing Man


It's cute that you think things will calm down after the inauguration.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2021/01/04 16:37:46


Post by: Easy E


 RiTides wrote:
Hey everyone, here is an update!

Despite my really wanting to launch today (first Monday of the new year) I've decided to wait 3 weeks for the following reasons:

1. I'm just not ready

2. The current political climate in the US, which I had thought would be ripe for us to begin general policy discussions at this moment, is in the midst of some turmoil and I'd honestly just prefer to start with a clean slate after inauguration day. I feel like that would overshadow everything we'd like to talk about and "taint" any other discussions, and not let us start out on the right foot.

We've waited a while to have an alternative space, so I'd like to do it right and with the best timing. Hopefully this is understandable... see you in 3 weeks! I have also updated the title to reflect the launch date.



Good luck!

I look forward to lurking and raising my blood pressure until I inevitably crack and say something dumb!


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2021/01/04 19:59:52


Post by: Matt Swain


If you want a great example of what not to do and how not to be, check this thread.

https://forum.rpg.net/index.php?threads/i%E2%80%99ve-been-playing.855847/


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2021/01/04 21:04:54


Post by: RiTides


Yeah, as previously noted the rpg.net approach is almost the exact opposite of what we'll be going for!

And Easy E, we can all relate to that . Comes with the territory a bit, but all the more reason to try to set a useful tone as a community from the start.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2021/01/04 21:37:13


Post by: Matt Swain


 RiTides wrote:
Yeah, as previously noted the rpg.net approach is almost the exact opposite of what we'll be going for!

And Easy E, we can all relate to that . Comes with the territory a bit, but all the more reason to try to set a useful tone as a community from the start.


Yeah, that was just a really egregious example I decided to point out.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2021/01/05 00:00:52


Post by: BaronIveagh


 Laughing Man wrote:
It's cute that you think things will calm down after the inauguration.


This was actually my response as well.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2021/01/05 00:35:56


Post by: Future War Cultist


You’re not seriously trying to bring back politics are you?


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2021/01/05 01:16:09


Post by: AlmightyWalrus


Honestly, describing the current situation as "some turmoil" and wanting to start with a clean slate is directly creating a bias in your political forum. It's a terrible idea. If your political forum can't handle the actions of contemporary US politicians there is no point to having the discussion in the first place because it will by design be the kind of echo chamber that you consistently decry. You just cannot have a meaningful forum with international political discussion and at the same time go "nah, let's not discuss whether the President of the United States is guilty of sedition or not". The direct cause of the "turmoil" is political regardless of which side of said turmoil you are on.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2021/01/05 02:00:05


Post by: RiTides


AlmightyWalrus, my apologies for the vague language above that you keyed in on - my only goal there was to avoid discussing something on Dakka that we're not actually allowed to be discussing. Any and all of this will be fair game to discuss on the forum I am setting up, of course!

My motivation on the timing is not to defend the current actions of the president (which I find to be a shocking and brazen attempt to overturn a democratic election). I've already mentioned previously that I'm an independent voter, but that I was in the "Never Trump" category, as well. But I would dearly love, in a forum that I am setting up and going to be putting a lot of time into, to not have this person dominate the opening of it.

No matter what happens in what I'd been hoping would be a peaceful transition of power, we're going live on the 25th. And as mentioned by quite a few folks above, I think there will likely still be plenty to talk about regarding this then. And all of it will be welcome, and appropriate. I hope, though, that if there is a peaceful transition we can also turn to some of the policy discussions (and even historical ones) that many people have pointed to wanting, rather than being a prisoner of the political moment. It is, obviously, quite a moment... and again, any and all aspects of it will be fair game to discuss.

I hope that explains my admittedly very nondescript language above. Your feedback has been extremely helpful in both the N&B thread and this one, and I am hoping you will participate - your viewpoint is extremely helpful to the discussion I want to take place!



New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2021/01/05 03:56:58


Post by: Wolfblade


I think expecting the focus of the discussion in a political forum to not be someone who has so drastically altered the political landscape is a tad naïve, especially coming mere days after he's fought tooth and nail to overturn an election with unsubstantiated allegations of fraud, and attempting to coerce election officials into committing fraud and/or other crimes.

Edit: As Walrus has said below, "It's not ready" is a good enough reason, I'm merely commenting on the other aspect.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2021/01/05 04:24:53


Post by: AlmightyWalrus


Yep. You can't escape Trump. It's like trying to discuss the history of Mongolia without mentioning Genghis Khan, or (perhaps more aptly) Watergate without Nixon. Wishing the Trump era over does not make it so. I understand your desire to not have Trump dominate the opening of your forum, but that is naïve. This sort of political turmoil casts a shadow whether you want it to or not.

That said, "it's not ready yet" is as good a reason as any in my opinion. Take the time you feel you need, there's no point in rushing.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2021/01/05 10:12:19


Post by: Herzlos


Trump is going to dominate the political landscape for years - even after Biden takes over, Trump's going to be making a lot of noise and campaigning for 2024, as well as causing historical/legal debate for decades.

Trying to time the forum launch to avoid Trump is doomed to fail. It's a shame too because there's so much going on that's worth discussing in a grown up, dakka way.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2021/01/05 12:36:31


Post by: RiTides


You may all be right, as much chagrin as it gives me to say it! However, as Walrus said I really do just need a bit more time to be ready (holidays were crazy with the kids ). No matter what though, we're going live on the 25th...


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2021/01/05 15:11:45


Post by: Herzlos


Good luck. We've on a full lockdown until February, so I've got 3 more weeks of home schooling to do :(


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2021/01/05 16:25:10


Post by: LordofHats


Herzlos wrote:
Trump is going to dominate the political landscape for years - even after Biden takes over, Trump's going to be making a lot of noise and campaigning for 2024, as well as causing historical/legal debate for decades.

Trying to time the forum launch to avoid Trump is doomed to fail. It's a shame too because there's so much going on that's worth discussing in a grown up, dakka way.


This I think is most accurate.

Investigations into the Trump administration are probably inevitable, though who knows how far they'll go or for how long. Trump isn't going to shut up anytime soon. His kids certainly aren't. Eric Trump has been explicitly setting himself up for a political run for the past two years and you can bet he'll make "my dad won and it was stolen from him" a cornerstone of any campaign. State level criminal charges are probably unavoidable and Trump will fallback on political defenses against those charges. Trump isn't going away. He probably won't go away for a very long time, certainly not with the wake he's sparked in the American right and the responses to him that are already shaping the American left. Never mind his effect on international affairs which will probably continue to shape things long after he's gone.

Trump was a walking fething disaster and probably the most historically impactful president of the last 40 years, maybe even longer depending on how we look at it. Historians and political scientists will be debating the nature and consequences of his presidency for the next century.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2021/01/05 20:13:38


Post by: totalfailure


Seems like it’s well on track to be another progressive opinion only echo chamber, where they can validate to each other how right and wonderful they are, and advocate their ‘punch a ‘Nazi’ politics’ as completely justified. Just like Dakka was.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2021/01/05 20:41:54


Post by: Future War Cultist


 totalfailure wrote:
Seems like it’s well on track to be another progressive opinion only echo chamber, where they can validate to each other how right and wonderful they are, and advocate their ‘punch a ‘Nazi’ politics’ as completely justified. Just like Dakka was.


There’s why it’s not going to work. You go ahead with this plan, I’d give it a week tops before the septic tank ruptures again.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2021/01/05 21:39:57


Post by: AlmightyWalrus


 totalfailure wrote:
Seems like it’s well on track to be another progressive opinion only echo chamber, where they can validate to each other how right and wonderful they are, and advocate their ‘punch a ‘Nazi’ politics’ as completely justified. Just like Dakka was.


I think you have a pretty distorted idea of what constitutes "progressive" if you think Dakka was a progressive echo chamber. Especially considering the various points of view that have already been exhibited in this very thread and its predecessor.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2021/01/05 21:50:06


Post by: Dreadwinter


Oh, this is already starting off well with the echo chamber stuff.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2021/01/05 21:56:17


Post by: greatbigtree


I mean, it's not supposed to start *at all* on Dakka. So... we don't.

What's the point of making a doom and gloom prediction about a site that doesn't exist yet?

Y'all might be surprised how strongly a political centrist might swing a conversation. By which I mean Canadian centrist... All Canadian politics is well left of US politics and probably UK politics, from what I've gathered. Even our "right wing" Conservative party is left of the US Democratic party.

So, give it a chance. We all have something to potentially gain by working together. We have nothing to gain but an "I told you so" if it crashes and burns... so what do we really want?

Ha-ha. Socialism for the win.


New (and completely unofficial!) political discussion space structural ideas - Launch Date Jan 25th! @ 2021/01/05 22:46:04


Post by: RiTides


Regarding the echo chamber comments - maybe I shouldn't have shared my opinion (and won't be doing so on the space I am setting up). A dissenting opinion is definitely welcome. You'd have to defend it, obviously, but endorsing violence (Including the "Punch a Nazi" idea mentioned above) is one of the things that absolutely won't be allowed.

We've basically begun discussing politics, and we're obviously not supposed to be doing so here. To avoid having one of the other mods needing to, I'm going to lock this thread until the launch is ready, and then create a new thread or re-open this one. I really hope to see you all there in (less than) 3 weeks!

Please feel free to PM me with any additional input, as well . Thanks so much everyone!