What if we taught members to argue properly?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Online Community' started by Soliloquy, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. Soliloquy

    Soliloquy Regular Member

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    I read an article today that made me wonder if I've been going about moderating all wrong. Instead of stopping members from arguing amongst themselves, maybe I should encourage them to learn some rhetoric and argue properly? Check out this article and tell me what you think.

    Figures of Speech - Teach a Kid to Argue

     
  2. Peggy

    Peggy Regular Member

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    Now that's a pretty good article. Wouldn't it be good if old dogs could be taught new tricks? Unfortunately, people are going to argue. Arguing almost inevitably turns to insults. Insults then become name-calling. And grown men (and women) regress to childish behavior once again.

    On my forums, I usually let them have at it. As soon as the insults start, the moderation kicks in.
     
  3. Chris

    Chris Regular Member

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    This is exactly what I do, as well. :)
     
  4. kev

    kev Regular Member

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    I use one simple example:

    Argue - uses emotion

    Debate - uses logic.

    I do not argue anything, I debate.
     
  5. Peggy

    Peggy Regular Member

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    Unfortunately, there are way too many people who don't know (or just refuse to recognize) the difference between arguing and debating, lol.

    It usually turns into a 'brawl' either way.
     
  6. 3Phase

    3Phase Champion

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    Excellent way to describe it!

    Passion is in there somewhere, with some topics and some presenters. Not a bad thing. It's down to tolerating the opinions of others, no matter how dotty we think they are, and discussing the point rather than the person.
     
  7. torque

    torque Regular Member

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    Lol - I let my users argue all they want - they end up turning on me when I am the one piece of logic there that likes to prove them wrong when they are quoting someone or something and quote half the sentence to fit into their arguement or whatever.

    It annoys them to hell - which gives me great pleasure :D
     
  8. Peggy

    Peggy Regular Member

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    Oh how I wish that people could stay on the point. But sooner or later it inevitably turns into personal attacks, such as "you f****** b******, you wouldn't know your f****** a** from a d*** hole in the wall."


    I'm sure you can fill in the blanks.
     
  9. Nick

    Nick Regular Member

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    :lmao:

    It truly does turn into personal attacks rather quickly, and that's really the only thing I have against debates on forums. Otherwise, have at it!
    If I had a debate section, I'd modify it so that all posts made there are anonymized. That might do the trick. :lol:
     
  10. Soliloquy

    Soliloquy Regular Member

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    Maybe, or it would let people give voice to their vilest ideas and prejudices.
     
  11. Dan Hutter

    Dan Hutter aka Big Dan

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    I try and tell people attack the idea but not the person. It would seem that some cannot separate someone's idea from the person. It's funny to watch sometimes but too bad we have to go in and clean it up.

    Most arguments I find revolve around small minded people, that is people who cannot accept, perhaps comprehend others ideas or opinions. You often find this with various zealots be religous, PC/Mac, PS3/xBox 360, etc.
    An example from me, I have a buddy who all of a sudden wants an iPhone. I say hey it's his money let him do what he wants with it, right but I tried to advise of what a waste of money I think it would be for him so I laid out my points:

    1. We don't even get AT&T service in our area that would mean you cannot actually make calls with the phone unless your at work or on the road.
    2. It's expensive.. You're not going to use all it's features. This is a guy who's lucky he can turn on a computer. He rarely texts, doesn't use the internet much even on a regular computer.
    3. His job is a manual job he's always moving bending leaning up against things. So if he leans up against something and cracks the screen in his pocket there goes $400. He's careless, my $10 to your $1 he breaks it with in a month.
    So after all that and me explaining to him how you really cannot afford it. I joked that you'll buy then phone then not pay your electric and not even be able to charge the darn thing. :lol: He didn't think that was too funny. :D

    Even after he agreed with all my points, he still says he wants the iPhone because it can play music. I told him get a cheapo tracfone for $10 which actually works in our area and has no bills so you don't run into any problems there and a $30 MP3 player this way so that if you break it, it's pretty much disposable.

    Nope he still wants the iPhone so I said you just want a phone that you cannot afford and don't know how to use so that you can say to everyone hey look at me I'm carrying around a $400 phone like a jackass.

    He didn't like that and tried to argue the point with me so I just dropped it. Then again he's the kinda guy who will spend $150 on a pair of jeans and I just don't get that.
    Wow I went way off topic.. but what I basically meant to say is know when you're dealing with someone who thinks there never wrong and/or cannot accept another's opinion and pull out fast.. Retreat! :D
     
  12. Peggy

    Peggy Regular Member

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    ROFL! I love your stories Dan, lol.
     
  13. Dan Hutter

    Dan Hutter aka Big Dan

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    lol Thanks. :)
     
  14. BananaQueen

    BananaQueen Grand Master

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    not telling anyone ;)
    some people on forums need to be taught how to debate!

    on this forum i am on, no debate ever ends well....it generally happens like this'

    (btw, each colour is a different member)

    *posts a topic for debate*
    i agree with that.....
    i disagree with that, anyone who believes that is stupid
    stop being so rude you *enter insult here* i am obviously right
    no, its obvious, why would anyone believe that
    **posts link to website about it* see, its right!
    no, the person who wrote it is obviously insane
    *insults*
    *insults back*
    stop insulting eachother!!! we should all just get back on topic!
    your not a mod so stop thinking you are!
    well i think.....*something relevant to topic*
    oh hi ______ havent seen you in a while, are you ok?
    *trolls*
    im fine thanks, how are you? sorry ive not been online, ive been busy doing...
    *posts lol cat picture*
    lol
    *locks* this thread is locked!
     
  15. cheat-master30

    cheat-master30 Grand Master

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    It's a true point, the bit about people not having the ability to debate with intelligent, calm and generally rational arguments rather than name calling and insults, but I don't personally see this idea being very viable for a forum administrator. Should say schools teach proper debating? Definitely. Could a forum admin teach it to their members? I somehow doubt it. Hell, the chance of this working for a site about gaming, general discussion or certain other topics is roughly about 3% at best (random statistics from nowhere).
     
  16. 3Phase

    3Phase Champion

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    IMO rules and moderating will do the teaching. In BQ's debate, if members are not allowed to do the following, the issue goes away.
    - call names
    - bait others by being argumentative to little purpose, not on point but personal
    - mods occasionally post when a thread is getting heated with reminders about rules, and later follows up if it goes on regardless
    - and it is also a rule that members must adhere to directions given by mods, and address them respectfully

    Sanctions from a pm from a mod; infractions; temporary suspensions and banning, if used and enforced, will shut down the nonsense in BQ's example thread.

    If on the other hand the forum lets such a thread alone they can expect more of it. That may be fine, forums have different cultures and expectation. But if that's not what's wanted the thread has to be removed from view or moderated.

    Everyone isn't raised and taught the same way, so some understand debating protocol and instruction better than others. IMO respectful, firm mod notes will help people understand what is ok and what is not on a forum.

    This is what it took to clean up a lot of trolling on my forum. It took some time and it wasn't fun. But the forum is more attractive to members, now. Several difficult people have changed how they interact on the forum ... they've been taught how to debate, as it were. Some were not able to accept the forum standards, and they are no longer around.

    IMO ...anyway. :)
     

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