Is civility dead?

SuperMatt

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i just read this post from a part of the journal Science:


Many other websites have removed comments too, and some forums have shut down entirely.

This site is quite civil, even though we don’t know each other in real life and would suffer no real penalty for treating each other harshly. Unfortunately for everybody else out there, this site appears to be an exception to the norm.
 

Eric

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I’ll be disappointed if commenting goes away everywhere. It’s really the best way to take the pulse of the public.
It's definitely a change we see on more and more news sites though and it's understandable. It seems like most comments are just rants from one side or the other and not much real meaningful conversation, at least when it comes to political topics.
 

Alli

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It's definitely a change we see on more and more news sites though and it's understandable. It seems like most comments are just rants from one side or the other and not much real meaningful conversation, at least when it comes to political topics.
Dead on. I just like to keep tabs on what “the other side” is ranting about.
 

Scepticalscribe

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Civility requires not just basic courtesy, but also respect, and this, is what I think is lacking in much debate and discussion - and not just online.
 

Eric

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Hrafn

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Gonna quote pshufd here (don't smite me!) :mrgreen:


This is dead on IMO, if you want civility you need to attach your real identity to it.
I don't know about that. I'm a community reviewer on NextDoor. It amazes me the stuff folks say directly to each other there.

For that matter, I'm often at odds with their rules for moderation. Neighbor A let his dog crap on neighbor B's yard repeatedly without cleaning it up. Neighbor B filmed it and posted. Neighbor B was in the wrong for "shaming" another. Neighbor B was removed.
 

Scepticalscribe

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Gonna quote pshufd here (don't smite me!) :mrgreen:


This is dead on IMO, if you want civility you need to attach your real identity to it.

Actually, - @Eric - having just read this post, - and your own thoughts - elsewhere (Over There) I had hoped that we might be able to discuss pshufd's post (have forgotten his TA name, otherwise I'd have tagged him, here - please do the needful if possible) here, as I do not believe that it is possible to have a civilised discussion on such a topic there, on MR.

Not without appearing to be an utter twat.

Sometimes, circumstances dictate that one cannot use one's real name in on online environment. Or, rather, one can, but then, one cannot truly post what one thinks.

On Twitter, I use my real name, but (then, and there) my tweets are boring, and prudent, and cautious and careful.

When I opened my account there, (on the recommendations of a Dutch colleague, a senior police officer - @lizkat & @Renzatic (I think @thekev might remember it, too) both know of my tale concerning Pachelbel's Canon, I'll relate it, as it is well worth telling, but this is the guy in question, in whose company I was when Pachelbel's Canon was playing, - and, on Mac related matters, I sold him - at his request - my first 11" MBA, as he wished to to buy a really nice computer for his estranged wife) in Kabul, in 2013, when I served as a political adviser/analyst/counsellor with the EU in a diplomatic capacity, a specialist on elections with a brief to advise on, and analyse closely the 2014 elections in Afghanistan, and report on everything to do with the elections to Brussels - I also ensured that I had locked my account to ensure that I couldn't post when dangerously uninhibited, having partaken too generously of the products of the grape or the grain. It would have been unprofessional. And stupid.

And on MR, I was equally careful.

Until the day I posted a carefully crafted (and informed) and closely argued post on PRSI, (complete with) with comments, questions, thoughts, observations - because I knew Afghanistan, and had a fairly good idea by then of how things worked, I had a lot of seriously good Afghan contacts - @JamesMike will understand this sort of stuff - on Bowe Bergdahl, and, to my stupefied amazement, - it was almost entirely ignored, as the perfervid posters on MR preferred to virtually fling foul faeces (suitably disguised) at one another, rather than respond to a sober, understated, but well argued (yes, I will say that) and well informed (and yes, I will also say that) post.

In fact, I had initially opened my account on MR to ask questions about a MBP I had treated myself to as a belated birthday present in 2008.

Within a little over a month, I was asked to travel to Georgia, in a diplomatic capacity with the EU mission set up as a consequence of the Medvedev-Sarkozy Agreement after their conflict with Russia. I was there for over two years.

Nobody said anything to me, but, while in the Caucasus, I took a sort of self-imposed vow of (political) silence - thinking it unprofessional (not that anyone on MR knew or cared) to post anything about politics.

And I held to that position - perhaps out of a misguided sense of professional etiquette - for the best part of a decade, during most of my deployment in Afghanistan, my subsequent election observation missions, (including a contentious one, in Russia, in a senior capacity, in 2016), and my deployment (as a diplomat with the EU) in Somalia.

Anyway, this is merely an aside - a comment - to explain that sometimes, there are very good reasons why someone cannot post under their real name; or, rather, they can, but then, they are precluded from saying anything of real interest or merit, because to do so would be both unprofessional, and perhaps, possibly, professionally catastrophic.
 
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Eric

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Actually, - @Eric - having just read this post, - and your own thoughts - elsewhere (Over There) I had hoped that we might be able to discuss pshufd's post (have forgotten his TA name, otherwise I'd have tagged him, here - please do the needful if possible) here, as I do not believe that it is possible to have a civilised discussion on such a topic there, on MR.

Not without appearing to be an utter twat.

Sometimes, circumstances dictate that one cannot use one's real name in on online environment. Or, rather, one can, but then, one cannot truly post what one thinks.

On Twitter, I use my real name, but my tweets are boring, and prudent, and cautious and careful.

When I opened my account there, (on the recommendations of a Dutch colleague, a senior police officer - @lizkat knows of my tale concerning Pachelbel's Canon, I'll relate it, as it is well worth telling, but this is the guy in question, in whose company I was when Pachelbel's Canon was playing, - and, on Mac related matters, I sold him - at his request - my first 11" MBA, he wished to to buy a really nice computer for his estranged wife) in Kabul, in 2013, when I served as a political analyst/counsellor with the EU in a diplomatic capacity, a specialist on elections with a brief to analyse closely the 2014 elections in Afghanistan and report on everything to do with the elections to Brussels - I also ensured that I had locked my account to ensure that I couldn't post when dangerously uninhibited, having partaken too generously of the products of the grape or the grain. It would have been unprofessional. And stupid.

And on MR, I was equally careful.

Until the day I posted a carefully crafted (and informed) and argued post, with comments, questions, thoughts, observations - because I knew Afghanistan, and had a fairly good idea by then of how things worked, I had a lot of seriously good Afghan contacts - @JamesMike will understand this sort of stuff - on Bowe Bergdahl, and, to my stupefied amazement, - it was almost entirely ignored, as the perfervid posters on MR preferred to virtaul fling foul faeces (suitably disguised) at one another.

In fact, I had initially opened my account on MR to ask questions about a MBP I had treated myself to as a belated birthday present in 2008.

Within a little over a month, I was asked to travel to Georgia, in a diplomatic capacity with the EU mission set up as a consequence of the Medvedev-Sarkozy Agreement after their conflict with Russia. I was there for over two years.

Nobody said anything to me, but, while in the Caucasus, I took a sort of self-imposed vow of (political) silence - thinking it unprofessional (not that anyone on MR knew or cared) to post anything about politics.

And I held to that position - perhaps out of a misguided sense of professional etiquette - for the best part of a decade, during most of my deployment in Afghanistan, my subsequnet election observation missions, (including a contentious one, in Russia, in 2016), and my deployment (as a diplomat with the EU) in Somalia.

Anyway, this is merely an aside - a comment - to explain that sometimes, there are very good rasons why soeone cannot post under their real name; or, rather, they can, but then, they are precluded from saying anything of real interest or merit, becaue to do so would be both unprofessional, and possibly, professionaly catastrophic.
I don't believe pshfud has an account here, I was just citing his post over there. I do agree that there is definitely a case to be made for posting anonymously and I get why most of us do it. However, if a site really wanted to force civil debate that would be a great way to ensure it.
 
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SuperMatt

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lizkat

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Some want to post hateful things under their own names without consequence. Which is why such people rail against cancel culture.

Love to see a Venn diagram of that set of folks, and of those who believe that toting a handgun without a permit (or any firearms training, for that matter) is a birthright. Probably "a little" overlap. Just my opinion.
 

Renzatic

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SuperMatt

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Is civility dead?

I expect that civility is just a thin skein, and a whole bunch of people are only moments away from yelling "shitcock," as the Greater Internet Fuckwad theory holds.
I’m imaging a new version of badminton using this instead of a shuttlecock...
 

lizkat

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That doesn't necessarily work. I do my best trolling on Facebook, under my real name.

I did my best trolling under my real name when the WSJ ran that idiot's op-ed panning Jill Biden's advanced degree (while not having acquired one himself). What did I have to lose except an overpriced subscription.
 
U

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Gonna quote pshufd here (don't smite me!) :mrgreen:


This is dead on IMO, if you want civility you need to attach your real identity to it.
Too dangerous. There's way too many idiots out there who will be happy to take overt action against someone just for posting an opinion - on both sides..

And it's easy now to find out everything about a person just from a name and location.

This goes quadruply for any minority member.
 
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