Request for consistent moderation towards reasoned arguments

Just one request really…I have already spoken to mods individually and sent group email to all mods a while ago, but my issue continues. I really would like all mods to actually act to the same extent they do with “rudeness” etc, with the forum guidelines concerning civil conversation. If a person’s response is not “reasoned” or uses dishonest arguments (non-sequiturs, straw men etc - it is just as “rude” as anything else - yet this appears to be a blindspot - it does not encourage discussion and has a number of potentially serious implications for the forum.
I have posted the relevant section of the guidelines:

"You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine. But, remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:

Ad hominem attacks.
Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content.
Knee-jerk contradiction.
Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation. :smiley:

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So you want to cut off half of the replies on this forum? Oeps, a straw man! Just kidding ;-).
But seriously. We had people flag things for straw man and these sort of debating techniques. It happens in politics all the time. They’re not the most friendly thing ever, sometimes they’re even funny. But they happen in debates. It’s not really a personal attack. And who’s to decide if it’s a counter-argument? Maybe someone really wants to make a point by exaggerating what the other said. That other one is free to reply back and everybody is able to see what the person really said if they scroll back.

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It’s a dishonest debating technique and anybody doing it in a debate would be called out on it. OK, let’s just as an example say a community member made a reasoned argument concerning the recruitment of mods…say :smiley:
Then the mod asked which individual mod the community member didn’t trust.
This suggests to the reader that the community member said he didn’t trust an individual. - Do you think this is an OK thing to do, can you not see any issues with it…really?
If somebody keeps repeating the same dishonest “debating technique” throughout threads, to promote a particular ideology/cause etc often enough without being called out, then it is a “hearts and minds” vulnerability that could even move the direction of the project/forum potentially.

Nobody said it was…personal attacks are not the only thing that counts - though obviously they should not be tolerated.

The mods or users dependent on the system - are you saying you can’t tell a reasoned argument from a dishonest one? If so then how do you moderate according to the guidelines if you can’t discern?..just asking :smiley:
There are very well established rules in any case and it’s just common sense really, not requiring highly nuanced technical debating skills or anything - otherwise why would the guidelines say to make reasoned arguments in the expectation that no mod would be able to identify one?
Like I said…this appears to be a big blind-spot that only I appear to notice…lol :smiley:

That would be opinion spamming. That’s not improving the discussion and we mod on that.

EDIT: You’re talking about the technique I see know. That might cause people to flag posts because not improving different discussions. But than we should decide with different people that it is indeed dishonest and used by the same person all over the place.

Feel free to PM me. No problem at all.

As I mentioned before, we allow both “to the moon!” replies on Safecoin and “it will never work” replies. What’s reasoned on any of them? We have this thing called freedom of speech. People are quite free to say whatever they want. Sometimes people post a little meme, or a picture without saying anything at all. Not all is black and white. Not every reply should be full of great arguments or whatever. So yes, I can tell the difference between a reasoned argument and a dishonest one. But that’s just my opinion. Maybe some others think it is indeed an honest one. You said it yourself:

Same for arguments. So I’ll just let the discussion go. As long people aren’t in a personal fight or whatever.

It could be…yes, as one example. Opinion spamming can exist without the dishonest arguments though - they are essentially separate issues that could be combined, but dishonest arguments can be used for many more uses. It’s not really the same thing. I also said “debating technique” not “opinion”.

No…I’m not.

Not quite sure I know what you mean, but if what I think, then it is more of an objective exercise than a subjective one - a straw man is a straw man - it is easily identifiable as with other dishonest techniques. All the mods would have to do is follow the flags and do “something” about repeat offenders.

I do feel free to PM you…lol…why not just answer here though?

Lol…it’s not about that…it’s about arguing dishonestly. I think the correct way to pose the question would be “Was anybody arguing dishonestly?”

Yes, agreed. However freedom of speech has certain restrictions around offence etc; forums reflect this in their guidelines - same with reasoned argument.

Look, I’m not being funny, but you clearly don’t grasp what I’m talking about. If you do, then I can only read your replies as reasons for not following the guidelines.

Less is more when it comes to moderation. OP is a bit confused about what makes progress - you have to allow others their freedom to learn. Over moderated forums are stifling and tend to end up creating an environment that bullies others and pushes out those who do not fit within the narrow perception of the moderators.

The list of “Please avoid:” should just wash over you and if it doesn’t, then having those will encourage people think about their value. Encountering stupidity whether it is fallacies or cognitive biases, is the best route to understanding them and becoming better at countering them.

Notions of “rudeness” is similar to taking offence - you should be sympathetic to stupidity not intolerant of it.

For forums as for life there is only one rule … the Golden Rule and one principal for approaching others in debate - the Principal of Charity.

Users should have the power and options to ignore others if they want. An ideal forum should not need parenting and moderators crafting threads - that just frustrates people’s learning through their own errors. Bare in mind that young and ignorant people have as much right to express themselves as anyone. Moderating what is not ‘proper’ is rather a conservative notion, and really not helpful in encouraging intelligent debate. Moderators should perhaps act only where the forum is attacked with spam but discourse works well and I’ve not seen any spam on this forum.

Also bare in mind that those who do not understand SAFE or why it is important, will try alsorts to undermine it and becoming moderators is a known route to abuse and control - birds in cages etc - reddit is suffering that atm.


All the more reason to have proper systems for recruiting mods that are robust and have community input for legitimacy of authority. This is the point both me and @warren were making. Your argument about heavy handed modding I totally agree with - however, again nobody is asking for this - just that guidelines are adhered to equally - not just enforce one half of them only. :smiley:

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