Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
A starter's guide
Published on December 8, 2006 By Draginol In Blogging

It's not often I have to ban people from JoeUser.com. The Terms of Service (linked below) spell out the definite no-no's.

But that doesn't stop some people from trying to play victim if they get banned. I'll be the first to admit that the rules are not universally enforced. That's mostly an issue of the administrators only being able to read a tiny % of the articles on the site. So statistically, what happens is that banning occurs in discussions in which an administrator is a participant.

The quickest way to get banned is to start personally attacking an administrator. So what exactly is a personal attack? Like "porn" most people know it when they see it.  One on-line person once put it "A personal attack on-line can be reocgnized as words that would get the speaker of those words punched in the nose in real life."

What won't get you banned:

  1. Having a different opinion on an issue than an adminstrator
  2. Having a different life philosophy or political philosophy than an administrator
  3. Vigorously defending your position with regards to an Admin
  4. Vigorously attacking the position of an Admin

Example:

Acceptable exhcange:

Admin: I think pulling out of Iraq immediately would be absolutely insane!

User: What's insane is thinking that staying the course is good. Your position will result in the deaths of more American soldiers!

Unacceptable exchange:

Admin: I think pulling out of Iraq immediately would be absolutely insane!

User: Anyone who thinks we should be in Iraq should sign up for the army right now. Admin, you're a chickenhawk. You are nothing that a pathetic coward.

Upon an unacceptable exchange, the admin will normally provide a warning:

Admin: Attack the message. Not the messenger. Do not personally attack users. If you do so again, you are history.

This is where one of two conclusions are reached:

Either:

(a) The user takes a deep breath and moves on.

or

( Accuses the admin of being unable to handle "the truth" and telling him to F Off. (and gets banned).

As a general common sense thing, it's just not a good idea to personally attack or insult anyone on-line. But it's particularly not a good idea to personally attack the admin of a given site.

Some people I think honestly can't make the distinction between the person in the debate and the issue they are debating. They personalize a given issue to the individual.  I freely admit that my real world views are not nearly as strident as what I post on JU.  I want to post thought provoking topics but my actual views on the topic are not nearly as passionate as what I write. Or put another way, I care about politics but I don't care care about it. 

But some people really get consumed by their opinions and so they don't make the distinction between the issue being discussed -- the issue they disagree with -- and the person writing the position they disagree with. I.e. the classic "shoot the messenger".

One person recently banned had just finished calling me a "weak minded pathetic coward" because I supported the Iraqi invasion but had not personally joined the military.  Personally attacking me does not move the discussion forward. And let's assume that I am a week minded, pathetic coward. Okay. Now what? Does that change the validity or non-validity of removing Saddam?  That is why malicious personal attacks are forbidden.

People do get frustrated. I certainly do. In the above exchange the poster had already called me "dumb" in about a half-dozen ways. He was frustrated that he couldn't convince me of his point of view. But he didn't get in trouble for it. There is a threshold of venom obviously.

The other behavior that I don't like on JU is the tendancy of people to create personal attack posts about other people on the site. I understand the rationale for them - user A gets black listed from user B's site and it's the only way they can respond. I still don't like it though even if we don't vigorously enforce it.

My advice is this: Life is short. Blogging is for fun. If you're getting upset, take a day off. Take a few days off and regain perspective. I have had to do that hundreds of times over the years. People piss me off too.  Just try to avoid targeting the person as an individual. No one's perfect. Everyone slips given enough time. And your body of contribution to the community does matter when deciding what to do about it (i.e. if most of your posts are just nasty hate-filled personal attacks you'll be treated differently than the person who posts thoughtful discussions but gets pissed off and name-calls).

 


Comments (Page 2)
on Dec 08, 2006

Reply By: MarcieHelen(Anonymous User)

 

FREE MARCIE HELEN!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

on Dec 08, 2006

FREE MARCIE HELEN!!!!!

DITTO

on Dec 08, 2006
Hey guys...I know I'm a big girl...but it doesn't have to turn into a "FREE WILLY" type of thing....besides...isn't he dead?
on Dec 08, 2006
I'll unban Marcie. Just have to find her account.
on Dec 08, 2006
Well said Draginol, I especially hate to see others tearing each other down..... in real life or here in JU Land.

Good healthy discussion is good but hateful contention we can do without and only adds to our frustration as it unsettles our piece of mind.
on Dec 08, 2006
As a general common sense thing, it's just not a good idea to personally attack or insult anyone on-line


Well said. I think this rule should apply in the real world too. It seems too often disagreements in opinion become personal slagging matches where neither party moves forward or learns anything. Life is just too short...
on Dec 08, 2006
Life is just too short...


And can get a lot shorter if the person you're insulting in real life decides to ban you from life
on Dec 08, 2006
I'll unban Marcie. Just have to find her account.


Yeah Marcie!



Great info to blog by Brad. We all need to read and remember this, especially those of us with short fuses!
As a general common sense thing, it's just not a good idea to personally attack or insult anyone on-lineWell said. I think this rule should apply in the real world too. It seems too often disagreements in opinion become personal slagging matches where neither party moves forward or learns anything. Life is just too short...


Yep, I totally agree with that Mark!
on Dec 09, 2006
I remember a line from a movie, American History X, it goes, "Hate is baggage...life is too short to hang on to it." (More or less)

I think this is a good one because, while it may not be hate with the 'revenge posts' or 'slams' against people for their opinion, it still holds that there is baggage, whatever it may be. (It also reiterates your comment at the end of this.)

on Dec 09, 2006
You're so fucking lame Draginol. lol.

on Dec 09, 2006
You're so fucking lame Draginol. lol.


Yeah? Then he caught it from you! Is this Mike? DOH!
on Dec 09, 2006
I'll unban Marcie. Just have to find her account.


Nice one.
on Dec 09, 2006
Muchos gracias, Brad. I appreciate it.
on Dec 09, 2006

Reply By: Marcie HelenPosted: Saturday, December 09, 2006
Muchos gracias, Brad. I appreciate it.

Welcome back dear lady!  See you in Trivia.

on Dec 09, 2006

Reply By: Marcie HelenPosted: Saturday, December 09, 2006
Muchos gracias, Brad. I appreciate it.

Welcome back dear lady!  See you in Trivia.

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