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Koya

Saving the PSF - How can we, as a community, make this place better

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I know it's been utterly frustrating to Joe and company to have the vitriol so often seen here in the PSF.  I get that.  Many of us are understandably at a loss as to what we can do to ensure fair play (including honest discourse) here without muting dissent.

This is a valuable resource and community here - some really smart folks that indeed cover a range of positions and ideologies.  While I agree that the number of pro-trump folks are a lesser percentage here than many forums (and real life), outside of that we have our fair share of conservatives, libertarians, moderates, dems, liberals, and those further to the left. It would be a shame to lose this channel of discourse.

We also must understand that it's difficult to ask the moderators to be the arbiters of truth. Just because someone may state the same lie over and over, who is to "judge" the veracity of those lies.

Any suggestions on how we can create a better community here? How we can self police and take some pressure off the mods?  I'll include any thoughts I have on that subject below.  This is not so much about moderation as it is about what we can do as member of the community to make moderation easier, but if there are constructive recommendations to adjust moderation, perhaps we can move that to the appropriate thread and go from there.

 

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One suggestion I have is that if we understand and agree that there will be some amount of lies told that can't be fully extinguished - and that's not limited to one side of the aisle - then perhaps there is some more wiggle room given to those who respond in a "less than excellent" way.

My concern is that we provide motivation for people to purposefully lie, mislead, or just inflame, because they know that their "lie" can go unchecked, but the emotional response to that lie may well get someone a timeout.  If you are going to present information that is commonly understood as a lie, perhaps you have to accept the responsibility, and have a thicker skin, for those who respond.  At the least this takes away some impetus for those who might teeter on, if not fully engage in, trolling tactics.

Perhaps also we double up on our efforts to simply ignore those who don't wish to play a fair and earnest game of discourse.  Many of us are guilty of this, and we've long stated the rationale for addressing those that rile others up because we must protect the concept of truth and also let anyone "new" here recognize and understand the source of some comments so they can judge the veracity of their statements, accordingly.

Well, that ain't working.  Maybe we, as a community, just decide to point out a lie once, then, well, let it lie.  Or we all just actually ignore some who may be over the top in their misinformation - much like the simpsons cartoons that came to life, once those yelling lies from the rooftops see no one is listening any longer, perhaps their change their style or move to a place that takes more bites on the chum.

 

 

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Quarantine the posters who spread lies and misinformation.  Make it so they can post as normal, but unbeknownst to them, nobody else can see what they are posting.

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Is anyone here part of a community online or offline where Trump supporters and Trump opponents engage in substantive and respectful dialogue about politics?  I kinda think that it’s impossible.

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Just now, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

Is anyone here part of a community online or offline where Trump supporters and Trump opponents engage in substantive and respectful dialogue about politics?  I kinda think that it’s impossible.

Those days are long gone. 

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If the President doesn't have to be "excellent" to anyone he disagrees with, why would any of his followers think they have to?  They don't, and here we are.  Put the trolls on ignore and carry on, just like we do in real life.

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Simply put: discuss the issue and not the poster.

I have been as guilty as anyone else of not doing this. But it's really the key to everything wrong here. If you discuss the subject and not the person you're discussing it with, everything will be OK.

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5 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Simply put: discuss the issue and not the poster.

I have been as guilty as anyone else of not doing this. But it's really the key to everything wrong here. If you discuss the subject and not the person you're discussing it with, everything will be OK.

I think you're right. 

I'm just not sure it's possible. I've been asking people to do this for a while now and it's had zero effect as far as I can tell. 

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13 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

Is anyone here part of a community online or offline where Trump supporters and Trump opponents engage in substantive and respectful dialogue about politics?  I kinda think that it’s impossible.

It depends on what you mean by respectful.

I've engaged in substantive offline discussions with Trump-supporting family members; the discussions have been respectful in the sense of being mutually polite, and in the sense that I maintained my respect for them as wonderful people. I can't say my respect for their political acumen didn't take a hit.

Can we perhaps learn something from the way people of violently clashing religious sects have occasionally been able to avoid smiting each other long enough to engage in productive interfaith dialogue?

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And to be clear. I'm not talking about closing all the forums. So it's not like all the forums would go away. Just the political forum. And we'd have a non flexible stance on not allowing political talk in the Free For All or anywhere else. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Joe Bryant said:

I think you're right. 

I'm just not sure it's possible. I've been asking people to do this for a while now and it's had zero effect as far as I can tell. 

It's really hard to do. I try my best, but I succumb. I don't know what to tell you.

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2 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

And to be clear. I'm not talking about closing all the forums. So it's not like all the forums would go away. Just the political forum. And we'd have a non flexible stance on not allowing political talk in the Free For All or anywhere else. 

 

 

Why? Are we that big of a problem? I thought that was why you separated us out in the first place. Why is it such a big deal if nobody else is paying that much attention to us?

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8 minutes ago, KPD said:

If the President doesn't have to be "excellent" to anyone he disagrees with, why would any of his followers think they have to?  They don't, and here we are.  Put the trolls on ignore and carry on, just like we do in real life.

I hear you @KPD . But how the President conducts himself has no influence on what I want here.

I've said several times a ton of Trumps tweets would have him suspended if he were a poster here. 

That's sad and weird. But I don't apologize for it. it's how we run the boards.

 

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Just now, timschochet said:

Why? Are we that big of a problem? I thought that was why you separated us out in the first place. Why is it such a big deal if nobody else is paying that much attention to us?

Yes. It's that big of a problem for me as it's all under the FBG umbrella. 

Branching off the PSF from the FFA solved the FFA guy's problem who hated the political talk.

But I just solved it for him. It's still my problem. 

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Biggest problem IMO is that most of the political posters have been around for awhile, and we've already gotten past the point of knowing what to expect from each other.   It's hard to take someone's political argument in good-faith when you've seen them exhibiting bad faith for years.  Gaslighting has to be called out.

I don't know what the answer is, other than asking folks to grow some bark and know that when they step into the PSF arena, they about to get dealt wit!  

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Just now, Joe Bryant said:

I hear you @KPD . But how the President conducts himself has no influence on what I want here.

I've said several times a ton of Trumps tweets would have him suspended if he were a poster here. 

That's sad and weird. But I don't apologize for it. it's how we run the boards.

 

In a sense...he really does. From what I can see,  very few of the problems we're encountering now occurred prior to the Trump era.

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4 minutes ago, timschochet said:

It's really hard to do. I try my best, but I succumb. I don't know what to tell you.

Thanks. I don't disagree. I appreciate you don't know what to tell me. Short of closing the PSF, I don't really know either. 

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Just now, Joe Bryant said:

Thanks. I don't disagree. I appreciate you don't know what to tell me. Short of closing the PSF, I don't really know either. 

Except that for me (and I suspect for most of us who post here on a consistent basis) the good far far outweighs the bad. Or else we wouldn't stick around.

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I also think that if you shut this place down it would be a huge victory for the trolls. I think they would love it, and would love to shut down as many sites for decent political discussion as they can.

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4 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

And to be clear. I'm not talking about closing all the forums. So it's not like all the forums would go away. Just the political forum. And we'd have a non flexible stance on not allowing political talk in the Free For All or anywhere else. 

 

 

Thanks for making the effort with this forum, but great to hear this.   The FFA has meant a lot to many of us over the years.  Thanks for providing us that place.  
 

 

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2 minutes ago, timschochet said:

I also think that if you shut this place down it would be a huge victory for the trolls. I think they would love it, and would love to shut down as many sites for decent political discussion as they can.

I agree with this, but the alternative is to ban the trolls, and for whatever reason that doesn’t appear to be an option.

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11 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

So it's not like all the forums would go away. Just the political forum. And we'd have a non flexible stance on not allowing political talk in the Free For All or anywhere else. 

This seems like it would be an even bigger nightmare for the mods.

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Tim nailed one issue.  Stick to the topic and not the poster.  
 

Another big issue is so many people insist on winning an argument that they will never win.  I mean look at how many people have been attacking Noonan today over the damn word transcript.  Jesus people he’s not going to call it what you guys insist just as you all wouldn’t do the same if he was insisting something.  Just move on and stop insisting on winning.  
 

And then there’s the stupid schtick of demanding a link every time someone has a differing opinion Of something.  Over and over and over.  When you’re repeating the same stuff constantly the problem is likely you.  

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There are a lot of things that can be done.  Put people you are tired of on ignore.  If you still wish to see what they say, you can and just not reply to them.  Not everything you disagree with needs a comment.  There are a lot of people with similar personalities here and that leads to a lot of bickering back and forth.

Read what you typed before you post it.  I feel this can help avoid making some ill-advised posts.  There have been plenty of times where I deleted what I typed because I realized it wasn't going to do any good.

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Just stop policing the PSF.  Make this an "enter at your own risk" joint.  What's the worst that can happen?  Someone gets called a name, arguments go on and on...these don't really seem all that bad, in the grand scheme of things.

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Just now, moleculo said:

Just stop policing the PSF.  Make this an "enter at your own risk" joint.  What's the worst that can happen?  Someone gets called a name, arguments go on and on...these don't really seem all that bad, in the grand scheme of things.

If you want to see what that looks like just join the Geek Club on FFT.

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17 minutes ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

 

I've engaged in substantive offline discussions with Trump-supporting family members; the discussions have been respectful in the sense of being mutually polite, and in the sense that I maintained my respect for them as wonderful people. I can't say my respect for their political acumen didn't take a hit.

I feel like it’s hard to replicate the family dynamic among strangers.

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15 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

I think you're right. 

I'm just not sure it's possible. I've been asking people to do this for a while now and it's had zero effect as far as I can tell. 

I have seen change in some of the posting.  It's not in the more "problem" posters though.  After your last plea to us, I took a personal evaluation of my approach again and have decided just not to engage those clearly not engaging in good faith.  It's crystal clear who those people are, and quite honestly, it's pointless to do so once you understand they are simply fishing the forums.  I'm not entirely sure why they haven't been removed, but that's for a different time.  I'll also say the people who have to reply to EVERY single fishing trip are part of the problem also.  The fish are who the fishermen are after...stop being the fish.  This doesn't seem all that complicated :shrug: 

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1 minute ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

I feel like it’s hard to replicate the family dynamic among strangers.

Maybe we all need to meet up with each other for a real-life retreat where we have campfires and ride zip-lines and do that thing where we fall backwards and other people catch us.

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I don't think that "we", the users, can do anything to stop this forum's inevitable shutdown. There will always be a small number of people on both sides of the political spectrum who either don't care, or actually relish in the idea, of pushing Joe's buttons until he gives up.

Nonetheless, I don't think it would hurt to add some moderators (from multiple political backgrounds).

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Just now, Maurile Tremblay said:

Maybe we all need to meet up with each other for a real-life retreat where we have campfires and ride zip-lines and do that thing where we fall backwards and other people catch us.

When all the pro-Trump folks were getting accused of being bots, I offered to cornhole with any of them that lived or visited the DC area.  I’ve been here a long time and have amassed at least a little credibility that I could then use to convince people that the poster I met was just a regular dude with a different point of view.  Offer still stands, nobody has taken me up on it yet.

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There is a lot of great information in this forum...as an aggregator, it’s hard to beat.  Much of the discussion in very thoughtful, but for some the divisiveness of the politics seems hard to overcome.  The same person who can make witty comments in a thread in the FFA can’t make it two posts over here without falling into finger-pointing and whining.  I’m afraid it’s become a cultural thing that has been normalized by our president and has flowed down.   When the president calls members of his own party “human scum” can we really expect better of people that blindly support him and parrot the talking points of his administration?  How do you mandate that people “be better” when their hero is such a boor?

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Make greater use of the ignore feature. I fact, get rid of the report feature in this forum - less work for the mods. Put the work on individual posters to make their experience here worthwhile through judicious use of ignore.

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I don't think this forum needs to be "fixed".  

Take a look around at other boards/forums out there.  They're like Mos Eisley but with more mutants.

There are posters who post things for no other reason than to troll or draw attention or "trigger" the other side.  I don't think it is possible to get rid of all of this junk even with heavy moderation and/or reporting.  

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20 minutes ago, -fish- said:

There is a lot of great information in this forum...as an aggregator, it’s hard to beat.  Much of the discussion in very thoughtful, but for some the divisiveness of the politics seems hard to overcome.  The same person who can make witty comments in a thread in the FFA can’t make it two posts over here without falling into finger-pointing and whining.  I’m afraid it’s become a cultural thing that has been normalized by our president and has flowed down.   When the president calls members of his own party “human scum” can we really expect better of people that blindly support him and parrot the talking points of his administration?  How do you mandate that people “be better” when their hero is such a boor?

You’re responsible for your own behavior.  Has nothing to do with Trump or anyone else. 

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4 minutes ago, BigSteelThrill said:

Not feeding into the David Doods types of posting idiocy/wrongness and the blatant lies/trolling of the Noonan types.

We have to ignore them. (this is to save the forum, which these types would love to see in ruins.)

They will never own-up to their behavior, so we must end communication or Bryant will shut it down.

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nuke it from orbit.....only way to be sure.

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I know some people have explained they continue to engage with trolls because they want to counter their disinformation for other parties who might see it. Just get over that and use the ignore feature. My ignore list is practically a novella at this point.

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1. Act like grown men. And ladies you're fine.

2. Don't report. - Think of this like fantasy football. Don't ##### about trades. Don't veto trades.

3. If someone is trying to phish you into reportable behavior either (a) engage them civilly and rationally until they are embarrassed out of replying, or (b) IGNORE them

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I generally enjoy the forum, but I think there can be a bit too much drama and "Ermahgerd, someone is wrong on the internet" vibe at times.  You are not going to persuade everyone to your view, even if facts are clear one way or the other.  It's been that way forever -- I mean, in 1864, 45% of voters in the North/border states took a look at the first few years of the Civil War and decided "Forget Lincoln, give me George B. McClellan."*

Sure, some of the issues that we discuss are life and death, but we're not going to solve anything or change the world here (and I say that as someone who works in DC) -- we're mostly a bunch of middle-aged and up guys who sit in front of a computer all day checking out a fantasy football message board.  None of us are even getting nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize any time soon.

"Be excellent to each other" is fine, but, speaking of Lincoln, don't forget, "Party on, dudes!"

 

* - Not an actual quote, I think.

Edited by Don Quixote

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33 minutes ago, D_House said:

Make greater use of the ignore feature.

I agree with this.

On the whole, the PSF has numerous advantages over Twitter. But my twitter feed is significantly less annoying than the PSF, with significantly less pointless bickering.

At least part of the reason is that on Twitter, everybody ignores everybody else by default. To see other folks' posts, you have to affirmatively opt in by following specific people. The PSF model is the reverse of that. By default, everybody sees everybody else's posts unless they affirmatively opt out by ignoring specific people.

I think there's a lot to be said for the Twitter model in that respect. The best way to emulate it is to put everyone you wouldn't affirmatively opt to follow on ignore.

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56 minutes ago, moleculo said:

Just stop policing the PSF.  Make this an "enter at your own risk" joint.  What's the worst that can happen?  Someone gets called a name, arguments go on and on...these don't really seem all that bad, in the grand scheme of things.

I don’t think that solves the issues of tainting Joes brand though 

now if you made it a private forum that was invite only maybe you could do that

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7 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

1. Act like grown men. And ladies you're fine.

2. Don't report. - Think of this like fantasy football. Don't ##### about trades. Don't veto trades.

3. If someone is trying to phish you into reportable behavior either (a) engage them civilly and rationally until they are embarrassed out of replying, or (b) IGNORE them

Out of all the posters on this forum, you're probably the best at this.  It's not in my genetic code to be as patient as you are with some of the people on here.  I try to ignore most of it, but eventually I'll see something that someone else quotes that rubs me the wrong way.

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55 minutes ago, That one guy said:

Learn to give up and let your position stand as presented.  It’s okay to let people be wrong.  

Yes. 

Having the “last word” is overrated, especially if no clarification of the position is needed. 

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