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****SITE CONDUCT POLICY: Personal Attacks****

airmax1227
Posts: 13,244
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3/29/2014 4:27:53 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
TL;DR: Personal attacks serve no purpose and only harm what we are trying to foster on this site. They will no longer be tolerated. This policy will take place site wide--In debates, forums, polls, opinions, and everywhere else. Do not make personal attacks, or there will be consequences.

ON PERSONAL ATTACKS

This is a website of heated exchanges. Yet it should also be a place where all users can feel comfortable--a space where they can be free of personal attack. But on a website of such variety of ideology, and that's intended to foster debate, it's worth spending some time explaining what that means in our context.

Personal attacks have always been against the TOS. However, there has not been an extended discussion on what, exactly, is a personal attack for the purposes of the site. Recently, it has become apparent that that discussion is necessary.

The following is an explanation of the sorts of things that are not allowed on DDO, in order to keep this a place that fosters debate and discussion. Expect this to be followed moving forward. This policy will take place site wide, including in debates, forums, polls, and opinions. If you have made personal attacks, stop doing so. If you were thinking about making a personal attack, don't.

INTRODUCTION

A personal attack, in the context of this site, is not "anything directed at a person that they find to be unfavorable". Not only would such a definition be absurd, it would stifle exchange and debate. If someone is being dishonest, calling them out on it could be considered by the literalist to be a "personal attack". You are, after all, saying something negative about them, personally. But that's not what's intended by the policy.

The goal is to foster debate, and allow for even heated debate and exchange of ideas, without allowing abuse and unwarranted attack.

Instigation of a personal attack will, of course, face a harsher penalty than reciprocating against one. But understand that the latter is not off the hook.

The only appropriate responses to personal attack are: taking the high ground and replying to it without a personal attack, ignoring it, or reporting it.

Violations of this policy may or may not include a warning--and scale quickly from that, to a suspension, up to even a permanent ban. Airmax is the final arbiter of the policy.

A personal attack can take several different common forms. There is some overlap between them, but it may be helpful to specifically outline a few:

DIRECT ATTACK

This is where, outside the context of a discussion on the topic or of behavior in the course of that discussion, someone posts something negative about a specific member. Generalized complaints about generalized behaviors are not direct attacks. But, for example, a thread specifically calling out a member by name, and speaking negatively about them, is a direct attack. Attack threads will be deleted out of hand.

There is another kind of direct attack, as well. The kind of post where someone drops in to just say something like "You're all idiots". While not a direct personal attack against an individual, it's still a direct attack against the members on the thread.

There is a very slim exception to this rule, noted mostly for history's sake. It only applies to moderators. On occasion, a moderator may initiate a trial of a member. Only moderators can initiate this process. If you have a beef with a member being on this site, the appropriate place to bring it up is with a moderator. In the unlikely event something like a trial is necessary, they will make that determination.

Direct attacks are personal attacks. They are not tolerated.

(Ex.: A forum post saying "You're an idiot", or a debate with the resolution "User123 should be kicked off the site".)

MERE INSULT

A step below even the Ad Hominem fallacy in terms of argument: Simple unjustified insult. "Stupidity" is not something that can be objectively justified. Nor can other insults with subjective meaning. (A**hole, etc.) Some things which may be insulting can be justified. "You are saying something dishonest" can be justified objectively, by demonstrating dishonesty. If it isn't justified, though, then it becomes a mere insult. Mere insult of ideas is allowed--mere insult of people is not.

Slurs against an entire class of people (such as racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ageist, religious, political, ethnic, or national groups) are mere insults. Disagreement over what constitutes a religion, race, sexual orientation, or ethnicity is not a legitimate excuse for mere insult. Mere insults are personal attacks. They are not tolerated.

(Ex.: "You're an a****le", " You f**")

AD HOMINEM

Should be the easy one, on a debate site; ad hominem is a logical fallacy which every debater should be aware of. Formally known as the Argumentum Ad Hominem.

Ad hominem attacks are not valid rebuttals. Which is not to say that the every statement about the person in relation to their arguments is an ad hominem attack. Pointing out that of course a politician would deny cheating, whether they did cheat or not, is not an ad hominem. Claiming that of course someone cheated, because they're a politician, would be. Ad hominem attacks are personal attacks. They are not tolerated.

(Ex.: "Well, you're a cop, so your opinion is wrong")

CROSS-THREAD CONTAMINATION

Another kind of personal attack is where a member with whom you've had heated exchanges in the past posts something unrelated, and you feel the need to bring up their actions there against them. Unrelated discussions are just that. Sometimes new discussions do directly relate to the old ones. Then, it may be acceptable to bring up the old ones. Otherwise, if it's not related to the current discussion, it's just you attacking them to attack. That doesn't help the current discussion/debate--it only hinders it. Comment on the arguments presented, and the way they're being presented. Not about the member or your own general opinions of them.

Treat every new exchange with a member with as much of a "clean slate" as possible.

Cross-thread contamination is a personal attack. It is not tolerated.

(Ex.: In a forum about the relative tastiness of cheeses, User A opines that smoked gouda is by far his favorite. User B says "Yeah, smoked gouda is delicious. But you think that leveraged buyouts are legitimate uses of corporate financing, so your opinion is worthless!")
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airmax1227
Posts: 13,244
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3/29/2014 4:28:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
ACCUSATIONS AND THREATS

Accusing a member of misconduct (such as votebombing) is serious. Obviously, misconduct is bad. But likewise, baseless accusations are bad.

If you're going to accuse a member of something, remember that serious accusations require serious evidence. Egregious misconduct of the kind likely to warrant immediate banning should be reported to airmax1227, rather than complained about in the forums. However, if you want to discuss something like an accusation of a supposed vote bomb, you may bring up the vote for discussion, provided you actually have cause to make the accusation. Without that evidence, an accusation is as stifling to discussion as a threat.

It should be noted that, even with a justified accusation, stating what consequences will result would be a threat. Which brings us to threats.

Threats are, for the purposes of this policy, personal attacks. They are not tolerated. Threats include (but are not limited to):

- Threats of legal action. This should be self explanatory.

- Threats of violence (even oblique ones). This should also be self-evident.

- Threats of "Doxxing" someone, or exposing a user's real-life persona. Particularly if the threat implies exposing the user to political, religious or other persecution. It's not doxxing if it's information they have provided. It is if they have not.

- Threats of moderator reporting or action. If you are not a moderator, threatening someone with moderator action is, first and foremost, an empty threat. More than that, though, it's a threat intended specifically to cut off the discussion at hand. If you really have a reason to report someone to a moderator, do so. Do not threaten to do so.

(Ex.: "I'm going to hunt you down and break your legs", "I'm gonna get you banned for this!")

INSTIGATION, RETALIATION, AND "FIGHTING WORDS"

As previously noted, instigation of a personal attack will not be tolerated. Neither will retaliation for a personal attack. Report attacks to airmax. It can be difficult to not respond when you've been personally attacked or abused. But you should not take it upon yourself to reply in kind. Airmax is the moderator. It is his job to intervene and ensure no one is getting attacked or abused. Help him do his job by reporting any you receive, and understand that he will investigate and act accordingly.

"Fighting words" are posts intended solely to provoke or belittle. They're essentially a form of bullying. Even if you've avoided the specific use of an insult, if you post a diatribe intended solely to make someone feel bad, you're going against the goal of the site. If you're getting in the way of that goal, even if you're technically keeping your hands clean, expect to have a conversation on the subject with airmax.

CONCLUSION & THE "JUST KIDDING" EXEMPTION

The above examples are not an exhaustive list. Just as there are many forms of personal interaction in general, personal attacks can take many forms. While not every negative thing said to you is a personal attack, if you believe you've been attacked, contact airmax1227. In the interests of allowing as much exchange of ideas as possible, moderator intervention is primarily initiated when a member contacts a moderator about an issue. In some cases, for the good of the site, a moderator may step in even when no complaint has been made.

It cannot be said often enough that the goal is the fostering of debate and discussion of ideas. Please keep that in mind in every post you make. If you know that what you're saying will stifle that, reconsider. Remember that you don't have to comment on everything you have an opinion on. If your opinion is just a mere insult, then it would be better for you to not voice it.

When in doubt, simply comment on the content without referring to its user at all.

And always remember that the internet is a primarily text-based medium; tone of voice doesn't always come through. If you meant to be kidding, but the person you were joking with didn't "get it", trying to say "I was just kidding" isn't going to be a sufficient defense.
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Subutai
Posts: 3,235
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3/29/2014 4:29:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Nice 10000th post.
I'm becoming less defined as days go by, fading away, and well you might say, I'm losing focus, kinda drifting into the abstract in terms of how I see myself.
Eitan_Zohar
Posts: 2,697
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3/29/2014 4:35:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 4:35:07 PM, YYW wrote:
At 3/29/2014 4:33:15 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
So WriterDave won?

Yes. Yes he did.

So can he come back now?
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
YYW
Posts: 36,345
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3/29/2014 4:36:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 4:35:51 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 3/29/2014 4:35:07 PM, YYW wrote:
At 3/29/2014 4:33:15 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
So WriterDave won?

Yes. Yes he did.

So can he come back now?

Wait... was he mercy banned?
Tsar of DDO
Eitan_Zohar
Posts: 2,697
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3/29/2014 4:40:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 4:36:30 PM, YYW wrote:
At 3/29/2014 4:35:51 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 3/29/2014 4:35:07 PM, YYW wrote:
At 3/29/2014 4:33:15 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
So WriterDave won?

Yes. Yes he did.

So can he come back now?

Wait... was he mercy banned?

Nah. He just left the site until, presumably, personal attacks were no longer tolerated.
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
YYW
Posts: 36,345
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3/29/2014 4:42:53 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 4:40:52 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 3/29/2014 4:36:30 PM, YYW wrote:
At 3/29/2014 4:35:51 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 3/29/2014 4:35:07 PM, YYW wrote:
At 3/29/2014 4:33:15 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
So WriterDave won?

Yes. Yes he did.

So can he come back now?

Wait... was he mercy banned?

Nah. He just left the site until, presumably, personal attacks were no longer tolerated.

Ah, right. He was a pretty good member.

I'm also happy to see the new conduct policy. I expect this to be stickied sometime soon...
Tsar of DDO
dtaylor971
Posts: 1,907
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3/29/2014 4:46:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Congrats on 10,000 posts...
"I don't know why gays want to marry, I have spent the last 25 years wishing I wasn't allowed to." -Sadolite
NiqashMotawadi3
Posts: 1,895
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3/29/2014 4:51:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I just read this now. To be honest, I'm not sure how "rap battles" would be without insults, given that this policy covers debates as well. The website is going to be very boring and artificial, me thinks.
imabench
Posts: 21,224
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3/29/2014 4:55:14 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
https://i.chzbgr.com...
Kevin24018 : "He's just so mean it makes me want to ball up my fists and stamp on the ground"
Geogeer: "Nobody is dumb enough to become my protege."

7/14/16 = The Presidency Dies

DDO: THE MOVIE = http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...

VP of DDO from Dec 14th 2014 to Jan 1st 2015
daytonanerd
Posts: 6,769
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3/29/2014 4:58:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 4:55:14 PM, imabench wrote:
https://i.chzbgr.com...

Oh wow. Looks like this kills everything Imabench does. Wow. That's pretty sad, actually.
#FeeltheFreezerBern
imabench
Posts: 21,224
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3/29/2014 5:05:46 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 4:27:53 PM, airmax1227 wrote:

Violations of this policy may or may not include a warning--and scale quickly from that, to a suspension, up to even a permanent ban. Airmax is the final arbiter of the policy.

(Later in the post)

Direct attacks are personal attacks. They are not tolerated.

(Ex.: A forum post saying "You're an idiot")

So just for the sake of clarity. If someone were to only say to someone 'Youre an idiot', then they would temp banned for a week and then perm banned if it happened again?
Kevin24018 : "He's just so mean it makes me want to ball up my fists and stamp on the ground"
Geogeer: "Nobody is dumb enough to become my protege."

7/14/16 = The Presidency Dies

DDO: THE MOVIE = http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...

VP of DDO from Dec 14th 2014 to Jan 1st 2015
Jifpop09
Posts: 2,243
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3/29/2014 5:07:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Disagreement over what constitutes a religion, race, sexual orientation, or ethnicity is not a legitimate excuse for mere insult. Mere insults are personal attacks. They are not tolerated.

I highly oppose this statement. Some people are incredibly different in what they think defines racism, sexism, and religion bashing. I have been called a bigot and racist for a lot of things unjustly. I have trouble trusting mods on this one.
Leader of the DDO Revolution Party
imabench
Posts: 21,224
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3/29/2014 5:08:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
And always remember that the internet is a primarily text-based medium; tone of voice doesn't always come through. If you meant to be kidding, but the person you were joking with didn't "get it", trying to say "I was just kidding" isn't going to be a sufficient defense.

Also for the sake of clarity: So if someone were to make a painfully obvious joke about someone, but the person its directed at has absolutely no sense of humor or ability to detect sarcasm, then the person who made the joke could possibly be temp banned?....
Kevin24018 : "He's just so mean it makes me want to ball up my fists and stamp on the ground"
Geogeer: "Nobody is dumb enough to become my protege."

7/14/16 = The Presidency Dies

DDO: THE MOVIE = http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...

VP of DDO from Dec 14th 2014 to Jan 1st 2015
imabench
Posts: 21,224
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3/29/2014 5:10:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Disagreement over what constitutes a religion, race, sexual orientation, or ethnicity is not a legitimate excuse for mere insult. Mere insults are personal attacks. They are not tolerated.

Ok last question then im done.

So if someone were to say something along the lines of 'All gays are f*****s who deserve to burn in hell with all the blacks and jews', then people are no longer allowed to respond to such a statement by saying 'thats idiotic'?.....
Kevin24018 : "He's just so mean it makes me want to ball up my fists and stamp on the ground"
Geogeer: "Nobody is dumb enough to become my protege."

7/14/16 = The Presidency Dies

DDO: THE MOVIE = http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...

VP of DDO from Dec 14th 2014 to Jan 1st 2015
imabench
Posts: 21,224
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3/29/2014 5:11:46 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 5:10:50 PM, imabench wrote:
Disagreement over what constitutes a religion, race, sexual orientation, or ethnicity is not a legitimate excuse for mere insult. Mere insults are personal attacks. They are not tolerated.

Ok last question then im done.

So if someone were to say something along the lines of 'All gays are f*****s who deserve to burn in hell with all the blacks and jews', then people who respond to such a statement by saying 'thats idiotic' could end up being temp banned?.....

fixed it
Kevin24018 : "He's just so mean it makes me want to ball up my fists and stamp on the ground"
Geogeer: "Nobody is dumb enough to become my protege."

7/14/16 = The Presidency Dies

DDO: THE MOVIE = http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...

VP of DDO from Dec 14th 2014 to Jan 1st 2015
SeventhProfessor
Posts: 5,088
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3/29/2014 5:17:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Just kidding about the video (if I clarify in my original post that I was just joking and it was obviously lighthearted will I still get a warning?)
#UnbanTheMadman

#StandWithBossy

#BetOnThett

"bossy r u like 85 years old and have lost ur mind"
~mysteriouscrystals

"I've honestly never seen seventh post anything that wasn't completely idiotic in a trying-to-be-funny way."
~F-16

https://docs.google.com...
TN05
Posts: 4,492
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3/29/2014 5:31:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
How can we say we have legitimate, open free speech debate if some ideas or actions are off limits?
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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3/29/2014 5:34:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 5:05:46 PM, imabench wrote:
At 3/29/2014 4:27:53 PM, airmax1227 wrote:

Violations of this policy may or may not include a warning--and scale quickly from that, to a suspension, up to even a permanent ban. Airmax is the final arbiter of the policy.

(Later in the post)

Direct attacks are personal attacks. They are not tolerated.

(Ex.: A forum post saying "You're an idiot")

So just for the sake of clarity. If someone were to only say to someone 'Youre an idiot', then they would temp banned for a week and then perm banned if it happened again?

"May or may not include a warning" would seem to cover that. Though whether you deserve a ban for leaving out the apostrophe is another matter...
Assistant moderator to airmax1227. PM me with any questions or concerns!
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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3/29/2014 5:35:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 5:07:18 PM, Jifpop09 wrote:
Disagreement over what constitutes a religion, race, sexual orientation, or ethnicity is not a legitimate excuse for mere insult. Mere insults are personal attacks. They are not tolerated.

I highly oppose this statement. Some people are incredibly different in what they think defines racism, sexism, and religion bashing. I have been called a bigot and racist for a lot of things unjustly. I have trouble trusting mods on this one.

airmax is generally capable of understanding the difference.

That some people are incredibly different doesn't make them right. I have no idea what, specifically you're talking about, though--it could be that you ARE a bigot and a racist for all I know.
Assistant moderator to airmax1227. PM me with any questions or concerns!
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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3/29/2014 5:37:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 5:08:51 PM, imabench wrote:
And always remember that the internet is a primarily text-based medium; tone of voice doesn't always come through. If you meant to be kidding, but the person you were joking with didn't "get it", trying to say "I was just kidding" isn't going to be a sufficient defense.

Also for the sake of clarity: So if someone were to make a painfully obvious joke about someone, but the person its directed at has absolutely no sense of humor or ability to detect sarcasm, then the person who made the joke could possibly be temp banned?....

Possibly, I would think yes.
Assistant moderator to airmax1227. PM me with any questions or concerns!
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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3/29/2014 5:37:48 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 5:10:50 PM, imabench wrote:
Disagreement over what constitutes a religion, race, sexual orientation, or ethnicity is not a legitimate excuse for mere insult. Mere insults are personal attacks. They are not tolerated.

Ok last question then im done.

So if someone were to say something along the lines of 'All gays are f*****s who deserve to burn in hell with all the blacks and jews', then people are no longer allowed to respond to such a statement by saying 'thats idiotic'?.....

That would be attacking the idea, not the person...

So "That's idiotic" is better than "You're an idiot".
Assistant moderator to airmax1227. PM me with any questions or concerns!
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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3/29/2014 5:40:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 5:31:21 PM, TN05 wrote:
How can we say we have legitimate, open free speech debate if some ideas or actions are off limits?

There is nowhere I can think of where speech is utterly without limits.
Assistant moderator to airmax1227. PM me with any questions or concerns!
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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3/29/2014 5:41:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 5:31:21 PM, TN05 wrote:
How can we say we have legitimate, open free speech debate if some ideas or actions are off limits?

1) thing to note is that in debate, you should be attacking the ideas of something, not the person themselves.

There is a significant difference between telling someone why their ideas are wrong, inaccurate, or poor, without resulting to "you're an idiot."

Right now is a perfect example. Everyone here that is against this has come down and voiced their opinion on the IDEA, and have not attacked Airmax or Juggle. The is the right way to go about this.

2) legitimate free speech =/= 100% free speech.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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3/29/2014 5:42:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I suppose I should say this, out of a desire for full disclosure, and probably should have said this already:

I helped airmax with this. I'm not airmax. I'm not a mod--I'm not an anything.

But I had some discussions on the matter with airmax, and I think this is overall a discussion worth having.
Assistant moderator to airmax1227. PM me with any questions or concerns!
TN05
Posts: 4,492
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3/29/2014 5:44:48 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 5:40:35 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 3/29/2014 5:31:21 PM, TN05 wrote:
How can we say we have legitimate, open free speech debate if some ideas or actions are off limits?

There is nowhere I can think of where speech is utterly without limits.

So?
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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3/29/2014 5:46:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 5:44:48 PM, TN05 wrote:
At 3/29/2014 5:40:35 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 3/29/2014 5:31:21 PM, TN05 wrote:
How can we say we have legitimate, open free speech debate if some ideas or actions are off limits?

There is nowhere I can think of where speech is utterly without limits.

So?

What do you mean? My point is that, by the standard you seem to be expressing, there is nowhere where there is "legitimate, open free speech debate". Focusing on the conduct rules on this site seems a bit myopic, then.
Assistant moderator to airmax1227. PM me with any questions or concerns!