Alert Short attention spans and you (1 Viewer)

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Zombiewoof

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As you can see by the sticky thread *Everyone! Read this prior to posting today*, it has only been three months since Andrus tried once again to get people to cooperate with the rules of the board. It is apparent that the majority of members either have short attention spans or they have disregarded several of the rules intentionally.

Let me say this clearly, if you wish to continue to post on this board, you will cooperate by treating other members with respect. Andrus and I have discussed this matter and I assure you that he and I are in total agreement. People have fallen into old patterns and it cannot be allowed to continue. In the time surrounding the May post, several members who exhibited an unwillingness to act appropriately were shown the door, including some longtime friends. If that wasn't a wakeup call for some of you, I don't know what it's going to take. We would prefer not to ban, delete posts, mediate petty squabbles or generally act as a kindergarten teacher might.

With only a few moderators and time constraints on the ones we do have, we have to rely on adults behaving as adults. However, it seems you must be reminded of some simple guidelines.

1. Discuss the topic, not the poster. It is not your job to question someone's intelligence, motives or ability to respond to you in the way you would like. In fact, when you re-read your post before hitting send, which I recommend you do, if you have used the word "you," it would be a good idea to ask yourself if you should delete that comment. Making veiled insults are bad enough ("anyone who thinks that would have to be stupid"), but most of the offending posts I have seen after reviewing the last couple of days are direct insults. The way Farb was treated in one thread is totally unacceptable. You don't like the way he or any other member posts? Do NOT speak to that member with disrespect. If you can't discuss the topic without referring to the poster (or "people who think that way"), you would be better served to step away from the keyboard. It is a relatively simple concept -- don't talk to or about other members in a negative or confrontational way.

2. Discuss the topic. If your purpose in posting on a thread is to belittle, scoring points with people who think like you or make someone else look bad, stay out of the thread. The idea is to have an exchange of ideas. It is possible to learn something from someone with a different point of view. Each thread is not a game to determine who can make more points before others with opposing views give up. Try to offer something of value to the discussion. There is nothing wrong with stating opinions or supporting the opinion of someone else. That can make for better discussion. Instead of browbeating someone with a different opinion though, try asking questions. I'm not talking about questions leading to a gotcha moment, but rather questions that can help you understand why they think the way they do and maybe even help them question their own position without making them feel defensive. It's the difference between being an interested participant in a discussion and being a jerk.

3. Think before you hit send on a post. In the past, I have tried to delete offending portions of posts in order to leave up the remainder of the post, because it had value. No longer. I don't have the time and I'm not going to ask moderators who also don't have the time to edit your posts when you should have enough self control not to be confrontational or offensive. Self edit or accept that your entire post could be deleted and you could be placed in time out.

4. Politics is confrontational, but we do not have to be when we discuss politics. It is nearly impossible to change anyone's mind or even to have a meaningful discussion when you are shouting at them or insulting them. The idea here is to discuss political topics in hopes that we all learn something. It might not happen in every thread, but it can't happen at all unless we treat each other better. It's been said on here before and I think there is truth in it -- we should discuss topics with people who hold opposing views as if they are a family member like your wife, husband, mother or grandmother. You wouldn't insult them; you would try to gain understanding.

Again, we do not have enough moderators and ones we do have are busy with lives of their own. We rely on our members to be adults who do not have to be monitored 24/7 to make sure they act right.
 
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