Forum civility

Roller

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 25, 2003
2,574
1,115
Maybe I'm getting more sensitive as I age, but it seems to me that the level of civility in many of the forums keeps falling. It's especially so in threads discussing hot-button topics like the current one about the iPhone 6's propensity to bend, but I see it elsewhere, as well. It's one thing to have strongly-held opinions; it's another to be rude and insulting when debating them with others.

It's even worse on general news sites, where the comments that follow almost any article seem to devolve into nasty, meaningless nonsense within a few posts. CNN's web site was particularly bad in this regard, and I was glad when they stopped accepting comments altogether.

I guess that much of this has to do with the anonymity afforded by forums like this - people feel that they can write almost anything without much repercussion. No matter that the person on the receiving end is another human being. Some will say that it's not wise to join the fray if you're thin-skinned, and I suppose that's true. But I worry that some of this bleeds over into other interpersonal relationships.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Westmere
Feb 21, 2012
38,972
28,695
Behind the Lens, UK
I think the mods do a pretty good job of keeping things civil on here.

But yes you are right, the anonymity offered on forums does give people a free reign to say things they wouldn't in the real world.
 

aerok

macrumors 65816
Oct 29, 2011
1,491
139
Nothing beats Youtube in terms of lack of civility in comments.
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
10,856
11,243
Vilano Beach, FL
Maybe I'm getting more sensitive as I age, but it seems to me that the level of civility in many of the forums keeps falling. It's especially so in threads discussing hot-button topics like the current one about the iPhone 6's propensity to bend, but I see it elsewhere, as well. It's one thing to have strongly-held opinions; it's another to be rude and insulting when debating them with others.

It's even worse on general news sites, where the comments that follow almost any article seem to devolve into nasty, meaningless nonsense within a few posts. CNN's web site was particularly bad in this regard, and I was glad when they stopped accepting comments altogether.

I guess that much of this has to do with the anonymity afforded by forums like this - people feel that they can write almost anything without much repercussion. No matter that the person on the receiving end is another human being. Some will say that it's not wise to join the fray if you're thin-skinned, and I suppose that's true. But I worry that some of this bleeds over into other interpersonal relationships.
I think the same thing almost every trip into the “News” areas. Way too many know-it-all loudmouths, who wouldn’t dare conduct themselves like that in real life (of course, they’ll be the first to suggest they do ... they don’t), but have the cover of anonymity.

I personally think the mods should just boot some of the usual suspects to make a point that it’s not accepted behavior, but they exercise a good bit more tolerance in those areas (by that I mean, they’re quicker to act in the support, help and general topic areas).

One thing I wish they would do is simply throttle posts, because the same loudmouths also post 30-40 times a day in a busy thread, but it’s mostly just trolling. It’s actually a little _sad_.
 

StephenCampbell

macrumors 65816
Sep 21, 2009
1,043
54
There's no civility at all, I agree. One comment that dares hint at a scientific fact that today's elites have deemed to be "hateful," and it's off to the banned chamber with you.
 

Roller

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 25, 2003
2,574
1,115
I think the mods do a pretty good job of keeping things civil on here.

But yes you are right, the anonymity offered on forums does give people a free reign to say things they wouldn't in the real world.
I agree that the mods do a pretty good job when things take a nosedive. However, it's nearly impossible for them to keep up with threads like the one I cited, which contains more than its share of personal insults.

FWIW, though, I find that people in this forum tend to be more polite to one another, which is one reason I enjoy hanging around here.
 

BasicGreatGuy

macrumors P6
Sep 21, 2012
15,876
16,169
In the middle of several books.
You raise some good points OP.

There is a fine line that moderators have to hold to on large forums like this. As a moderator on another large forum, I face this question a lot. On the one hand, you want people to be able to express themselves and not feel like they are being treated as if they were in kindergarten. On the other hand, there are many who waste no time in trying to see how far they can push the limits of what is acceptable on a forum.

I am not 100 % perfect as a member here. However, I do my very best to be helpful and treat people as I expect to be treated. And when I run across someone who goes out of his or her way to be nasty, I left that person know that such is not necessary and detracts from whatever point he or she was attempting to make. If the person continues, I will often disengage from the conversation.

Life is too short to put up with needless drama and people disrespecting you, just because they feel they have the unwritten license to act in such a manner.
 

Ddyracer

macrumors 68000
Nov 24, 2009
1,786
31
You raise some good points OP.

There is a fine line that moderators have to hold to on large forums like this. As a moderator on another large forum, I face this question a lot. On the one hand, you want people to be able to express themselves and not feel like they are being treated as if they were in kindergarten. On the other hand, there are many who waste no time in trying to see how far they can push the limits of what is acceptable on a forum.

I am not 100 % perfect as a member here. However, I do my very best to be helpful and treat people as I expect to be treated. And when I run across someone who goes out of his or her way to be nasty, I left that person know that such is not necessary and detracts from whatever point he or she was attempting to make. If the person continues, I will often disengage from the conversation.

Life is too short to put up with needless drama and people disrespecting you, just because they feel they have the unwritten license to act in such a manner.
Nailed it brutha!
 

Melrose

Suspended
Dec 12, 2007
7,808
397
There's a line between opinion and manners.

Most people online don't seem to understand the difference.

On MR, whilst I don't think in every case the Mods are entirely fair, I think they do their best under the circumstances. I've shouted at people, and been checked for it, and some seem to regularly get away with it... hence why we have the "report" button on every post. Was I out of line? Sure. Personal ideas always come through, but in large mod groups there is a sort of "self check" sort of thing that keeps it pretty fair. At one large Photoshop forum I used to help mod we had admins who would just ban people for the fun of it. Or, indeed, on more than one occasion, for bad grammar. Oh, those were the days.
 

Melrose

Suspended
Dec 12, 2007
7,808
397
Sounds like one hell of a forum. :rolleyes:
The actual artistic talent rivaled the best in the world, honestly. Some members were designers that regularly designed or developed on very large projects for very large companies.

Moderation was another beast entirely though. Very active for several years, it doesn't exist anymore.
 
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