Sensationalism in CAaSS

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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby sunglasses » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:38 pm

People are complaining about things being click baity. To my knowledge, we don't have rules against that. Many might consider it poor form, and with limited data plans that can be quite understandable.

But again, not rule breaking.

On regards to the thread title...those guidelines were written, I think, because of some very negative posts naming cracked writers. I could be wrong but I thought that was what I remembered.

It is difficult to have a discussion when people are being hyperbolic, dismissive, and talking past each other but that's a multi user issue. Ain't one person doing that. And it isn't just in specific threads either.

Edit: To be clear, I'm speaking as a user foremost.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby gisambards » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:54 pm

Marcuse wrote:I'm well aware that there seems to be a move to turn this thread into the Trial of Damiana Raven and I personally find it disturbing.

To be frank, you're completely wrong about this. I don't have a personal issue with Damiana, I genuinely believe her behaviour with these threads is counter to the supposed effort this forum was making to allow people with any opinion to feel welcome. I can't help that it's a single user that's behind most of this behaviour, and I suppose it would be better if more people were doing it because then I might actually be taken seriously and not just dismissed as someone who holds a grudge.
I also think it's ridiculous you're trying to defend Damiana's behaviour by claiming that discouraging it would shut down people with certain opinions - because that is also the other way in which staff appear to be trying to dismiss my concerns, by claiming it's just that I don't like certain opinions and want them gone. It's the total opposite: the fact is, what I'm arguing against here is the creation of what are clearly intended to be echo chambers.
And maybe it's not against the rules, and maybe guidelines are totally unenforceable and thus pointless. Even so, it's been greatly disappointing to see that the admins refuse to even recognise the issue, instead attacking the motives of those of us who have a problem with it. After so much attention was given to the problem of trying to make users with differing opinions feel welcome, it seems that all ultimately comes to nothing: the official position is that there's nothing wrong with creating threads with inherent biases, there's nothing wrong with shutting down debate, and it's the people who have an issue with this that are the ones who don't respect others' opinions enough.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby DamianaRaven » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:15 pm

I don't understand how posting something from my own perspective and then defending what I've written constitutes "shutting down debate." I would have thought such an indictment would go to the person who's demanding the moderators do something (though nobody knows what) to stop me.

And yes, dragging out every thread I've recently started in CASS as "People's Exhibit A" very much makes me feel as if I'm being put on trial here, a process I neither deserve nor appreciate. Since the verdict appears to be "not guilty," I hope we can adjourn this little court session and in the future, just take for granted that I'm actually not a lying, manipulative psycho.
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Last edited by DamianaRaven on Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby DoglovingJim » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:26 pm

Marcuse wrote: As far as I know, nobody affected by this attempted to contact staff to discuss the distress this was causing and what could be done about it. It would have been way more appropriate to do so than start long withering fights across threads about it.


With all due respect Marcuse but this forum sub-section is called "ask a mod" for a reason and that's why we have this thread, surely this is an attempt to contact staff in discussing the matter directly? It is on the topic regarding intentionally click-baity threads which are completely hyperbolic and are in my humble opinion only destined to aggravate people and start arguments (or create a breeding ground for narrow-minded extremist views) instead of rational discussion with a variety of different perspectives. It is impossible for reasoned discussion to take place in these sorts of threads since they lack neutrality nor do they welcome different perspectives, which makes those with differing opinions feel unwelcome to give opposing views (and when they do these always end up in arguments).

This isn't an attack on an individual user and shouldn't be viewed as such, but like it or not it is largely the result of several of Damiana's threads in which this issue arose. Nobody here hates Damiana nor wants to "shut her down", that in itself an exaggeration.

What we have here is a new issue that hasn't been addressed before and is therefore being brought to your attention, the decision of the moderators and the ones who are in charge of this place will set precedent in how 'sensationalist' threads are perceived so I implore you to take your time and not look at individuals (we are not attacking any users, our problem isn't with individuals) but the concept itself. I promise you that if this is ignored most likely you will have to continue locking other threads for dissolving into arguments, as our members become divided into bubbles of ideology and cannot converge as the threads made are geared to generate conflict instead of being neutral places in which a variety of opinions are welcomed.

As for Damiana, I apologize that you feel this is directed at you personally because of your views.
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Last edited by DoglovingJim on Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby DamianaRaven » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:28 pm

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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby DoglovingJim » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:02 pm

*sighs*
I really would much rather tackle on the issue of sensationalist threads in general, why must you make it personal. The issue that I feel people might have had with the style of threads you created several times (not all of them) was that they were commonly hyperbolic in nature and through the language used (strongly emotive) it shut down any form of opposing views being welcome, not only that but the strong perspectives given are mainly assumptions/speculation due to lack of further information and seem to be geared towards moral panic. Not to mention that responses from others acknowledging the lack of certainty are shut down with straw-men (for example that sun-glasses was making excuses for cops that shoot innocent people).

Now everyone has a right to an opinion, everyone can speculate, however if they are simply speculating they shouldn't treat it as confirmed until said evidence arises, opposing views shouldn't be shut down with straw-men. Thread titles should be as neutral as can be, and even if one has a clear bias they should at least have evidence to back it up, instead of giving emotional assumptions backed only by lack of evidence. I say it time and time again, none of us should be putting our emotions first when it comes to making threads. I understand threads overtime can become heated and emotive as the discussion evolves at some point but not in the first bloody post.

Also:
I remember one thread had to be re-titled after it became apparent that it wasn't accurate and instead of ensuring that you would try to keep them accurate from now on you simply stated you would continue titling them as you see fit and that whenever it happens again the mods can feel free to change it themselves. I don't know why I'm mentioning it, it's just something about it rubbed against me the wrong way.
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Last edited by DoglovingJim on Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby DamianaRaven » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:06 pm

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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby DoglovingJim » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:16 pm

DamianaRaven wrote:
Spoiler: show
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Since that one isn't Mr. Bean I'm not up-voting it.

Anyway, it's obvious that you don't really care about the topic (since you don't view it as an issue, well you view people complaining about it as an issue since you feel it's a personal attack) so I'm not sure why you even bother responding with gifs? You don't seem to want to provide any rebuttals to the issues that members are having or otherwise further this to a conclusion that settles this thing. Regardless, that's understandable since you don't think you did anything wrong (but then why not rebut the points made?).

But I guess like I said before it's not about you personally, the issue is with sensationalist threads in general and how several members sometimes engaged in hyperbolic exchanges and how in 2-3 months from now someone else will be here and making similar styled threads and it will go round and round and round. Which is something that only now is being addressed so unluckily you are one of the only people (if not only) in the spotlight.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby sunglasses » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:35 pm

DoglovingJim wrote:
Marcuse wrote: As far as I know, nobody affected by this attempted to contact staff to discuss the distress this was causing and what could be done about it. It would have been way more appropriate to do so than start long withering fights across threads about it.


With all due respect Marcuse but this forum sub-section is called "ask a mod" for a reason and that's why we have this thread, surely this is an attempt to contact staff in discussing the matter directly? It is on the topic regarding intentionally click-baity threads which are completely hyperbolic and are in my humble opinion only destined to aggravate people and start arguments (or create a breeding ground for narrow-minded extremist views) instead of rational discussion with a variety of different perspectives. It is impossible for reasoned discussion to take place in these sorts of threads since they lack neutrality nor do they welcome different perspectives, which makes those with differing opinions feel unwelcome to give opposing views (and when they do these always end up in arguments).



I'm not speaking for Marc, but it was my interpretation that he was implying "why didn't someone bring it up before" via PM or the like rather then constantly refer to other threads and have cross talk and verbal disparaging that crossed numerous threads. In fact, no one used the Ask a Mod forum until prompted to by Marc. I'm sure that added to the frustration.

We've had to remind people before not to be dragging up stuff from other threads. It's frustrating to have to do so again.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby Lindvaettr » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:35 pm

I honestly feel like this discussion, by focusing on the titles and OP's initial content, is missing the real issue with the thread(s) in question. I personally very rarely agree with Damiana's personal takes on issues, but she's more than free to post about them and defend her own views. I might think she's missing the point, or even that she's completely wrong, but that doesn't mean she shouldn't be allowed to hold those opinions. In fact, I might even think Damiana is a terrible, horrible avatar of everything that is wrong and evil in the world (I don't), but that still wouldn't mean she shouldn't be allowed to hold those opinions.

The core issue, to me, isn't that one, two, or even three people hold what I would call somewhat extreme positions. The issue is that some people - sometimes people with extreme positions, sometimes others - seem either unable or unwilling to discuss sensitive topics without resorting to extremely poor argument form and even insults and personal attacks. This, to me, is inexcusable. We're all adults here, or at least old enough to be expected to act like adults, and I believe that means it's reasonable to expect civil discourse even when you disagree with someone.

Just follow some simple guidelines (spoiler because the list got long, and isn't entirely pertinent to the subject of my post)...

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  • If someone posts something you disagree with, don't take them out of context. If you can't counter their point within the context it was made, you can't counter their point. It's that simple. If you have to manipulate their post to win, you need to reconsider your own point, not just cherry-pick.

  • If someone takes you out of context, make your context clear, and explain why their new point doesn't stand up to your initial argument when taken in context.

  • If you feel that a point was made badly, for example using a misreading of data, or a bad source of information, feel free to call them on it, but be polite. Perhaps they didn't know the source was bad. Perhaps they didn't realize they were misreading the data. Perhaps they were just trying to make a bad argument to win easy points and failed. There's no reason to respond to badly made points with anything other than civility. If you want to really move the discussion forward, post alternative data reflecting what is, in your view, a more accurate portray of the information. It's not necessary (you're not writing a thesis, you're under no obligation to provide sources), but they do help your argument.

  • If someone's view is, in your opinion, stupid, idiotic, or evidence of the poster being a bad person, keep it to yourself. Personal attacks and insults don't help the conversation at all. If anything, they make you look like a weak debater who can't separate the topic from their personal feelings towards their opponent, and is so wound up in winning that they've decided the best tactic is ad hominem.

  • If someone insults or personally attacks you, just ignore it. It's our own choice whether or not we get offended or upset over things like this, and whether we want to continue to derail a thread over insults. As mentioned above, by insulting or attacking you, the person attacking you is doing little else other than showing that they're incapable of further debating an issue (or at least entirely unwilling to further debate the issue). Call it out when it happens, if you want. Let everyone know that that's what the debate has come to, and that you're not interested in a personal battle, then drop it. If you let it go, that's a win for you. If you respond in kind, with insults and personal attacks, you're equally responsible for the situation, as you've chosen to continue to derail a thread with your own ad hominem.

Overall, just be decent in threads. Try to avoid fallacies if you can, and consider the points of others before telling them they're wrong. Be civil, and act like an adult who is capable of getting into discussions on topics that other people may have differing, sometimes vastly differing, opinions on. It really isn't as hard as some people make it out to be, and I don't feel that it's asking to much to expect CASS posters display some ability to disagree with others without resorting to the kind of behavior I've been talking about in this post.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby Tesseracts » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:39 pm

gisambards wrote:
Marcuse wrote:I'm well aware that there seems to be a move to turn this thread into the Trial of Damiana Raven and I personally find it disturbing.

To be frank, you're completely wrong about this. I don't have a personal issue with Damiana, I genuinely believe her behaviour with these threads is counter to the supposed effort this forum was making to allow people with any opinion to feel welcome. I can't help that it's a single user that's behind most of this behaviour, and I suppose it would be better if more people were doing it because then I might actually be taken seriously and not just dismissed as someone who holds a grudge.
I also think it's ridiculous you're trying to defend Damiana's behaviour by claiming that discouraging it would shut down people with certain opinions - because that is also the other way in which staff appear to be trying to dismiss my concerns, by claiming it's just that I don't like certain opinions and want them gone. It's the total opposite: the fact is, what I'm arguing against here is the creation of what are clearly intended to be echo chambers.
And maybe it's not against the rules, and maybe guidelines are totally unenforceable and thus pointless. Even so, it's been greatly disappointing to see that the admins refuse to even recognise the issue, instead attacking the motives of those of us who have a problem with it. After so much attention was given to the problem of trying to make users with differing opinions feel welcome, it seems that all ultimately comes to nothing: the official position is that there's nothing wrong with creating threads with inherent biases, there's nothing wrong with shutting down debate, and it's the people who have an issue with this that are the ones who don't respect others' opinions enough.

You say it's not about one user, but off the top of my head, I can think of a few other users who behave similarly who haven't come up in this thread. "Threads with inherent biases" are a dime a dozen here and everywhere else where discussions happen. You say it's about behavior not particular opinions, but you keep calling the opinions expressed extreme and it's not clear to me exactly what behavior was the issue in the shooting thread. Marc explicitly asked you (or others) for suggestions for how to address your concerns and instead of coming up with any you just accused the staff of being ineffective again.

I don't agree that nothing is being done to soften the dominance of one particular narrative either. In the shooting thread several people responded calling for more benefit of the doubt towards police, including staff.
DoglovingJim wrote:*sighs*
I really would much rather tackle on the issue of sensationalist threads in general, why must you make it personal. The issue that I feel people might have had with the style of threads you created several times (not all of them) was that they were commonly hyperbolic in nature and through the language used (strongly emotive) it shut down any form of opposing views being welcome, not only that but the strong perspectives given are mainly assumptions/speculation due to lack of further information and seem to be geared towards moral panic. Not to mention that responses from others acknowledging the lack of certainty are shut down with straw-men (for example that sun-glasses was making excuses for cops that shoot innocent people).

Now everyone has a right to an opinion, everyone can speculate, however if they are simply speculating they shouldn't treat it as confirmed until said evidence arises, opposing views shouldn't be shut down with straw-men. Thread titles should be as neutral as can be, and even if one has a clear bias they should at least have evidence to back it up, instead of giving emotional assumptions backed only by lack of evidence. I say it time and time again, none of us should be putting our emotions first when it comes to making threads. I understand threads overtime can become heated and emotive as the discussion evolves at some point but not in the first bloody post.

Also:
I remember one thread had to be re-titled after it became apparent that it wasn't accurate and instead of ensuring that you would try to keep them accurate from now on you simply stated you would continue titling them as you see fit and that whenever it happens again the mods can feel free to change it themselves. I don't know why I'm mentioning it, it's just something about it rubbed against me the wrong way.

Making thread titles neutral is probably a good idea and will lead to more reasonable discussion, but moderation enforcing a policy of making everything as neutral as possible would be a new precedent for us.

This is kind of off topic but for a while I have considered locking the Trump thread, which has gone way off into echo chamber territory. Other than that example I think the threads here allow healthy enough discussion.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby Lindvaettr » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:47 pm

Tesseracts wrote:
DoglovingJim wrote:I remember one thread had to be re-titled after it became apparent that it wasn't accurate and instead of ensuring that you would try to keep them accurate from now on you simply stated you would continue titling them as you see fit and that whenever it happens again the mods can feel free to change it themselves. I don't know why I'm mentioning it, it's just something about it rubbed against me the wrong way.

Making thread titles neutral is probably a good idea and will lead to more reasonable discussion, but moderation enforcing a policy of making everything as neutral as possible would be a new precedent for us.

I agree with this (and Jim's point about the same). I don't know that moderators need to patrol threads checking to make sure the title is still up to date with the latest information, or anything. If a user feels that the title of the thread no longer reflects the event the thread is covering, or doesn't reflect the actual topic of the thread, they can make a request within the thread itself that the title be changed, and even include a suggestion as to what it should be titled. If it's a popular enough or reasonable enough request, a moderator can make it so. If it's unnecessary or whatever, then they can leave it as is. That makes it a bit more like an administrative task than a moderation task.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby sunglasses » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:48 pm

Gotta really echo Lind, here. It would be helpful if we didn't have threads devolve into personal attacks when discussing a topic.

Or having a person go, "Yeah,well if you like Y you're a murderer!" and another person go, "but people who support Z are all rapists" or the like.

It completely derails the topic and the discussion.

That being said, people disagreeing with your or pointing out your source may be suspect doesn't necessarily mean they're attacking you. I think sometimes we as humans take things personally when we shouldn't.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby IamNotCreepy » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:04 pm

I think there are some sensationalist headlines. I think there are some straw-men arguments, assuming bad-faith, and jumping to conclusions.

That being said, I don't think it's really the purview of the mods until it descends into personal attacks and insults. I do think we as a community should call out that kind of behavior, as long as it doesn't derail the thread.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby gisambards » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:24 pm

Tesseracts wrote:You say it's not about one user, but off the top of my head, I can think of a few other users who behave similarly who haven't come up in this thread.

I honestly can't, but then you make readily apparent later in this post that you still won't acknowledge what behaviour I'm actually referring to.
"Threads with inherent biases" are a dime a dozen here and everywhere else where discussions happen.

I disagree. There are threads where nearly everyone happens to agree, but that's very different to a thread that seems created with the specific purpose of only being for a certain opinion on the issue in question.
You say it's about behavior not particular opinions, but you keep calling the opinions expressed extreme and it's not clear to me exactly what behavior was the issue in the shooting thread.

I have never once called the opinions expressed extreme, and hasn't changed since the last time you falsely said that. I think some people have them to extreme degrees, but, as I explained last time you made exactly this accusation, that is not a factor in why I'm complaining. The behaviour that's the issue is, for the umpteenth time, the inflammatory nature of the threads, and the shutting down of dissenting opinions.
Marc explicitly asked you (or others) for suggestions for how to address your concerns and instead of coming up with any you just accused the staff of being ineffective again.

What would the point be in offering suggestions to help a problem that staff refuse to acknowledge, particularly when I've been disparaged by them for trying to highlight the problem? I'm apparently just some petty person with a grudge against Damiana who can't handle people having opinions I don't like, and there hasn't been any reference made at all to the other threads that were part of my complaint - even now, you still refer to "the shooting thread" as if there's only the one. I don't think the problem is mere ineffectiveness. I understand if moderation is not a viable solution to what I'm complaining about, although I really feel there's no point having the guidelines if they're apparently allowed to be totally disregarded. But rather than simply explain that, you admins have criticised me and questioned my motives, despite other users acknowledging the same problem.
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