Forum Decorum: Civility and Debate

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Sly4Good

Rose up from the dead and all I got was a t-shirt
Apr 25, 2011
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It might just be my perspective on it coming from a military family, but imo I don't see a problem with profanity so long as it isn't being used to degrade someone else. Profanity can be a good tool for expressing one's frustrations, excitement, or other opinions on a topic or other matters, as well as a way to spice up a joke if the need arises.
 
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Zachary

𝓡oyal 𝓜ango 𝓒réme Frappuccino Survivor
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Sep 23, 2009
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Fuck sensorship.
I think censorship is a totally unfair and more than a bit inciting term to use in this situation. The conversation has centered entirely around the tones such words can contribute to and the impressions that they create. This is an entirely reasonable, justified discussion to have. Coming in with a low-effort, abrasive, hyperbolic post like "Fuck sensorship." does nothing to contribute to the issue at hand.

Our goal is to create a friendly, healthy environment for discussion and debate. That reasonably requires us to "censor" some content. This is not the wild west. We have always and will always restrict (read: by definition, censor) content here as required by our rules. The suggestion that restrictions on discourse shouldn't be acceptable is patently absurd.

Despite these limitations technically qualifing as "censorship," that term carries with it all manor of undesirable connotations such as malintent, abuse of power, restriction of information, etc. that I do not believe are even remotely fair characterizations of the moderation we do here.
 
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Mar 16, 2016
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So I wanted to add another thing that I think plays a ton into the civility of debate.

Some of the responses to someone's well thought out posts are getting some ill conceived answers in response. And I'm not saying everyone needs to write a novel in response. But the number of instances of a short one line response calling someone a liar/biased/stupid/idiot is amazingly horrible of a response. Sometimes it's clear to me someone didn't really read the post that they are responding to. And sometimes I think it's a little disheartening when you see a well thought out post, and the person that disagrees puts very little thought into their response.

I get not everyone has time to respond in kind, and it really leads to too many drawn out posts to sort through, but it's a trend I've been seeing lately. I think that sometimes it's got to be ignored by the OP. Sometimes it needs to be questioned some as to why they are responding like that. Sometimes I hate the response of anger with anger. I feel as though responding to some posts like this with asking what the issue with the OP is could start to temper the issues.
 
Oct 7, 2011
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Are one-line, low-effort riffs okay, as long as they don't insult anyone and stay somewhat on topic?

'Cuz that's like 50% of my game here.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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Are one-line, low-effort riffs okay, as long as they don't insult anyone and stay somewhat on topic?

'Cuz that's like 50% of my game here.
Personally.....yea I think they're funny. I'm talking more what leads into the hostility with comments like "Only an idiot would some up with that", or "Everything says it's a XXXXX so why bother trying."
 

UnicornZiva

fancy cafe latte
May 30, 2011
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So for the record as someone who's been on lots and lots of forums, I think that rules and guidelines about civility go a long way, especially for people working in good faith, but the only thing I've seen work for the nastiest stuff is temporary muting from the mods. This is a really unique forum in the sense that the mods really try to keep things democratic and community-focused, and I love that aspect of the site! But I do feel like what we might need is to put bad actors in time-outs as an intermediary step. Mods muting people for a few hours or days is a more serious message to the user in question than just a warning, but more importantly it tends to cool off a thread immediately. Mutes also allow people to have multiple chances and (hopefully) learn from their behavior and continue to be a part of the community, which I feel like is something that ParkFans really tries to embrace.

Anyway, just my two cents! Regardless, having these discussions about how to keep the forums both friendly AND democratic are super important -- hats off to this community for caring so much!
 
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Applesauce

未来の月
May 22, 2010
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I hope y'all like a wall of text, because that's what this is.

I figured I’d toss my hat into the ring here as somebody who seems to be frequently in fights recently, much to my own dismay. I really don’t get on here going “Who am I gonna fight to today.” And I do want to apologize for those who are innocently scrolling through just reading and then suddenly I’m in a fight with someone. (To those of you who I’ve gotten into arguments with, I’m standing by the words I’ve said. I’m not sorry for saying it, I’m sorry for being part of the problem in derailing threads, and for everyone else’s suffering.)

This being said, while I have a few issues with things such as tonal shifts in a conversation(a general observance of it happening), - IE: Somebody suddenly switching to textbook speak, just to prove they’re right. Because, you can't argue with somebody being * logical *- as well as being PC is bad, two examples being the not so subtle racism against Brazilian people and mentioning of getting genitalia waxed, in addition to, me being told that not wanting an asylum based house is too PC despite, y’know, having a mental illness that I did not choose to have, and desperately would like to toss into the sun. I’m just gonna talk about being corrected. And this is just from my own personal view. Others may have a different view of it, and that’s fine. But this is all coming from my own view point.

I’ve noticed that the vast majority of my problems come from being corrected. Now that’s not to say nobody can correct me ever. I know I’m not always right. I don’t know everything out there, and I don’t claim to. However, there’s a difference in correcting somebody who has openly stated that they are welcome to being corrected, as well as correcting somebody when they got important to the conversation info wrong, versus suddenly correcting somebody on something that they were not open to and had nothing to do with the previous conversation. It comes off as obnoxious at best and aggressive and rude at worst. I have several examples of this happening to me personally since about March, which is why more recently I’ve become more snippy about it. I don’t enjoy being corrected for the sake of being corrected, especially when it ignores everything else that I’ve said previously. But here we go example time:

Most recently there was the problem in the Cutback thread where I said “Does the park want hypothermia. Because that’s how you get hypothermia.” This was meant as a half joke. I 100% understand that it takes a lot for hypothermia to happen, and that riding Cutback once won’t give you hypothermia. But my issue lies with the park apparently ignoring their lifeguard who complain about the water being too cold, to the point where their legs are numb. Nobody’s legs should be numb when changing stations. If this is happening the water is too cold. So for somebody to come out and correct me on this, especially when it seemingly comes from the same person, who constantly seems to have a problem with what I say, its exhausting. So I called it what it was, mansplaining. Their correction did nothing to add to the conversation. Their correction existed simply to correct something that absolutely did not need correcting, considering it was a half joke to begin with and thus an exaggeration. It just simply didn’t need to happen.

To continue this trend of being corrected, in the MMXX thread someone mentioned colors. Now I try to stay out of new ride threads, just because they’re almost always a mess in my experience. But it was a single post for that thread and it caught my eye, and I was confused about it so I asked about why they thought Apollo’s purple and MMXX’s red were similar. There had been a brief conversation of colorblindness before, but I’ll be honest I didn’t read much beyond what was on that page for context.

And instead I was told by one (different) user that a certain color scheme would look too much like Apollo. And when I tried to clarify that, that’s not what was really being spoken about, and tried to give the original user’s comment the benefit of the doubt, because maybe they are colorblind. I personally don’t know. I was immediately accused for trying to start a fight over colors.

When the original user came back to tell me how their thought process worked on the two color’s being similar, I was spoken down to and was explained how colors work. Now, not everyone knows this, but I’m fairly open about the fact that I studied animation in college. In fact I have a BFA in animation, and requirement of that degree is color theory. So I definitely know how colors work. But the idea, that somebody sat down and decided I didn’t know how to make the color purple, is wildly insulting to me. And I would find it equally as insulting if it was said to somebody else. How colors are combined to make different colors, is something you learn at an early age. So explaining how colors work to me says “You’re too dumb to even understand super simple things like colors.” So I explained why they weren’t similar, somebody else came in, also with an art degree, said the same thing, and I had considered the subject done. But then, they threw the god damn color wheel out. So I snapped a little. I know I snapped a little, but at this point not only have I been dismissed as incorrect on a subject I know quite a bit about, but the second person who was on the same side as I was also being dismissed as incorrect. Along with continuing to claim that their knowledge of colors is correct. So I went with the flat “You’re wrong” route. I told them they were wrong. And what I got in response, by a third user against me, was a shitty cartoon image that basically equated to saying I was ass-clenching. Now, I reported this image, and I will own up to that, because I find that incredibly insulting. However, nothing could be done because it doesn’t break the rules we have set, because it wasn’t directly @ing me, despite feeling invalidated, and essentially being told that “Who cares if you’re right. You’re just angry over nothing.”

And my last example, there was a concept thread made for an indoor water park expansion for WCUSA. I didn’t really have a problem with the idea. I just didn’t really see a need for a second indoor water park, when GWL was right up the road. But, whatever floats people’s boats. This one got out of hand because some one assumed that my opinion was something I was stating as fact. When I never once claimed it as fact. And when others stepped in on my side, all saying “It’s just our opinion, but we don’t like the idea of spending time in the water only to have to go outside in the dead of winter with wet, cholrine filled, hair. It’s too cold for us.” We got told “It’s called a hat.” Wow. How fucking condescending right? We never once said nobody would like the idea. We never once said that the idea was stupid or wouldn’t work. I’m not gonna speak on behalf of the others involved as to what their motives were for disagreeing, but for me personally I just didn’t see the need for one. But then to continue on in this spat, I was again rudely corrected by suddenly not caring about what we were previously talking about, but rather because I said the cold can make you sick. Like the hypothermia subject, I’m aware that there’s more that goes into being sick besides the cold. There was no reason what so ever to explain this to me. There was no reason to hyperfocus on such a miniscule detail, that had next to nothing to do with what we were discussing. But it sure as fuck was brought up. And somebody thought they’d just correct me on it, when it really didn’t need to be corrected.

This is a problem. Again, I’m not saying correcting somebody is inherently bad. If there’s something that they got wrong and it’s relevant to continuing the conversation, such as “Hey it was actually this person who said that quote,” or “ That quote actually means this thing” then by all means say hey and correct them gently. If the person has openly said “Hey correct me if I’m wrong” and their info is wrong, then feel free to correct them nicely. What I take issue with is the blunt, arrogant “Ding dong, you are wrong” takes for the sake of correcting somebody. That leads to aggression and fighting.

And before anyone asks, yeah I have two of these people blocked, it doesn’t stop shit. Unfortunately the block system on here is more like Facebook or Twitter’s mute function. You don’t see them but they can see you. And according to Zachary, this isn’t a bug in the system, it IS the system. So there’s nothing that can be done to change it.
 
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