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Wed Sep 5, 2012, 11:44 PM

A brief and tentative analysis of the state of the group.

Hello, folks. Thank you for stopping by.

Enough of the pleasantries. To business.


The RKBA forum is a hotbed of conflicting opinions, clashing emotions, and in some cases, inflated egos. When these things collide, conflict breeds and a general lack of civility rises, in some cases hitting the level of blatant disregard for civil discourse. One side posts their facts, another side posts another version of the same facts, and both sides insist that they are correct before the conversation degenerates into (normally) Appeal to Humanity arguments. Likewise, the group is viewed as the cesspool of Democratic Underground, a breeding pit for trolls and right-wingers. I don't think anyone subscribed to this group could honestly disagree with that point, but I've been wrong before.

What I would like to discuss in this thread is how we can repair both the image of RKBA as well as the overall tone of discourse in regards to this forum, inclusive of both content and dialogue, allowing for an overall increase in both sustained conversation as well as improved quality of said dialogue.


The Fundamentals and Analysis of Underlying Factors

1.) Lack of Respect

It is the humble opinion of this poster that civility in dialogue originates from a fundamental respect between the two opposing sides. What I've noticed in my time lurking here is that most discussions, unless they are circular in intent and nothing more than a confirmation of opinion from outside sources, tend to end in either overt or covert passive-aggressive insults. Unfortunately, most of these insults tend to stem from a basic lack of respect, either for an individual or for the cause an individual is touting.

2.) Lack of Moderation

I will say that in my observation time, I would judge Krispos to have been pretty much fair in his hosting. The one time that he has unilaterally made a decision, it was, in my opinion, for the betterment of the Group and for the sake of civil discourse. (If you have a differing opinion, please, let's take it to Meta.) With that said, Krispos is only one Host, and I think we are all aware that "It's the Gungeon, let it be" is a common excuse for a Juror to excuse violations. This, in turn, has created an atmosphere of invulnerability, where posters feel free to push the limits of their passive-aggressive insults and hope, not entirely without reason, that a Jury will exonerate them, no matter how egregious the offending post may be.

3.) "Google Dumps"

While I am aware that a google dump is often a fairly solid means and methodology to incorporate latest news in regards to firearms, a Dump of information for either side of the RKBA divide has not, to my eyes, added to any amount of discourse. The news is posted, the usual posters line up on either side of the issue, and the war begins anew. What's worse is that, almost universally, the Dumping poster only deposits the information and moves on, deciding not to include any substance of worth to a discussion at hand.



Potential Solutions


Unfortunately, numbers 1 and 2 (Respect and Moderation) go hand in hand. Our current Host has seen fit to stay out of most of our affairs, and this is not inherrently a bad thing by itself.

In this particular Group, it -is- a bad thing, in my humble opinion.

Tensions get hot, passions get heated, words are exchanged and Alerts fail. Where Alerts fail, a shocking post that would get mod-deleted in any other forum is left to stand, and there is no recourse. I am supremely aware that the Jury system is flawed, but that it is also a fundamental evolution to the progress of the site as a whole. Likewise, I am (as some of you may be) aware that in the RKBA group, the Jury system is a step backward. The Jury system has failed on so continual a basis in the RKBA forum that I believe a replacement is necessary.

It is my opinion that in order to best enhance the dialogue and discourse of the group, direct intervention may be called for. In this vein, I offer the following propositions.



Proposition 1

The elevation of two new Hosts, combined with Krispos. These need not be "balanced" Hosts in terms of their personal views on RKBA, although such a recourse would be preferred. It is my personal opinion that extremism in any form is dangerous, be it from "ban all guns!" to "have ALL the guns!" Posters who have neither of these characteristics, as evidenced by their posting history, would be prime candidates for elevation to Hosthood.

With three Hosts, the group would be more easily monitored, and... for lack of a better term... Trolls, could be ferretted out with more ease. However, to counteract a potential balance of interests, the need to reprimand or discipline a poster -MUST- be unanimous, based on the content of the post in question, regardless of the nature of the subthread or hostility therein. A post should be held on it's own merits, not how vile the person they are responding to can be.

"But Why?"

It is painfully clear that, when left to their own devices, certain posters can and will push the envelope in terms of civility. Not to touch on too recent a subject, but Hoyt would frequently broad-brush insult the Group as a whole, and there are others who use the same brush, just with different targets. This proposition would allow the Hosts to take a more direct hand, and with the knowledge that the Hosts were observing, posters with a history of disruption and attacking their fellows on either side of the issue will (hopefully) curtail their vitriol. This, in turn, would allow for a furtherance of understanding, provided the discourse continues, but without purposefully antagonistic attacks.



Proposition 2

The forbiddance of "Google dumps" of two varieties:

V1: "Gunman kills everyone"
V2: "Gunman saves everyone"

These types of Google Dumps are deposited, so to speak, with one purpose and one purpose alone: To show why the other side is wrong through anecdotal evidence. Barring a tragedy on the scale of Aurora or Columbine (Which are current events that may lead to policy change regarding the Second Amendment), these Dumps do little more than provide an outlet for one side or the other to simply say "I told you so."

It's a sad fact of the matter that people die. I myself have been touched by that particular ghast in the form of a knifing on a street corner in Boston. However, simply because someone dies, or someone else lives, doesn't mean that there will be a change in policy, and likely will not change minds already dedicated to a cause.

"But Why?"

In the context of the RKBA forum, Google Dumps serve no more of a purpose than to antagonize and divide.

Thus, I propose that Google Dumps without relevance to policy or (ESPECIALLY) without an OP contribution to the discussion be discouraged at best, possibly removed at worst. As a hypothetical example, if one were to wander to, say, the Baking group only to post a news article titled "Pastry Chef Scandal: Why Grillers are Better Than You" (Bear with me on that one) every day, then I would wager I may not last in that particular group. Why is RKBA any different?


In Closing

I'm not saying that all dissent from one side or another should be stifled. Contrarily, I am trying to encourage a resurgance of civility and actual discussion, as opposed to flat-out hostility.

I am, as always willing to answer any questions or expand/elaborate on any points that you could inquire about. Likewise, this is only a working analysis of a few things that I have noticed, and is in no way comprehensive. Got something you'd like to add? Go ahead! In the meantime, please, let me know what you think in the comments.


Finally, though I am aware that this is an internet message board, please, keep it civil if you can. Let's put down the "Pro/Anti" stuff and just find a way to make this Group better, please? I'd like to think we're a bit more flexible than the Right Wing, here.

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
Reply A brief and tentative analysis of the state of the group. (Original post)
Decoy of Fenris Sep 2012 OP
MercutioATC Sep 2012 #1
GreenStormCloud Sep 2012 #2
safeinOhio Sep 2012 #24
rrneck Sep 2012 #3
MercutioATC Sep 2012 #4
holdencaufield Sep 2012 #5
gejohnston Sep 2012 #6
holdencaufield Sep 2012 #7
Atypical Liberal Sep 2012 #8
DanTex Sep 2012 #9
rrneck Sep 2012 #11
DanTex Sep 2012 #14
rrneck Sep 2012 #18
DanTex Sep 2012 #21
rrneck Sep 2012 #25
Atypical Liberal Sep 2012 #13
DanTex Sep 2012 #15
gejohnston Sep 2012 #16
eqfan592 Sep 2012 #17
Atypical Liberal Sep 2012 #19
ileus Sep 2012 #12
Tuesday Afternoon Sep 2012 #20
hack89 Sep 2012 #10
ellisonz Sep 2012 #22
gejohnston Sep 2012 #23
ProgressiveProfessor Sep 2012 #26
ManiacJoe Sep 2012 #28
ProgressiveProfessor Sep 2012 #27
ManiacJoe Sep 2012 #29

Response to Decoy of Fenris (Original post)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 12:02 AM

1. A slightly different approach:

 

Not as comprehensive, but vital in my opinion.

Sticky a post explaining the terminology and workings of firearms. Probably 20% of the posts in this forum are somebody complaining about "assault rifles" and three other people correcting them.

No politics, no statistics about what matters and what doesn't, no opinion...just a short, easily-readable, essay on firearm basics.

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Original post)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 12:09 AM

2. Outstanding post.

For this group to become civil, uncivility must have bad consequences for the rude poster. Like a disruptive student in a classroom they must be given time-out, or sent to the principles office.

I welcome any point of view, even those who advocate a total gun ban, but I am quite tired of those who refuse to actually discuss the issue but instead refer to anything said by the opposing camp as being an "NRA talking point" or a "VPC talking point".

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #2)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 08:56 PM

24. Perhaps we could ban the term

"it is often said by anti-gun people", when in fact it is never said by anyone but the poster.

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Original post)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 12:30 AM

3. Thanks for the work but

you can't micromanage content or herd cats. This is a liberal board on the internet. Guns just aren't all that popular on the political left. That's the nature of the beast. Add in a few social dominators, narcissists, juveniles, and consumers who wear political ideology like social plumage and mix them with assorted right wing trolls and you have the gungeon. It ain't pretty, but it's ours.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 12:35 AM

4. +1

 

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Original post)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 01:01 AM

5. For what it's worth ...

 

... I think that Krispos is doing an EXCELLENT job at a truly thankless job (and I thank him just to contradict myself).

There are people in this group who are uncivil but since the end result of the incivility is to drive people further from their point-of-view I would say they get what they deserve.

I suggest, instead of banning unruly or disruptive elements, we take a page out of the Amish Book and just shun them. When you respond to a troll or a lout, you've only gratified them and give them the attention they crave.

Let the incivil posts go unanswered and they should go away soon enough.

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Response to holdencaufield (Reply #5)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 01:06 AM

6. but first

give a thumbs down and a WTF. Sometimes someone will say something so over the top, saying something can't be helped.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #6)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 01:13 AM

7. Agreed ...

 

... I myself occasionally (or not so occasionally) find myself saying something that is taken entirely different by a reader.

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Original post)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 08:07 AM

8. Let the juries handle it.

 

Juries is the way the owners of this web site have decided to handle the majority of alerted posts. Almost certainly this was done to automate the moderation process and offload the workload from moderators and to eliminate personality problems from driving the conversation.

Let the people decide. It doesn't get much more Democratic than that. What you are asking for is, quite literally, a dictator to dictate how the forum will be used. If people are apathetic, then Democracy will suffer, but that is still better than a dictator(s).

This is Democratic Underground. Side with democracy!

The forbiddance of "Google dumps" of two varieties:

V1: "Gunman kills everyone"
V2: "Gunman saves everyone"

These types of Google Dumps are deposited, so to speak, with one purpose and one purpose alone: To show why the other side is wrong through anecdotal evidence. Barring a tragedy on the scale of Aurora or Columbine (Which are current events that may lead to policy change regarding the Second Amendment), these Dumps do little more than provide an outlet for one side or the other to simply say "I told you so.


The problem here is that anecdotes work for the pro-gun side, but do not work for the anti-gun side.

Why?

Virtually no one advocates that everyone should be armed or that guns are a guaranteed ticket to success in self-defense or defense against tyranny.

But anti-gun advocates frequently advocate that all guns are useless and do not belong in the hands of civilians at all.

All it takes is one single anecdote to disprove the anti-gun theory.

For example, on this forum we have heard it said that no one could ever use a gun successfully in self-defense against a criminal who surprises their victim. Yet in fact examples have been provided that show that in fact this does happen. We've been told that guns are just penis substitutes by people who just dream about killing someone. A single example of a world-renown female Olympic shooter puts that theory down also.

The bottom line is, anti-gun people post anecdotes to try and prove a trend, which they cannot. Pro-gun people post anecdotes to disprove incorrect theories, which they absolutely can.

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Response to Atypical Liberal (Reply #8)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 08:45 AM

9. I agree: let the juries handle it.

I also find it amusing that you think anecdotal evidence is valid for pro-gun arguments, but not for pro-control arguments. I guess when the statistical evidence, the science, and the peer-reviewed studies don't go your way, you have to try and make a case based on anecdotes.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #9)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 10:31 AM

11. All tha science

is significantly less useful than antecdotes.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #11)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 01:42 PM

14. Tell it brother! Grover Norquist would be so proud!

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Response to DanTex (Reply #14)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 01:58 PM

18. LOL!

You need to pay more attention to your stock answers. Frank Luntz would have been better. Maybe if you didn't just run down the list but actually gave some thought to your insults.

Grover's your boy. Just another technocrat given to treating populations of people as numbers and fungible assets.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #18)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 08:28 PM

21. Umm... Grover is a right-wing NRA board member. In other words, right up your alley.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #21)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 09:18 PM

25. Sooooooo,

Here's the reality. Why don't you go find a post where I said I was a member of, supported, liked, praised or otherwise aligned myself with the NRA.

Then, when you can't find shit, think about how you've accused me of something that, I guess, is supposed to make me "look bad" or "put me on the defensive". Think about how your lack of research and documentation, (you know about those, right?), have led you to make all sorts and kinds of juvenile accusations. Then think about how your truculent attitude, aggressive narcissism, and pathetic need for attention have lowered the level of discourse at DU. Everyone else can certainly see it.

Then think how quickly you swam to the bottom to feed.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #9)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 01:33 PM

13. Like I said..

 

I also find it amusing that you think anecdotal evidence is valid for pro-gun arguments, but not for pro-control arguments.

Like I said - anti-gun people post anecdotes to try and portray a trend, which anecdotes cannot do. Pro-gun people post anecdotes to disprove theories, which anecdotes absolutely can do.

I guess when the statistical evidence, the science, and the peer-reviewed studies don't go your way, you have to try and make a case based on anecdotes.

There are no statistics, science, nor peer-reviewed studies that will change the fundamental fact that the second amendment is about keeping military-grade small arms in the hands of the civilian population so that they can function as military forces if necessary.

It doesn't matter how many murders or suicides happen, whether crime is increasing or decreasing, or whether owning a gun increases your overall safety or decreases it.

All of that is irrelevant in the context of the second amendment of the United State Constitution.

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Response to Atypical Liberal (Reply #13)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 01:43 PM

15. Science, statistics and peer reviewed studies are irrelevant! This keeps getting better!

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Response to DanTex (Reply #15)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 01:46 PM

16. they are if you don't like the results

by falsely accusing them of being ideologues.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #15)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 01:49 PM

17. In the context of the 2nd Amendment, it is indeed irrelevant.

Now, if you think you have enough scientific, statistical and peer reviewed evidence to propose an amendment to the constitution that repeals the 2nd Amendment, that's a different story.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #15)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 02:20 PM

19. You are as bad as the Republicans with their out-of-context "You didn't built it" bullshit.

 

You are as bad as the Republicans with their out-of-context "You didn't built it" bullshit.

I did not say that Science, statistics, and peer-reviewed studies are irrelevant.

What I said was:

"There are no statistics, science, nor peer-reviewed studies that will change the fundamental fact that the second amendment is about keeping military-grade small arms in the hands of the civilian population so that they can function as military forces if necessary.

It doesn't matter how many murders or suicides happen, whether crime is increasing or decreasing, or whether owning a gun increases your overall safety or decreases it.

All of that is irrelevant in the context of the second amendment of the United State Constitution."


The second amendment is not negated if people commit crimes with firearms.
The second amendment is not negated if people commit suicide with firearms.
The second amendment is not negated if people are statistically less safe if they own them.
The second amendment is not negated if people sometimes have their firearms used against them.

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Response to Atypical Liberal (Reply #8)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 11:20 AM

12. Juries made up of non-rkba posters shouldn't even be allowed here.

Our motto should be "It's a RKBA thing you wouldn't understand."

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Response to ileus (Reply #12)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 08:20 PM

20. I agree. I wish our juries consisted only of our peers.

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Original post)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 09:21 AM

10. I agree with you on Google dumps. nt

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Original post)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 08:49 PM

22. Free Hoyt. n/t

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #22)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 08:51 PM

23. still no justice for bupkus nt

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #23)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 10:18 PM

26. Hey, that's my line...

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #23)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 11:29 PM

28. I hate the way this is going to sound, but

can anyone help me remember who Bupkus is?

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Original post)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 10:22 PM

27. By your definition, the posts about Aurora would be Google dumps

I think you need to tune it up considerably. It seems to me if the poster discusses the specifics of citation or event with specifics, it is not a Google dump. Lesser importance would be OP participation in the thread

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #27)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 11:35 PM

29. Sounds like you understand what is meant as a Google Dump.

The problem with the behavior of many of the dumpers is that they do not "discusses the specifics of citation or event with specifics". Thus the complaints. While the majority of the dumpers are on the anti side, the pro side has a few, too.

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