Nitpicking: Forum Debate Etiquette

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Are there any behaviors that really piss you off or catch you flatfooted when you encounter them in a forum-based debate? Obviously most of us would agree that shallow points coupled by poor grammar/spelling is always annoying, but I want to address problems that stem from conscious decisions in the way people post.

While it can be useful at times I find that I really, really hate when people quote me and pick my post apart piece by piece by splitting up the quote. I understand some may like having the ability to clearly argue different points separate from the larger argument but in many cases one of the following will happen:

1. Some of the counterpoints are brief quips that are either purely dismissive or borderline trolling in nature
2. It can break the argument up too much so that certain points are missed entirely and you are no longer arguing about the same thing
3. When done in excess it can be quite jarring on the senses and can make counter arguments more difficult to construct due to the format butchering of your argument

So yeah, anyone else have any forum posting pet-peeves like this?

If someone takes this OP apart I will be very cross >:(

For some reason, it bothers me when a serious debate is going on and someone just posts a picture with some words on it in response.

I think for me it is irritating because it seems to convey disinterest or a lack of commitment to the discussion. I am not saying that it is the case all of the time or even half of the time. That is just how I feel.

._.

people who take internet debates so seriously they actually believe they are accomplishing something useful and winning will some how change anything important rather than the truth that they are just debating for the sake of debating and nothing will come of it no matter which way it ends... they sap all the fun right out of it

Fappy:
Snip

The only thing that really irritates me is when I post something that I believe is really well thought out and they choose to ignore it completely (usually by breaking up my post) or if someone quotes improperly:

For example if I were to say 'sure X is bad for you, but it really helps people with certain medical conditions' it would aggravate me to be quoted as saying 'sure x is bad for you'

That's mostly the only thing that bugs me, when I'm being misrepresented through quotes.

Fappy:
If someone takes this OP apart I will be very cross >:(

I'm not even going to tell you what my plan was before I got to this line.

I hate it when people ask themselves a question, answer it definitively, and then believe they've closed the argument.

I also hate it when people start new posts on Topic X to talk about how bored they are of Topic X, or hang around Topic X threads extolling everyone to talk about something else.

Finally, I have a particular loathing for "fanboy" as an insult. For some reason if I call someone an idiot, I'm instantly moderated, but I can call someone "fanboy" all day without repercussion, despite them both being 100% aggressive and undermining.

One thing that really bothers me is someone ignoring any qualifiers I attached to a statement and treating it as if I was unaware or unwilling to admit that there are exceptions to the topic.

I gotta agree with you, Fappy. That's probably my biggest irritant when coming across forum debates. It's such a stupid tactic too, you can make anything seem bad by taking it out of context.

It's like you need to destroy another person's argument so that yours will have more merit, and if you need to do that, why even bother?

Another thing that irks me is when people simply refuse to compromise. Yes, I know differing opinions are the foundation of a good debate, but people will often refuse to even try to see how someone will have another point of view and dismiss their opinion as outright wrong because it differs.

I'm not asking for us all to get along and hold hands while performing choreographed musical numbers, but at least approach arguments with some civility, a level head and an open mind, sometimes anyway.

You know what really grinds my gears? When I post one sentence and I get quoted with a four paragraph argument on how my opinion is complete bullshit.

a few things, a few.

-How people are very literal, you have to put "IMO" at the end of everything otherwise they jump on you for saying "X is everything ever, of all time".

- People who demand sources before they even consider your argument. I'm sorry, but i just don't find research fun. I get enough of that being a student :P

ToTaL LoLiGe:
You know what really grinds my gears?

I read this, then saw your avatar. Made me laugh X)

Yes i'm simple.

It bugs me when someone claims to KNOW 100% of a topic they have never personally been involved with.

When people change your text in your quote and say "There, fixed it for you".

Seriously...I fucking hate that and I have no clue why it bothers me so much.

daveman247:

ToTaL LoLiGe:
You know what really grinds my gears?

I read this, then saw your avatar. Made me laugh X)

Yes i'm simple.

That was unintentional, a happy accident HAZAH!

Fappy:

So yeah, anyone else have any forum posting pet-peeves like this?

The breaking up a post thing I don't mind if it's done sensibly, but if it's a long debate I tend to put them all back together every few posts so as to try not to lose track.

The thing I *really* don't like is when someone only quotes part of your argument in order to change the implication or meaning of it (Snipping down to the relevant bit I have no problem with), and then responds to that changed argument rather than the one you made.
Anything else is pretty much fair game as far as I'm concerned!

P.S. What about adding "Bad habits that you know you have" to the OP?

I can go wild then. I've already started my list:

1, Making annoying suggestions to change the OP
2, ....

Excessive requests for sources, for one. Yes, if somebody posts a random statistic or bluntly says "x happens more often than y" you'll probably want a source, but unless you're dealing with cold, hard facts, it's hardly necessary, not to mention the fact that there are so many poorly constructed or biased statistics and studies out there that you can probably find at least four sources to support the fact that 1+1=27.

Also, a lack of courtesy and open-mindedness. You don't like the fact that people are frequently pig-headed and stubborn, refusing to acknowledge legitimate points you present, blindly clinging to their side just as much out of pride as out of reason? You wish they'd just shut up and acknowledge that they just might be wrong? Then you need to do the same. Even if you aren't willing to compromise your position, at least try to understand the motivations behind the opposing arguments instead of just labelling them as 'stupid' or 'wrong.'

Finally, I wish people would understand how you get people to change positions on an issue. This is related to the previous point, but I feel it is something that needs to be stressed. You acknowledge their points, explain your own and your reasoning behind them, and point out (politely) the flaws in their own reasoning. You need to be willing to compromise and accept small victories, even if it means ceding some of your own ground. You have to recognize that people will only accept ideas if they feel they have come to accept them of their own free will.

You do not scream and rant and bash them over the head with your counterpoints and arguments until they throw themselves before you, admit they are wrong, and beg for your benevolent forgiveness, because people do not work like that.

tippy2k2:
When people change your text in your quote and say "There, fixed it for you".

Seriously...I fucking hate that and I have no clue why it bothers me so much.

When that happens in an argument I usually think it's borderline trolling, if not outright trolling. Outside of an argument I might find it slightly annoying, but inside one it comes across as just simply there to be provocative.

Fappy:

2. It can break the argument up too much so that certain points are missed entirely and you are no longer arguing about the same thing

This one is the worst, though mostly I assume if they fail to respond to a point, the point goes to me (as it is in lincoln-douglass debate). I'll usually rub that in later; serves them right for ignoring the argument.

Fappy:

If someone takes this OP apart I will be very cross >:(

Sorry :(

Suicidejim:
Excessive requests for sources, for one. Yes, if somebody posts a random statistic or bluntly says "x happens more often than y" you'll probably want a source, but unless you're dealing with cold, hard facts, it's hardly necessary, not to mention the fact that there are so many poorly constructed or biased statistics and studies out there that you can probably find at least four sources to support the fact that 1+1=27.

No, it is worth asking to point out to people that they're probably full of bullshit. If they can't provide a good reason to believe their claim then they probably shouldn't be vomiting it out like truth.

As for the stuff about statistics, yeah, and if they're actually poorly constructed you point it out. What, are we supposed to say "Oh there's bad statistics... therefore you can never trust statistics!"? It sure doesn't mean that there should be a lower burden of proof.

Also, a lack of courtesy and open-mindedness. You don't like the fact that people are frequently pig-headed and stubborn, refusing to acknowledge legitimate points you present, blindly clinging to their side just as much out of pride as out of reason? You wish they'd just shut up and acknowledge that they just might be wrong? Then you need to do the same. Even if you aren't willing to compromise your position, at least try to understand the motivations behind the opposing arguments instead of just labelling them as 'stupid' or 'wrong.'

You can know they're stupid and wrong while understanding them. They're not mutually exclusive.

Finally, I wish people would understand how you get people to change positions on an issue. This is related to the previous point, but I feel it is something that needs to be stressed. You acknowledge their points, explain your own and your reasoning behind them, and point out (politely) the flaws in their own reasoning. You need to be willing to compromise and accept small victories, even if it means ceding some of your own ground. You have to recognize that people will only accept ideas if they feel they have come to accept them of their own free will.

You do not scream and rant and bash them over the head with your counterpoints and arguments until they throw themselves before you, admit they are wrong, and beg for your benevolent forgiveness, because people do not work like that.

Personally I don't value convincing them enough to treat them nicer than they deserve.

tippy2k2:
When people change your text in your quote and say "There, fixed it for you".

Seriously...I fucking lovethat and I have no clue why it pleasesme so much.

There , fixed that for you . :-)

Do you wanna be my friend?

OT : yeah i agree with OP , i hate when people do that . Another thing i hate is when you make a generalization and some says , well i'm not like that so it's not true . No shit sherlock , do you know what "in general" means? I mean really , people thing they are so damn special and everyone is like them .

krazykidd:

tippy2k2:
When people change your text in your quote and say "There, fixed it for you".

Seriously...I fucking love [sic] that and I have no clue why it pleases [sic] me so much.

There , fixed that for you . :-)

Do you wanna be my friend?

OT : yeah i agree with OP , i hate when people do that . Another thing i hate is when you make a generalization and some says , well i'm not like that so it's not true . No shit sherlock , do you know what "in general" means? I mean really , people thing they are so damn special and everyone is like them .

Damn it, I knew I was setting myself up for that but I had to post it anyway...

This one person gets to do the joke! He gets a pass for being the first person to do it but the second person will get my wrath...(which is basically just me pouting in the corner and I hope that it makes you feel bad).

Personally there's a few things that bother me in particular.

Acting as if both sides the argument are equally worthy of respect and both have valid points. Sometimes that's true, sometimes it isn't. But to decide whether it's the case or not you need to actually make an argument for it, not jump straight to assuming it. Like when it comes to creationism bullshit. Some arguments just don't deserve respect.

And uh... wow I started this like half an hour ago and got distracted. So I forgot the rest. Maybe I'll add more later.

Just gonna give this a snipper here, since this is one thread where you don't want to piss off people with an overly long post:p

Well, alright, I'll be honest, my opinions of when sources should or should not be demanded is vague, since it's kind of a hazy subject for me. True, you don't want people making stuff up every other line, but at the same time an opinion on a forum probably shouldn't be treated like an academic paper.

Hence my 'just.' If you take the time to understand what they are trying to say, and still disagree, that's fine, you did make the effort. But I find that arguments tend to come to a complete stalemate when both sides are convinced that the other only thinks what they think because they are stupid, rather than simply having different reasoning or values behind said decision.

Then, if I might ask, why do you debate? To prove the superiority of your argument? That seems a somewhat shallow victory. Personally, I debate for two reasons: To learn, and to bring people to understand, and possibly even agree with, my own point of view. Being offensive or rude accomplishes neither of these things (heck, if anything, I may end up having Inoculation Theory bite me in the backside and end up strengthening the views I was opposing).

I honestly don't like when I'm quoted and someone makes an assertion about the opinion I just expressed even though that very thing they quoted indicates quite clearly something else. e.g. The statement "I hate the color red but purple is okay" being used as part of a response wherein the replier says something of the effect of "you must also hate colors derived from red".

Snipping my posts so I have no idea what, precisely they are responding to.

Cherry picking one part of a multi-part argument and acting as if that alone is the basis of my entire existence.

Makes absolutist, unqualified statements without any sources, then continues to hold to the same position when credible sources proving the exact opposite of his position are provided.

Namecalling

Hides behind 'It's just my opinion'.

Disagrees with me ;)

I don't really think it's even the standards of an academic paper. It's just that sometimes people will throw around their personal experiences and expect those to be taken as gospel truth. If I'm disagreeing then obviously I don't feel my personal experiences point to the same conclusion or are insufficient. And in such a stalemate they should provide something better than their personal experience. What else is there to do when people disagree on that matter?

Well sometimes they just are being stupid. Not all reasoning is equal. Different values, not much can be done about those though.

I care somewhat, just not enough to give bad arguments more respect than they deserve. Also I don't think certain things should go unopposed, even if I don't convince someone. Like racism and sexism.

senordesol:

Hides behind 'It's just my opinion'.

Oh! This is one of the things I was going to say and forgot to mention. Just because it's an opinion doesn't mean that it isn't wrong or is immune from criticism.

In that same line of thinking, people who go on about others trying to shove their opinion down their throat. It's a bunch of words, no one is forcing anything on them. They generally just have no real retort to give. It's just a cop out.

So many straw man arguments and dismissals. I don't debate in forums because I honestly don't care enough to go beyond 3 volleys of quotes.

I would say the worst is when one debater attempts to draw a connection between (pick one: pedophilia, facism, sexism) and the topic at hand when it doesn't exist to strengthen their hand. Whenever someone pulls that crap I just stop reading.

OneCatch :

Fappy:

So yeah, anyone else have any forum posting pet-peeves like this?

The breaking up a post thing I don't mind if it's done sensibly, but if it's a long debate I tend to put them all back together every few posts so as to try not to lose track.

The thing I *really* don't like is when someone only quotes part of your argument in order to change the implication or meaning of it (Snipping down to the relevant bit I have no problem with), and then responds to that changed argument rather than the one you made.
Anything else is pretty much fair game as far as I'm concerned!

P.S. What about adding "Bad habits that you know you have" to the OP?

I can go wild then. I've already started my list:

1, Making annoying suggestions to change the OP
2, ....

If I wasn't a lazy fuck I would update the OP with some of this stuff. Keep them coming and I may feel inclined to do so :P

Also, I am waiting for a pro troll to come in here, quote some people and display everything we are complaining about. XP

Mortai Gravesend:

I don't really think it's even the standards of an academic paper. It's just that sometimes people will throw around their personal experiences and expect those to be taken as gospel truth. If I'm disagreeing then obviously I don't feel my personal experiences point to the same conclusion or are insufficient. And in such a stalemate they should provide something better than their personal experience. What else is there to do when people disagree on that matter?

Well sometimes they just are being stupid. Not all reasoning is equal. Different values, not much can be done about those though.

I care somewhat, just not enough to give bad arguments more respect than they deserve. Also I don't think certain things should go unopposed, even if I don't convince someone. Like racism and sexism.

What witchcraft is this? You click on spoilers . . . and there are spoilers within them? [insert Inception or Xzibit meme reference here if you so choose]

Well, I'm gonna tackle these all at once. I agree with you in part on the sources issue, but I think that A) logic and reasoning can still be sufficient in most debates, as long as you have sound reasons behind your claims and B) while sources are indeed necessary, I feel they can be overused. I don't want source requests to be removed completely, maybe just become less frequent.

For the second point, I think we both approach the issue from opposite sides, but with the same general result. Your mindset, at least from what I can gather, seems to be one of "Your opinion must earn my respect with sound logic, reasoning statistics, data etc." while my own is more along the lines of "I will give your opinion my respect, but unless you can substantiate it with logic, reason, stats, data etc., you will lose that same respect rather quickly." Either way, if the reasoning doesn't hold up, neither of us will accept the argument.

And finally, I do agree that some things need to be stood up against, although I usually don't bother standing up against a racist or sexist argument on the internet because a few dozen to hundred people have probably just done it for me (although obviously I would if nobody else did). Also, that's what my Fox Nation profile is for :P

I'm gonna go ahead and stop replying to these now, because I think we're both the chatty kind and might end up clogging up the thread (oh, yeah, there's another thing that bugs me: when two to three guys manage to clog up a thread between them. Double my annoyance if they neglect to use spoiler tags to cut down the post sizes). If you have more objections or points to raise, I'd be happy to PM, but I try to limit myself to a handful of posts per thread. Ciao :)

"sorry..but x is shit"

"sorry"?...what are you "sorry about? are you convinced that you've just ruined my day with your mind blowing argument? is that why youre apologising?

somtimes I have to stop myself from doing it though

tippy2k2:

krazykidd:

tippy2k2:
When people change your text in your quote and say "There, fixed it for you".

Seriously...I fucking love [sic] that and I have no clue why it pleases [sic] me so much.

There , fixed that for you . :-)

Do you wanna be my friend?

OT : yeah i agree with OP , i hate when people do that . Another thing i hate is when you make a generalization and some says , well i'm not like that so it's not true . No shit sherlock , do you know what "in general" means? I mean really , people thing they are so damn special and everyone is like them .

Damn it, I knew I was setting myself up for that but I had to post it anyway...

Everybody gets to do the joke! You all get a pass for not being the first person to do it but the second person will get my cookies...(which is basically just me cooking in the corner and I hope that it makes you feel good).

There, fixed that for ya brah!

Just kidding, please don't hurt me

Fappy:

OneCatch :

Fappy:

So yeah, anyone else have any forum posting pet-peeves like this?

The breaking up a post thing I don't mind if it's done sensibly, but if it's a long debate I tend to put them all back together every few posts so as to try not to lose track.

The thing I *really* don't like is when someone only quotes part of your argument in order to change the implication or meaning of it (Snipping down to the relevant bit I have no problem with), and then responds to that changed argument rather than the one you made.
Anything else is pretty much fair game as far as I'm concerned!

P.S. What about adding "Bad habits that you know you have" to the OP?

I can go wild then. I've already started my list:

1, Making annoying suggestions to change the OP
2, ....

If I wasn't a lazy fuck I would update the OP with some of this stuff. Keep them coming and I may feel inclined to do so :P

Also, I am waiting for a pro troll to come in here, quote some people and display everything we are complaining about. XP

I'm just gonna bookmark this thread, and then hit you all with it next time you post. All according my nefarious plan....

image

Fappy:
Are there any behaviors that really piss you off or catch you flatfooted when you encounter them in a forum-based debate? Obviously most of us would agree that shallow points coupled by poor grammar/spelling is always annoying, but I want to address problems that stem from conscious decisions in the way people post.

While it can be useful at times I find that I really, really hate when people quote me and pick my post apart piece by piece by splitting up the quote. I understand some may like having the ability to clearly argue different points separate from the larger argument but in many cases one of the following will happen:

1. Some of the counterpoints are brief quips that are either purely dismissive or borderline trolling in nature
2. It can break the argument up too much so that certain points are missed entirely and you are no longer arguing about the same thing
3. When done in excess it can be quite jarring on the senses and can make counter arguments more difficult to construct due to the format butchering of your argument

So yeah, anyone else have any forum posting pet-peeves like this?

If someone takes this OP apart I will be very cross >:(

When someone makes an obviously controversial point on the first page of a topic, and then 9 pages later makes a post saying "I already retracted my comment in an earlier post" then instead of just updating their first post to reflect this, they angrily demand that people stop quoting them and to go back and look at their "I already retracted my comment in an earlier post" post

People that take everything far too seriously.

I very rarely make a serious post so most of them are poking fun at something and some muppet quotes me with a serious retort to a comment I made that was obvious to the blind was done in jest.

In forum debates, I find I have to say, "I did not say that," a whole lot because people think the things I say mean something other than what they say. I'm annoyed enough by it to be unfair and assume it's because they're projecting their own prejudices onto my voice instead of actually listening to it.

tippy2k2:
When people change your text in your quote and say "There, fixed it for you".

Seriously...I fucking hate that and I have no clue why it bothers me so much.

I completely agree. I think it's because it indicates a complete lack of respect for what you were trying to get across.

My own biggest peeve is the people who are generally condescending throughout the debate. I'm not sure what causes them to behave this way, but I seriously doubt they can talk to people like that in real life and not get punched in the face.

Close second are the people who believe that cursing a lot will make you sound smarter, more mature, cover up the fact they haven't a clue what they're talking about, etc. Personally, I never curse, but that's my own decision and I'm fine with people that don't agree with that. However, these people are abusing the language, and it really peeves me, especially when they use their cursing to compensate for how badly they're losing the argument.

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