Online debate etiquette .

Charlie - posted on 05/02/2010 ( 42 moms have responded )

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We all get very passionate at times when debating subjects close to our hearts but what is debate ?



What etiquette should we follow on an online forum ?



Should posts and opinion be backed up with facts ?



What is your understanding of online debate ?



Here is the definition of debate :Debate or debating is a formal method of interactive and representational argument. Debate is a broad form of argument . Though logical consistency, factual accuracy and some degree of emotional appeal to the audience are important elements of the art of persuasion, in debating, one side often prevails over the other side by presenting a superior "context" and/or framework of the issue, which is far more subtle and strategic.



Here are some of my own thoughts on etiquette :

if a person wants to argue or debate, she must have their facts straight and not mixed up with generalisations or hearsay.



attack the idea, not the person , unfortunately some people cannot differentiate between the two , unfortunately online, (and in real life) many people perceive an attack on their ideas or premise as an attack on them personally. Finding, and using a weakness in one's argument is a key debate tactic - that usually makes the less experienced debater's heads explode , if you do not know the difference for the love of green apples ( thanks Krista ) LEARN .





People may insult you or your viewpoint Opinions are like assholes , everybody has one. Look at it all from a distance and keep a passive attitude at all costs.



Retaliation with words is rarely a good move, but I believe there is a time to defend yourself harshly. If it is an extremely offensive remark, let the admins know. If they do nothing, get over it, it’s not your forum. You can always leave.



There are people who refuse to understand or admit they do not understand debate on every forum, learn who they are as fast as possible and then take them with a grain of salt , no effort made on their part to learn means no effort in reading their posts .



Try to say more positive things than negative things. All humans want to be around positive energy. The best way to make friends off or online is to do things for them, make their day better because they talked to you.



If the conversation gets to you physically it’s time for a walk, ie; increased heartbeat, irritability, etc.





Read the message, but don't respond right away. Sometimes when we are angry, we misunderstand what a person really means. Go to another site, or go away from the computer for a few minutes or hours. Listen to your favorite music, or watch a funny show. When you've calmed down, go back and try to re-read the message calmly.



After you have re-read the message calmly, if you want to respond, do so. Try your best not to sound angry.



After you have typed your message, leave it for a minute or two before you hit send. Read what you have said and see how it sounds.



Again and this is SO important , try not to take things personally. Let it roll.



If you insult someone unintentionally, apologize.



And the most important thing to remember and possibly the one that bugs me the most , expecting everyone online to agree with you is unreasonable , debate includes discussions from two or more sides , dont like hearing opposing views ? then debate isnt for you , if you disagree with a person respond with a solid case on your "sides " behalf , dont throw cyber tantrums we are all mums and see enough of those in real life .



Does anyone have anything to add to that or perhaps you would like to debate my ideas , feel free we can all learn from each other .

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Charlie - posted on 07/30/2010

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Personal attack is not only against the entire sites guidelines for which all moderators follow using personal attacks in debate really just makes the poster of the attack look childish and unable to engage in real debate it shows a lack of basic debate comprehension and ignorance , thats not what this site or this community is about , we want adult debate using opinions and facts not high school bitching .

There is a difference between opinion , judging ( there is a certain level of that in all threads ) and a personal attack people should really learn the difference .

Stifler's - posted on 07/30/2010

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All the good debates get shut down, it's bull. So what if people attack each other? Isn't that the fun of these forum thingies anyway? People can't take being judged and they only make posts so that everyone will tell them they are a great mum then pull the "don't judge me you don't know me" card when people disagree on something.

Amy - posted on 09/02/2012

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Do not be afraid to ask questions to understand what is being said more clearly. Most people do not mind being asked for clarification. I'll tell you right now, I have no issues asking questions. I would rather understand things first before voicing my opinion. Do not be afraid of asking the person about the tone of a post. They may not realize how it sounds. In an online format, it is very easy to misconstrue a tone. I am very passionate about my opinions and a lot of times it comes through. But in no way do I ever intend to come across as attacking anyone. Sometimes reiterating what a person has said helps. Something like this: "My understanding of your opinion about (whatever topic) is this (what you think the person is saying). And if my understanding is correct (remember, you could have misunderstood) then this is my opinion." This way you are reinforcing what you are reading (though it might not be what the writer intended) and still voicing your opinion. It does usually work too!

Charné - posted on 07/20/2012

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I agree with Stiflers Mum and no brownie point are being scored for being the best mom. Parents just say all these things on websites to look and sound good and most of the time its not really who they are. I am not perfect but my kids are healthy and happy and they love me, if you dont respect my opinion it doesnt matter, coz I dont need approval of anyone to feel good about my parenting skills.
So moms relax, give your opinion but don't force it on people from different states, countries, cultures etc
If people think you are being a bad mom, then ask yourself why your kids are still with you and not child services, every one of you moms are doing a great job in your own way!

Sally - posted on 02/06/2012

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I am new to DM but I wanted to point out that when your reading something in text it can come across in the wrong way because you cannot see facial exspression or hear tone of voice. I think that its important to keep this in mind. I love this group.

42 Comments

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Jeanie - posted on 04/22/2014

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Thank you for this article .... I searched and read many but yours was the most helpful. I regularly post on a certain blog, freely, and by doing so have established blogger relationships with several there and the exchange is enjoyable. Today, I received a personal attack there with my name within the content of the comment. Needless to say, I was taken aback - to put it mildly. This person, I suspect, is a troll... and does not blogg often, but when previously leaving comments left me with a suspicion - an uneasiness - where most other bloggers are very easy to communicate with - this one has not been. Anyway, I immediately logged out... got online looking for a solution. I did not want to counter her attack --- that is not my style.... My style is more to back off. After reading your article, 3 hours after the fact, I apologized.. for what- I have no idea... I just stated that if I had offended, I wanted to apologize--- only because I had respected their opinion in the past (which is not true - but I was trying to diffuse the situation)... I also stated that expecting everyone to agree was unreasonable -- that if we don't agree or respect another post - it's best to just move on. I ended by citing a sourse for the article information under attack. I feel better. That is the last time I will respond to this blogger - never again.

Yellow - posted on 07/18/2013

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I totally agree with this! i feel that all readers and posters should be considerate and open minded towards anothers opinion. You do not have to necessarily agree to be courteous but you can always be respectful to ones opinion. I always keep in mind "treat others how I would want to be treated" that pretty much goes with my everyday perspective on how to handle most of my situations with people in general.

Darcy - posted on 05/15/2013

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This is an AWESOME idea for a community! I love people who don't shy away from a debate!

Kristi - posted on 06/03/2012

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Yah, I think I should have read this first, even though I already knew this from stragizing with lawyers...I just got kind of mean defending our country and our President. I'll try to slow my roll from now on. Because I do enjoy a good back n forth between adults. But when I feel somebody or something is being attacked/belittled unjustly and/or with malice I tend to jump in. I usually go firmly with sound ideas but then if they've exposed a weak spot, I jump on it. I can handle any personal attack, no worries. Mean people suck so when they step on the little guy and an opportunity presents itself for me to show them why mean people suck, I take it...even if we're on opposite sides of the debate. Sorry...

Sharlene - posted on 11/13/2011

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I think it's great we can debate about everyday issues, everone has there own mouth

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/18/2011

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If someone is grouping all people into the catergory: Lazy, uneducated, selfish and the reason that society is going to the dogs becuase of their 'wrong choice' is that considered an attack? Because I've run into a mom on a different forum who started doing that. She couldn't back up her 'debate' with facts and just insisted on insulting everyone who disagreed with her.

[deleted account]

Thank you for this forum. I will try my very best to stick with the rules. I will roll with it.



My mantra from now on: Don't go after me unless you want your (as Loureen put it) head to explode... FOFL! In a nice way of course!



Jessica, hang in there. Being a SMOM is NOT easy. I've been there. Let them have their opinions... you are not alone. You're opinion should be heard! Both sides to blended families are so important.

Jessica - posted on 02/03/2011

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I just joined COM earler today, I posted a simple wuestion in the welcome forum about an issue im having with my 8 yr pld step daughter and had 3 moms attack me for no reason :(.. is this really what this sites about? im so disappointed :(

[deleted account]

Not in "Debating Mums", nope! YOU GUYS ROCK! I can think of a few other communities where thread and comments just secretly go missing though.

Isobel - posted on 08/06/2010

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and sometimes offensive comments have been erased before you got the chance to see them...threads don't get shut down here very often.

Sarah - posted on 08/03/2010

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A few threads recently have been closed by the OP not by me or the mods. That's up to their discretion really. :)

[deleted account]

Ya, sometimes some communities (and I don't necessarily agree with this) close threads because they're more than 100 comments?!! Like Loureen said, check out the pinned threads in all your communities or start asking the mods specifically why something got closed if you don't agree.

Charlie - posted on 08/02/2010

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different communities close threads for different reasons there is usually a list at the top of most in pinned threads.

Stifler's - posted on 08/02/2010

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Well I've seen threads closed down when there's been no actual personal attacks and it's stupid we're all adults we can handle ourselves.

[deleted account]

I'm not at mod here but YES! A personal attack is when you're calling someone names, attacking their character etc.

Charlie - posted on 08/01/2010

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I would say an abusive or derogatory comment aimed at the persons character would be a personal attack , MODS would you agree ?

Stifler's - posted on 07/31/2010

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But what is a "personal attack" on here? As soon as someone says that something is rude or something it's deemed a personal attack.

Gina - posted on 06/24/2010

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thanks Loureen, very helpful. I love reading other ladies point of view, but some get a little crazy when someone doesn't agree with them. Lets hope they read this and listen!

Pamela - posted on 06/15/2010

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Excellent points and well taken. It's a good reminder not to always take what folks say personally.

Christina Marie - posted on 06/05/2010

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hahaha Oh dear. Well I know this has nothing to do with my post ;)
This is definitely a great idea Loureen.
Debates can get a tad bit out of hand!! I have learned this the hard way lol.

Charlie - posted on 06/05/2010

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Seeing as we have a number of new members on our beloved DEBATE community , just thought i would bump this up to the top so everyone gets a chance to read :)

[deleted account]

I always have but there's always gonna be people who feel like it's a personal attack so I've tried to refrain from using the word,
' abuse '.....it evokes A LOT of emotions and I've learned that it typically starts a fight! Unfortunately, that's how strongly I feel about the topic and it's difficult to get my point across without using that word! I wouldn't personally attack someone by calling them a child abuser unless I was willing to call Social Services on them......there is a difference and I can't change how I feel!

Thanks Jodi!

Jodi - posted on 05/05/2010

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As long as you present it as your opinion and not fact Dana, no, it isn't an attack :)

[deleted account]

PERFECT! So when I say ' spanking ' is a form of abuse I'm NOT calling you a ' child abuser ' ......it's not a personal attack! ;)

[deleted account]

Milk always tends to let down at the worst time!

And thanks Loureen! Your points are very valid and we all need to be reminded!

Caitlin - posted on 05/03/2010

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On bad days, it's a very bad idea to ask me about anything really.. I hate being stuck in school in the summer (okay, only 5 horus a week) but still, away form my girls. First class was today, and I was NOT a happy mama when my milk let down in the middle of class because my body decided it was time to feed the baby that wasn't there.. *sigh* Just another first day embarassement... as if having to explain to everyone about my hearing aids isn't bad enough..

Charlie - posted on 05/03/2010

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LOL Caitlin , i definitely think sometimes there are things in real life that make us a little more likely to be disagreeable when posting in debate forums , i know ive purposefully stayed away at times because i know i wont be pretty !

Caitlin - posted on 05/03/2010

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I disagree wholeheartedly! (just kdding) I'm in a disagreeable mood today, stupid summer semester keeping me indoors.

Charlie - posted on 05/02/2010

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Dammit i knew there was missing something , instead can it be "lil " green apples LOL.

I know i have been guilty at times and have apologized when appropriate , but i wont apologize for debating a topic !

Krista - posted on 05/02/2010

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It's "little" green apples. I find adding that "little" makes a big difference in the rhythm of the whole thing. ;-)

That is an excellent reminder though, Loureen. Sometimes it's too easy to just try to take chips off of someone, instead of focusing on arguing your viewpoint. If I've done so to anybody in the past, my apologies.

Johnny - posted on 05/02/2010

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Excellent Loureen. I think that we all forget these from time to time. Hopefully keeping this thread here can serve as a reminder to each of us.

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