Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Friday, February 14, 2014

QOTD: A Wretched Hive

The internet is an evil place full of jerks and idiots. You just can't give them uncontrolled freedom of expression.
Valve has come up with a tagging system on Steam, wherein players can, in theory, help categorize games with the goal of steering new players to games they might like. As you might have already guessed or heard, this has not gone well in practice. But that is not what this post is about. It's about keeping the discussion civil when you disagree with someone.

Thankfully, I am either too small potatoes or my audience is sufficiently mature that I don't think any discussion on this blog has degenerated into trolling. I often resist the urge to explain one more time why I feel my position on a topic is the correct one, because I realize that someone who has a deep-seated paradigm will not listen to me. The urge does get the better of me sometimes, as you, Dear Reader, can probably attest. I don't know if other bloggers I read suffer from trolls that I don't see because they are implementing Scalzi's Mallet of Loving Correction. But I am grateful to folks like Syncaine and Tobold who manage to keep the discussion on their  blogs civil, even when folks passionately disagree.

Because when you come here, you're in my home. And while I love a lively discussion over dinner, I don't feed trolls or bigots.
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  1. "this has not gone well in practice."

    Actually, given all of a day to shake out and the Steam Tags thing seems to be working pretty well. Put "quick to judge" on the list of our internet sins.

    As for trolls, I haven't had much problem in over seven years. But, then again, I don't often take pedantic or absolutist positions on things either. Or I try not to. I don't always succeed.

    I have only deleted one legitimate comment in that time (and I regretted it in hindsight, since the comment was meant as an insult put was actually kind of funny) and edited another one to summarize what I thought the author was attempting to say through a blinding haze of bile and profanity.

    But as you say, we may just be small potatoes in the vast stew that is the internet.

    1. That is good to hear. But is it because of judicious editing by Valve moderators? I don't know enough about Steam to make an assessment. I just wanted to give Tobold's comment some context. Thanks for the update. :)