Author Topic: Debate section?  (Read 5057 times)

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Offline Furlong

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Debate section?
« on: March 05, 2009, 01:36:27 pm »
I was thinking with the number of debates that can rise out of the polling booth and general non-furry discussion, that perhaps a debate section might be in order?
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Offline Kay Alett

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2009, 02:35:17 pm »
A debate section would be cool, but it would require heavy monitoring by staff to make sure thing stay civil. Even more monitoring than the regualr boards.
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Offline Kobuk

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2009, 03:08:50 pm »
Kaloyan is correct. A debate forum might be nice, but it would devolve into flaming VERY fast and require lots of moderation. A forum just for controversial subjects has been brought up before in the past and always turned down. An example would be this past thread:
http://forums.furtopia.org/index.php/topic,29164.0.html
If members wish to discuss controversial and debateable topics, they'll have to seek out specific political, religious, etc. forums or follow the advice here:
http://forums.furtopia.org/index.php/topic,31933.0.html
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Offline RedneckFur

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2009, 12:11:58 pm »
Personally, I think it should be given a chance on the fourm.  I mean sure, flaming can happen, but theres only so much you can say about scritching and fuzzy things before it just gets old.  I'm sure all of us long time members have noticed a slow down in traffic and to an extent, a stagnation of conversation.  You can only re-hash the same old things so many times.  How many times can ya tell the same old story about how you found furry before it just makes a feel ill?

Let us talk about current events, and conroversial subjects.  Those too immature to particpate can be kept out just like they're kept out of the adult section.

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Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2009, 09:03:38 pm »
I could go either way on having a debate only section. While I like a good debate, after a while, I kinda get burned out. Usually just one active thread now and then is enough for me as they currently pop up. I understand it would be yet one more thing to moderate, but I agree with Redneck. If any staff are on the fence about it, you could make it a non-public section where you have to ask for permission similar to the adult section. I'm not suggesting that it be an adult oriented section, but making a page that you have to go through acknowledging understanding of the rules as they relate to debates. And if someone repeatedly disobeyes them, then they would have their access removed.
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Offline Hayaikawa

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2009, 09:47:07 pm »
I say we try it out, ya gotta have some faith in the members of this forum to stay civil.
 But I think an idea of having a 3rd section apart form the main, and adult where people who have proven to talk about controversial topics go go and talk about the big questions, and be able to have civil conversation about them.

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Offline KiyoshiAkita

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2009, 06:26:22 am »
Exclusivity will surely keep a debate civilized. Perhaps there may be no admittance to members not regarded as seniors, i.e. having joined the community after a determined date. If a person is an adult having been able to exist within the community for a significant amount of time then they probably aren't likely to be troublemakers. Fires might erupt, but heat is a part of debate and should be appreciated by those admitted to the debate club. Debate is not for everybody, nor should it be. We have all witnessed a good debate derail because of one or a few sour players who reach an emotional height of personal distaste for others' points of view. Members who are mature enough to handle disagreement and criticism in stride should be granted the privilege to enjoy a debate.
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Offline Kobuk

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2009, 10:33:44 pm »
Sorry for taking so long on this, folks. After much discussion by the staff, we have decided not to have a debate forum. I'm sorry. But we tend to feel that if there was a debate forum, it would need massive amounts of moderation, and it would devolve into too much bickering and flaming, etc. And it could create ill will and hard feelings among members.
If Furtopian members wish to discuss controversial and debateable subjects, then you'll simply have to follow the guidelines as mentioned here:
http://forums.furtopia.org/index.php/topic,31932.0.html
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Offline RedneckFur

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2009, 02:24:08 pm »
There is a problem with the current model though.  The way debates are currently conducted on Furtopia, somone can come in and purposely act butthurt about a subject and get the thread closed, if its something they dont want to discuss.  We've all seen it happen. It ruins the forum exerience for everyone else who can be level-headed and have an intelegent debate.

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Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2009, 03:07:03 pm »
Good point Redneck. Perhaps we could change the current policy? If the thread is being mostly civil and well handled, then if someone wants to complain about being offended or something, they should just politely leave the debate? There is an unsubscribe option for thread watching, and I agree we shouldn't let one person's feelings dictate an entire thread like that.
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Offline Ulquiorra Schiffer

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2009, 04:38:02 pm »
Debate section could be a good or a bad thing.Most debate section over on other forums are flame wars.But it's a double edged sword eh?

Offline TCD

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2009, 09:49:31 am »
Honestly, staff, I don't think you're giving us as members enough credit. Yes, I've seen some debates here turn nasty. However, I don't believe these few debates warrant heavy-handed moderation that you claim it will take.

I'm on another forum where political discussion is BANNED because this particular forum has proven time and time again that they cannot discuss politics. It always always ALWAYS devolves into flame wars and personal attacks. It is refreshing to come here and read political/religious discussion here, because eventually and more often than not it comes down to "I believe you're wrong, but I can dig that and can agree to disagree."  Yes, we have our moments, but it's because we're human behind the keyboard and it happens.

I believe in giving people a chance, and quite frankly I feel that that is not what is going on here.

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Offline Kobuk

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2009, 04:53:55 pm »
TCD, I'm not sure why you decided to post now, but I'm afraid the staff have already made their decisions not to have a debate section/forum as I mentioned up above in Post #7.
As I've already mentioned in a link in one of my posts, Furtopia does NOT ban nor discourage the discussion of debateable and controversial subjects. Members are still allowed to discuss issues like abortion, gun control, etc., etc., etc. from time to time.
I am sorry if some topics have to be removed or locked. But it's not because the staff are getting strict or do not want the discussion to continue. It's because a "few bad apples had to spoil things for the rest of the bunch" so to speak. And when that happens, it becomes unavoidably necessary to put warnings in and/or lock the topic "depending on how that thread is being discussed and how the members are behaving".
Do you honestly think I or the other staff enjoy putting warnings in and/or locking topics? I know I don't. Granted, I would love to debate stuff just as much as the next person. But don't you think that name calling, bashing, flaming, and baiting of members is not needed or warranted in such threads? Most of us here are adults and should be able to hold a mature and intelligent discussion without all the drama and childish/immature insults and tirades. Stuff like that is better left to our childhood days when we were young and fighting in the sandbox at school.  :P As I've always said, if someone or something bothers someone, then please take it to IM, PM, or email. There's no reason to drag a topic "off topic" into pointless flaming and bashing, etc. It just wastes time and thread space.

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Offline TCD

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2009, 08:56:29 pm »
I wasn't paying attention to the post date, I suppose.

And as I said, I very rarely if ever have seen name calling and degeneration on this forum. If it's there, it's positively mild compared to what I have seen before.

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Offline Arbutus

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2009, 10:07:05 pm »
On the whole, I agree with you, TCD-- most people who participate in the debate threads manage to keep things surprisingly civil. However, keep in mind that the Furtopia staff is pretty hyperactive when it comes to moderating the forums, and we deal with problems very quickly. As a result, you guys don't see a lot of the worst instances of baiting, disrespecting other members, personal attacks, etc. I know, I know, this is an unfalsifiable claim, because I have no way of showing you the evidence. But trust me here.

There's a reason that we took over a month to decide on Furlong's question. I'm that reason. I was the holdout, because I wanted to explore whether there was any way to create a debate forum here without making our own lives miserable. But in the end, I decided against it. If anyone wants to continue the conversation, feel free to PM me.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2009, 11:17:51 pm by Arbutus »

Offline WhiteShepherd

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2009, 11:06:57 pm »
I agree a debate forum may be good if users treat ti with respect.  Our users overall tend to treat each other with respect during heated topics.  Perhaps if enough of you are interested in this we could do a 30 day trial.  I've decided I'll discuss it with the mods again.

I agree too with you Redneck as a bad egg should not be allowed to kill a thread.  Perhaps our first debate should be what would be good rules for this new forum "if" we try it?
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Offline Furlong

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2009, 04:02:35 pm »
That sounds like a good idea. 

I know I would propose two major rules for the section.

1) What is discussed in the debate section stays there. Members should not bring up the opinions of others in forums outside of it

2) Perhaps like the adult section, certain requirements should be needed, such as having a minimum number of posts and being registered for a certain length of time


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Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2009, 05:50:38 pm »
Sounds good to me. I'd suggest that threads must remain on topic more so than they are required now, only allowing a side bar if using as an example that can be related to the topic at hand. I.E. an analogous reference to help people understand a point. And a more strict following of the anti-flame rules. If you're caught being derrogitory towards another member, you're removed from the debate section. I would make sure that the mod(s) assigned to that section understand that it's not always a snap judgement and I wouldn't want someone punished because a thread just got heated but still remained civil and on topic. And as a side note, put it in the rules that advises the members that it can be a heated board and they will find topics/opinions that may make them feel uncomfortable and that it's up to THEM to decide if they are mature enough to handle such things and to remove themselves if they find the section is getting to be too much for them to handle. There's nothing wrong stepping down if you are having trouble getting your point across or defending your views. I've been there myself where it makes sense in my head, but I can't think of a way to explain to others the right way.
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Offline Mianame

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2009, 01:16:34 pm »
One rule that might help govern the not closing a thread immediately could be a "three strikes you're out" kind of deal. Let's say someone steps out of line and goes for a personal attack. Maybe in the rules you could put something to tell people to ignore personal attacks and a mod can jump in to tell that person that it's strike one. If they do it three times(either per thread or overall) the thread gets shut down.

But in hind sight that might give someone the ability to make mods shut down every thread they don't want running..Maybe they just get kicked out of the debate forum altogether?

Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2009, 02:52:38 pm »
If it's just one or two people in a thread, I say we just put the 3 strike rule on them and not the thread if everyone else is keeping to the rules. And if the person behaves for a while and being productive in the threads, then I'd suggest a way for them to have marks removed. Kinda like how things are/were on the site in general when dealing with marks against you.
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Offline Furlong

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2009, 03:40:04 pm »
Narei, just to clarify, would you mean that the mod for the section would have the ability to ban members from that section for a length of time? 

I ask because I have seen a system like that on other forums, and it seems to work well

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Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2009, 05:34:13 pm »
Good question, Furlong, but I think that's a decision best left up to the staff on how it'd be handled. If I had to hazard a guess, I think it'd work like it does with the adult forums when dealing with discipline (though I've yet to see it needed, so I don't even know how that works. lol). It may be a case where the offence(s) are reported and the staff votes on how to deal with it if it's a problem, but I think I'd be ok with whatever policy the staff comes up with in regards to your question. If they decided to give the debate ban power to a mod (but not total forum banning of course), that's fine by me.

That does bring up a curiosity of my own. Any idea if the staff, or at least the one(s) over any debate section, would be allowed to debate as well or just observe and hold their tounges? I don't have an opinion on that really, just wondering.
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Offline Arbutus

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2009, 06:25:12 pm »
That does bring up a curiosity of my own. Any idea if the staff, or at least the one(s) over any debate section, would be allowed to debate as well or just observe and hold their tounges? I don't have an opinion on that really, just wondering.

Well, I certainly would. I don't know about everyone else. :D

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. Keep 'em coming. We're not technically done voting yet, but I'll respond to some things once we finish.

Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2009, 06:35:34 pm »
That does bring up a curiosity of my own. Any idea if the staff, or at least the one(s) over any debate section, would be allowed to debate as well or just observe and hold their tounges? I don't have an opinion on that really, just wondering.
Well, I certainly would. I don't know about everyone else. :D
Cool. I don't recall seeing many staff actively participating in various debates and heated topics, so I didn't know if it was kind of discouraged or just you guys doing it on your own to try and remain neutral. :)
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Offline Kobuk

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Re: Debate section?
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2009, 07:28:28 pm »
I usually don't participate in debates cause I really don't know enough about the subject matter to make an informed opinion. I'm usually just content to sit back and read everyone else's posts.
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