Freezing Forum Topics That Degenerate into Personal Attacks


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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 7, 2015 - 04:47pm PT
Dear Forum,

We have added a new administrative policy: freezing threads that have devolved mostly into personal attacks. These threads will exist on the site so that earlier posts can live on. But nobody will be able to post to a frozen thread in the future.

Why are we doing this?

We’ve noticed most of the personal attacks on the site come from just a handful of people in just a handful of threads. Most often, these are threads which were off-topic to begin with, but which over time deteriorated into largely political debates. Once politicized, these threads then seem to degrade further into personal attacks. We simply don't want to host these kinds of discussions (despite their popularity), and thus we'd ask you to: a) please refrain from starting politically oriented threads on SuperTopo, and b) don't be surprised if a thread which has become infected with personal attacks is locked to prevent further discussion. While occasionally it is appropriate to delete posters and threads, we prefer not to do this. Hopefully freezing threads that devolve into personal attacks will help with an ongoing effort to keep the forum a friendly and informative resource for climbers of all ages and interests.

Thank you,

Gnome Ofthe Diabase

Out Of Bed
Apr 7, 2015 - 04:55pm PT
Thank You for the Heads Up I hope that those on thin Ice know [Click to View YouTube Video]Thank You for an adult solution to the second puberty that seems to take hold of the 'Polotard' set.
Political derisiveness has no place here, You are so right! Thanx again.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Apr 7, 2015 - 05:01pm PT
Sounds like a good idea, Chris. Other forums would do well to follow your example.

If politics are important in your life then get involved personally and make a difference in this world. Develope a plan, get out there and do something to help the planet and it's inhabitants.

Personal attacks rip at the heart of community and campfire and should be avoided at all cost. imho of course.

Cheers, lynnie

Apr 7, 2015 - 05:27pm PT
thank you, it is about time.

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Apr 7, 2015 - 05:35pm PT
Chris, you're a socialist libertarian jerk face and you have bad personal opinions!

Let's see if this freezing thing works.

(PS great idea and thanks for hosting this site, it's a great resource)
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Apr 7, 2015 - 06:03pm PT
"We’ve noticed most of the personal attacks on the site come from just a handful of people"

I don't get it.

Chris - why don't you just BAN the handful??

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Apr 7, 2015 - 06:04pm PT
Good policy. Ad hominen attacks are the weapon of people who don't have reasonable, factual, evidentiary arguments to offer.

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Apr 7, 2015 - 06:17pm PT
Great policy choice, Gentlemen!

Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Apr 7, 2015 - 06:21pm PT
Support this 100%. Begs this question for me, though:

"why don't you just BAN the handful??"

Well, I'll be damned. The infamous 'Republicans' thread is locked tighter than a drum. Wow!

Trad climber
Erik O. Auburn, CA
Apr 7, 2015 - 06:22pm PT
Yay! Thank you ST gods!

Apr 7, 2015 - 06:30pm PT
Good policy. Ad hominen attacks are the weapon of people who don't have reasonable, factual, evidentiary arguments to offer.

Yes indeed, thank you. Probably one of the primary reasons why many people have left the ST forum.

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Apr 7, 2015 - 06:32pm PT
why don't you just BAN the handful??

They come back. Banning doesn't work

Social climber
Apr 7, 2015 - 06:34pm PT
hey there say, chris... sounds good...

i have seen this used at one of the EPILEPSY WEBSITES... (though on rare occasions) (however, that may have changed, since the site was upgraded, and i don't get over, there, and perhaps they have had to use it more, i don't know)...

*THEY preferred, too, to LEAVE the thread, as, there was good info, in them to help others, but they wanted any 'rot' to be stopped, that was 'polluting' it/them, due to 'over-critical' derogatory attacks on the way that some folks handle seizures, etc,

(though they/epilepsy awareness websites, want things to get better, in the schools and business world, etc, they DO NOT want those that are seeking change, to make it turn into situations of ugly opinions, etc, where NO ONE will give 'those wanting betterment' a chance to plead their cause)...

*they, too, were trying NOT to ban folks, as, many times folks were just frustrated as to ONE specific issue, but, they still wanted to share, and get support for their children, families, or learn what their legal help was, etc, by asking for information from others on the forum, etc...

not sure, but when i was there more often, i think they only considered banning one person, as, the person showed up in all the threads and had no sound reasoning as to 'tearing everyones':
solutions, etc, or medication and doctors, treatment, etc, APART... :(

though, obviously, there were VERY MANY serious accounts of wrong situations that parents HAD run into, as to medication and treatment for their kids...
or themselves, :(
edit--they just want good solid, stable ways, as those are what will really get the 'foot in the door' to real changes...

thank you chris, for keeping your supertopo, here for us,
through all these years...

godbless, and wishing you more good years... especially as many new climbers grow, and need these experienced folks to STILL guide the
way into more 'new ground' upwards, and more stories of experience to
either share for NEEDS or just plain ol' fun...

Trad climber
Apr 7, 2015 - 07:05pm PT
I prefer climbing related topics, that's why I'm here.

Good move

Big Wall climber
Apr 7, 2015 - 07:07pm PT
Good on you Cmac!

I remember when the front page topics stood still for days or weeks..


Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Apr 7, 2015 - 07:09pm PT
Looks like the posters need to encrypt personal attacks to keep CMac out of the loop...? What happened to all the fun in the world...
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Apr 7, 2015 - 07:11pm PT
I went to post about a new study of Canadian glacier retreat and the future projections to the Climate Thread and found that the "Reply" button no longer existed.

Too bad. It is a paper, in Nature Geoscience, which addresses the central issues raised in that thread, and in a way pertinent to climbing.

While I have believed that I largely refrained from using personal attacks in my posts to that thread, I understand that some who objected to my posts might have thought otherwise. Certainly I had been subject to personal attacks there, but it was my choice to continue to post information and engage in discussions taking the high road.

Shutting down a topic provides a means for some who object to a particular thread to stop discussions about the thread, if the "degenerating to personal attack" criteria is applied generally. This has the effect of stifling the discussion of topics which might be difficult, but important, for the members of this forum to engage in.

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Apr 7, 2015 - 07:17pm PT
Upon further consideration, what I like about this move is that it is not a cave-in to the tab-afficianados, nor is it a heavy-handed moderation of the forum.

It is simply a solution to a few people that just don't get it.

Apr 7, 2015 - 07:23pm PT
I 100% agree with Ed H and Moosedrool.

Also to shutdown the climate thread is a big big big mistake.

You have some real quality posters in there keep the subject matter up to date that is very difficult to get in that form.

Just sterilize and neuter your forum so that it remains white washed, watered down until you have nothing left but glazed eyed climbing zombies.

Oh oh .... I'm toast now .....

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
Apr 7, 2015 - 07:26pm PT
I can't believe I am saying this (and I hope this comment doesn't get this thread locked down), but I agree completely with what Werner said.

Ed H said it better though :)
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