Excellent article about how to argue online

Innula Zenovka

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When people refuse to act in good faith, changing goalposts, I ignore them. I rarely let them know I've ignored them to avoid thread drama.
I don't argue in Twitter very often, but in places where I do argue, if someone starts trying to change the goalposts or anything like, I politely point out to them what they are doing, firmly put the goalposts back where they should be, and restate my point even more clearly.

They don't normally pursue the argument that long once they realise I'm not so easily distracted or deflected.
 

detrius

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I have a bunch of txt-files in my desktop folder where I wrote elaborate responses to posts that seriously pissed me off, often because some poster misstated my position or flat-out made things up.

But then I just thought "fuck it" and moved on.
 
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Myficals

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But then I just thought "fuck it" and moved on.
A test I regularly apply to my posting is that after I've written out a reply, I ask myself "do you think anyone else really gives a fuck?"

That's probably saved me a whole lot of arguments over the years.
 

Kamilah Hauptmann

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Ignore function helps too when it comes to that magic personality combo that would ordinarily make me come right uncunted. It hides threads hy those posters though, also hides quotes which can leave some replies looking rather Dadaist.

Clearing the ignore list every so often feels a good faith thing to do as well, even though my short list has been so honed over the years it usually ends up right back as it was within a week. Mileage may vary.
 

Tigger

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I have a bunch of txt-files in my desktop folder where I wrote elaborate responses to posts that seriously pissed me off, often because some poster misstated my position or flat-out made things up.

But then I just thought "fuck it" and moved on.
Very long replies are excellent ways to prevent you posting in anger. By the time you've done researching, formatting, spell checking, you've burned up most of your anger. "Go fuck yourself" may be more satisfying to post but it doesn't help your own self image much.

As an aside, twitter can actually be useful, complaining very publicly to corporate twitter accounts can get you way more response than going through helplines and more conventional channels
 

Brenda Archer

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I’m on Twitter, mostly as a way to keep up with the headspace of the Left. My feed, as set up, is still less offensive than corporate TV news.

But it’s obvious some right wing posters easily resort to the same gaslighting techniques as abusers and bullies. I will engage them if I think they might derail a good thread someone has given thought to. Mostly, all I have to do is show them how they are gaslighting. It doesn’t work if you can see it.

This is because trying to argue with a gaslighter’s misdirections and ad hominems is walking into his carefully set trap. I stay meta and address the gaslighting rather than try to get a discussion going. It works well enough because right wing gaslighters are very predictable.
 

Brenda Archer

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Edit to add: I realize this technique can look pretty aggressive to a bystander who doesn’t see the gaslighting. They just see my refusal to validate the misdirections and ad hominems. People can think you’re mean if you refuse to soothe what is presented as hurt feelings. But this kind of “hurt feelings” is a gaslighting technique. It’s dishonest.
 

Ashiri

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Just wanted to add something about game forums and Discourse (software).
Blizzard (and CCP) use Discourse for forum software and by design it doesn't allow for ignoring posters. This has led to a rather nasty environment in the case of the WoW forums.
 
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GoblinCampFollower

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Edit to add: I realize this technique can look pretty aggressive to a bystander who doesn’t see the gaslighting. They just see my refusal to validate the misdirections and ad hominems. People can think you’re mean if you refuse to soothe what is presented as hurt feelings. But this kind of “hurt feelings” is a gaslighting technique. It’s dishonest.
I think that if their bad intentions aren't clear, it often makes sense to just keep asking clarifying questions until it's more exposed.
 

detrius

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Very long replies are excellent ways to prevent you posting in anger. By the time you've done researching, formatting, spell checking, you've burned up most of your anger. "Go fuck yourself" may be more satisfying to post but it doesn't help your own self image much.

As an aside, twitter can actually be useful, complaining very publicly to corporate twitter accounts can get you way more response than going through helplines and more conventional channels
It's funny how many of my old drafts start with the words "Fuck you Jahar". 😁
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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Just wanted to add something about game forums and Discourse (software).
Blizzard (and CCP) use Discourse for forum software and by design it doesn't allow for ignoring posters. This has led to a rather nasty environment in the case of the WoW forums.
That's true, because the author of Discourse is quite opinionated about certain features.

One is for example, that downvoting is bad and therefore it's not in Discourse at all. He thinks that it's easy to downvote something out of fun/if you disagree, but there's a much harder threshold to upvote something. So for him upvotes are far more valuable than downvotes, and downvotes lead only to toxicity.

Discourse has a feature, which compresses a thread by only showing upvoted posts. The author thinks that negative people never will receive upvotes, or much; so people should just read the compressed version instead. That's why there's no ignore.

And this feature has been demanded since ages, but it just falls on deaf ears.