- Mr. Bee
- 10 years ago
Hey guys. As many of you have noticed, there has been an increase lately in flamewars on the Weddingbee boards… much of it caused by a few patterns of behavior:
- Threadjacking: A thread often starts off focused on one topic. Then a few people will hijack the thread and it becomes a heated argument between a few angry posters.
- Outright Debates: A few members are starting a lot of threads focused on a highly controversial topic (i.e. no one is asking for advice, it’s just a controversial topic:strippers, the size of rings, money/budget, etiquette, religion). These threads quickly become a free for all.
These threads are definitely tricky to deal with. We delete personal attacks, which often helps. But some users have gotten really good at antagonizing others while avoiding personal attacks.
As a result, a number of threads are quickly becoming about a few people going back and forth. The discourse goes something like this: “I’m right, you’re wrong,” “Wait no, I’m right and you’re wrong so there.” *Commence mutual pushing and shoving* Then when we get a bunch of flags about all this, I’ll post on the threads and hear a chorus of, “That’s not fair, she started it!!!”
It makes me sad… I wish that as a community, we could ignore and walk away from trollish behavior so that it would die out. But unfortunately, that’s probably not realistic as the community grows in size.
I’d like to do something about the increased flamewars, but I am not sure what we should do. The fact is, our rules work best if someone is clearly delivering a personal attack or clearly acting like a troll. If someone learns to avoid personal attacks and skirts the lines around trollish behavior… we don’t have a way of dealing with that.
I don’t think it makes sense to have a policy regarding outright Debate threads. That said, I’m wondering if a threadjacking policy might be useful. There are usually two sides to threadjacking:
- The Instigator: This person will (purposefully or not) instigate drama on a number of threads.
- The Last Worders: These people just. will. not. let. go.
Put an Instigator together with a Last Worder or two, and you have an endless loop of drama and flamewars. Seriously, the back and forth just goes on forever… and ever… and ever.
How do you guys feel about having a policy against threadjacking? If someone keeps instigating drama and/or threadjacking and insisting on having the last word… then we could warn them. If it continues to be a problem, we could suspend or ban the user over time.
What do you think? Also, any other ideas on how we might handle this issue? We’d love to hear your thoughts.