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  #3291  
Old 02-10-13, 21:07
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Granville57 Granville57 is offline
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Originally Posted by hiero2 View Post
MJM - this is a reasonable question - and I'm going to take a stab at an answer.

First, following the wisdom of BroDeal: Messages are usually better understood when they are a concise paragraph rather than a rambling challenge to the length of War and Peace.

My primary point is "No personal attacks. Attack the message, not the messenger."

My secondary point has to do with humor and it's use. Sarcasm, snark, slams - are difficult to use. They are generally tolerated on this forum, when aimed at public figures who are not a known participant in the discussion. When the target is a participant in the discussion, they are likely to be over the line - a "personal attack" - and thus, not permitted.

That is the "brevity" version. What follows is the "War and Peace" version.

I found two posts, on another forum, that are very well written, probably better than I could do.
What's the difference between a "personal attack" and "fair criticism"?

Use of Sarcasm "Most people think they know what sarcasm is and could recognize it if they heard it. Most people would be wrong..."

I also introduce those sources to clearly show that these questions are not new, they have been dealt with before, and clearly.

I would like to use some examples from your posts. And I will offer some opinion on the "critiquing the Mods" business.

First example - a post that passes the personal attack test.
MJM "JV is fairly evasive when it comes to discussing what he knows about his riders. . . " Why does this pass? Because, 1) JV is a public figure 2) This claim is readily verified within the forum threads, and could be supported by posts by JV himself. Again - go here for more detail: What's the difference between a "personal attack" and "fair criticism"?

2nd, a fail. MJM: "If you pay peanuts then you get monkeys. ..." This is an ad hominem attack on the mods, in the guise of humor. It is over the line.

Similarly, "Frodo Cavendish gets given an etch-a-sketch. They used to give him crayons at Columbia HGH but he kept eating them. " along with "and some vaseline" get a pass, although barely. While " I just think you are not very good at your jobs", and "They are not very good at their jobs either. " do not pass. The first two are not personal attacks - the targets are not forum participants to our knowledge. However, they do beg the question of what is acceptable, they could be inflammatory (as in flame-war inflammatory, and thus prohibited on that account), and they border on being off-topic. The latter two are personal attacks. They are quite clearly about the messengers - not the message.

You are a talented commenter - and I find more posts that add to the conversation than not. But you are also talented at the types of arguments found on this page: A List of Fallacious Arguments. What should be added is that many arguments are won using such "fallacious" arguments, and I would judge that you are accustomed to "winning" on a regular basis, using such techniques. These are methods to persuade an audience, without really addressing the argument and logic. Common enough in politics.

But again - we have our "line in the sand" - No Personal Attacks. In addition to many good posts, when I search all your posts, I see more than just a few that clearly cross that line. And didn't get caught by a mod. Now, I can hear it already - Amsterhammer started this thread with it - "but nobody did anything over THERE and THAT was way worse!" To which I have two very clear, and very simple answers.

When you get a speeding ticket, do you get a pass because the day before you got the ticket, you and every other car on that road passed the same point, going even faster than the ticketed speed? Uh, no. Same thing here.

Secondly, the UNwritten rule for modding in these forums is, and has been, "Prune only as necessary to keep alive". In other words, VERY laissez-faire. These are my words - this rule IS UNwritten - but I see it in the history. For instance, in my research for this post, I found many forums prohibit negative comments about a mod, outright. Not allowed, period. Complaints go straight to the chief mod. I don't think Dan wants that here. So our free-wheeling ways are pretty liberal, by comparison. But, on the other hand, we are not Usenet (which is anarchy).

Two final comments on personal attacks. An allegation in the forum that a new member is a banned user is a personal attack. Allegations, in or out of the forum, that a user has broken rules, including avoiding a ban, need proof. If we can not find proof, the issue is not actionable. If you think someone is a banned user - send us a message, and tell us why. Use the same methods you would use for a post - if you have a link, send the link. We have tools, but they do have their limits. On the other hand, if we have received word that some people believe a user has broken rules, but we can find no proof - or we even have counter-testimony (which makes it a he-said-she-said), well - what would you do?

And lastly, this is not a post for just you MJM. I've noticed a few people have escaped the snark radar for personal attacks in the past. But, I think you are a strong, resilient, and flexible enough person to be the example I used.

Francois The Postman has a sockpuppet!









































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  #3292  
Old 02-11-13, 03:40
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Francois The Postman has a sockpuppet!


OK that there is some funny f@@&in s#!t.
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  #3293  
Old 02-11-13, 14:06
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Amsterhammer Amsterhammer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiero2 View Post
MJM - this is a reasonable question - and I'm going to take a stab at an answer.

First, following the wisdom of BroDeal: Messages are usually better understood when they are a concise paragraph rather than a rambling challenge to the length of War and Peace.
Kudos to you for finding probably the single most sensible thing BD has ever posted.

Quote:
- Amsterhammer started this thread with it - "but nobody did anything over THERE and THAT was way worse!"
I'm apparently becoming even more senile than I had feared - I started this thread?

Quote:
When you get a speeding ticket, do you get a pass because the day before you got the ticket, you and every other car on that road passed the same point, going even faster than the ticketed speed? Uh, no. Same thing here.
When the highway patrol gives everyone a ticket on one day, and a pass on the next day, for the same speeding infraction on the same stretch of road (to continue your analogy,) it tends to bring the system into some disrepute, and simply leads to more motorists ignoring the speed limit.
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  #3294  
Old 02-11-13, 15:08
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Mrs John Murphy Mrs John Murphy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiero2 View Post
MJM - this is a reasonable question - and I'm going to take a stab at an answer.

First, following the wisdom of BroDeal: Messages are usually better understood when they are a concise paragraph rather than a rambling challenge to the length of War and Peace.

My primary point is "No personal attacks. Attack the message, not the messenger."

My secondary point has to do with humor and it's use. Sarcasm, snark, slams - are difficult to use. They are generally tolerated on this forum, when aimed at public figures who are not a known participant in the discussion. When the target is a participant in the discussion, they are likely to be over the line - a "personal attack" - and thus, not permitted.

That is the "brevity" version. What follows is the "War and Peace" version.

I found two posts, on another forum, that are very well written, probably better than I could do.
What's the difference between a "personal attack" and "fair criticism"?

Use of Sarcasm "Most people think they know what sarcasm is and could recognize it if they heard it. Most people would be wrong..."

I also introduce those sources to clearly show that these questions are not new, they have been dealt with before, and clearly.

I would like to use some examples from your posts. And I will offer some opinion on the "critiquing the Mods" business.

First example - a post that passes the personal attack test.
MJM "JV is fairly evasive when it comes to discussing what he knows about his riders. . . " Why does this pass? Because, 1) JV is a public figure 2) This claim is readily verified within the forum threads, and could be supported by posts by JV himself. Again - go here for more detail: What's the difference between a "personal attack" and "fair criticism"?

2nd, a fail. MJM: "If you pay peanuts then you get monkeys. ..." This is an ad hominem attack on the mods, in the guise of humor. It is over the line.

Similarly, "Frodo Cavendish gets given an etch-a-sketch. They used to give him crayons at Columbia HGH but he kept eating them. " along with "and some vaseline" get a pass, although barely. While " I just think you are not very good at your jobs", and "They are not very good at their jobs either. " do not pass. The first two are not personal attacks - the targets are not forum participants to our knowledge. However, they do beg the question of what is acceptable, they could be inflammatory (as in flame-war inflammatory, and thus prohibited on that account), and they border on being off-topic. The latter two are personal attacks. They are quite clearly about the messengers - not the message.

You are a talented commenter - and I find more posts that add to the conversation than not. But you are also talented at the types of arguments found on this page: A List of Fallacious Arguments. What should be added is that many arguments are won using such "fallacious" arguments, and I would judge that you are accustomed to "winning" on a regular basis, using such techniques. These are methods to persuade an audience, without really addressing the argument and logic. Common enough in politics.

But again - we have our "line in the sand" - No Personal Attacks. In addition to many good posts, when I search all your posts, I see more than just a few that clearly cross that line. And didn't get caught by a mod. Now, I can hear it already - Amsterhammer started this thread with it - "but nobody did anything over THERE and THAT was way worse!" To which I have two very clear, and very simple answers.

When you get a speeding ticket, do you get a pass because the day before you got the ticket, you and every other car on that road passed the same point, going even faster than the ticketed speed? Uh, no. Same thing here.

Secondly, the UNwritten rule for modding in these forums is, and has been, "Prune only as necessary to keep alive". In other words, VERY laissez-faire. These are my words - this rule IS UNwritten - but I see it in the history. For instance, in my research for this post, I found many forums prohibit negative comments about a mod, outright. Not allowed, period. Complaints go straight to the chief mod. I don't think Dan wants that here. So our free-wheeling ways are pretty liberal, by comparison. But, on the other hand, we are not Usenet (which is anarchy).

Two final comments on personal attacks. An allegation in the forum that a new member is a banned user is a personal attack. Allegations, in or out of the forum, that a user has broken rules, including avoiding a ban, need proof. If we can not find proof, the issue is not actionable. If you think someone is a banned user - send us a message, and tell us why. Use the same methods you would use for a post - if you have a link, send the link. We have tools, but they do have their limits. On the other hand, if we have received word that some people believe a user has broken rules, but we can find no proof - or we even have counter-testimony (which makes it a he-said-she-said), well - what would you do?

And lastly, this is not a post for just you MJM. I've noticed a few people have escaped the snark radar for personal attacks in the past. But, I think you are a strong, resilient, and flexible enough person to be the example I used.
This is interesting but two things strike me. You seem to be quoting out of context. You've cited things I've said but ignored what they were in response to. Whether something is a personal attack surely depends upon what is being said to whom and about what. Devoid of context anything can be read as saying anything.

For example you characterised my comment 'you pay peanuts you get monkeys' as a personal attack, and yet you ignored that it was in response to someone suggesting that my issue with CN is more structural than personal. My comment was to confirm that I agree with the previous comment. CN pays its staff badly so it ends up with poor staff - at every level. (This merely reiterates an early point made in a discussion about Kimmage where I said to the effect that if in order to hire a quality journalist like Kimmage, CN had to sack 5 of its current staff, I would shed no tears because it would mark an improvement in quality). Again, not a personal attack but a comment on CN's business and journalistic model.

Now, I would point out that by your initial definition of 'personal attack' Susan's first post in that thread was a personal attack. It attacked the poster not the post, it accused me of being motivated by personal dislike.

Is this paragraph here:

Quote:
You are a talented commenter - and I find more posts that add to the conversation than not. But you are also talented at the types of arguments found on this page: A List of Fallacious Arguments. What should be added is that many arguments are won using such "fallacious" arguments, and I would judge that you are accustomed to "winning" on a regular basis, using such techniques. These are methods to persuade an audience, without really addressing the argument and logic. Common enough in politics.
A personal attack? Built around a discussion of the posters' style. Why is unacceptable to accuse someone of writing in a deliberately obtuse manner, but it is ok to accuse a poster of being only interested in 'winning' or using 'fallacious arguments'.

Someone can be trolling but if they are accused of trolling then it is deemed to be a personal attack. However, guess what, it is also true that people do troll.

Finally, I fail to see how having a critical opinion on someone's job performance can be a personal attack if I say 'Pat McQuaid is not very good at his job' is this a personal attack on him? If I say 'Vaughters sucks as a DS' is that a personal attack. If I were to say 'Vaughters sucks as a DS because he is more interested in tending his sideburns and posing', then you might have a point. Why? Because the first is about the job the person is doing which is separate from any views about the person as a person, in the second, the view of the job the person is doing is characterised by the view the commentator has of the person.

You might as well say that any post that is critical and is addressed to another poster is a personal attack.

You've not really told us how we can tell Benson and anyone else when we think that they are doing a bad job.

Take for example the recent interview between Benson and Armstrong, which was panned by an number of posters. How would you tell Benson that the interview was terrible?
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Last edited by Mrs John Murphy; 02-11-13 at 15:18.
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  #3295  
Old 02-11-13, 19:28
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I broke the rule? Which rule? What are you talking about? Be specific.
Here below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hiero2 View Post
MJM - this is a reasonable question - and I'm going to take a stab at an answer.

First, following the wisdom of BroDeal: Messages are usually better understood when they are a concise paragraph rather than a rambling challenge to the length of War and Peace.
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  #3296  
Old 02-12-13, 00:47
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Take for example the recent interview between Benson and Armstrong, which was panned by an number of posters. How would you tell Benson that the interview was terrible?
Is'nt that what the comments on articles are for

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  #3297  
Old 02-12-13, 03:35
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Is'nt that what the comments on articles are for

http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=19865
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  #3298  
Old 02-12-13, 05:27
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I can see one aspect of a "general criticism" seeping into the realm of a "personal criticism", and that is when it is unrelenting, and without being specific to a particular circumstance.

To say on every possible occasion "Jo Schmo is useless at their job" and imply this is always the case without exception in my opinion can become a personal attack.

my 2c
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  #3299  
Old 02-12-13, 05:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs John Murphy View Post
Take for example the recent interview between Benson and Armstrong, which was panned by an number of posters. How would you tell Benson that the interview was terrible?
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGame View Post
Is'nt that what the comments on articles are for
Sure you can criticise CN or Daniel for what you believe was a poor article. I did, and used twitter because thats where Daniel advertised the article.

Do it on twitter like I did, or the comments section if its working, or open a thread on the forum in whatever field you deem it appropriate and say "I think this article sucks" and invite opinions.

CN is like any other media company, and should be open to criticism. Likewise Daniel is either a journalist or editor, puts his name up in public, and is also open to criticism.

The distinction is its a single article, with issues that perhaps deserve criticism, as opposed to constantly bashing something or someone in general without specifics.
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  #3300  
Old 02-12-13, 11:23
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However, what happens when we are discussing a body of work over a number of years?

If someone is always producing ****-poor work then they are always going to be called on it. Which can in turn then be considered to be 'unrelenting' criticism and hence 'personal' when in fact its actually a reflection of their person's poor work and inability to do their job properly over a period of time. If someone is always ****ing up then they'll always be called on it - as is only right and proper.

A further point - let's say that we suspect that the reasons why that person isn't doing their job well is because they have a material interest in not doing it properly, or because they have lost all sense of what is right or wrong and instead seek to protect their own interests and jobs.

ie Pat McQuaid is devoid of any moral compass or Pat McQuaid is corrupt.

Now, is that a personal attack or an opinion explaining in the poster's eyes why the person involved in so bad at their job?
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