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in reply to Re^4: Additions to the FAQ and a Community Statement (speak)
in thread Additions to the FAQ and a Community Statement

"all that is required for incivility to stand is for civil people to say nothing"

And yet...

If I'd thought for one moment that Ratazong would have taken it as a personal attack, I wouldn't have posted it.

Civil people saying something can be regrettably uncivil, it seems.

I am not advocating that uncivil behavior be completely ignored and not dealt with. "Speaking up" (in a text-only public forum) isn't a particularly successful strategy, even for you, even based on your own assessment. But it certainly can make one feel better about having "tried to help".

I think it quite useful to evaluate guiding principles based on whether or not they actually yield benefits and how much harm they cause. Though that might not be particularly satisfying from a philosophical or moral judgement perspective. Some might even find it "boring" to consider such things.

I guess it depends on whether one cares more about actually making things better or about stroking one's moral self image.

I haven't been talking (here, now) about the things that I think one can do to help that I find more likely to be successful. That's a whole 'nother kettle of fish.

- tye        

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Re^6: Additions to the FAQ and a Community Statement (practical)
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Apr 18, 2013 at 00:00 UTC
    I think it quite useful to evaluate guiding principles based on whether or not they actually yield benefits and how much harm they cause. Though that might not be particularly satisfying from a philosophical or moral judgement perspective.

    "Help" or "harm" are difficult to measure, especially in a public community like this which allows anonymous posting as well as anonymous reading (and anonymous search indexing).

    What's the right balance between not feeding the trolls—especially the very subtle ones—and challenging behaviors which one perceives to continue to drive good people away from the community?

    On my own sites, I quite happily delete personal attacks and unredeemable rudeness. Here, that's not an option.