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How To Share Your Unpopular Opinion (Without Being An Asshole)  RSS feed

Posts: 2012
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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I found this article tonight and I think people may find it useful. It carefully explains how (and how not) to argue on the internet if you want to get along with a given community instead of alienating everyone and being shunned or banned as a troll. It might help fill in the mysterious blanks for folks who find this forum's be nice rule confusing and hard to comply with, or who buck against the moderation here and don't comprehend why it's being applied to them.

How To Share Your Unpopular Opinion (Without Being An Asshole)

Here's a small sample to give you the flavor. This is about a 20th of the whole thing:

Have you ever noticed how some people get greater leeway than others in communities, both offline and on? Ever wonder why some people get the benefit of the doubt while other people get labeled “troll” right off the bat?

This is because the former are valued members of the group, while the latter are unknown quantities. The regulars have built up their relationships with everybody else over time; there’s a solid base of previous exposure and experience to weigh against their apparent misbehavior. They’ve earned themselves the benefit of the doubt through their contributions to the group as a whole. Meanwhile, the newbie has yet to prove themselves. They don’t have that same reservoir of goodwill and respect to draw upon that the regulars do. When a known member of the community acts up, the others have their past behavior to use as context for their current actions. A newbie does not. There may be extenuating circumstances for the regular’s behavior, or they simply may be well-liked enough that people are willing to forgive them a temporary aberration of behavior. Somebody who doesn’t have that relationship with others, on the other hand, looks less like a valued potential member of the community and more like someone who’s there just to be an asshole.

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