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Off Topic Posting and the Art of Deflection

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posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 05:45 AM
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reply to post by MemoryShock
 




Originally posted by MemoryShock

So what is important when looking at a candidate?

The issues are what's important.



Issues.

Is the current energy squeeze an issue?

How do we discuss it without discussing the parties and their proposed solutions?

Is corruption an issue?

How do we discuss that without discussing the candidates and their associations?




posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 09:40 AM
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JSO

what memoryshock is saying is that


"McCains third cousins roommate from his second year in College just told me ____________________________ (insert juicy gossip story here) is found in the MSM every year, ad nauseum. And then people come here and post it, taking it to be 100% true, creating bitter "rivalries" amongst members who blindly believe it and people who openly oppose it.


Something that someone said to someone else that has no factual proof to back it up is called gossip. Not issues.

And ISSUE is McCains open opposition to the MLK holiday for the last 25 years.

and GOSSIP is Obama's brother's comments getting edited to make the world believe he is Muslim.



Big difference there



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 10:47 AM
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Great thread, MS. Although I try to understand where the 'deflectors' are coming from and that sometimes it is necessary to compare/contrast a view currently under fire with its opposing view, it can be very frustrating.

It would be nice if we could extend the scope, though. It seems you cannot discuss anything political or religious without someone saying, 'But what about the other guys!?' Not trying to be a whiner and I won't mention it again but it is a very frustrating and frequent occurrence in the forums dealing with religion. It is very rare as it stands that a religion other than Christianity is being discussed. However, in just about every thread it all comes back to Christianity and the thread is derailed. Instead of learning about the religion in question as was my original interest, we end up getting sucked into discussing Christianity off topic and the thread turns into a Bible lesson.

Not warn-worthy or anything but deflection is a pain. And I am only using the above as an example because that is what I notice the most. I've seen the same thing happen with liberalism/conservatism, democrat/republican, Christianity/Islam/Atheism, Creationism/Evolution, Pro-government/Anti-government, Domestic/Foreign, America/Europe/Middle East, etc. to infinity. Again, if it discussion religion or politics, it always seems to go back to 'the other guys.' lol

I'm just saying. Is it possible to extend the scope or is this put in place strictly due to the heat dealing with 2008 elections? If so, that's fine. I just wanted to add my two cents.



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 11:31 AM
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reply to post by Andrew E. Wiggin
 



Originally posted by Andrew E. Wiggin

Something that someone said to someone else that has no factual proof to back it up is called gossip. Not issues.


Thanks, Andrew.

But the fact is, ATS is a conspiracy site first and everything else second.

Proof is the exception rather than the rule in most threads.

Politics is an offshoot, a diversion. Not the main focus here.

And your political facts may differ strongly from my political facts.

The worst thing ever done to political discourse was to integrate PTS back into ATS.



Originally posted by AshleyD
Not warn-worthy or anything but deflection is a pain. And I am only using the above as an example because that is what I notice the most. I've seen the same thing happen with liberalism/conservatism, democrat/republican, Christianity/Islam/Atheism, Creationism/Evolution, Pro-government/Anti-government, Domestic/Foreign, America/Europe/Middle East, etc. to infinity. Again, if it discussion religion or politics, it always seems to go back to 'the other guys.' lol


Absolutely true! Star for you.
The most obvious examples are the deflection of any country's bad behavior back onto the US, in my eyes.



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 11:56 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
The most obvious examples are the deflection of any country's bad behavior back onto the US, in my eyes.


Yes, I see that happen all the time as well. You talk about the atrocities occurring in other countries and it always comes back to all the wrongs America has done. Good point.

Perhaps we can make it a guideline across the board for ATS/BTS. On top of the example you mention, here are some more I frequently see (and have also been guilty of myself at times):

Atheist: Let's discuss all the atrocities religion has caused.
Theist: Oh but let's not forget the atrocities of secular states!
Vice Versa

Creationist: Let's discuss the flaws of evolution.
Evolutionist: But what about the holes in creationism?
Vice Versa

Religion A follower: [Some other religion] has such and such conspiracy.
Religion B follower: What about YOUR religion!

Conservative: The liberals did this and it is stupid.
Liberal: What about what the conservatives do!
Vice Versa

Democrat: The republicans did this and it is stupid.
Republican: What about what the democrats do!
Vice Versa

Obama Follower: McCain did this.
McCain follower: Oh ya well Obama did this!
Vice Versa

:bnghd:

The two most frustrating examples for me personally are the religious and origins deflections. Especially creationism. I know so little about it and would really like to read about the evidence but it seems like the creationists, and bless their hearts I am one myself and have done the same thing, will turn the tables to attack evolution instead. Or I know so little about Eastern religions and minor religions and would love to read about them but it all comes back to the Abrahamic faiths. It is very frustrating. lol

I'm trying to be very fair here and can admit to both sides doing it, myself included. I'm not trying to just say Conservative Christian Republican American Creationists are the innocent victims. We're all guilty of doing this. Me, my friends, my opponents, newbies and old timers.

The question is, how can we work together to solve the problem?

[edit on 7/21/2008 by AshleyD]



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 12:17 PM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 



The question is, how can we work together to solve the problem?


Truth is, it cannot be done, the way things are. With so many new and transient people coming here to post every week, it would be a neverending task.

The only way it could work would be if the population were stagnant, and only then after months of "training".



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 12:28 PM
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reply to post by jsobecky
 


Perhaps it is something of an unreasonable nature to expect a complete adherence. However, that doesn't necessitate that the situation cannot improve and it is also not to say that tossing reminders out every so often won't grab the attention of someone who then uses it to better his/her own rhetorical presentation.

Despite my very cynical nature, there is reason for hope. If we get two or three prolific posters out of a reminder of sorts that this is...then ATS as a whole benefits.

Not to mention my selfish self who will get someone new to talk to...



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 12:37 PM
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Originally posted by AshleyD
The question is, how can we work together to solve the problem?


If "solving the problem" means keeping every thread on topic 100% of the time, then that's not going to happen. However, the very best tool in your toolbox is the power of ignore. And I don't necessarily mean the ignore button. I mean the will-power to read a post that is just so ignorant you want to scream - or post a rebuttal to set them straight, but instead, you just move on without responding to them at all.

If we all did that, even 80% of the time, then threads could keep on topic for the most part. You can still discuss the side of the issue that you want to. If only one other person in the thread is willing to talk with you and stay on topic, they you can have your discussion while the "baiters" swirl around you trying to get attention.


It's really very powerful.



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 12:47 PM
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reply to post by jsobecky
 


reply to post by MemoryShock
 


reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


Well, I have been thinking since posting the question about what we can do and this is what I thought could at least help. And yes, I agree with those of you who said the problem will never be 100% alleviated. That's a given and it isn't just not going to happen when we're dealing with opinionated human beings.


1). As a thread starter, encourage those posting on your thread to keep to the topic and avoid deflection. Remind them the thread is about subject A and not how subject A needs to be compared/contrasted to subjects B, C, and D.

2). If they continue or fail to show how their deflection remotely relates to the topic, simply ignore them from that point on. If they are way out in left field, suggest others in the thread do the same (politely without attacking the deflector).

3). If you are a poster in a thread and you see someone use deflection, just ignore the act and make it your responsibility to remain on topic. Or make a quick note that they are deflecting the topic and give them a chance to explain their reasoning. If it is not an acceptable reason, then ignore.

4). SO could possibly make a site announcement thread or bulletin that focuses on what this thread is dealing with only suggesting that all forums try to stick to this guideline.

It will never be perfect but that's what I was thinking. It's a frustrating pattern but nothing worth getting upset about.



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 08:37 PM
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What this thread is about is "We need to be nice and civil."

What happened to state your opinion and let the chips fall where they may?"

Why is everyone so darned sensitive? Talk. Talk never hurt.

State your thought and let the others respond. If they don't like your thought they will ignore you or "shoot back." So what?



posted on Jul, 22 2008 @ 03:20 PM
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Originally posted by crmanager
What this thread is about is "We need to be nice and civil."

What happened to state your opinion and let the chips fall where they may?"

Why is everyone so darned sensitive? Talk. Talk never hurt.

State your thought and let the others respond. If they don't like your thought they will ignore you or "shoot back." So what?



Actually, what this thread is about is

"Before you post, stop, think (if possible), does what I am about to send to the ATS actually contribute, or is it more of what has already been said. Is it just an emotional reaction to post, or will I be able to bring any clarity to an issue"

It is also about

"Stop with the schoolyard antics which have NOTHING to do with any issue"

Another thing is opening a negative press thread on a specific Candidate with "See, I told you this guy is a moron"


Every method of communication requires protocols, which if not observed cause the communication to fail. Memoryshock is attempting to remind us of those protocols, for our own benefit, while at the same time raising the IQ level of the discussions in this forum.


For example, one of these protocols would be "Can I understand where the poster is coming from who I wish to correct in some way? If I can, start from that perspective. If I can't understand where they are coming from and feel as if they are complete morons... refrain from posting altogether."



[edit on 22-7-2008 by Quazga]



posted on Jul, 22 2008 @ 04:26 PM
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No, most of the people here are paranoid; people that string together a lot of unrelated things to make it into a conspiracy; refuse to believe anything but their own weird theories; and generally can't get along in the real world.

You see alien spaceships hidden behind every haystack; conspiracy in every cloud; and of course the government is always out to get YOU.

It would never occur to most of the people here that they are just sick. They seek to explain away THEIR FAILURES IN LIFE, but seeing conspiracy all around them.

After all, that is the only explanation why they aren't millionaires, right? Or that their faster-than-light spaceship hasn't been put into all of the worlds airlines. Why we don't all have a nuclear reactor in our basement; a car that get 700 miles per gallon with 800 horsepower; and why our sons/daughters are not always the most successful. It's because the government, or some particular group, has thwarted their every effort in life.

The oil companies suppress every invention that would save energy. After all, some guy said he invented this device that gave perpetual energy, but Shell oil bought the rights and held it off the market it, didn't they?

Of course the fact that no such patent was ever issued means nothing.

The fact that there is absolutely not one shred of physical evidence that any alien spaceship ever visited earth means nothing. Only the conspiracy means something.

Yep. everyone that habituates this web site is perfectly normal, right?



posted on Jul, 22 2008 @ 04:54 PM
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reply to post by OldMedic
 


Thank you for illustrating quite well one of the problems that can be found on ATS, not just our political forums.



Personal Attacks

On the poster or the candidate is a sure fire way to get a response out of someone that will completely divert attention from anything relevant and allow the thread to derail into a non productive discussion of each other. Don't fall for it.

Remember that this is an internet forum and that there is little chance that you will encounter these humans in real life. So, they should have no lasting effect on you. Let the Ad Homs go if you are subjected to them and above all else...do not return them.


In this case, our friend here decided to focus on the whole of ATS and intentionally contributed nothing of productive value to this thread and discussion.

And correct me if I am wrong, but there are probably a few mothers who could cite the very real propaganda machine and lies for the support of the War in Iraq that lead to their son(s) being killed....



posted on Jul, 22 2008 @ 06:10 PM
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reply to post by MemoryShock
 



intentionally contributed nothing of productive value to this thread and discussion.

but there are probably a few mothers who could cite the very real propaganda machine and lies for the support of the War in Iraq that lead to their son(s) being killed....


Even I agree with that and we all know where I stand on the War...

Semper



posted on Aug, 10 2008 @ 01:54 AM
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here's another question i have



Should the author of the OP be allowed to dictate the flow of the thread?

In other words, should the OP be allowed to ... alter the course that he or she desires?

IE: If its about obama, and suddenly shifts to mccain, is that considered "off topic posting" if the OP initiated the shift?



posted on Aug, 10 2008 @ 03:34 AM
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The Original Poster should have control of his or her thread. That is, they should have posted the thread and decided that it was a topic that he or she felt strongly enough about...and as well was knowledgeable enough about...that the course of conversation would not stray, that the course of discussion would remain.

That requires an even mind and a dedication to the thread.

The Original Poster should not police their thread...he or she must want their thread.

Perfect worlds and all that....



posted on Aug, 10 2008 @ 03:45 AM
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reply to post by MemoryShock
 


I guess what i was getting at was this:

Lets see i post "obama RULES! WOOO!!!!"

and you, memoryshock, come into my thread and reply

"MCCAIN RULES AND HERES WHY BWRRRWARRRR!!"

i am left with three options

1.) ignore you and hope someoen else posts
2.) Respond to you and ask you to stay on topic, in turn, going off topic myself
3.) run with what you have, and discuss mccain and try to dispel the reasons you give


in turn - #3 goes off topic and continues the derailment of the thread.....in a strange way

by "dispelling" mccain - ia m "supporting obama"




i know its kind of....petty, but its still a thought to ponder, i would assume




If i came into this thread and say



I think peanuts and a candy coated shell would make a great treat to add to icecream and mttdew


that'd be off topic for sure.

SO you'd be left with three options




Short of the moderators deleting EVERY SINGLE THREAD that goes off topic - (too much to ask of ANYONE, imo)


what would be your "personal" (not professiona "as a moderator") opinion be?



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 06:00 AM
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reply to post by Andrew E. Wiggin
 


The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


I figured out a neat little trick, but it's a secret, so you can't tell anyone. Alright?

When I would start a thread on a particular topic, after doing research, I would make an initial post, but I wouldn't post everything I have on it. I would save a little bit more info or add a twist, just for when I feel it may be going off topic.

You may also find new information related to the topic and post it while ignoring the previous drama, and soon everyone forgot about what they were said before and the thread gets back on track. At least that is what should happen in theory. If others ignore the new information and continue to deflect, then rinse and repeat.


As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 10:15 AM
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reply to post by Hal9000
 


Thats ... a really good idea


Some of the time i dont post everything either, because a lot of the time, its pretty easy to predict the first several replies based on the OP.

But most of the time - the first few GOOD replies give me more ideas to talk about the OP.

Its the logical black holes surrounding those good replies that suck the light out of the conversation.

Thanks for the tip, Hal


It is a way to combat the problem for sure.

[edit on 8/14/2008 by Andrew E. Wiggin]



posted on Sep, 14 2008 @ 07:39 PM
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I have some questions for the Mods here:

1. Is it legit to post Official Campaign Ads in the Decision 2008 Forum?

2. Is it legit to post videos from Mainstream News Sources (ie, C-Span) of Campaign supporters (such as U.S. Representatives) speaking about their Candidates?

3. It is legit to post videos of Candidates from their Campaign Rallies?


If yes to any of the above, what are the guidelines for the context in which they must be posted?



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