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Sarcasm, Ridicule, Obfuscation, and Ad Hominems on Threads

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posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 12:45 PM
reply to post by Mary Rose

There used to be a place on ATS called the "mud pit" that was for those that didn't mind down and dirty action.

Now the whole place has turned into a "mud pit" that has some professional trolls getting preferential treatment
while the rank and file get point deductions and reprimands for T&C infractions.

For years I never used the "alert" button but now I use it all the time and seldom is any action taken anyway.. What's the use?

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 01:13 PM
reply to post by Mary Rose
Whenever possible, ignore the SOBs. If a Mod spots it, they'll deal with it or maybe someone will alert it.

Picture some emotionally retarded idiot doing their best to write something purely intended to annoy or upset the intended target. They're sitting behind a flickering monitor, maybe drooling, scratching the crack of their ass with the same fingers they eat their Cheetos with. They're chuckling away like a fifth generation in-bred cousin and reaching for the *post* button with adrenaline coursing through their flabby body. They're all excited and waiting for your angry reply...

Give 'em'll know that they'll be checking the thread over and over for a reply that doesn't come.

It's not always easy ignoring these guys and even harder when some few of our established members have a habit of acting like an anus; in the long term, ignoring them is the way to go.

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 01:44 PM
reply to post by Kandinsky

They're sitting behind a flickering monitor, maybe drooling, scratching the crack of their ass with the same fingers they eat their Cheetos with. They're chuckling away like a fifth generation in-bred cousin and reaching for the *post* button with adrenaline coursing through their flabby body.

Ever thought about writing romance novels?

edit on 6/1/11 by Chadwickus because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 01:49 PM
What has worked for me in the past is to address said post with grace and finesse. Then, you are responding in a manner that if the poster decides to respond with more obsurdity, it just makes him look like a jackass.

When I respond to posts in a respectful and gracious manner, I find that I never get flamed afterwards.

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 01:51 PM

Originally posted by nivekronnoco
You've recreated an oppressive society...

Who has recreated an oppressive society?

Originally posted by Death_Kron
If all else fails you could simply send a U2U to one of the mods that your thread topic falls in and ask them to look at the situation.

Thanks. I hadn't even thought of doing that.

Originally posted by schrodingers dog
Agreed, but here's the problem ...there's the logical fallacy fallacy!


(I'm getting a headache.)

Originally posted by fakedirt
. . . just open a wordpad document . . .

Hmmm. Good idea. I could also just use it to vent and get it out of my system.

Originally posted by woogleuk
Thankfully I have only had an "extreme T&C violation" slapped on me a couple of times in the two years or so I have been a member . . .

OMG if that happened to me I would be mortified!

Originally posted by whaaa
. . . professional trolls . . .

Are you referring to paid agents?

I don't know how to identify a paid agent. But if I did, I suspect I would want to react differently than I would for a regular rude member.

reply to post by Kandinsky

Thanks. I needed that.

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 01:55 PM
reply to post by Nathwa

Sounds like I could take some lessons from you. I'm making a mental note to watch for your posts. I need a role model.

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 01:56 PM
reply to post by Chadwickus
Yeah, but I'm not sure the world is ready just yet.

What's the odds that a couple of members are checking their webcams right now and wondering how we know what they look like?

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 02:00 PM
reply to post by Kandinsky

Well I made sure mine was off and I grabbed a towel for the drool....

So I'm safe!

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 02:01 PM
I'll give you the same advice I gave my kids. Don't feed the trolls.
If you don't feed the trolls, then they will wither away. It works.
Humor is good, but a troll won't get the joke. Just ignore them.
It shows more class and frustrates the heck out of trolls.

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 02:18 PM
reply to post by Mary Rose

Report it. I admit though, the best way to deny ignorance and stop unreasonable users is with sarcasm, wit and humour rather than overzelous personal attacks. Suppose it depends on the context.

I definetly wouldn't encourage aggravation. Some silly threads should be simply ignored, don't credit nonsense with flags and replies.
edit on 6/1/11 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 02:29 PM

Originally posted by awake_and_aware
. . . the best way to deny ignorance and stop unreasonable users is with sarcasm, wit and humour . . .

That has to be one's style, however.

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 04:01 PM
Mary I agree with everything you said in the OP with the exception of "sarcasm".Although it may come across as borderline rude or dismissive, sometimes sarcasm can be used to illustrate one's point (IMHO)....
edit on 6-1-2011 by Skippy1138 because: added word for clarity

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 04:03 PM
I have always had excellent and very prompt responses on the (very) few occasions when I have been forced to alert the mods and they have always dealt with my complaint appropriately.

Other than that, a combination of all of the advice you have already been given, I know sometimes it is hard to ignore someone, who you feel is personally attacking you (rather than attacking the content of your post) in these cases I will often ask why they are attacking me personally, they don't even know me! If they come back with another attack, report it! But quite often people are not aware that what they've said has been taken as a personal attack and will apologise when this is pointed out. I know that my writing style can be somewhat sarcastic/aggressive at times, particularly when someone jumps into a thread with a question or opinion that has been asked/answered/noted etc earlier in the thread, but they have simply read a couple of lines of the OP and jumped in (not necessarily in longer threads either I see this in threads of 2&3 pages) quite often though, the poster will come back and say "sorry - didn't see that" at which point I always apologise. Being prepared to admit that you are wrong or have misunderstood etc goes a long way to keeping everything civil.

And as others have mentioned, other posters will tend to question a rude and obnoxious/pointless post, I know I have in the past and that can also sometimes resolve the issue. But when you are dealing with people who are not prepared to agree to disagree and instead want to browbeat you with insults and such, reporting them is really the only option - don't sink to their level...

@kandinsky & chadwickus...Oh how I wish I could give stars in this thread...that was hilarious

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 04:06 PM

Originally posted by Skippy1138
Mary I agree with everything you said in the OP with the exception of "sarcasm".Although it may come across as borderline or dismissive, sometimes sarcasm can be used to illustrate one's point (IMHO)....

I do agree with this, though I am aware that sometimes sarcasm can be difficult to detect in the written word - probably using the
symbol is a good way of indicating that your reply is meant to be sarcastic

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 04:16 PM
As others have said, if it doesn't break the TOS's probably best to just ignore it.

If it breaks the TOS alert a mod.

You can argue back, state your point calmly, logically, etc. However, it kind of depends on the poster just how much logic they can take. Some folks just don't like to be proven wrong. I've seen more than one string of posts go..
Poster A: States point
Poster B: Ridicules point and poster A
Poster A: States proof of point
Poster B: Attempts to refute the proof
Poster A: Points out logic flaws in Poster B's theory.
Poster B: Responds with "You are a (insert curse words here)"

That's when its time to alert the mod.

I've only had a mod not respond once to an alert. It seemed pretty clear to me the alert was a TOS ( use of racial slur). So, I u2u'ed one of the mods to ask because I didn't understand and it was fixed. That's only happened once and I've been here since '04.

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 04:23 PM
reply to post by Skippy1138

I guess we need devices such as sarcasm sometimes to express a point that would be difficult to express otherwise. But I see a lot of sarcasm on posts that seem to emanate only from contempt.

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 04:34 PM
reply to post by Mary Rose

I agree, I've not been here long, but I've noticed that there are a few individuals who seem to be unable to reply to anyone (unless they're agreeing with them) without using massive amounts of sarcasm, hostility and condescention. Fairly regularly, these guys are old school members. Clearly, a fair few of these individuals are intelligent people, who often have good points, but the fact they have to use such negative tactics serves to only detract from both their post and the general atmosphere of the board. Sure, sometimes people post some ridiculous things- but there is no need to belittle them and prove them wrong, simply proving them wrong should suffice.

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 04:40 PM
It really depends for me.

If I post something and another member respons with Sarcasm, ridicule or any of the other things you mentioned, I will usually ignore it. The reason is that they cherry pick posts to suit their reply and have no interest in actually discussing the issue like an adult.

If they reply with the above BUT actually respond to my post in an intelligent manner, I will reply but ignore the snarky or rude comments and focus on the discussion at hand.

Some people here just want a soapbox to stand on and really have no interest in discussing things, they just want to argue and be difficult.


posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 04:56 PM
reply to post by ScepticalBeliever


Learning that you're wrong is a good thing - who wants to believe falsehoods?

But learning that you're wrong in an atmosphere of mutual respect leads to further, productive discussion, where the person who informed you might then learn something from you as well.

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 05:03 PM
Hi There,

Just chipping in some thoughts here, as someone who has been a Member of ATS for over 10 years now...and a Mod/SuperMod for much of that as well.

Firstly let me say this: The following doesn't always should, but again it doesn't always as ATS Staff are also - despite some rumours of us being Bots/Aliens/Alphabet Agency COINTELPRO Operatives etc etc - inevitably human...which means we're just as flawed in our actions and reasoning as the next person. We try not to fumble the ball, but it does happen...

However...the best bit of advice I can give you is to support those who have advised Alert anything you feel is over the line and please, as hard as it can be when someone is all up in your face or otherwise, please please don't step over the line in any response to them.

What happens then is that it can sometimes get mucky on both sides of the exchange and chances are you may also wind up getting stung for any responses to that person.
Generally - again, not always, as mistakes DO happen - Staff will read the context of the exchange and generally see if its a case of rising to bait tossed at you by someone which case we're likely to ping the instigator (if Staff feel they have instigated anything) additionally. said...when people are exchanging shots in-thread then chances are everyone or noone or even potentially the *wrong person* ends up wearing it. Best bet is simple not to take it there in the first place by responding 'in kind' to any attacks.

Another thing: The Terms and Conditions of this site are what guides/governs Staff Actions.
Bear in mind however that ultimately those T&Cs are interpreted by Staff.
Ultimately its the Staff call on whether something is seen as 'Off-Topic' or 'Uncivil' etc...
Again others viewing the very same reply, or making the reply, may not see it as such...and may not at all agree with the Staff call that is made (or not as the case may be).

The only available recourse then is to query the Staff Action taken - either via the generated u2u that accompanies Staff Actions, or via sending a message to Staff via the Complain/Suggestion link...or alternatively you can always u2u any Staff Member directly (click on any one of our names on the side of the main page there).
That doesn't of course garauntee that the action taken will be overturned...though in saying that I've seen a few Staff Actions revised/reduced or outright overturned over the years...again, mistakes and wrong calls DO happen. What one Staff Member may see as completely uncivil other Staff Members may well see lesser or quite acceptable - again that has happened previously in the past.

One more thing to toss in here:
Please also bear in mind there is much that happens behind the scenes and via u2u exchanges.

Believe it or not (and given a decent percentage of the core community of ATS are likely to be somewhat conspiracy focussed, lol!) Staff aren't paid to further anyones agenda...we're not paid at all.
We come from a wide variety of backgrounds, cultures, creeds, age-groups, countries.
We don't always agree with one its certainly not a case of everyone just 'backing the company-line' or sticking up for their Mod mates *behind the scenes*.
Oh no, we do disagree and quite verhmently at please don't feel that everyone wearing a 'Mod Badge' is any ATS-Shill...thats pretty far from the truth of who we are...

So too, with much happening behind the scenes, there is much that Members aren't privy to when it comes to the more extreme Staff Actions such as banning people.
There have been numerous requests in the past as to why X, Y or Z has been banned...however it is our standard procedure not to publically discuss the hows and whys of specific bannings made.
Its a huge thing to ask of course...I completely appreciate that, given few ATS Members actually know any of the ATS Staff on any personal level...but there is a level of *trust* required when it comes who simply understanding there were VERY good reasons (again, as perceived by Staff) for that person being banned.
Usually any banning results from some pretty extreme posting on ATS, and/or often due to the levels of abuse the Staff receive via u2us when engaging with those now-banned Members.

Bottomline: Some people are just buttheads.
They may well be knowledgable. They may well be great thinkers. They may well be great contributors. You may well be their #1 fanboy. BUT if they can't keep it within the T&Cs and can't keep their butthead level down...then ultimately no matter how fantastic you may personally think them to be they're destined for bans-ville if they can't pull their heads in and keep it clean.

U2U Responses:
Again, this is what should happen - but doesn't always unfortunately.
Any Alert that goes 'unactioned' should be responded to via u2u by Staff.
Staff should respond to the complainant to at least provide a rationale as to why their Alert isn't being actioned. That is certainly the expectation amongst Staff...that we should at least show enough courtesy to respond to those who have taken their time to Alert things to us.
Again, it could come down to Staff interpreting the alerted post as not being a breach of the T&Cs (remember, the reality is the call on it rests with us)...or there is even the possibility that the Alert itself was overlooked/missed. There are times they do come streaming in thick and occasionally one can slip past us sorry.
You can always re-Alert it.


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