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Old 11-07-2008, 04:13 PM
 
Location: High Bridge, NJ
3,858 posts, read 8,063,278 times
Reputation: 3317

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No matter what kind of online forum you frequent it is not at all difficult to find examples of utter vitriol being hurled in multiple directions by different kinds of people for different reasons. On subject specific forums, arguments about specific topics undoubtedly arise with regard to the technical nature of whatever the forum is dedicated to. These of course, can get quite nasty and are the reason we have added terms like "flaming" and "trolling" to the American lexicon. However, with regard to politics, things get so ugly that many forms place an outright ban on political discussion in even their "Off-Topic" forums. Here are just a few quotes plucked from our own "Politics and Other Controversies" forum:

In response to a post called "Why Bash Red States?":

Quote:
Originally Posted by todd72173 View Post
Red states - they just got their electricity turned on and are not up to current events. They care more for their guns too.

All hicks..and vote like their 3rd grade education shows.
In response to reports of Westboro Baptist Church wishing to picket at Obama's grandmother's funeral:

Quote:
Originally Posted by arctichomesteader View Post
The misery he wishes on millions of Americans is biting him in the butt. It's almost as if God were intentionally punishing him, having her die the day before his election.
In response to a thread about Bill O'Reilly:

Quote:
Originally Posted by remedy a4 View Post
the day BOR goes anywhere without security he will get bloodied with a spiked bat
It's not at difficult to find threads talking about how much the poster "hates effing libs," or how the poster things that all Southerners are ignorant violent racists. City-data is a HUGE community and it frankly makes me wonder about the posters who walk among us. Would they ever conduct themselves like this in a real-life face-to-face conversation? My guess is no, but then look at the state we are in with regard to American politics. We have candidates not just slinging mud about policy but calling each other "terrorist" and "un-American." Have online forums contributed? Or are they just another symptom?
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Old 11-07-2008, 05:31 PM
 
5,273 posts, read 11,925,150 times
Reputation: 5750
Personally, I don’t think so.

Generally, people are who they are. If they are blind sheep, believing that their political party does no wrong and all others do no right, then that’s the brainwashed way they are. There are always those who, when an orange is placed before them and asked to say what the object is, will say it’s a pencil if it furthers their ‘cause’ in their opinion.

Forums like this just point out how many people are ignorant to civility and facts, it doesn’t create them.
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Old 11-07-2008, 05:34 PM
 
5,273 posts, read 11,925,150 times
Reputation: 5750
Let me add one other thing. People can legitimately see something from differing sides and have honest opinions about their view. I have no real problem with that. But to think that everything must be an “I win, you lose” scenario is just plain stupid.
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Old 11-07-2008, 06:11 PM
 
Location: The ends DO NOT justify the means!!!
4,783 posts, read 3,025,001 times
Reputation: 1335
I think forums are the absolute best way to find out how people truly feel. The mask of anonymity (sic) allows many to share points of view that would not be tolerated in any other arena. It is primarily because of this that we can truly peer into the hearts of others and find out what our true differences are without any arbitrary social constraint hiding the truth.

I will admit that there isn't much in the way in manners, but I don't really care for the fake smiles and posturing of others in every day life anyway.
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Old 11-07-2008, 06:39 PM
 
Location: The Woods
16,458 posts, read 21,491,210 times
Reputation: 8417
I'm less argumentative in person than I may come across as here with respect to politics. But I am still very firm in my stance where certain issues, like civil rights, are concerned. There is definately something to the statement that not being face to face, encourages stronger statements that otherwise would not be made. Online, when tempers flare, why stop typing? No one risks provoking a physical fight or anything (at least that's perception of it). I'm guilty of that at times, not stopping my fingers when in a bad mood when in person I would of shut up and left before it got to that...

But as for its effect on politics in general I'm not willing to say it's had that big an impact. In the 18th and 19th centuries some nasty things were put in print concerning politics. Andrew Jackson's wife's death was likely caused by what was said during his run for president.
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Old 11-07-2008, 06:40 PM
 
Location: southern california
55,237 posts, read 72,472,599 times
Reputation: 47456
you could be right. i like to think of it as a little window to the world have learned so much on CDF.
very rewarding activity.
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Old 11-07-2008, 07:24 PM
 
48,519 posts, read 81,113,623 times
Reputation: 17979
I think many people are willing to make statement that they would in person make. I think they somehow think taht peole willsee them as soemthing they are not. Rants mostly.
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
4,166 posts, read 5,181,354 times
Reputation: 3514
Good topic and subject! I think that forums just reflect all of the tension and conflicts that go on in our country today. We're "split" right down the middle when it comes to politics, religion, etc.

I had a forum of my own for awhile and we had some great members. Everybody was really nice and respectful of each other. (Even when we had disagreements.) I'm sure that our "niceness" turned some people "off" when they thought about joining our forum. (This is why we problably stayed small!) A lot of people want and expect "fireworks" on a forum. Don't you think? Thanks, Claire
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Old 11-21-2008, 04:42 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,374 posts, read 40,183,726 times
Reputation: 13181
Quote:
Originally Posted by CArizona View Post
Good topic and subject! I think that forums just reflect all of the tension and conflicts that go on in our country today. We're "split" right down the middle when it comes to politics, religion, etc.
Yes.
Badfish, some early CDers went through a sort of shock-and-awe stage back when the Politics and Controversies forum (and subfora) became created.
Many of us were not aware of just how angry and divided certain opinions can be. It's just too much for some to participate in, they stay away.
But it is the reality of our society, demonstrated right here in CD. I agree that online forum is can be a place for cathartic rants, though.
Quote:
I had a forum of my own for awhile and we had some great members. Everybody was really nice and respectful of each other. (Even when we had disagreements.) I'm sure that our "niceness" turned some people "off" when they thought about joining our forum. (This is why we problably stayed small!) A lot of people want and expect "fireworks" on a forum. Don't you think?
Same here--actually we still have it (it's tiny.) And yes, it's too nicey-nice for most people.
Conflict, tension and dynamic subject matter are what make people tune into the internets!
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Old 11-21-2008, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Orlando, Florida
43,858 posts, read 43,592,994 times
Reputation: 58603
I think forums are a wonderful way for people to totally disagree in the political threads, but find so much in common in other threads and become friends. It works across the country and it works around the world.
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