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Retaining Neutrality and Objectivity in the Thread Title:

Proud Canadian
I propose a new rule: thread titles shouldn't be a subjective declaration like "redemption is becoming overvalued" or "Israel is relying too much on it's victim past". It's a horrible way to starting a good conversation.

Instead, at least word it the title like a question, or just don't state your opinion until the first post.

edited 4th Dec '11 10:10:24 AM by Erock

If you don't like a single Frank Ocean song, you have no soul.
 2 annebeeche, Sun, 4th Dec '11 10:22:52 AM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
"Skadi Forum: Is it Okay to be Friends with Polish People?"

It would be a megathread about the awful things people post on Skadi Forum, and the "is it okay to be friends with Polish people?" part is taken from the title of an actual thread posted on said site.


Actually, let's talk about that thread title itself.

Sure, the title appears technically neutral because it's not saying "Making friends with Polish people is not okay" or "making friends with Polish people is okay", but the fact that a person had to unironically ask that question in the first place tells you volumes about that person, and volumes about the community that must contest the idea that making friends with Polish people could possibly be okay.

edited 4th Dec '11 10:31:31 AM by annebeeche

Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
 3 USAF713, Sun, 4th Dec '11 10:32:40 AM from the United States
I changed accounts.
Perhaps a better question would be, is it ok to be friends with racists?
I am now known as Flyboy.
 4 drunkscriblerian, Sun, 4th Dec '11 10:51:29 AM from Castle Geekhaven Relationship Status: In season
Street Writing Man
Leave that question out entirely, especially the "is it okay" part. That in and of itself is a subjective declaration, and one that gives your thoughts on the matter. My suggestion would be something like "Racism and personal relationships" And ask the question "what is an effective way to handle having friends who have racist beliefs?" in the body of the OP.

The broad nature of the title also encourages people to read the OP body before formulating a response, instead of simply responding to the title (which, let's face it, a lot of people end up doing).

If I were to write some of the strange things that come under my eyes they would not be believed.

~Cora M. Strayer~
 5 annebeeche, Sun, 4th Dec '11 11:01:55 AM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
[up][up] Except that would be a different question.

[up] And that's a good way to handle said question.

But now let's take it and apply it to the first question about Polish people (I apologize in advance for poisoning your words):

My suggestion would be something like "The Polish nationality and personal relationships" And ask the question "what is an effective way to handle having friends who are Polish?" in the body of the OP.

While this is a lighter and softer way to present the same issue, it is still problematic because the question makes the implication that there is something inherently troublesome about being Polish. The reason why this question is poisonous is not because of how it is presented, but because of the nature of question itself.

In short, it's good to care about how you present a question or an argument, but the way you present it will not change its nature. If it's a horrible question, it's a horrible question no matter how it is asked.

edited 4th Dec '11 11:02:43 AM by annebeeche

Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
 6 drunkscriblerian, Sun, 4th Dec '11 11:09:33 AM from Castle Geekhaven Relationship Status: In season
Street Writing Man
@anne: no worries about "poisoning my words"...you make an excellent point.

While this is a lighter and softer way to present the same issue, it is still problematic because the question makes the implication that there is something inherently troublesome about being Polish. The reason why this question is poisonous is not because of how it is presented, but because of the nature of question itself.

Maybe in some parts of the world, being friends with someone of Polish nationality might indeed be troublesome, due to racial/political tension or what-have-you. Not trying to be pedantic, but I can see scenarios where that could be a legitimate discussion.

Not that it's likely, and without that justification you are correct; the problem with that specific question lies with the question itself not the way its worded. Which leads to the second rule of thread creation, which is asking yourself "does this even need to be discussed?"
If I were to write some of the strange things that come under my eyes they would not be believed.

~Cora M. Strayer~
Proud Canadian
I don't give a fuck how other forums do it.

Here we have a good enough community and strict enogh modding to actually enforce something like this with popular support.

I see 3-4 in the top 20 topics now with titles that do not encourage a good conversation, bu rather inflammtory statements and/or circlejerks.
If you don't like a single Frank Ocean song, you have no soul.
 8 annebeeche, Sun, 4th Dec '11 1:52:05 PM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
Here we have a good enough community and strict enogh modding to actually enforce something like this with popular support.

I appreciate your idea, but...

edited 4th Dec '11 1:52:49 PM by annebeeche

Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
Proud Canadian
It wouldn't be hard. The mods can reword thread titles right?
If you don't like a single Frank Ocean song, you have no soul.
 10 annebeeche, Sun, 4th Dec '11 2:03:41 PM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
Yes they can but... um... TV Tropes.

Actually, that's something that's always bothered me—why can't you change your own thread's title on TV Tropes? This is the only forum I've heard of where you can edit your post but you can't edit your thread title.

edited 4th Dec '11 2:08:13 PM by annebeeche

Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
 11 Erock, Sun, 4th Dec '11 2:11:15 PM from Toronto
Proud Canadian
[up]I don't get what you mean by "yeah, um, tvtropes"
If you don't like a single Frank Ocean song, you have no soul.
 12 USAF713, Sun, 4th Dec '11 2:16:55 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
Indeed. TV Tropes is great, but our "don't be a dick" rule is... prone to easy abuse.

After all, you can advocate genocide all you want without being a dick, if you do it politely...

[up][up] I proposed that idea awhile back, actually, but they shot it down.

edited 4th Dec '11 2:17:40 PM by USAF713

I am now known as Flyboy.
 13 Rocket Dude, Sun, 4th Dec '11 2:23:01 PM from AZ, United States
This hat doesn't fit!
Granted, Mods can change thread titles, so if you want to change the title, just holler the OP.
Tumblr | "Hipsters: the most dangerous gang in the US." - Pacific Mackerel
 14 Erock, Sun, 4th Dec '11 2:31:19 PM from Toronto
Proud Canadian
[up]Exactly my idea.
If you don't like a single Frank Ocean song, you have no soul.
 15 Blue Ninja 0, Mon, 5th Dec '11 6:55:16 AM from The Middle of Nowhere Relationship Status: She's holding a very large knife
Slowly dying on the inside
I see 3-4 in the top 20 topics now with titles that do not encourage a good conversation, bu rather inflammtory statements and/or circlejerks. - Erock
As someone who has posted inflammatory thread titles before* , people read them. Threads with boring/obvious thread titles don't have quite the same emotional oomph to click (or not click) on them.
Once the avalanche has started, it is too late for the pebbles to cast their vote. - Ambassador Kosh
 16 Deboss, Mon, 5th Dec '11 9:34:29 PM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
I think a better rule would be "instant lock for threads with all cap or partial all caps titles".
 17 Erock, Tue, 6th Dec '11 3:36:48 PM from Toronto
Proud Canadian
[up][up]I you need a sensationalist title to get people posting, it isn't a good topic.
If you don't like a single Frank Ocean song, you have no soul.
 18 pvtnum 11, Tue, 6th Dec '11 4:11:21 PM from Kerbin low orbit Relationship Status: We finish each other's sandwiches
linkup
I approve of this concept.
Happiness is zero-gee with a sinus cold.
 19 Pink Heart Chainsaw, Tue, 6th Dec '11 4:44:17 PM from Land of Rape and Honey
PinkChainsaw
I also approve. Even though I'm guilty of doing so myself.
"If there is a hole then it's a man's job to thrust into it" - Ryoma from New Getter Robo
 20 Nohbody, Tue, 6th Dec '11 4:44:32 PM from Somewhere in Dixie Relationship Status: Mu
Just zis guy
Blue Ninja, the problem is that those kinds of threads fail, far more often than not, to reach the level of actual conversation (y'know, part of the name of this subforum tongue ), instead winding up consisting of mutual demagoguery and antagonism.

Yeah, "mutual demagoguery and antagonism" isn't exactly unheard of even in neutrally titled threads here, but thread titles help set the tone (for lack of a better term off the top of my head) for the thread. Start off with a hostile and/or adversarial tone...
 21 Blue Ninja 0, Tue, 6th Dec '11 5:18:27 PM from The Middle of Nowhere Relationship Status: She's holding a very large knife
Slowly dying on the inside
I you need a sensationalist title to get people posting, it isn't a good topic. - Erock
A sensationalist title does nothing to get people or posting or not, but it does make them more likely to click on it in the first place. Had I done more than one semester of Psych 101 I'd probably be able to back that up with hard data. tongue And to repeat my hottip, several of my thread titles have been the title of the article I wanted to discuss, copy/pasted verbatim, and then edited by mods for being inflammatory.*

Blue Ninja, the problem is that those kinds of threads fail, far more often than not, to reach the level of actual conversation (y'know, part of the name of this subforum ), instead winding up consisting of mutual demagoguery and antagonism. - Nohbody
IMX, the opening post has much more to do with setting the tone of the conversation than the title.
Once the avalanche has started, it is too late for the pebbles to cast their vote. - Ambassador Kosh
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.
Total posts: 21
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