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Re: Your input requested – How should “Controversial …

Home Forums DISCUSS General Discussion and Questions Your input requested – How should “Controversial Topics” be handled? Re: Your input requested – How should “Controversial …

  • Mon, Jun 29, 2009 - 08:53am

    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: Your input requested – How should “Controversial …

 OK, as you requested my input…

I think it would be a mistake to parcel off "controversial" topics elsewhere for several reasons…

1. Marking topics as controversial means that the site is de-facto expressing a view. For example, IMO if global warming is labelled as "controversial" in most people’s eyes the site would be showing itself to be way behind the science – is that what you want? How do you think that will add to the credibility of the main message of the site?

In other words, I personally think that labelling global warming as controversial would be controversial – this may apply to other topics too.

The flip side of this is that those people who refute global warming (to continue my example) will also probably be dissatisfied as being parceled off into what might be seem as kranks corner.

OTOH some of the other topics you mention, like guns, are far more "controversial" IMO,  in that there is no science of guns – the effects of owning guns on society are much more open to debate – but (if I were interested – which I’m not particularly, as I am UK based and we really don’t have a gun culture) I would still be quite happy to debate the use/ownership of guns in an open forum as it is a mainstream topic (and indeed, is also mentioned explicitly by Chris in his Self Assessment)

2. Frankly, at the moment there is not a critical mass of forum users to present a representative view of some of the issues being discussed. In time there might be, or there might not. I don’t think that splitting the forum in to more subject areas is going to be good for the health of the forum at this stage as it will probably lead to fewer postings overall.

3. In time, if the forum thrives, it will self police a bit better. People will get fed up of long tirades and say so. Posters who are way off the mark (or just plain long and boring) will be shunned and will either have to learn to stick to the point and make pithier comments, or not take part.


The forum should be changed completely and just have a range of topics far more closely tied to the CM message – then people will probably not bother to post much on "controversial" topics. What do you expect to happen when there is a category called "general discussion"?