One of the goals here at Courtesy Kos is to find a way to reduce the amount and the severity of pie fights, meta nastiness, personal grudges, vendettas and other nasty aspects of this generally wonderful, kind community. The constant infighting, personal attacks, and anger that passes through here from time to time legitimately hurts and degrades the experience for many people around here. What originally was a community of light becomes a community of heat. What was the reality based community turns into the personal attack and vendetta community. As we saw with the latest rash of Idealist/Pragmatist debate turned flame war, this community suffers. The very fabric of the website begins to fall apart, and this begins to feel like a facebook comments thread and less like a community that at all cares about its members.
We at Courtesy Kos have given this topic a lot of thought, and I think we have a solution to reduce the vitriol when the pie wars are in full swing, be it about I/P, Idealist/Pragmatist (the other I/P), the Gun wars, or any other number of topics that cast off a lot of heat because of the emotions involved with the debate. This idea was aptly named "Talk Me Down" by joedemocrat, who wrote one of the best meta diaries I have read in my 4+ years here at the GOS (Civility Starts With Each and Every One of Us -- Please read it if you haven't had the chance).
"Talk Me Down" is a service that the members of Courtesy Kos will provide to people in need of advice or help communicating with other members of the community in a respectful, courteous fashion, even during a heated argument. Our proposal to the community is this: Please use our group's inbox as a sort of private place that you can come and ask questions about how to handle, for example, someone who has been goading you into a pie fight, or about an issue at dailykos is offending you, and our members will provide positive, upbeat, good advice about how to handle said situation.
We have been using this method in our own interaction at the GOS (Dave in Northridge says the group has been successful in talking him down on more than one occasion), and we have all found that having a safe, neutral space outside of the "openness" of Kos proper has helped us in our interaction out in the comments threads and in our own diaries. Our hope here is that we can reduce the amount of vitriol by providing a neutral place to come and talk honestly about problems without the pressure of being in public to do it, and to provide not only positive, but good advice about how to navigate the choppy seas that is political discourse on the internet.
If you have an issue with someone in the comments of a diary, or are offended about something and would like ways to make your comment both civil and the proper way to express your feelings, please feel free to direct a private message to our group, and we will try to help talk you down.
Thank you for reading the diary. We at Courtesy Kos welcome questions and messages. If you want to reach our group, you can do so by sending the group a message. If you would like to join, please toss me or any one of our admins a private message. If you want to see the diaries from Courtesy Kos in your stream, click this link to follow the group.Edit: It is important to reiterate this excellent point by CK member 2thanks.
My goal at Daily Kos is to learn and create light, not heat. I am not a policeman or a therapist. I will not tell anyone what to do. I might say what I have done in a similar situation, however.