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Recently I have noticed an overabundance of diaries with a modest to average number of reccomends but 3 and 4 times the number of comments.

Many of those are rife with flamewars: people battling the same other people over and over, on the same points, never-endingly.

Click on one of these and you will find people's comments shrinking and sliding to the right of the page, getting smaller and smaller as each participant thinks they have issued the final jab that curtails the issue once and for all. Minds don't change, nothing is accomplished; diary is polluted with useless noise.

Sometimes I imagine Kos looking at all this and face-palming himself silly.

He's tried. He's seen public diaries complaining of the need to "manage the trolls". We have seen him issue warnings to cut it out or else.

We have seen Kos deliver on "or else" and ban people.

Then we have to listen to some complain about who was banned and who wasn't, and nobody wants that.

So....

Daily Kos is NOT a game show.

This website is not here to vote people "off the island".

You aren't going to "win" anything.

Daily Kos is a website run by a guy named Kos. It's his site; he can manage it as he wishes; my belief is he set this up for functioning adults.  I can only imagine how he must feel having to deal with some of the recurring complaints about this or that he must get.

I have suggested on a couple occasions that people's focus on "HR'ing" people is killing this place, which it is. The HR feeds into this nonsense. Those who regret they have but 5 donuts a day are feeding the problem. It is a huge distraction.

So now I am suggesting - one can take it as one wants - that people make more of an effort to discern whether the "intense discussion' you are having is 'really' a discussion or is it a flamewar, or degenerating into one.

This isn't difficult.  There's a difference between 'spirited and respectful' argumentation and the specific kinds of commenting tactics that efficiently hijack a diary/posting off it's intended subject and on to some nonsensical tangent. You know what I mean.

These comments don't usually rise to be hr-able but do effectively hijack and disrupt the topic of conversation anyway.

Identify these things and just break off interaction. I am making a real effort to do this myself. I am inviting others to try.

No hrs (unless something egregious - more on that in a moment).

No witty retorts.

Just give up on that particular interaction.

No recipes.

No clever last word.

Nothing.

And note I am avoiding the terms "troll", "trollish", "trolling", or "trollery". I think it's valuable to bypass using this term as well. One less bone of contention to pick.

It is hard, it is annoying, it's tempting. It requires responsibility and discipline.

Save yourself some carpel tunnel issues, save the general readership from some of this lesser-productive commentary, help Kos get his hand off his face.

And "No" this doesn't mean curtailing actual, proper, legitimate, honest-to-goodness debate. That IS what this place is for. Go for it.

HR's

As far as HR's and "troll diaries" go, I'd say carry on as usual.

I'm not motivated to look for that sort of stuff and rarely will I use HR's, but we get real 'troll diaries' and those are fair game. Take your frustrations out on them.

Same goes, of course, with genuinely offensive/unacceptable comments - hr that - but that is the point about flamewar stuff: it isn't always clearly 'hr-able' - that's another reason to just deprive it of attention and not fan the flames with a hide-rating.

Again, I believe you sorta know it when you see it.

Please and thank you for giving this some consideration.

Originally posted to Toking Points Memo on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 11:25 AM PDT.

Also republished by Courtesy Kos.

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