McSpotlight: Ahhhhh, what fun it is to be under attack from all sides.
Qx: You're not under attack from me. If you feel that way it could well be a matter of your own preception.
McS: Most people do not like being insulted, nor really to read about others being insulted. Tit for tat insults are pretty boring for everyone to read, and finally insults do not win arguments.....SO, it would be better for everyone if the debating room consisted only of argument, with no insults at all. However, it is extremely difficult if not impossible for us to remove backbiting/abuse/insults etc from people's messages when the message is a mixture of argument and insults, without changing the meaning of the message being posted. Therefore, the only solution is for people to excercise self restraint when posting messages,
Qx: I would recommend looking at how ZNet works their debating forums. The moderators there usually send out postings entitled "Scope and Purpose of this Forum" on a periodic basis and it seems to work to good effect. It's just a suggestion so please don't take this personally.
m: and to remember that abuse will not actually help you win your argument. and if you really can't manage that, then to take your insults off site and keep them to private emails. And that, in a nutshell, is what we are asking all contributors to do.
Qx: And that is one aspect that would do nicely in a posting entitled "Scope and Purpose of this Forum" in which that is addressed to everybody. Not just one person in particular and definitely not in what could be construed as an authoritarian manner. I feel that just pronouncing commandments tends to have the opposite effect.
m: As a moderator I can say I get very bored of reading the insults from both sides, whereas I find it interesting to read the arguments, whether I agree with them or not. Please all help keep the debates interesting and on topic.
Qx: Fair enough and I've done what I could to get the debating on- topic. I have to admit though that if I was a moderator I wouldn't complain about the insults being tossed about as boring. After all, it should be considered inevitable and a part of the job. Posting a "Scope and Purpose of this Forum" would go a long ways in addressing the said situation. After all, this is just a suggestion so please don't think your under attack. Other moderators seem to take this in stride. At least it looks that way.
McSpotlight: Happens to be me gets to answer you again. Under attack - ok I was exaggerating for effect. Don't worry, I don't take things personally, and I do generally take things in my stride, as I would guess, do all the other moderators. However, that doesn't stop us getting frustrated when rather than debate there's insults flying. As for being 'part of the job' well perhaps I wouldn't mind if I was being paid for it! But no, actually I'd still prefer it even then if people stuck to debate. I think most people find it more interesting and if they find it interesting then they're more likely to start thinking a bit more about the issues.
We're having discussions at present about improving the debating room, and giving more explanation of it's purpose and what's acceptable and what's not, so that people know from the start (although actually the top page of the DR does say abusive posts will be rejected). I'll take up you're suggestion of having a look at the Znet stuff, it's always helpful to see how other people deal with things.
Thanks for your suggestions.
Meanwhile, you may be interested to check out a message posted in reply to a message you posted on 3rd Oct. It's in the Capitalism debating room, and the thread started on 14th September. I'm only telling you this because I know there's a limit to how far people check back to see if anyone's replied to their message. And this one is just a little unfriendly, so I thought it only fair you got the chance to respond.