Inspection- Facebook ‘Debates’

                   
Tired of COVID back and forth? Find what’s happening on the both protest fronts no longer a … riot? Here’s something few ever discuss…

By Ken Carman

 I have stated for a long time that Facebook doth not serve debate well, if at all. It does serve snark, bullies, ad hominem and Inspectionsome of the worst tendencies of humans to avoid actual communication. Can someone tell me the last time anyone was convinced of anything by being called a “Nazi,” or a “libtard?” For those with even an ounce of conscience, the satisfaction felt after doing so, IF ANY, ignores the fact that that behavior actually…
 …inspired more hate.
 Made people double down.
 Increased the divide.
Twitter may be worse, but I don’t know that. I really try to avoid Twitter for that very reason: seems to be home to even more… twit… behavior.
 In the past 30 plus years discussion has broken down due to framing and base politics. All you have to do is watch some of the old episodes of Firing Line, even better go back and read a Lincoln/Douglas debate: see how far down the no communication, simplistic mumbo jumbo, nasty hole to Hell we have fallen. When it comes to the net I would love to see a return to something more like a format I participated in for years: a debate site called Volconvo. At its best Volconvo had rules. You broke them you could be warned, could be blocked for a short period of time, or just kicked off.
 Rules…
 No ad hominem attacks/name calling.
 Provide proof of claims.
 Accusations without proof were strictly discouraged, could get you banned.
 Civil, rational discussion.
 Stay on topic or explain why the shift has to do with the topic.
 You get points for violating the rules. Too many, goodbye… at least for a while.
  Moderators decide, moderators rule. Generally the owner of the site will not overrule them.
 Those who post on my Old Forge Discussion Board may recognize at least one of these rules, not all. I didn’t intentionally follow that format, it just seemed to flow naturally out of me. Soon I kept getting caught between old friends, old teachers, etc. So when I felt I was making too many mistakes a new owner of Volcovo had made when he took over. I felt I was too close to it all, I gave my moderators the power to be major decision makers.
 Very small town.
 True discussion is the antithesis of ad hominem attacks, framing. I say Joe Biden is an idiot, I say Donald Trump is an idiot. These are opinions. I call you a libtard. You call me a Nazi. They mean nothing. They have no place in an honest debate. They are the equivalent of playground wedgies and, “Your mother wears army boots.”
 Wouldn’t that be a compliment these days?
 Such comments and behavior actually say far more about those who act that way. Nothing good. A lot bad. They tend to convince no one, and just get nodding heads to nod more.
 You’ve achieved nothing of substance. It’s like copying of someone’s paper in school, someone who copied off of someone, who… It’s like ‘writing’ an original short story only filled with old, tired, beyond trite clichés. Not original at all.
 One thing that should annoy everyone is when people use what amounts to… LOOK OVER THERE INSTEAD!!!! Recently I asked a poster to provide links to prove what she was claiming. The bounce back was, “Well you provide proof of this… this…. this…” Nothing my simple question was claiming, which only asked for links to what she claimed. I told her this wasn’t “you show me yours, I’ll show you mine.”
 These ‘arguments’ aren’t arguments. They are what is called strawmen: attempts to distract, get you to knock something unrelated down that was intentionally put in your way to avoid open, respectful, back and forth, honest discussion. It’s like you’re the chef and sneaking away from the discussion table without serving anything eatable, nutritious.
 If asked someone making claims should show their work, at least a little, or at least say, “Just my opinion.” It’s not up to others to do that work for them. Not up to them to rummage around on their Facebook page trying to find their ‘proof.’
 Pause for an observation: Facebook navigation can really suck.
 Provide proof: a link, and not just to some left or right opinion piece, something claimed by Americans Against Libtardary, or Progressives Against Pissy NeoNuts.
 Yeah, I made those up. Point being why should I believe what any group, or what any thing that chooses to refer to itself with that almost always oxymoronic title “think tank,” claims? Surveys taken by Democratic Party or Republican Party? Newsmax? Link?
 Of course Twitter and Facebook are both home to a lot of conspiracies and false information. Just recently there’s been a crackdown. Really, as much as these platforms can be social hell on Lear jet powered skates, I feel some empathy here. They can’t win. Just let it go and hell is paid. Crack down on it and hell is paid.
 Except obviously Twitter. Don’t know for sure. Don’t do Twitter. But the recent controversy sure seems to indicate so, and past ones. Plus the shorter, the more snippy, kind of post a platform does well with the more problems.
 I will continue to post. I enjoy contacting old friends, increasing readership for my many columns, swooping in and nailing humorous comments… hopefully. But social platforms generally SUCK for rational discussion or debates.

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Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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