AH, The Forums Yet Again

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  1. gmwilliams profile image85
    gmwilliamsposted 10 years ago

    What makes some forums highly contentious and analogous to a verbal battlefield and verbal battleground?  It seems that some can have amicable discourses while others have quite heated verbal altercations that border on the vituperative, viperish, venomous, and utterly vitriolic.  Yes, the forums are often a microosm of the real world of discussions.  The forum experience can be quite, intensely interesting, don't YOU think?

    1. Cardisa profile image89
      Cardisaposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      There are just some people who like being contentious. It doesn't matter the forum, these people will always find something to be angry about. There are some people here on HP who believes they know everything and whatever they say goes. There are some people who believe that their opinion is is the only on and the rest of us can go to hell...lol

      We don't respect each other enough.

      Recently someone on FB blocked me because I chose to have a different opinion. It didn't matter to me because who needs friends like those?

      1. bethperry profile image83
        bethperryposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I agree with Cardisa.

        Nobody is going to agree with anyone else 100% of the time. And there is no harm in coming back to politely clarify a point if you feel you didn't make it absolutely clear the first time. Most of us agree with this. But there are individuals that devote a lot of time maligning, name-calling and outright defaming anyone that holds an opposing view. They cannot be content with merely stating an opinion in a respectful manner and moving on. And these people, when their targets don't provide them more fuel for their troll fires, will accuse them of not having the will to defend their opinion, in the hope such an accusation will make the target feel obligated to come back and rejoin the conversation. While they may define what they do as acting out of earnest concern for the topic or that they are merely looking for an "honest conversation", their habitual contentious behavior and sheer volume of hours put into it reveals something else. A friend that studies psychological personality disorders says that what is frequently seen as "Repetitious Shout Down" on the internet is often indicative of classic narcissistic disorder, and that the repetitious need to have the last word in a debate is a trait of aggressive obsessive-compulsive personalities. One telling symptom common among those that suffer either disorder is the tendency to answer or respond with a question, most notably a decidedly pointed or accusatory question. This is a baiting response maneuver used when the individual has little fact or material evidence to support their stance on the topic. Another telling sign is the practice of deviating the subject or focus of the discussion to another, in order to deflect the matter away from something they cannot defend with facts. E.g.: the individual resents what they perceive as negative or untrue comments about dogs in a discussion about canine behavior, so they derail the topic by focusing on the negative behaviors of cats.

        Unfortunately, those that suffer these tendencies are among the least likely of maladjusted individuals to seek treatment or modify their behavior owing to the fact that many disguise their behavior behind social "causes", which they take up in the unconscious effort to give their behaviors exoneration. They tend to befriend, or at least trust, only those that share their disorders, and are often active in groups where negative online behaviors -such as trolling, sock puppeteering and general cynicism- is encouraged. In other words, the individual knows they have a monkey on their back and respond to it by pitching a tent in the banana market.

        As frustrating, tedious and annoying as these folks can be for the rest of us, I think the best way to protect ourselves from their malevolence is in cultivating a "Whatever." attitude. For if we cannot resist the temptation to bounce back with a response to every contentious thing these people write, we risk developing the same maladjustment problems they have. And we also risk utterly wasting as much of our lives as they have with theirs.

        1. Sed-me profile image78
          Sed-meposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          That was really interesting. You could write a whole hub about the psyche of a troll. It would probably get a lot of hits.

          1. gmwilliams profile image85
            gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            There are PLENTY..........They are malcontents who love to stir up trouble.  They also may have an animus against the OP for whatever reason!  OTHERS may dislike the subject of the thread. Some trolls are established hubbers who should know better while others are typical mysterious hubbers.

    2. GA Anderson profile image87
      GA Andersonposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I think, as your post illustrates,  they are a great opportunity to display unnecessary verbal gymnastics that could be easily accomplished with much fewer syllables.

      How about - What makes some forums nasty hate filled arguments instead of an exchange of opinions? Is this what the real world is like?

      Hmmm... too few syllables and big words? A good vocabulary is best displayed by concise statements.

      But, after deciphering your vainglorious verbiage, (which could be considered verbose),  I can answer your question - yes the verisimilitude of your statement could be a reflection of real life. (and I say this without vexation)


    3. Kiwi Max profile image64
      Kiwi Maxposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Snakes on a forum! Yikes!!

      1. profile image0
        Beth37posted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Apparently that's better than snakes on a plane.

        1. gmwilliams profile image85
          gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Now THAT'S cute,sssssssssssss!

    4. The Examiner-1 profile image61
      The Examiner-1posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Injuries from words cause more harm than injuries from punches (which heal quickly), depending on the receiver.

  2. Alphadogg16 profile image85
    Alphadogg16posted 10 years ago

    It may just be that our society has become so image conscience and politically correct that your not allowed freedom of speech, as it's claimed we have. Some people may just see the forums as a way to vent and get a little carried away with it. Maybe Cardisa is right, some people are just mad at the world, and you know misery loves company.

  3. fpherj48 profile image61
    fpherj48posted 10 years ago

    gm.....Very unique individuals of every race, color, creed, ethnicity, education level, background......can be those special "characters," who, for reasons aplenty, live and thrive to be a sort of "Waldo," in the world.

    They strive to blend in amongst the masses, yet stand out in some striking manner, so as to be "noticed and/or discovered."  Taking this concept just a step further, in their desire to be DIFFERENT than those they wish to mesh with (are you confused, yet? lol) they go either left or right.....to the sweet, loving & Saintly side...or the aggressive, bold & cynical side. 

    Either way, more often than not, they will achieve their desire to attract ATTENTION.... which is their core motive.

    The particular individuals you mention, who behave as terrorists, by hijacking a discussion....to inject venom in the form of anger, hatred, judging, blaming......well, this is what nourishes them with smug satisfaction and spurs them on.

    Is it not frustrating and stressful to REFRAIN from giving these darlings a hard core tongue-lashing of our own?  It is difficult to breathe deeply and merely smirk at their ignorance and rudeness.  How often do some of us, give them the attention they seek?   I've  done it with afterthought of regret and disappointment in myself.

    What should be done and I hope one day, actually occurs.....is that they are totally ignored.  My wish is that those who want to have an intelligent mature discussion on a topic...any topic, simply and pointedly IGNORE them...pass directly over their comments, no matter how often they insist upon barging into a discussion.   What do you believe the ultimate result would be?   I feel strongly that I do know what that result would be and it makes me SMILE!.......Peace, Paula

    1. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Couldn't agree with you more!

  4. Claire Roach profile image48
    Claire Roachposted 10 years ago


  5. Purpose Embraced profile image82
    Purpose Embracedposted 10 years ago

    People are from different backgrounds and have different perspectives, so it is highly likely that we will disagree on issues. One problem is that we are sometimes not willing to try to understand other people's points of view. Another challenge is when we say what we have to say, and are not mindful of the feelings of others.

  6. Solaras profile image96
    Solarasposted 10 years ago

    People will say things in forums and emails that they would never dare say face-to-face.

    Also, sometimes tone and intent can be misconstrued. A bit of sarcasm is viewed as the actual opinion of the author, and discussions go awry.

    1. relache profile image72
      relacheposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Because, of course, as we all know, no one in the "real world" is actually sarcastic.  They just pretend to be that way on the Internet.

      1. Cardisa profile image89
        Cardisaposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        lol lol, Sometimes you are such a treat. lol haha

        1. fpherj48 profile image61
          fpherj48posted 9 years agoin reply to this

          and sometimes, not such a treat.  I certainly HOPE the sarcasm mentioned here is also focused inward.   With years of membership comes knowledge and experience.  This is wonderful and can be appreciated when shared.....in a helpful manner.  The problem occurs when this experience & knowledge is given with a palpable air of superiority & callousness directed at the individual asking a question.  It's simply not acceptable. Cardisa, I distinctly recall you having to BITE BACK at someone for being so nasty to you....and you had every right.
          I have no problem admitting I use sarcasm quite regularly in my writing......usually in humor.  I also will use it so that the receiver can decide for him/her self how to take it.  I see that much more preferable than blatant insult.

          When those participating in a Forum discussion, hijack and continually pound a group of individuals with THEIR agenda and respond with hatred because others are NOT in agreement........it's time to either IGNORE them entirely,report them.....or finally tell them where the bear $hits in the woods.
          The Religious Forums are the VERY worst for this particular scenario.  I came to understand it is a HUGE mistake to comment IN ANY WAY in a Religious Forum.  As a few have mentioned here.....there are those hateful characters who WILL find fault with anyone and everyone's opinions......regardless of how they express them.   There is not a single valid reason anyone should subject themselves to such crap.  We need to continually remind ourselves of why we are here at HP.  I feel safe in saying that for 98% of us, it's not futile head-butting.

          1. Cardisa profile image89
            Cardisaposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            I found what Relache said to be quite funny and I agree with her. I think Solaras wants to see the good in everyone and that is a misconception. People on the internet say what they feel. Most of us here are writers and writers express themselves more openly with pen and paper (computer) than with actual words. I believe the opposite of what Solaras meant to say. I believe that on forums just as these we see people's true colors rather than the other way around.

            You are right, I have on several occasions, bitten back, but I am never one to hold a grudge in cases like these. I move on and forgive. I don't stay clear of you unless you are abusive. A little sarcasm doesn't scare me.

            1. Solaras profile image96
              Solarasposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              Perhaps you posted this to prove my point lol.  I don't want to see the best in people, which is why I prefer animals.  My point was that while people may say what they truly mean on the internet or in email, they can be very uncivilized about it.

              Dealing with the public, I would get very abusive emails.  When I picked up the phone and confronted them, politely, they sang a different tune and back-peddled.  People hide behind anonymity. Most writers on the forums are not using their full names; so some feel free to be savage. It's a form of bullying from the safety of your keyboard.

              My other point was that people can misconstrue tone and intention or not get a bit of sarcasm, and then things get out of hand.  People feel insulted over a misunderstanding and mud starts being flung. I see people getting bent out of shape because they missed one word like "not" on these forums.

              1. Cardisa profile image89
                Cardisaposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                I think I misunderstood your previous comment, because this is exactly as I understand online abuse to be. Thanks for clarifying. smile

                1. Solaras profile image96
                  Solarasposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                  Meow - Woof - Its's all good!

  7. Wesman Todd Shaw profile image81
    Wesman Todd Shawposted 9 years ago

    These forums have been nothing but an utter waste of my time every time I've been here...15 seconds so far, and I'm not following or coming back to this one, or likely any others for a very long time.

    1. Cardisa profile image89
      Cardisaposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I was really bored and stressed today. Needed something to take my mind off stuff. This didn't do it for me.

    2. Sed-me profile image78
      Sed-meposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I miss you so much.

  8. Link10103 profile image60
    Link10103posted 9 years ago

    Im fine with anyone having a different opinion than mine, whatever it may be. I do expect them to be able to back up their opinion if they assert it as truth or otherwise call into question my own opinion. If I am getting insulted/belittled by someone who can't even back up their own words, I am very likely to get heated.

  9. Kiss andTales profile image60
    Kiss andTalesposted 9 years ago

    I have to say I have experience it all from both sides. But what I have learned is that some discussions are like a dead end street there is only one way in and no return.
    Meaning opinion is all that exist ,not proof or backing the opinion up. When asked for it .you get a verbal fight. Because they can not produce proof. Also it is about saving face or image. That seems more important then the truth. this is sad, because the truth will change for no one.

    1. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this


  10. gmwilliams profile image85
    gmwilliamsposted 9 years ago

    Then there are those who enter a forum just to be totally invasive and snarky towards the OP and other posters.   They refuse to respond to the thread and instead personally attack the OP and other posters, purposely avoiding the topic entirely.  I find that very rude and immature to say the least! Such people should be permanently banned from participating in the forums.


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