Flaming

Open: A proposal for community standards of forum behavior

Moderator: Discussion & Debate Managers

teedyo
Member
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 12:27 am

Re: Flaming

Post by teedyo » Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:11 pm

The issue I have with this perspective is that it makes the 'correctness' of wide-spread ignorance more authoritative than 'correctness' by design or definition. See the recent 'debate' concerning hacker v. cracker on the MOUL forums. There are entire social philosophies built on this premise of the majority is 'correct' regardless of the truth or facts. To me, this seems chaotic, unstable and unsustainable. When definition is tossed out the window; everything becomes relative and the ability to have meaningful communication is lost. See Tower of Babel. ;-)

User avatar
Nalates
Member
Posts: 437
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: Flaming

Post by Nalates » Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:10 am

No definitions are being tossed.

It's not ignorance to be collecting information and creating a workable guideline that fits with new experience and knowledge. RFC's are written for a technical audience and are usually way boring. It's a matter of understanding who the audience is and using appropriate material.

The ridge thought that only the chosen and highly educated can form new definitions ignores the reality of life as a growing and changing dynamic and how definitions were initially defined. That meanings change does not prevent communication. The young and ignorant often do not know something cannot be done, so they find a way to do it after the more experienced and educated have given up.

The argument over the terms "cracker" and "hacker" has gone on as far back as early 80's, from what I can research. Generally when groups get into labeling other groups over who is ignorant because of how they use the terms, it reveals ignorance on both sides. One lacks information on human nature and the evolution of word definitions, or refuses to accept it, and the other lacks knowledge of technical nuance and couldn't care less.

It all boils down to whether one is smart enough to figure out what the other is talking about. While it would be nice if English was not ambiguous and everyone used the same definitions and knew all the details and nuances, that just isn't going to happen. This exercise is about figuring out how to deal with that set of problems. Whether a book or an RFC should be used is less important than which concepts in the two should be used or revised.
Nalates
GoW, GoMa and GoA apprentice - Guildmaster GoC - SL = Nalates Urriah

User avatar
Mac_Fife
Member
Posts: 1229
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:38 am
Location: Scotland
Contact:

Re: Flaming

Post by Mac_Fife » Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:08 pm

My use of electrical wiring standards was deliberately over the top, just to highlight that some "standards" have more weight behind them than others. However, RFC 1855, in the very first paragraph states that it does not set out a standard; it is informational, and was written simply as a guide to help what was then the new breed of non-technical (or uninformed) internet user get up to speed with what had become the accepted protocols for using the internet. Whether you assume the RFC or some other book or document is the definitive refence for definitions is, in my opinion, largely irrelevant because the vast majority of modern day internet users (the consumers, if you like) will be ignorant of every one of those sources.

But if was going to point at something, say as a reference in a set of forum rules, then I'd choose the RFC over a book, for the simple reason that copyright generally means that a book's content won't be available on the internet, and it's not helpful to expect your user's to go and find the book in their local library to figure out what you mean. There may be other, better online references than the RFC nowadays, but I don't know. But even that is probably a moot point, because directing peopleto any other source to explain your rules is probably a bad idea; human's are naturally lazy about these things if it doesn't seem interesting to them, so most people just won't bother to look up the reference. It can be hard enough to get people to read the forum rules in the first place! So, my view is that if you want to define Flaming (or Trolling or Hacking or Cracking) in the context of your website then you state the definition you want to use within your rules, and as simply as possible. Most people get the gist of it right away, and a reference source may only be needed for subtleties that will only come into play in a very few cases.

This is all getting a little bit away from this thread's original topic, but as commented in the hacking/cracking argument mentioned by Teedyo, definitions of words/terms can gradually change or new definitions are added, and the popular media is often a driving factor behind that: The problem is possibly that "computer hacker" rolls off the tongue a little more easily than "computer cracker" so is maybe a bit more pleasing to a news editor :?

Anyway, to go some way back towards the original topic, for "Flaming", I don't believe we have the same level of confusion over what it is or is not that might exist between "Hacking" and "Cracking", so I agree with Nalates last paragraph in the preceding post.
Mac_Fife
OpenUru.org wiki wrangler

User avatar
Nalates
Member
Posts: 437
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: Flaming

Post by Nalates » Sun Jul 11, 2010 8:22 pm

Mac_Fife, you make several very good points.

The book is likely to be more difficult for people to find and the RFC is online. And people do not often follow links and follow up. So, in both cases we'll likely be using quotes and attributing.

The idea that a forum should quote the definitions open to interpretation, which they are using, is probably the most effective and least ambiguous way to handle them.

I think the definition of flaming is less at issue here than is the problem of determining when flaming is appropriate, which was the point before we started the side track.

On a side note: Op/Ed: The Loss of Civility
Nalates
GoW, GoMa and GoA apprentice - Guildmaster GoC - SL = Nalates Urriah

Post Reply

Return to “Standards For Discussion & Debate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest