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Talk:No personal attacks

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A better sentence?Edit

Can we change:

"No insults, no flaming, no trolling, or any other forms of offensive behavior."

to:

" No insults, flaming, trolling, mud-slinging, or any other forms of offensive behavior."

Just a thought. Grammer is a bit better and "mud-slinging" covers a wide variety of behavior where two people might not have directly called each other names but are still hurling insults.

P.S.- Before anyone thinks it, this has nothing to do with anyone on this site, nor any argument with anyone I have ever had. It was a random idea that I had which I felt would benefit the site...in case anyone is wondering! :-) -FC 05:38, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Wouldn't mud slinging of an offensive nature be covered under "any other forms" of behavior? --31dot 12:36, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

I would be. I just feel the current wording makes it sound as if you have to call someone a vulgar name for it to be considered a true personal attack. A slight rewrite would cover other items such as "talking down" to others and rude or snide comments that might not involve a direct profane statement. -FC 13:27, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Snide comments aren't personal attacks, unless they're offensively about the person. This is the internet. On the internets, you need thick skin.
Now, you may take that line as a snide or rude comment, or me talking down to you, but it's also just a fact of life and a truism. As such, it's not really a personal attack is it now? -- sulfur 15:35, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

I feel offended! Just kidding!!  :-) I guess we can leave out "mud-slinging" but a slight grammer fix would do no harm. -FC 16:31, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

As a Shield for Administrators Edit

I've had a concern here for awhile and have not been sure how to bring it up, so I'll tackle it with my usual bluntness. For a few years now, I have noticed that this policy has been used as a defense for administrators against any criticism of their actions or behaviors. I'll admit that admin powers have not been misused to this end, but proper conversations on the nature of this website and the behavior of its editors have been stifled because of this "shield."

I know what you're saying, "Cobra's gone nuts, and we should be able to approach things professionally without personal attacks!" I agree, but the problem comes in defining what is a personal attack. A few years back I couldn't raise a discussion about Alan's attitude with other editors (something that has greatly improved in the intervening period) because all attempts were treated as personal attacks. When Defiant came back to editing and blocked Alan, Defiant hid behind this very policy when any criticism of his actions was brought up. Sulfur now has a problem with sarcastic and snarky comments (that themselves may violate this very policy) in edit summaries, but instead of approaching that debate, other administrators refuse to get into the specific edits, while at the same time refusing to get into any problem between the two editors. Well what's left? This policy limits us to "edits, not editors," yet you won't get into the specific dispute?

This policy cannot continue to be used as a shield for administrators. If it does, we are going to see continued problems with administrators acting like they are "above" the rest of us. They aren't. We as a community have entrusted them with certain specific tools, and that is it. --OuroborosCobra talk 16:43, April 17, 2011 (UTC)

Also, before anyone tries it, I know I'm not the best at following this policy right now. Frankly, until sulfur and others stop being insulting in their edit summaries, I don't see much of the point anyways. They can insult the rest of us in those summaries, after all... --OuroborosCobra talk 16:45, April 17, 2011 (UTC)

For the record, I agree with all of the above as mentioned by Cobra. --| TrekFan Open a channel 16:47, April 17, 2011 (UTC)
I have to say, I don't even understand most of the middle part about edit summaries (and yes, I know the other discussion). Other than that, aren't you arguing both sides of the debate at the moment? It seems to me as if "Yes, edit summary comments are personal attacks" and "No, admins mustn't consider any comments directed at them to be personal attacks" were contrary positions.
I think, if everyone just grew a thicker skin, and tried to not fall for every obvious attempt at trolling for insulting replies, we'd instantly be in a better position already. -- Cid Highwind 16:54, April 17, 2011 (UTC)
I'd be willing to try a new 'thicker-skin' approach. I've seen a lot of trolling in my day, and it gets harder and harder not to react to obvious insults as the years go by. But is there an ongoing agenda of 'let's punish this person for being thin-skinned in 2010? In 2009? In 2006?"
It seems to me that letting some of that baggage go is the first step - for example, not characterizing someone for last year's mistakes and looking forward instead. -- Captain MKB 16:56, April 17, 2011 (UTC)

@Cid: Not really. My problem is that any attempt at constructive criticism that would normally not be considered a personal attack, when directed at administrators, is considered a personal attack. We're free to have constructive debates about anyone else's editing behaviors and choices, but if we point out that sulfur's edit summaries are insulting, suddenly it is too personal. We're free to tell StoryMaster he shouldn't edit the way he does, but if we tell Defiant he's abusing admin powers, we're making a personal attack. I'm not saying we should be free to insult administrators (I realize I'm being somewhat hypocritical in saying that as well), I'm saying that we should be free to make constructive comments on administrators behaviors and actions without them suddenly hiding behind this policy.

@Mike: Where are you seeing this? Certainly in the current dispute you are involved in, not a single editor has brought up past behavior about you. In fact, you are the only one bringing up anyones past behavior in that dispute. --OuroborosCobra talk 17:02, April 17, 2011 (UTC)

Please point me at the discussion where some admin hid behind some "no personal attacks" rule while discussing remarks in edit summaries. -- Cid Highwind 17:08, April 17, 2011 (UTC)

Seeing as Cid won't let me retract this on the basis that he entirely misses the point by hyperfocusing on a single instance out of at least THREE examples I brought up...Sulfur's first response in the edit summary was an implicit attempt to hide behind this policy. I really don't want to bring up the Alan debate because I'm afraid of restarting some sort of animosity there that does not belong in the current timeframe, but Alan explicitly brought up just that policy back then. Then there is Defiant's response to Alan pointing out he wasn't following the image policy, again explicitly hiding behind this policy, or when he tried to characterize and debate on the subject as a personal attack. But hey, we're only going to hyperfocus on one debate and not examine any actual problems on this website, so screw it. I retract. Clearly I'm the only one seeing a real issue to debate beyond one tiny present discussion, TrekFan doesn't exist. --OuroborosCobra talk 17:26, April 17, 2011 (UTC)

I'm sorry, Cid, but I agree with him. There is "double-standards" going on. I don't know what to say that Cobra hasn't already said. I agree with him completely and I think this is an issue that needs sorting. (P.S. I don't exist? I'm confused.) --| TrekFan Open a channel 17:32, April 17, 2011 (UTC)
What you call "retracting", I call "arbitrarily removing a whole discussion just because the way it moves doesn't suit you". This won't happen - and seeing your edit summary (including the phrase "Fuck it") of an edit that removed a discussion about edit summaries was just too funnny, sorry. If you believe that I have some hidden agenda, trying to filibuster, then please think again. All I was asking for was some pointers to the actual events that you yourself brought up as the background for asking something that I'm still not sure what exactly it is.
Bringing up the fact that some discussion started with big words about "some" and "many" people doing something, yet singling out just one of them is not "hiding behind some policy", and much less "hiding behind this policy, specifically". The other examples you've brought up are two(!) and four(!!) years old, respectively, and in at least some cases didn't lead anywhere, anyway - because there wasn't some artificial line between admins on the one and users on the other side. I remember the Defiant example most clearly because, just five edits away I told him that this really isn't a "personal attack" - and I wasn't even the first admin to do so, because 31dot managed to tell him the same in less words two edits before.
So, please, I ask - where is the current problem - and what exactly do you suggest as the current solution to it? -- Cid Highwind 17:51, April 17, 2011 (UTC)

Funny, I could have sworn I put a link to the current debate as asked. Oh well. Like I said, I'm not claiming any moral high ground at the moment since I don't see our administrators acting with any moral high ground either, so you don't get anywhere by comparing my actions to what I'm decrying. I freely admit to being hypocritical. My point in bringing up a current discussion, a two year old discussion, and a four year old discussion is to point out that this is a very long term problem, but clearly that's lost on you. Also, like I said, I've retracted this. --OuroborosCobra talk 17:57, April 17, 2011 (UTC)

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