Some other forums have an ignore list feature, which I think could be quite helpful and useful here. It allows each individual member to create an ignore list. This is a list of other members whose posts that individual does not wish to see. When members on the list post, it will show that they posted, but the text of their post will not be be displayed. The posts are only hidden for that member, they will show up like normal for all other members (unless they also have the poster on their ignore list)
I believe adding this feature would help reduce conflict and controversy, while still allowing everyone to post freely. It would also make the moderators' job easier. I'm not sure if the forum software audiogon uses supports this feature, but, if it does, they should definitely look into implementing it.
That would take some serious work and revisions for Admin and I doubt they'd even entertain the idea. Also, practically everyone else here will call it some form of censorship which won't go over well.
I think that with the new tools we have at hand, something like this following an unfavorable comment will suffice:
The feature you're proposing would be contributing to polarization. By vanishing those voices or opinions one doesn't like, one tends to become more confirmed in their own views, and this actually pushes groups further out to extremes they might not have gone to before. Here's a good article on this:
"Belief polarization is the cognitive phenomenon by which interactions with like-minded people transform us into more extreme versions of ourselves. To put it another way, when we talk only to others who share our views, we each come to hold more extreme versions of those views. Yes-men, groupthink and echo chambers can radicalize us."
Although some might call it it "censorship", it is not. Censorship is an individual, or smaller group, deciding what a larger group can, or cannot, see. An individual deciding what they want to see, or not see, is freedom. An ignore list feature would promote self-moderation and self-control, thus reducing the moderators' workload. I fully expect that, if the feature were implemented, some would put me on their ignore list, and I'm totally fine with that. It could help them to not respond with impulsive posts they might later regret. The same goes for me.
Wow, I did not know that about Rome/Thumb up-down and was honestly doubtful for a minute - but you are totally correct. Thank you for the history lesson. One of the few times I actually felt smarter after reading through a thread here ;-)
Part of being tolerant of opposing views is choosing not to respond every single time you see one expressed. If, every time someone expresses an opposing view, you feel the need to respond to/refute it, who is the one being intolerant?
Am I the only one the finds the arguments entertaining? I also remember being taught that "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me". I guess the age of the internet crusades has reversed that old saying.
I would be happy if the censorship were applied equally. Like, if I said your little needle never find groove, boom, deleted. Girl go banana for big horn?? Boom, deleted! What are you able to get away? Depends on who you are.
Polarization? Contributing to polarization? Polar you head out.
I suppose my point about polarization wasn’t made clearly. I apologize.
@tommylion I think I get your point better, now. Some people are really aggressive and even trolling in their posts, and that’s what an "ignore" button would help with. Have I got that right?
The thing I worry about -- for myself, and for healthy agon, in general -- is that we’re at a point where disagreements or strong opinions are too quickly *taken* for trolling, when it’s not really meant that way.
I learn a lot from folks here who come across as, let’s say, larger-than-life characters. If, on a bad exchange, I chose to "ignore" them in perpetuity, I’d be losing the chance to learn from them in the future and also find ways of making my arguments in ways I don’t normal have to invent.
@millercarbon Not following your comment, unless it's a shorthand way of dismissing the phenomenon of polarization.
Ignoring one poster doesn't mean that you aren't going to still get the flavor of his/her commentary throughout the thread if others that you haven't de-selected respond to his/her "objectionable" narrative.