• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

Announcement Insults and Personal Attacks No Longer Allowed!

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imported_tajmahal

Diamond Member
Jul 9, 2009
8,851
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Go for it -- this ought to be good...

"However, members of the media were mostly interested in my finding that 96% of the 5,577 biologists who responded to me affirmed the view that a human life begins at fertilization. "

96% is a pretty large consensus on when mammalian life begins and it's almost as basic to science the sun rising in the east.
 

Perknose

Forum Director & Omnipotent Overlord
Forum Director
Oct 9, 1999
43,782
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Folks, this is NOT the thread to discuss or debate any side issues. This thread is SOLELY about the new rules, something I have stated now multiple times. Please don't make me issue any more infractions for this.

STOP DISCUSSING ISSUES OTHER THAN THE UPCOMING RULE CHANGES NOW.

Perknose
Forum Director
 

Starbuck1975

Lifer
Jan 6, 2005
12,840
1,358
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Interesting take, but I'm afraid you've misread and misunderstood several things. First, you have ignored the fact that there are two new rules, not one. In fact, what you've done is conflate the two, because you don't understand that an ad hominem isn't always a personal attack. The ad hominem rule may be problematic to enforce, actually. And then there are the personal attacks which are not ad hominems because a poster has based his entire argument on his personal credibility which now can never be challenged meaning we in effect have to accept any argument entirely premised on poster's alleged personal observations and experiences which BTW happens semi-frequently around here.

Then there is the issue of mod intervention when someone repeatedly misstates a FACT in spite of repeated refutation. I notice the word FACT appears nowhere in what you wrote above but the word "opinion" appears several times because you refuse to recognize any distinction between fact and opinion no matter how many times it's explained to you. That the sun rises in the east and sets in the west rather than the other way around because the earth spins in a certain direction isn't a matter of opinion. It isn't a grey area either. Neither is the fact that water is wet, that the VP's name is Mike Pence, or that China employs more people in manufacturing than does the US.

Conflating fact with opinion is not only logically incorrect. It's exactly what has gone wrong in this country. So few people respect facts anymore just as so few people respect science any more. I don't want to live in your world where everything is just a matter of opinion because God help us when facts don't matter anymore and everything is this wishy-washy, mealy mouthed grey area that you keep going on about, because then, anything goes. Genocide, forced sterilization, you name it. Think I'm exaggerating? The Nazis made up all kinds of false factual allegations about Jews, people believed whatever they were told, and look what happened. But in your world, all those allegations were just opinions of the Nazis, not lies. ANd therefore, they were irrefutable because only factual assertions can ever be truly refuted.

So far as the mod rule on this, it is not meant to punish opinions. We know this because Perknose said so. You're mischaracterizing what he said. And that's a FACT.

It's obviously meant for extreme situations so frankly I wouldn't worry about it unless or until it looks like the mods are going over-board with it. Frankly, I doubt we'll see it enforced more than once or twice a year.
It’s sad we need so many rules to moderate a conversation. While facts may be irrefutable, opinion is the subjective evaluation of what some facts mean when taken in context.

Donald Trump won the election. That is a fact. How and why he won is a subjective conversation based on factual data points.
 
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Corn

Diamond Member
Nov 12, 1999
6,390
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To those that are worried about how the "new" rules will be applied, this forum has a rich history detailing what is approved and what is not. There is a reason the counterculture of this forum posts with such brazen disregard for ethics and honesty; it is exactly what is deserved and desired. Give them what they want and moveon.
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
30,694
1,820
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To those that are worried about how the "new" rules will be applied, this forum has a rich history detailing what is approved and what is not. There is a reason the counterculture of this forum posts with such brazen disregard for ethics and honesty; it is exactly what is deserved and desired. Give them what they want and moveon.
huh..….
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
30,694
1,820
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It’s sad we need so many rules to moderate a conversation. While facts may be irrefutable, opinion is the subjective evaluation of what some facts mean when taken in context.

Donald Trump won the election. That is a fact. How and why he won is a subjective conversation based on factual data points.
STOP DISCUSSING ISSUES OTHER THAN THE UPCOMING RULE CHANGES NOW.
 

dud

Diamond Member
Feb 18, 2001
7,628
72
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"In order to be in compliance with recent EU regulations an as yet unadopted EU white paper, posters in P&N will no longer be allowed to levy ad hominems or any sort of personal attacks against another poster."


Been a member here for a looong time and was totally shocked to see that someone was finally trying to bring some semblance of civility to P&N. Am not surprised that this is being done (forced upon) to be in "compliance" with an EU requirement. Free speech is a good thing but can also be taken as bad ... as evidenced by the pit of despair that P&N has become.
 
Mar 11, 2004
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"In order to be in compliance with recent EU regulations an as yet unadopted EU white paper, posters in P&N will no longer be allowed to levy ad hominems or any sort of personal attacks against another poster."


Been a member here for a looong time and was totally shocked to see that someone was finally trying to bring some semblance of civility to P&N. Am not surprised that this is being done (forced upon) to be in "compliance" with an EU requirement. Free speech is a good thing but can also be taken as bad ... as evidenced by the pit of despair that P&N has become.
That should be all you need to know to know how full of shit their statement is. If they were actually worried about that it'd apply to not only the entirety of the forums but the comment section on the main page (which that needs some serious moderation; I've even seen one of the writers posting stuff that would get them banned in the normal forums), and yet they're only applying this to P&N. Its just cover so that they can offload blame for clamping down, which just pisses everyone off and is a big part of why the forums are the ghost town it is these days. I don't doubt the forum handlers have tried to prevent this and that the new site owner really is pushing that nonsense argument, but it simply is broken logic to not apply it to the entire site if they're going to use that chickenshit argument to begin with. And make no mistake that argument is total and complete chickenshit, so whomever came up with it should be looked at with regards to their status in having control to dictate such policy.

They tried to improve P&N before, it didn't work because it inherently won't and you'd have to be incredibly naive to think it will. The real issue is that they basically foisted P&N onto everyone with the forum software changes, which not only undid people being able to block P&N entirely (used to be an option for it to not show up for you), to them outright pushing it to people with the activity sidebar that showed recent or trending threads. They should make P&N like the other forums that only show up when you login, and should either recognize that no amount of clamping down will actually change the inherent behavior or else will need to be willing to do much better and more involved policing if they want to actually accomplish anything.

Which I wouldn't be surprised if the new owners would like P&N to die off entirely (I wouldn't blame them, honestly there's several subforums that make no sense whatsoever for a tech site; although now and again they provided some comedic entertainment - of course most of those were much much much much much much much much better when they were just part of OT). We'll see if its the first step in other changes or if this is just another misguided attempt at "culture change" that accomplishes jack fucking shit other than pissing everyone off like the other times they did it.

The funniest part would be if they actually ended up getting a lawsuit over their increased moderating, because some snowflake claims they've been discriminated against. You know, like the right wingers have been trying to push with the narratives about social media companies clamping down on them spreading full on hate speech. There's already a group of those type of crybabies that have been claiming right wingers are picked on here not because of their overwhelmingly stupid arguments but because something something deep state liberal bias.
 

crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
9,512
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@darkswordsman17, are you aware the P&N is historically the only subforum on Anandtech which ever has allowed ad hominem attacks? Enforcement against personal attacks on all the other subforums has always been swift, and by some measures, draconian. Complaining about bringing P&N into the same standard as the rest of the forum is simply a non-starter, you are wasting your keystrokes. More simply stated, this new rule brings the entirely of the AT forums under the same set of rules. Those who don't like it are free to seek out venues where venomous personal attacks are still allowed. Something tells me that some time out in the wilderness may bring the errant back into the fold; there's something to be said for mod enforcement of civility online, a guiding force that (perhaps poorly and incompletely) substitutes for the social pressures inherent in the physical world, the pressures that keep us civil in day to day life.
 
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dank69

Lifer
Oct 6, 2009
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@darkswordsman17, are you aware the P&N is historically the only subforum on Anandtech which ever has allowed ad hominem attacks? Enforcement against personal attacks on all the other subforums has always been swift, and by some measures, draconian. Complaining about bringing P&N into the same standard as the rest of the forum is simply a non-starter, you are wasting your keystrokes. More simply stated, this new rule brings the entirely of the AT forums under the same set of rules. Those who don't like it are free to seek out venues where venomous personal attacks are still allowed. Something tells me that some time out in the wilderness may bring the errant back into the fold; there's something to be said for mod enforcement of civility online, a guiding force that (perhaps poorly and incompletely) substitutes for the social pressures inherent in the physical world, the pressures that keep us civil in day to day life.
OT has pretty much always allowed ad hominem. Hell, when I first joined it seemed like 80% of OT was nothing more than everyone flaming each other. It was always in good fun, well for the most part, and I'm not sure why when it comes to politics people can't just take the insults as the jokes they are mostly meant to be. It was always just a contest to see who could be the most creative with the flames.
 
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DarthKyrie

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Jul 11, 2016
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OT has pretty much always allowed ad hominem. Hell, when I first joined it seemed like 80% of OT was nothing more than everyone flaming each other. It was always in good fun, well for the most part, and I'm not sure why when it comes to politics people can't just take the insults as the jokes they are mostly meant to be. It was always just a contest to see who could be the most creative with the flames.
People are far too sensitive, they wouldn't last 5 minutes around my family.
 
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HurleyBird

Golden Member
Apr 22, 2003
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This thread is SOLELY about the new rules, something I have stated now multiple times.
I've been trying to do that, but I still haven't seen any clarification on two points:

First, the example: You aren't black so what do you know about racism facing the black community? violates DH1. It's an ad hominem fallacy, but it isn't a personal attack.

But when @jpishgar was asked about this, he said that these types of statements are still allowed. And I totally agree with that for the record; I find the concept of policing failures of logic offensive.

So why then does the OP still say that DH1 is prohibited? This seems to be a contradiction. If the above example isn't prohibited, then neither is DH1. And if DH1 is prohibited, so is the statement.

Secondly, I'm still looking for these three examples of where the "truthfulness" rule was invoked. I don't think that the flat earth example is particularly helpful because it seems extremely unlikely. Real world instances should do a much better job of communicating where the threshold lies.
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
30,694
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I've been trying to do that, but I still haven't seen any clarification on two points:

First, the example: You aren't black so what do you know about racism facing the black community? violates DH1. It's an ad hominem fallacy, but it isn't a personal attack.
How is that not a personal attack? Think about it! If you were arguing or having a discussion with a black person about racism and he looked at you and said -- You ain`t black what do you know about racism? he is attacking your opinoion and he is putting you in your place by attacking you and not the message!
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
30,694
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Lack of negative connotation.
Just because in youre opinion there is "no negative connotation" does not mean that to be true of the person who you said that to!
If it looks like and smells like then it probably is.....
I can sense a lot of negative connotation in that phrase.
You ain`t black what do you know about racism?
That phrase is used to try to disarm somebody with a different opinion.
 

HurleyBird

Golden Member
Apr 22, 2003
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Sure, to an extent tone and subtext are subjective. But for the purpose of this question, the point is that we have a contradiction where in the OP we're told that something isn't allowed, and then told that at least a subset of this proscribed thing is actually fine, but the OP hasn't been updated to reflect that. My guess is that the powers that be are misinterpreting what DH1 (ad hominem fallacy) means in one place or the other.
 

woolfe9998

Diamond Member
Apr 8, 2013
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Sure, to an extent tone and subtext are subjective. But for the purpose of this question, the point is that we have a contradiction where in the OP we're told that something isn't allowed, and then told that at least a subset of this proscribed thing is actually fine, but the OP hasn't been updated to reflect that. My guess is that the powers that be are misinterpreting what DH1 (ad hominem fallacy) means in one place or the other.
No, that's not what the mod said when you put that hypothetical to him. He said it wasn't an ad hominem, not that it was but they were making an exception. IF you disagree and think it's an ad hominem, then say so. Instead, what you're doing here is misrepresenting what the mod said.

Myself, I'd say that whether or not it's an ad hominem largely depends on the argument it's offered in reply to. Which isn't part of your hypothetical.

If, for example, someone says, I don't think there's much racism or discrimination againgst black people because in all my years of living, I've never really seen such a thing; then it wouldn't be an ad hominem to say, "you aren't black therefore you're not in a position to see it very well." In that case, the arguer has made his personal observations and experiences the entire basis for his argument. So the reply goes directly to the argument because the arguer has made his background and experience relevant to the argument. If you want a really stark example to illustrate the point: suppose I said I've never seen discrimination against Tibetans in China but admitted I'd never been to China, wouldn't that fact be relevant to my argument?

If OTOH someone is trying to argue that there isn't much racism and/or discrimination by citing lots of facts, figures, studies, etc. then that sort of reply would be pure ad hominem because it's ignoring the entire substance of the argument and making it about the arguer's background which was no part of the argument.

Whether something is ad hominem or not is obviously going to have to be case by case. AFAIK there are no absolute, categorical exceptions to it.
 
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HurleyBird

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Apr 22, 2003
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No, that's not what the mod said when you put that hypothetical to him. He said it wasn't an ad hominem, not that it was but they were making an exception. IF you disagree and think it's an ad hominem, then say so. Instead, what you're doing here is misrepresenting what the mod said.
So, a reminder that when talking about ad hominems you can be referring to an ad hominem fallacy or an ad hominem attack. The former takes the form of "your argument is wrong because it's you who is making it" while the later is merely an insult, eg. "you're an idiot!"

The example is clearly an ad hominem fallacy. On the other hand, it's (by any reasonable measure) not much of a personal attack.

These are different concepts, although of course both can coexist in the same statement. "You're wrong because you're an idiot" exemplifies that.

Now, onto @jpishgar. Based on context he clearly seems to be talking about ad hominem attacks, not fallacies. Take a look at this quote:

Prohibitions against ad hominem and personal attacks are near-universal across online forums. The carve-out for P&N has been the historical exception, and an odd one at that.
Prohibitions against ad hominem fallacies are certainly not nearly universally proscribed across online forums. It's the exact opposite. I have never seen a forum that bans the use of logical fallacies, and ad hominem fallacies are no exception to that.

Prohibitions against ad hominem attacks on the other hand actually are nearly universal. And an ad hominem attack is just another way of saying personal attack, so listing the two beside each other is perfectly redundant.

So, based on this context it appears that when @jpishgar says "ad hominem" he means the attack, not the fallacy.

Of course, it's entirely possible that @jpishgar is equivocating between the two meanings without realising it, but my guess is he is merely confused about what is and isn't a fallacy, and, by extension, what is and isn't DH1.

All that's needed here is for a mod or admin to clarify (with a minimum of ambiguous language.). If they only want to ban attacks and not fallacies, then they should remove the DH1 citation in the OP. If they want to ban fallacies but don't think that the example we're talking about is one (event though it clearly is), then we can work from that as well.
 
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woolfe9998

Diamond Member
Apr 8, 2013
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So, a reminder that when talking about ad hominems you can be referring to an ad hominem fallacy or an ad hominem attack. The former takes the form of "your argument is wrong because it's you who is making it" while the later is merely an insult, eg. "you're an idiot!"

The example is clearly an ad hominem fallacy. On the other hand, it's (by any reasonable measure) not much of a personal attack.

These are different concepts, although of course both can coexist in the same statement. "You're wrong because you're an idiot" exemplifies that.

Now, onto @jpishgar. Based on context he clearly seems to be talking about ad hominem attacks, not fallacies. Take a look at this quote:



Prohibitions against ad hominem fallacies are certainly not nearly universally proscribed across online forums. It's the exact opposite. I have never seen a forum that bans the use of logical fallacies, and ad hominem fallacies are no exception to that.

Prohibitions against ad hominem attacks on the other hand actually are nearly universal. And an ad hominem attack is just another way of saying personal attack, so listing the two beside each other is perfectly redundant.

So, based on this context it appears that when @jpishgar says "ad hominem" he means the attack, not the fallacy.

Of course, it's entirely possible that @jpishgar is equivocating between the two meanings without realising it, but my guess is he is merely confused about what is and isn't a fallacy, and, by extension, what is and isn't DH1.

All that's needed here is for a mod or admin to clarify (with a minimum of ambiguous language.). If they only want to ban attacks and not fallacies, then they should remove the DH1 citation in the OP. If they want to ban fallacies but don't think that the example we're talking about is one (event though it clearly is), then we can work from that as well.
The expression "ad hominem attack" is informal and its application here is likely confusing many people who do not seem to understand the difference between a personal attack and an ad hominem fallacy.

Beyond that, I agree that enforcing a rule against ad hominem arguments is difficult and frankly, I've never seen it tried before in any form of social media. One of the most problematic aspects of it is illustrated by your example which I argued above - correctly I might add - could be ad hominem or not depending on the argument it is responding to.

It can confuse many people because not only are there ad hominems which are not personal attacks, there are personal attacks which are not ad hominem either. Like in your example. If you base your argument entirely on your own observations and there is reason to question either your credibility or your vantage to be able to perceive what you're claiming to perceive, then it isn't ad hominem. It's never ad hominem to question the factual basis of someone's argument.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
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I see the official policy has kicked in. Thanks for adding "egregious" lest someone be sanctioned for calling out fictitious claims and the like.
 
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