Friday, October 26, 2012

Rules For Arguing On the Internet

(1) Don't.  Yes, I know -- someone is wrong on the internet, and you must set them straight.  But really, the capacity for people to change their minds based on evidence or logic is greatly overrated, and don't you have a better use for your time?

(2) If you must -- because they're WRONG -- then try to argue in a civil manner.  I try to imagine that the person I am arguing with is a student, or a friend.  (Try = usually fail.  But it's a goal!)

(3) Back up your arguments with citations and with cited facts.  Put in links.

(4) Listen to what your opponent is saying, not what you think he is saying.  (Yeah, it's almost always a he.  Go figure.)

(5) When you're wrong, admit it.

(6) Don't argue about irrelevant things.  If it's a minor point, let it go.  People can be wrong about the main character in a book, or who wrote what movie.  Eh.

(7) Don't argue about religion.  Don't use religious point when you're arguing.  If these folks are part of your religion, they probably already agree with you on whatever point you're making; if they're not, why would they care what your religion says?

(8) Beware trolls.  Do not feed them!

Any other rules?


Athena Andreadis said...

Ooookay, what happened? Also, you realize that someone must have a ton of free time on their hands to find and use citations. Internet arguing is more like arguing in a café or a bar. As for the religion argument, you could say the same about politics -- or someone's rabid fans.

delagar said...

Oh, I've just been getting in a lot of fights on FB lately.

And I *know* better.