The Dividing Line On Inflammatory Comments
In Patrick O’Keefe’s otherwise ridiculously comprehensive guide to managing online forums is this case study I couldn’t disagree with more.
“Poster 1: I think Green Day is a great band.
Poster 2: I don’t care for them.
Poster 3: Green Day Sucks
Poster 3 has made an inflammatory comment. These types of comments make discussions personal and send them in a negative unproductive direction.”
Inflammatory comments have a bad rep. Most spike emotions, increase activity, encourage interactions, solicit personal opinions and create interest. They do all the things you should be trying to do. Sure, remove the personal attacks on people. But personal attacks are the dividing line. You should allow heated debates that don’t stray into personal attacks. They are good for your community
Besides, can you let people say Green Day are great but not they suck without appearing biased? Suppressing an opinion simply makes it go elsewhere. Suppress enough opinions and your entire community goes elsewhere.