A New Decade of ME Research: The 11th Invest in ME International ME Conference 2016
Mark Berry presents the first in a series of articles on the 11th Invest in ME International ME Conference in London ...
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Is there some crazy conspiratory going on to make ME/CFSers look bad?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by taniaaust1, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. Mark

    Mark Former CEO

    Sofa, UK

    I've removed as much as I could of the off-topic spat between Angela and snowathlete, while trying to preserve the rest of the thread.

    I've also added a note in #12 above to highlight the sort of post that tends to provoke arguments such as this one. In the interests of trying to prevent arguments such as the one that disrupted this thread, I encourage members to read that post, and to take care not to repeat unreferenced and unsubstantiated false rumours about individuals or groups who may be connected to forum members.

    Having pointed that out, I also want to say that there are more helpful ways to respond to provocative comments like the one that sparked this particular argument. It's a common pattern that the people who take offence to such comments are often quick to assume that the person provoking the argument is trolling and deliberately provoking disharmony, but my experience has suggested that most of the time it turns out that this is not in fact the case.

    This point is relevant to some of the speculation about 'trolling' and deliberately disruptive infiltration that have been discussed on this thread. My advice would be this:
    (a) supposing that the provocative post was posted by a troll, trying to get a reaction and provoke an argument to disrupt the community, the best response would be to not react as the provocateur desires, but instead report the post to alert the moderators, and post calmly in the thread to politely correct the disinformation as if it were an innocent mistake
    (b) supposing that the provocative post was posted by a member innocently repeating misinformation or honestly asking a question about something they read elsewhere, the best response would again be the same as (a).

    In other words, if one sticks to the facts and the evidence, explains the truth of the matter calmly, and presumes everyone innocent until proven guilty, treating people with the benefit of the doubt even if they cause you offence - since they may have done so unwittingly - then this is the most effective strategy. It is the most effective strategy in general, in my personal experience, but it is certainly the most effective and appropriate response on this particular forum, because if you allow yourself to get dragged into an argument you run the risk that you will both end up getting banned, and the troll wins. This strategy also avoids the danger that this thread is about: the risk that we are misrepresented or give ourselves a negative public image.

    OK then: back to a polite and supportive discussion of the thread topic, please. There have been ample warnings in recent days: further off-topic posts and unpleasant arguments on this thread will not be well-received, and any provocation should be responded to by reporting the post and then ignoring it, rather than disrupting the thread with a nasty running argument. Thanks...

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