I am skeptical... it seems to me that people are judged by how closely they hold to a set of generally left-of-center political views.
No, if there's a pro-left bias evident in particular threads on the site
, dissenting opinions are judged by, among other things, the level of vitriol, the character of the insults, the degree of originality, the posting history of the individual.
If I venture onto a site where the political consensus is not one I share, and if I really wish to understand the viewpoints or perhaps change someone's opinion, calling everyone who disagrees with me an "opioid-eater" would be self-defeating. I should expect opprobrium and suspension. If I instead try to compose a thoughtful post, respond to challenges respectfully, and still get attacked
, well guess what? I'll assume that the particular forum isn't for me. I'm not going to show up day after day to lob stink bombs into someone's party just because I suspect I'm not welcome. It's not that important â€” it's an internet forum. I'll find another.
- Who should be allowed to post an dissenting opinion on which thread?
Anyone not currently subjected to a suspension
- In what circumstances is attacking the reasoning behind someone's argument acceptable?
In every circumstance
- In what circumstances is attacking someone's intelligence or worth as a human being acceptable?
When it is true
- Who decides which opinions are acceptable and which should not be expressed?
Whoever controls the "ignore" or thumb-down button
While there might be an element of flippancy in my responses, it reflects some of the difficulties inherent in trying to promote the free exchange of ideas and opinions and then enforce a tone of civility at the same time.