You know it’s gone sour when @dolphin tells y’all to knock it off! ;)
“Trolls, irreverent posts, and thread hijacking also ‘discourage participation’ ”
Trolls are the products of down-votes - hence are unfazed by them. Like bacteria spawned from cesspool of rot, immune to decay. The more crap you throw at trolls, the stronger they become. You defeat trolls by not feeding them.
Similarly, uncivil members who post irreverently have fought in countless wars, perished, and reincarnated. Battled hardened, they’re also desensitized by down-votes… as are those who are thick-skinned enough to hijack threads. Down-votes have limited impact on them as well.
By process of elimination; positive contributors sensitive to the etiquette of online discourse are most susceptible to deterrence of down-votes. They are the great majority we should encourage to participate with carrots, not discourage with sticks.
Contributing useful info is definitely one of the hallmarks of GoK.
Creating a vibrant community for travelers of distant lands could be equally invaluable. A safe-haven for all to interact with civility and tolerance, personality-clashing notwithstanding. Constructive dialogues are what gives this second home warmth... and a soul.
"Quiet" is reserved for bulletin boards, museums, and libraries. "Noisy" would be Politico forums fueled with heated debates littered with snide remarks.
We need to meet somewhere in the middle.
Censorship isn't just about the brute blocking of websites (i.e. GFW), or disabling comments with a figurative muzzle.
Censorship is also psychological.
It's about changing social behaviors. Cognizant of being monitored, individuals refrain from expressing their true opinions due to the anticipation of a blow-back. That's when free speech has been compromised... in the psyche.