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Advice: How to stop your thread from being hijacked

  1. Sep 2, 2005 #1
    Hello all

    I just thought it may be useful to post some advice on how to stop your thread from being hijacked. I think we should:
    * Ignore posts that do not address the topic of the thread, or
    * Somehow get back on topic by posting a message that alerts readers to the fact that there has been another attempt at hijack and then bring it back on topic.

    As someone has wisely pointed out in another thread, there seems to be a concerted effort by some members of PF (generally those who support the status quo) to hijack threads or take them off topic. It would be remiss of those who question the status quo to let this happen.

    Taking a discussion off topic is just another propaganda technique. I am seriously worried about how effective this propaganda technique has proved to be. What do others think? We cannnot allow the stifling of real debate on pressing issues. Do you agree? I have proposed two solutions - but there must be more.

    alex
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 2, 2005 #2

    Lisa!

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    Thanx alexandra. I hope it would work in GD too.
     
  4. Sep 2, 2005 #3

    Art

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    Perhaps whoever starts the thread should have the right to moderate it.
     
  5. Sep 2, 2005 #4

    Evo

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    Anyone has the right to request that a thread get back on topic at any time.

    If you feel someone is deliberately hijacking a thread, pm me or hit the "report post" button. I can delete or move posts that are truly off topic.

    Threads wander off topic easily, just say something.

    Lisa!, threads in GD are required to go off topic. :wink:
     
  6. Sep 2, 2005 #5

    vanesch

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    Yes, but on the other hand, now we're all going to be afraid to say something that is initially related to the subject but drifts a bit of. I think it is quite natural that ongoing discussions evolve, and after 150 posts, what's being discussed has maybe not much to do anymore with how it got started. It all depends on whether this was a natural evolution or a "concerted effort".
     
  7. Sep 2, 2005 #6

    Art

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    And bringing up GD in this thread is off topic too :smile: jk
     
  8. Sep 2, 2005 #7

    Evo

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    Yep, sorry Lisa!, you're off topic. :tongue2:
     
  9. Sep 2, 2005 #8
    I don't think it's intentional propaganda.

    I think it is hard for someone with an opposing viewpoint tp stay "on topic" if the topic is "Bush is a crook."

    I do think there are problems all around. The most frustrating thing for me personally, is lack of references. I asked one moderator three times for a reference on a claim (s)he made, and was not given the information, nor was the claim rescinded. It was a small point, hardly worth mentioning, but annoying in the extreme. I would consider an unreferenced claim to be propaganda, certainly.

    So I would add

    3: provide references. We all know we should, yet don't.

    If a person has to make the effort to reference their information, it may slow down the flow (a bad thing?) but will increase the quality of discussion.
     
  10. Sep 2, 2005 #9

    Evo

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    I hope it wasn't me. :frown: If it was, I probably never saw your posts, otherwise I would have responded.
     
  11. Sep 2, 2005 #10

    Lisa!

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    Here is a part of GD. So talking about GD couldn't be off topic at all! I think whenever an old GDer comes here, disaster gets started. They're perfect in hijacking the threads. For example I already hijacked this thread by bringing up GD. Sorry alexandra. :redface: It wasn't all my fault.
    If the Mentors move the off topic replies to GD,... :uhh:

    And warn a member in the public is always off topic too! :uhh:
     
  12. Sep 2, 2005 #11

    Hurkyl

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    Another thing you can do as a poster is to avoid extraneous comments.

    One thing I see frequently is that someone who wants to discuss issue X makes a tangential comment on issue Y. Others feel compelled to respond to the comment on issue Y, and the original poster feels compelled to defend his/her comment on issue Y, et cetera. In the end, issue X has been lost in the discussion on issue Y.

    Another thing I see frequently is that someone is discussing issue X, and someone responds to issue X, mentioning issue Y. (i.e. hijacking) If I feel the desire to keep the discussion on issue X, my current approach is to simply remark that Y is irrelevant to X, and continue discussing X. It seems to be at least somewhat effective.
     
  13. Sep 2, 2005 #12

    Lisa!

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    I'm feeling bad about myself now. I don't know if I ever hijacked a thread. But I do apologize if I ever did. I asked a question in "Now war is unpopular..." thread about good wars, was it off topic?
     
  14. Sep 2, 2005 #13

    Evo

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    We've all hijacked threads in one way or another. Sometimes the new topic that evolves from the original is more interesting than the original topic. I've seen threads that were hijacked by the OP!! :tongue:
     
  15. Sep 3, 2005 #14
    I thought this was the 'war is unpopular' thread. Could someone redirect me?
     
  16. Sep 3, 2005 #15

    Lisa!

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    Now I feel better. Thanks, Evo. :smile: You know we can call it developing a discussion.
     
  17. Sep 3, 2005 #16
    This is a good point, vanesch. Of course ongoing discussions will evolve, and I guess my OP didn't make allowances for this. I really meant going way off topic without the discussion having evolved naturally to that point - like, for example, if the OP is about 'Third World Debt' and then someone posts a message about the price of fuel in the US and from that point on the discussion totally veers off (usually degenerating into a slanging match between two people and their various supporters).
     
  18. Sep 3, 2005 #17
    Thanks, Evo. I don't think this has happened much to any of the threads I've started, although some of them naturally evolved in the manner vanesch referred to (and that was fine). I've seen it happening in other threads, though. I just thought that rather than bothering you all the time, people who started threads could try to just nudge them back on track themselves if they went radically off topic.

    alex
     
  19. Sep 3, 2005 #18
    Lisa!, no-one was further from my mind than you when I posted this message. You are not a 'thread hijacker' :smile: I really enjoy reading your posts and your questions.

    alex
     
  20. Sep 3, 2005 #19
    I agree with you about the need to post references in many of the discussions we have here, pattylou - though perhaps not all (sometimes we are just giving our opinions about things). I guess those people who neglect to post references when the situation demands it only weaken the point they are trying to make because they are not backing it up. But I agree it is frustrating to read assertions that are just repeated ad nauseum without any evidence to back them up.

    alex
     
  21. Sep 3, 2005 #20
    Well put, Hurkyl. I've also observed this behaviour - and your current approach sounds good.
     
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