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Hijacking threads

  1. Oct 6, 2005 #1
    So in politics, someone posted a thread and I have a problem with a claim in that thread (this is not unusual.)

    I asked for a reference for that specific claim. Here is the full extent of my wording:

    This doesn't seem like hijacking to me. It seems reasonable to ask for supporting references, and silly to start an entire new thread with the above quote.

    Another poster tells me:

    This read to me as one poster trying to quell another (me). Because I take citing sources seriously, I wished to point out *why* I asked for the citation in the first place. I posted three replies, which I hoped made the point.

    Apparently it was overkill, because then it was suggested that I was hijacking the thread. Those three posts towards the end were entirely in response to the person who said I shouldn't be asking for a citation in the first place. They *weren't* directed at the OP, but to the other poster, who had made a comment to me in the thread. Where else should I have replied?

    It is my personal belief that a request for references should be allowed, within any thread that makes claims, and such requests should not require a new thread.

    So, it is unclear to me, who actually is responsible for derailing the thread. I would have left it at the original request for a reference, until the other poster came along and told me I shouldn't ask for such a thing.

    Bottom line: What's the "correct" protocol?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 6, 2005 #2
    I saw the whole thing!

    Patty was clearly the most beautiful of all the girls that got run over that dark, rainy day.
  4. Oct 6, 2005 #3
    Why thank you.

    What on earth does that mean?
  5. Oct 6, 2005 #4
    No one can ever say for sure whose fault it is, there will always be debates. It seems like the thread was hijacked in an argument you both took part in.

    Being the first to give in and not argue about it often gains respect. Let me ask you this: if you would not have replied to the "queller" at all, what could have happened? Either the OP replies to you, ignores you, or he could say that he agrees with this other person which would sound something like: "He's right, stop questioning, that part of my argument is completely pointless".
  6. Oct 6, 2005 #5
    I was concerned that if the original poster read the comment, and saw no rebuttal, that he would think he was off the hook. He might think I had "seen the light" that the other poster tried to shine.

    Casual observers might think the same thing.

    I wanted it to be clear that the argument offered, didn't change my expectations of the OP'er at all.
  7. Oct 6, 2005 #6


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    A request for someone to support their claims with references is perfectly acceptable (unless the initial claim being made is already off-topic).

    Debating with another poster over the appropriateness of requesting references for claims becomes derailment (it usually requires more than one post/participant to derail a thread).

    The "correct" way to handle such an issue without derailing a thread is via Private Messages.

    If that does not resolve a problem, a PM to one of the mentors for that forum to clarify the issue is appropriate.

    If the thread gets completely derailed due to bickering among members, use the "report post" feature, which is that little exclamation point inside the triangle over on the left...

    If nobody has beaten me to it, I'll move this over to Feedback.
  8. Oct 6, 2005 #7


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    He's trying to steal your lucky charms!!!
  9. Oct 6, 2005 #8


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    Staff: Mentor

    It is definitely correct to ask someone that states he has read something or seen it on tv, to furnish something, a link, a title, etc... that corroborates the statement. The reader may simply want to get the information firsthand. It's also possible the information came from an untrustworthy source, or was misinterpreted. There are many valid reasons to ask for references to back up statements.

    I do think that the posts about global warming might have been a little bit of overkill (I know this is a topic you are very interested in) and lyn was correct that they deserve their own thread, but the posts are not completely unrelated to the topic.

    So, you're both right. :approve:

    I shouldn't read these threads when my head is exploding. :frown:
  10. Oct 7, 2005 #9


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    My point, patty, is that Geniere was not making the claim that global warming is not as affected by humans as we think. He was saying that even if this claim is true, it does not matter. There's a huge difference.* Why should someone be asked to support a claim that he is saying is irrelevant?

    Yes, I probably should have PMed you. I quite often derail threads myself in P&WA, but then I PM Evo and ask her to split them. She's pretty much right on top of it every time. It should be well-known by now that the P&WA forum is a bit of a pet-peeve of mine - the disorganization of it, anyway.

    *Just to reiterate this point, consider these two statements:

    1) I don't think that global warming is as affected by humans as those damned liberals say it is, and we shouldn't worry so much about our emissions.

    2) Even if it is true that global warming is not as affected by humans as we think it is, we should still seek to eliminate as much of our emissions as possible.

    If anything analagous to claim 1) is made, then I think it is appropriate for you to ask for a reference. However, when claim 2) is made, as was made by Geniere, I don't see any reason for it. His claim is that we should eliminate emissions as soon as we can. If anything, you should be asking him to back up that claim.
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