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Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

When a question seems offensive on Fluther, what influences your response?

Asked by Imadethisupwithnoforethought (14640points) December 26th, 2011

Do you respond differently based on your experience with the user asking?

If you have dealt with similar questions in the recent past, do you see the latest question as part of a trend or in isolation?

Do you treat new profiles in a different manner than those who have a higher lurve score? How so?

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21 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

I love people I have never seen before. It gives me a new chance to see if I can give them answers they will appreciate.

I’m not sure what you mean by “offensive” questions. I am rarely offended by anything. And if a question is unimaginative or poorly asked, there is always the “under the orange tree” award to hand out, if I feel like it. Sometimes I give it just because, too.

Under the Orange Tree.

augustlan's avatar

I try really hard to assume the asker is genuinely not trying to be offensive. Sometimes that’s hard, though, with a new person or a known person who is regularly offensive. If I know the person, and know their general views, it’s easier to determine what their intent is.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

I don’t find questions here to be all that offensive, except for maybe some questions that have been asked in answers. The good in people here definitely seems to outweigh the bad for the most part, though.

As for how I treat people, I don’t have a high level respect for someone just because he or she has a high “lurve” score. I am a high level user on another Q&A site and it only means I spent way too much time on there, so I assume that’s what it means here, too. People with high lurve scores must be addicted… or must have been addicted at one point. ;)

Sunny2's avatar

I answer any question if I have something to say that might be useful, interesting (at least to me), informative or amusing. Who asks isn’t important, nor is the points they have. Offensiveness is in the eye of the beholder. If I find it offensive, and have nothing to say about the subject, I’ll pass.

Paradox25's avatar

You’re asking four questions here:

Do you respond differently based on your experience with the user asking? Yes, to a degree because the more you know about a user the more likely you are to really know what they mean or are asking.

If you have dealt with similar questions in the recent past, do you see the latest question as part of a trend or in isolation? I don’t really see any trends since the questions on here are so variable. I do see a trend in questions relating to certain users.

Do you treat new profiles in a different manner than those who have a higher lurve score? Not really as far as preferential treatment goes. I’ve stuck up for many newer users that I felt were being hounded in the past.
How so? I would say that I’m curious since I don’t know them as well and I’m not sure what kind of answers/questions they will post.

Dog's avatar

@augustlan makes a great point. The intent is everything. To ask something that is offensive in nature out of curiosity and a desire to learn more is one thing. To ask something offensive and then continue to drive home your offensive point is trolling or soap boxing, neither of which are acceptable.

Personally if I can really help I will respond regardless of the subject. But I do avoid taking troll bait or getting into flame wars. Life is too short.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

^ I wish I had that kind of patience and self-control. That’s admirable.

Berserker's avatar

I usually leave it alone, if it offends me. I’m known to wrongly perceive things, and pretty bad at that. I’m like Xena who never learned how to walk, (or rightly perceive anything, must be my French heritage…oops did I offend someone?) so if I chime in to something that offends me, it’s bad for everyone haha. But nah, I usually ignore.
I mean, say they do mean what they say, or mean what I think they mean? What’s the point? Am I actually going to teach someone something, or are they going to teach me anything? Probably not. Not in that type of state. Well maybe sometimes. I guess. But there’s other ways to have constructive conversations and learn shit.
Other than issues like trolling or flaming, some may see me as a coward for not defending my views, or lazy or whatever. But shit man, as much as I love Fluther, it’s still restrained by the Internet’s nature. So unless someone asks ’‘Does Symbeline suck huge monkey dick and are horror movies for log wranglers?’’, I think I have the right to ignore things that don’t directly call out to me. I’m here to have fun and not be such a pessimist. Things do offend me, but everywhere we go, things will always offend us, whether online, or when we go to he bathroom. So just fuck it lol.

And if I do answer something that offends me, I might say why, but I don’t see the point, so I usually don’t. I try to remain unbiased and technical on the answer, for whatever compels me to answer it. It’s usually just too much work though. XD

Also, Symbeline sucks huge monkey dick and horror movies are for log wranglers.

As far as new members go, I don’t consider any offense factor in their n00biness. Not any more than I might with older members. Wait and see, is mah philosophy. Kinda like Akuna Matata, but without munching out on mutant sow bugs and shit.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

^ Not a coward. Just smart. Arguments online are a huge waste of time much of the time. Much of it is just arguing for the sake of arguing… or trying to feel right… or whatever, as if that is worth anyone’s time. I know I can be guilty, but it’s pretty pointless still. I mean, what use is it to bicker back and forth with both sides really meaning “I’m right, you’re wrong!”, “No, I’m right… you’re the one who is wrong!” with pretty much every word said to each other? Is anyone really listening to the other side then? Does anyone really change their opinions at the end of the day? When the arguing stops, was it because someone got through to someone else or because at least one of the parties got bored or was told by a moderator to stop fighting?

Bellatrix's avatar

Not a lot offends me but how I view a potentially offensive question will be influenced by the poster’s past history. Their lurve total is not such an important aspect. Some people like to shock however much lurve they have or do not have. If the question is interesting I will answer it. If it seems pretty ridiculous to me, or just to be there because of its shock value, I probably won’t bother.

With some people I really suspect they just don’t get their responses or questions are offensive. Perhaps I am naive but I doubt most people actually intend to offend (Some do of course). I suspect some don’t realise what they are asking/posting is offensive. Or they have not considered how the phrasing of their question may be viewed by others.
Some (the minority here I think) just don’t give a rats. Knowing others are up in arms about what they posted probably gives them a little thrill rather than making them feel bad about offending others.

I answer questions I want to answer. If I find the question tasteless or insincere, I may not bother.

JLeslie's avatar

I am not easily offended. I usually try to assume the person is not trying to be offensive, but maybe a question or statement is badly worded. I have seen many questions that look like the OP has a strong bias, and is trying to get answers that reinforce their thinking, when later they explain they truly were open to opinions, or seeking information on a topic they did not have a lit of knowledge about. So, generally my response is to answer the question, but also ask more questions to clarify the intent of the other person.

I rarely string recent Q’s together, because many times I forget who said what, but just recently I did just that. One jelly has been so adamant and so argumentative with me, I was with her as well I guess, I am not trying to pin the culpability of the argument on her, that when a similar theme showed up in a Q a week later, I couldn’t ignore it.

As far as new jellies, I am always happy when a new jelly comes along who has great questions and answers. I think for me I only check the lurve score when someone says something that seems kind of stupid. Then I wonder about their answers in general.

Oh, and also if someone seems oddly offensive or argumentative compared to their usual demeanor, I have now learned that many times that happens when they are drinking.

Mariah's avatar

If I feel intent behind the words, I don’t hold my tongue.

If it seems like it could possibly be hypothetical, not necessarily representing the asker’s beliefs, I give them the benefit of the doubt (I remember one in particular that asked “does the Bible allow abortion of gay fetuses?” got jumped on but I thought maybe the questioner was just curious).

If it’s a newbie I really try to behave ‘cause I don’t want to scare them off immediately.

Sorry for being so damn grumpy half the time.

ucme's avatar

Nowt, if I want to answer then i’ll do so regardless of any “belt & braces”, a question stands alone as far as i’m concerned.
Couldn’t care less who asks them.

tinyfaery's avatar

I don’t know, but I do know that my answer is sure to removed.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

^ Nah. I’m pretty sure it’ll stay. Maybe you’ll see that when you come back and check. :)

linguaphile's avatar

I think that, over time, all of us have or will offend one or another jelly somewhere, whether it’s intentional or accidental. That’s the nature of discussions, of being on a keyboard instead of in person, and being a mix of different personalities.

I don’t get offended easily. I tend to give a huge amount of benefit of the doubt to the OP and answers, and tend to choose my words carefully as not to assume one way or another, and definitely try to choose non-incidentary words, but will become guarded or just leave the thread if someone seems to want a battle. There are very few things I’ll put up a fight for on Fluther.

There are some jellies I definitely understand more than others- that’s only natural. Some fit our pattern of reasoning and language more than others, and some are diametrically opposite. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re offensive, just different. Offensive to me, is someone who twists someone else’s reasoning into reasons to attack.

I love lurve, but to me, lurve scores shows longevity or commitment, and doesn’t mean all their answers were quality answers, including mine. :)

jrpowell's avatar

“I love lurve, but to me, lurve scores shows longevity or commitment, and doesn’t mean all their answers were quality answers, including mine. :)”


downtide's avatar

If it’s from a new user I tend to assume they’re just trolling, and I’ll usually ignore the question. If it’s a question from a regular user who normally does not post offensive questions, I’ll be more likely to answer it. Bot those are not the only factors. Subject-matter plays a big part too – is it something I have a personal interest in, or know something about.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

If something feels to me it’s posted with offensive intent or geared to instigate a particular user then I usually skip the post all together, doesn’t matter if it’s a screen name I recognize or not.

I do notice more people seem to try to be offensive or shocking in replies than in posts. There are also members you can count on to hijack a thread so that’s the point I un follow a post and forget about it. Interacting with people here gives great perspectives and sometimes solutions or ideas but don’t let yourself get too deeply upset to where you’re distracted from the whole.

Varient's avatar


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