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rojo's avatar

How many answers can you get on a controversial question before it degenerates?

Asked by rojo (22321points) February 7th, 2014

Wondering if anyone has done a study, or had any feeling for it, on this for this site in particular?

It just seems like they degenerate fairly quickly into an “Is not – Is too” argument or get sidetracked.

My guess would be that eight is about as many answers as you can get that address the original question.

I can’t even say I mind the sidetracks that much. They can be very educational and do lead to other questions but still the original OP had a specific question in mind.

I am not blaming anyone here, I am just as guilty of it as anyone, perhaps more so on certain subjects.

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20 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

We got pretty far on the ‘ask an atheist’ thread, which surprised me really. I think it really depends on the people involved. I’m thinking that maybe at this point in time, threads may be able to last longer due to recent events.

ucme's avatar

Removed by me

ucme's avatar

^^ That usually comes quicker

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@KNOWITALL That one went pretty far, I think mainly because most of held our tempers and kept out cool. The heat surprised me, but we let people express their opinions without attacking the person. it might be interesting to try a controversial question with the goal of seeing how long we could go with it staying civil.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Yes, I thought it was very cool, and we had legitimate questions that weren’t about the individual and weren’t derogatory, maybe that’s the difference, too.

I’m up for an experiment, but you know no one has to play by the rules you establish and we have some pretty big ego’s here…lol

You’re so awesome, just sayin.

Cruiser's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I just tried that and even though I laid similar ground rules as @KNOWITALL suggested, it still got pulled. I hope HearKat had the honors! ;)

Strauss's avatar

I think it will go as far as it can until either folks start repeating arguments statements, or until comments get personal, especially about personal belief systems (or lack thereof).

rojo's avatar

Isn’t original OP redundant?

rojo's avatar

did I just sidetrack my own question?

Strauss's avatar

@rojo yes and yes

Blondesjon's avatar

In the grand scheme of things does it really matter.

if it does i’ll say 3

Kropotkin's avatar

I think it happens because most people are satisfied to just give one or two responses and aren’t interested in discussing other people’s replies too much. Early replies seem to get relatively more GAs and come from a larger variety of respondents.

At some point, someone will decide to respond critically to someone else’s response.

At the end you’re left with 3 or 4 people who are past answering the original question, but are happy to pick apart each other’s responses.

Personally I find the latter stages of a thread more entertaining.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@KNOWITALL That one went for 95 answers, 3 were modded.

Mimishu1995's avatar

From my experience, those questions often get a lot of responses, like the whole argument never stop until people get so bored of having to answer one question for a long time and decide to move onto something else fresher.

Coloma's avatar

I’ve been known to say ” horse dead” more than once. Really, can you not see the horse has been beaten to a pulp and it’s not going to get up again? lol

LornaLove's avatar

It’s a shame they do not carry on as there is so much learning in not agreeing. If we can do it and listen at the same time.

ibstubro's avatar


the .3 tips it. Every time.

keobooks's avatar

Let’s find out..

one (lick)

two (lick)

three (lick)


—- Three.

Strauss's avatar

The world may never know…

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