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Blackberry's avatar

Why does Fluther seem more mature than other (most?) online communities?

Asked by Blackberry (31011points) October 5th, 2010

I have explored multiple online communities like yahoo answers, (now) answerbag, topix etc. It is very disheartening to read some of the things people post online as their ‘answers’ and opinions. I have almost wanted to cry reading some of these things, it’s always ‘jews this’, ‘blacks that’, ‘illegals this’, ‘whites that’ etc.

No one tries to form a rational, thought out opinion. People are just recycling the common epithets and stereotypes with their horrendous grammar.

Although on fluther many of us use examples, sources, remain calm and collective, and we’re funny.

Why does it seem like there is so much ignorance out there? I’m (was) interested in seeing how people feel about the social, economical, and political issues out there and it seems like everyone is running in place.

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39 Answers

DeanV's avatar

Moderation.

ETpro's avatar

The moderation makes the difference. Not only does it keep the discussion civil and on topic, it drives the trolls and cranks to distraction. Here, they simply cannot do what they so dearly love to do, stir up controversy and hate. Unable to do that, they leave. If you want that, check into Sodahead.com. You’ll find nearly nothing but hate speech, name calling and debates that run something like, “Nah nah nah nah—I can’t hear you.”

Cruiser's avatar

Because I am here??

jaytkay's avatar

I never thought about it before, but I think @ETpro is exactly right. It’s the Broken windows theory, ...
…a criminological theory of the normsetting and signalling effects of urban disorder and vandalism on additional crime and anti-social behavior. The theory states that monitoring and maintaining urban environments in a well-ordered condition may prevent further vandalism as well as an escalation into more serious crime.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory

P.S.
And because @Cruiser is here.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Bcuz w3 cant tlk l1k3 thiz?

DominicX's avatar

Because of moderation. If there was no moderation, we’d probably be just as bad as other online communities (though maybe not quite as bad as Yahoo Answers)...

El_Cadejo's avatar

babby? :P

Jabe73's avatar

I know what you mean. It also seems the more conservative the website the more wackier, arrogant and hostile they become. The wackjobs get overrun on here very quickly. It also seems many other sites condone trolling/namecalling.

iamthemob's avatar

What @dverhey said.

Also, what @uberbatman said. (I think…)

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Yes, the talents of the moderation team certainly help, yet I think it goes beyond that. Many like to truly help others. We post links to informational web sites. We give advice by sharing personal experiences that paint a picture of similar situations and their outcomes. I think that most people on Fluther that stick around have a yearning to be around others that help them learn and stretch their own thoughts.

jerv's avatar

@Jabe73 I’m not so sure. I can be wacky, arrogant, or hostile, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.Then again, it’s rare that anyone here at Fluther pisses me off enough to get too out of line like I did regularly at AB.

Jabe73's avatar

@jerv I don’t know I rarely see your posts anymore part-timer.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@uberbatman LOL – that was a running joke on wis.dm as well
@Blackberry Is it more mature?

augustlan's avatar

I think there are a few reasons. First, the founders are well educated guys. When they first started the site, it was full of similarly educated family and friends. So the very first core userbase was pretty intellectual, and attracted more of the same.

Secondly, the guys made some very good decisions early on: insisting on proper writing (no txtspk), not allowing trolling, spamming, and personal attacks. Of course, having active human moderators is the key to holding it all together.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Our moderators help us all to maintain the kind of culture of respect and civility I believe you have noticed.

judochop's avatar

most of the users are over the age of 65.

downtide's avatar

I agree it’s the moderation that makes a difference. Trolls have no opportunity for doing what they want to do so they get bored and give up.

augustlan's avatar

@judochop Speak for yourself! Hmph. :p

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Nice pumpkin @augustlan. Most of us are glad you are here.

augustlan's avatar

@Tropical_Willie Why thank you! JohnPowell made it for me. He’s a peach. :)

JilltheTooth's avatar

@augustlan : No he’s not. He’s a daisy, silly!

jrpowell's avatar

This is true.

liminal's avatar

<sneaks in> <blows spit ball @Cruiser >

Cruiser's avatar

<Shoots a rubber band back at @liminal> XD

JilltheTooth's avatar

Hey, you guys, don’t make me stop this car!

bob_'s avatar

Because of our sophisticated user base.

Now pull my finger.

Jude's avatar

@bob_ Can’t. I don’t know that finger has been. XD

bob_'s avatar

@mama_cakes That’s not what she said XD

CMaz's avatar

Accountability.

It is not just the question or the answer.
It is the mechanics behind it.

MeinTeil's avatar

It’s leveraged by way of strict moderation.

Blackberry's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Compared to what I have observed around the web, yes.

prolificus's avatar

Fluther is my first and only involvement with a Q&A site. I like the sense of community, intellect, care and concern here. Although I viewed responses on Yahoo answers, I was turned off by the immaturity of most activity there.

<drops pants and moons y’all>

Rarebear's avatar

Mostly because it’s modded which keeps the most egregious and off topic/ad hominem attacks off. But in terms of mature, I don’t really agree. This site has more teenagers than I’ve seen in others, and there are several questions a day on the ilk of “How do I know he likes me?”. That’s fine, and I stick to different questions.

I recently discovered a QA site that I find much more intellectually stimulating to me, as it’s filled with professionals, but it doesn’t allow for discussion like this one.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Rarebear yea ive browsed that site. I find it interesting, but the only thing holding me back from joining is the horrible fact that you need a facebook/tweeter to sign up. I loathe both those services and will never have one. And you need to use your real name or I suppose make up a real sounding name. Either way I prefer just my username and enjoy my anonymity.

Rarebear's avatar

@uberbatman They encourage you to use your Facebook site, but I didn’t. My real problem with it is that you’re only allowed one post per question, so you really can’t have a debate or discussion. It’s purely a question and answer site. Personally, I prefer Fluther and Inquire, as there is more of a sense of community.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Rarebear ahh I didnt know that about the 1 answer thing. That is pretty lame. I do very much enjoy being able to argue points out or discuss something farther to get a better understanding

mattbrowne's avatar

Moderation.

And a sophisticated user base does attract more sophisticated users.

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