So Someone Is Being An Ass On the Internet? Here's What Not to Do: A Brief Guide to Civil Discourse.
Li.st is awesome and well behaved. In case you're somewhere where people are not, here are some tips. A lot of people need education. Before anyone says it, I get that I'm a straight white male so I don't have that much to deal with. Also, full disclosure as I try to talk about civility : I have have a Facebook page called "Waterboard Trump".
- •Don't respond with hostility.All caps doesn't work. Try not to just say they're stupid, brainless, or a troll.
- •Don't assume everyone has the same opportunity for education that you did.I like to describe this by thinking of the shit I would cringe at freshmen saying when I was a senior. There's a lot of things to learn about, and some people need time. I have more progressive views than a lot of people, but I'm also fortunate enough to have attended a private liberal arts school in Boston.
- •Don't act like a child.Don't call them names. Don't degrade the conversation. Ask questions, answer theirs if they have any.
- •Don't make it seem like their point is invalid because of who they are.I get there are some populations that have opinions we all would rather not hear (typically old white males) but calling someone out on a trait they can't help isn't going to have them become receptive to you.
- •Don't tell someone to look it up and not provide sources.If you have things you've read or listened to that helped you grow and change, share them. It may do the same for them. Pretend you're the expert, and you're teaching them a course called Don't Be An Ignorant Bigot 101.
- •Remember: if you alienate someone, that is a huge step backwards to getting them to change their mind.
- •This isn't going to work all the time. Some people are just assholes. Don't let them get to you. They'll die eventually.