2011-01-20 19:09:39Author swarms - Some self discipline
Glenn Tamblyn


As someone who has spent a bit of time (although not recently) posting on a denialist site (Jo Nova) to fight the good fight, I know what it is like to be 'swarmed' by the locals.

The question I ask is, is that becoming a problem here at SkS?

Case in point. JC's recent post 'Infographic on where global warming is going'. Of the first 12 comments, including one from moi, one was from a sceptic - Adrian Smits. All the rest were from Forum members or regulars, substantially dumping on Adrian. Given he was provocative and who can resist pointing out the fallacies again, and again, and again...

Nonetheless, for regular lurkers here, it would be starting to become obvious that there is a community of people who post, and comment, and defend each other regularly, perhaps also blurring the line between moderation and comment.

Do we need an ad-hoc self discipline to avoid the swarming phenomenon, encourage the moderate sceptics to post without fear so we can really debate with them rather than swarm, and present a forum that looks more open minded to the lurkers?

Perhaps a simple ad-hoc rule. That, apart from general comments of support, we limit the number of forum members who actively comment and debate on a thread to some number - 4, 6? First in, first served. If others want to contribute, perhaps use comments here at the forum to support the active debaters. And moderators limit their role to moderation issues only. We all would like to leap in when we see some bit of rubbish THAT I REALLY WANT TO SHOVE DOWN YOUR THROAT YOU %$#&&^#%&^#&#...... But is this tactically useful?

2011-01-21 06:50:27Good point
Julian Brimelow


Good points.  I for one have tried to stay away form a thread is I see that those on the side of science have matter sunder control.  I usually choose to jump in when I think an important point is being missed, or to try and bring things back on topic, or if the anti-science crowd are running amok. 

That said, as with the recent case of NETDR and the CO2 fiasco, sometimes having more than one person point out to you that you are wrong (and explaining why) might help, as someone might explain it in a way that actually connects with the person.

What I think SkS should avoid is having a person who is moderating a thread also making posts...I seem to recall having seen this happen recently, there is a conflict of interest there.

Anyhow, I will try to avoid piling on-- I have been at the receiving end and it is not fun, nor constructive.

2011-01-21 11:48:21
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
Points taken.  Work's piling up anyway.