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My comment is an honest description of my experience on this site. It is a fact that in 30 years of visiting moderated discussion forums and BTL commenting, I have never encountered such unregulated aggression.
Well thank you for your testimony, Duck. It sounds like a ‘fact’ that could easily be contested, but as the truth conditions are subjective to you there’s no way of anyone successfully refuting the claim. However, if you had visited the BTL section of this blog in the early part of the last decade, you would have found the verbal joshing much more boisterous and antagonistic. The tone improved significantly once the worst offenders were excluded.
For what it’s worth, the mod comment about your gullibility being a central element of the joke being played on you was also an honest evaluation. Honesty should be cherished, though the truth can have a sting.
Your point about hostile argumentation is acknowledged, and hopefully the participants concerned will take note. It doesn’t help the tone of debate to attack straw man caricatures, of which several have been deleted over the last few days. Nevertheless, it’s also advisable for anyone who makes farfetched, contentious or misleading claims to come prepared for sharp criticism and satirical banter. The moderators are under no obligation to insulate people against the mirth or outrage provoked by comments that are construed as fanciful or misguided.