Clarification, Tom?

Tomndebb says here that more than two requests for a cite constitutes harassment of another poster.

I always thought that, absent personal abuse (which isn’t present here, though I haven’t read the entire thread carefully), that persistently repeating a request for a cite was polite, civil good form here on the SD, no matter how often repeated. If there’s a new rule about this, I’d sure like to hear it articulated.

Without commenting on this modding, at times I think it is necessary to pursue a somewhat contentious claim.

If a poster said the moon is green and a cite is asked for, some posters have a habit of ignoring the question as they can’t support the claim.

So, IMHO, asking for a cite more than twice may not be harassment.

Used to be you’d have to think twice before spouting BS because you knew you’d get some well-deserved flack for it. So there are no repercussions for making baseless claims in GD now?

What I don’t understand is how someone can keep spewing the same BS over and over again without providing a cite and not be called a troll. My post is my cite can’t fly here.

In my opinion once a poster has ignored two requests for a cite to back up his assertions it’s pretty clear that he won’t or more probably can’t respond however many times you rinse and repeat. Simply draw attention to the fact and move on, it will already be quite evident to all that his argument is a busted flush.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. I’m not saying repeatedly asking for a cite works either, but I think if you don’t have that possibility it may encourage posters to just ignore such requests.

Three requests. But what’s one request +/- among friends? :slight_smile:

Where do you think it comes from?

I have to agree with tomndebb here, although I understand the frustration. If someone makes a claim and can’t or won’t produce a cite, asking over and over and over doesn’t accomplish anything other than derailing the thread. Ask, say, two times and let the failure to produce a cite speak for itself or say “I see you still can’t come up with that cite” and let it go.

Is this a rule? You should post it as a GD rule if it is.

My opinion is that it’s among your stupidest rules, but you should clarify it if it is a rule.

There is no rule against asking the same question a particular number of times. There is a rule against harrassment.


This is like “There is no speed limit. There is a rule against pissing off a cop, especially if he’s behind in his quota for tickets.”

I can’t stop you if you want to reinterpret this in the most negative light, but if that’s the case there’s also not much point in discussing the issue with you. There is no new rule here, and I think tomndebb’s moderation was entirely sensible. Ibn Warraq asked for a cite several times and greenslime1951 refused to provide one. What was the point of making the request a fourth, eighth, and tenth time? It had already been established that no cite was forthcoming, so tomndebb told the posters to move on. All he did here was point out the obvious: posters don’t have to respond to questions and asking the same thing over and over is pointless and serves only to hijack the thread, but pointing out that poster has not substantiated his argument is fair game.

I just read the thread and thought Tomndebb handled it well. He told Ibn Warraq to knock off the repetitive (and fruitless) demands for a retraction; Mr. Warraq said okay and then provided a devastating, informative rebuttal of Greenslime’s careless contentions. It made the thread ever so much better.

And the OP needs to abandon his obsession with having all possible SDMB rules violations written out in exacting, unambiguous language.

Is it o.k. to repeat the request if the person in question repeats or reiterates the claim? if a poster has a habit of making the same baseless claim over and over again, is asking for a cite and pointing out that the poster has previously ignore requests for cites allowed?

It simple seems reasonable to set a number on how many times you may ask for a cite before being accused of harassment, or else to state forthrightly that you can ask for a unlimited number of cites without being accused of harassment. If someone does something other than ask for a cite, then specify what you may do and may not do, to be considered harassing. If I’m extremely polite, and I phrase it “Please, if it’s not troubling you too much, I have asked for a cite, and haven’t gotten one, from you times now, and I’d appreciate your supplying me with one–I don’t want to assume you simply don’t have one, but I’m afraid that is the conclusion I will eventually reach, as well as a lower view of your integrity, if I do not get the cite I asked for. I thank you in advance. Peace out,” or some such, can I avoid charges of harassment indefinitely? Or is three and I’m harassing?

In general, yes, all of that is fine. tomndebb made this point in the post quoted in the OP:

Thank you. Clear enough for me.

Better, but I’d still like to know what part of the post that Tom felt was harassing. It seems like a plain-vanilla repeated request for a cite to me. Maybe he should have made it plain that he was posting outside of his capacity as a Mod? Just “purely in my capacity as a poster here, I’ve found that three or more requests for a cite don’t help you get what you want–it’s kinda a waste of our energy to keep reading these futile requests” sort of thing?

The issue was the repeated question, not the wording or some part of the post:

He was moderating the thread.