I’m pretty sure I know which specific thread touched Bricker off this time, and I have to say, when I saw his first response to the poster who in my mind will now forever be known as “Doctor Egregious” for the sheer scope and magnitude of his wrongness I thought it was a little harsh. Then Dr Egregious not only refused to back off his wrongness, he compounded it with further wrongness! Now I find myself admiring Bricker’s restraint.
On the off-chance that I’m incorrect about the ID of the thread and the poster, I’ll refrain from posting a link. I’ll just hope that the accused is given a SPEEDY TRIAL (is that too subtle a clue?)and found guilty.
Now that I think about it, Doctor Egregious posted some wrong information in another thread I frequented a day or two ago. Not only did he post wrong information, he posted it about fifteen minutes after I had posted the correct information, which he would have known had he bothered to read the post directly following the one to which he was responding. Good show, Doctor Egregious! Two fingers down, eight to go!
Are we talking about posters who are misinformed, or who are deliberately trying to be deceptive? Because if I want to make a point, I know I’ll have to provide a cite, but why should I suddenly have to lose a finger when new research has suddenly overturned the statement I said? Shouldn’t there be clemency for people who post something that was thought to be true at the time of the posting?
I’m all for punishing those who are trying to spread disinformation, but I know there are a lot of people who aren’t aware they are misinformed. I don’t think anyone willing to acknolege they are mistaken should get the gallows here :eek:
I’ve posted inaccurate information in GQ before. Hell, I even posted an urban freakin’ legend there as fact. I don’t begrudge someone making an honest error or locating a cite that’s outdated. The difference between that and Doctor Egregious is the total unwillingness on D.E.'s part to admit his error, along with his insistence on posting yet more inaccurate information, and doing so after he had already been corrected.
Well, the big problem is technology. Frankly, we just can’t figger out a way to get it done over the internet. We beta-tested a system once – you may recall a day in late 1999 when 4 million AOL users simultaneously received a sharp jolt of electricity through their keyboards (not necessarily a bad outcome, of course, but not the designed-for one). Then there was another test and that one guy who posted incorrect immigration information – the punishment sequencer didn’t realize that the guy’s IP of odci.gov really meant the CIA. We’ll miss the old guy who took care of the Reader’s server, even though Jerry does a fine job.
Add to that the fact that it’s usually different people doing the erring. Erring is how people learn. Especially people who think they know more than they do.
I think, but am not certain, that the “karma” system in vB 3.0 will allow this. However, the Staff here have told me that there is “no way whatsoever” this would ever be employed, and I personally wouldn’t want to use it, due to potential problems.
There has to be some level of accounting. There are a few people who quite prolificly post inaccurate information again and again in GQ and then vanish from the thread. However, it’s hard if not impossible to say what the intent is. Even still, the watering down that happens in GQ sometimes might be fought by enough people reporting posts to Moderators. I’m just not certain if they would want people to do that. They might get flooded with tons of unnecessary messages every time someone thinks someone else is wrong - because the reporter would have to justify why they think the person posting info is wrong.
It’s not a practical solution for this board, even if they didn’t mind altering the code, or whatever they need to do. Places like virtualdr serve entirely as knowledge bases about specific issues, whereas here many, many subjects are covered, and hence there are more people in the know about a specific subject there than here.
I think most people are bright enough not to take someone’s word on the facts when facts are clearly being discussed. (As opposed to threads looking for opinions, of course.) If you ask a question in GQ and the first person gives you an answer without anything to verify their claim, then you take that response with a grain of salt - perhaps you do a search yourself on the answer the person provided. If they provide a cite to back their claim, then you visit the site of the cite (!) and judge for yourself whether the claim is accurate and unbiased.
It is inherently difficult to judge whether someone is intentionally misleading others or if they are simply being lazy and providing conjecture where facts are needed. I would say that if any of us saw someone give an answer we knew to be wrong, we should post a correction and report the post to a moderator. But when we report the post, we should be prepared to explain why the person’s post was incorrect. Simply saying that so-and-so is wrong and is propagating misinformation isn’t helpful to anyone.
There is one person in particular who responds to many GQ threads not with cites or facts but simply “the answer,” right or wrong. I am supposing this is precisely what Bricker means.
How can I possibly give serious consideration to the OP unless I know what cutting device will be used? A ginsu? A Leatherman? A plastic butter knife? It makes a difference, you know.
And more importantly, what sort of mind numbing drugs, if any, will be offered prior to the digit lopping? Will you save the finger in a cooler in the unlikely event that the poster wins an appeal by producing a link which supports his dumbass statement?