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Debating online? You’d better read this.

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milstar:
I watched a rather funny discussion between two older people (man and a woman) irl (not online) and while I thought it's nice to see older people keeping fiercely to their points and don't bleat about issues that usually got to those who pass over 60, the woman was actually awful in the debate, but she was right (the debate was about the death penalty in UK).

I like to think that in order to alleviate the awkwardness that looms in such situations, a speaker should place him/herself in the boot of the other - and vice versa. In order to double down their positions, maybe see their errors etc. Maybe remaining at the status quo, but at least both would respect each other's opinion.

The Legendary Shark:
This document is quite useful as a basic introduction but is quite skewed.

On page 5 it states: "Misinformation damages society in a number of ways. If parents withhold vaccinations from their children based on mistaken beliefs, public health suffers. If people fall for conspiracy theories surrounding COVID-19, they are less likely to comply with government guidelines to manage the pandemic, thereby imperiling all of us." (My emphasis.)

This presumes that governments neither misinform nor disinform and that their guidelines are the best possible strategies (appeal to authority). It also presupposes that all counter-arguments to official arguments are, necessarily, conspiracy theories (a hasty generalisation).

Also page 5: "Misinformation is also often steeped in emotional language and designed to be attention-grabbing and have persuasive appeal. This facilitates its spread and can boost its impact, especially in the current online economy in which user attention has become a commodity."

This is a very important point and must be kept in mind when accessing any source from the MSM to the independent media. I don't watch much BBC, as just one example amongst many mainstream sources, for this very reason.

In short, there are some excellent tools in this little kit - tools which must be used across the board to assess all sides of any issue and not, as the very title suggests, to debunk arguments without first exploring them. Of course, censorship currently hobbles this process very effectively.

Funt Solo:
You seem to be skating (by the tactic of conflation) terribly close to a suggestion that because governments are capable of misinformation, that there's some question surrounding the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccination program.

I realize you must be unaware of that, though, because you've been asked on so many occasions to stop spreading pro-virus propaganda here during a pandemic - presumably because of how dangerous that is. Just ask this guy:

LA man who mocked Covid-19 vaccines dies of virus

Surely you don't want to get all the threads on the forum locked just to prove a nebulous point? Of course not. That would be ridiculous.

The Legendary Shark:

Yes, that would be ridiculous - which is presumably why you suggested it.

Jim_Campbell:
Jesus, man. Just fucking stop.

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