An normal constructive discussion in chat at some point escalated and became a personal fight. In my opinion we have place for constructive discussions, even if the participants have strongly differing opinions. We can't accept personal fights. I don't care who escalated first or who said what, I think every personal discussion should be stopped, be it in the chat, on meta or in comments.

As a sidenote - that didn't happen in this case but might happen in other cases - don't prove your point by exaggerating posts, comments, edits or votes. Wikipedia has formed that as a rule, and I think we can make it a rule for our site too.

  • 3
    Be nice
    – overactor
    Jul 14, 2015 at 11:21
  • 1
    As one of the participants in this "fight" I can tell that I didn't have the feeling of being in one or of being attacked. Chats like this are pretty tame (compared with IRC, at least). But if you as an observer felt this discussion to become a fight, I can accept that. We must not, however, let important topics not to be handled just because people have strong opinions about them. We must discuss them. And we must implement decisions reached.
    – user490
    Jul 14, 2015 at 11:27
  • @EricGärtner: I agree, we have to discuss important things, but in a constructive way. As long as we were discussion the matter of changing the site-name in favor of neutrality I had the feeling this was constructive. Later not anymore.
    – Mnementh
    Jul 14, 2015 at 11:29
  • Being the other participant in this “fight”, I have no idea where you think this became personal. Eric and I disagreed on ideas, and there may have been harsh words, but I wouldn't call this a “fight” and I certainly don't see anything personal. Jul 14, 2015 at 23:33
  • So, maybe I'm being oversensitive here, as I wrote before. Nevertheless I think we could agree, that we should be try to be nice.
    – Mnementh
    Jul 15, 2015 at 0:50
  • Looking at the transcript, it looked like an argument. It escalated, albeit slowly and more so at the end. Regardless, this "argument" has happened, and we should look for ways in order to prevent its reoccurrence.
    – Zizouz212
    Jul 15, 2015 at 2:42

2 Answers 2


Above all, the first rule of Stack Exchange is Be Nice. It's in the help center, it's on Meta, it's on Meta.SE.

It's OK that there are disagreements; they're opinions, to be expected. However, even in disagreement everyone has to stay civil.

Zizouz212 is right: if you have a disagreement, do take it to chat - we want the kinks worked out. Just make sure everyone involved stays respectful.

Side-note about chat: if you want to weigh in on a discussion, do so. It occasionally happens that people use stars to register their opinions of one side of an argument, by starring all of one user's messages. Please don't do this. Stars are not for opinion-registering; sending messages is. Stars stick around long after the conversation has ended, and leave a nasty mark on chat's history. In rooms where I'm an owner, I actively remove stars that are used to register opinion.

  • "stars": This is getting complicated :) What about some nice FLOSS Q&A on the main site for a change?
    – user490
    Jul 14, 2015 at 14:09
  • @EricGärtner Please do, I'd love to see it :)
    – ArtOfCode
    Jul 14, 2015 at 14:12
  • All my questions are answered in the GNU GPL FAQ :)
    – user490
    Jul 14, 2015 at 14:14
  • 1
    @EricGärtner That doesn't mean you can't post them here: if you've got a nice angle on it, and some research about the topic, an FAQ can create a really good canonical question and answer.
    – ArtOfCode
    Jul 14, 2015 at 14:20

It's a good point. However, there may be a point where we might just have to accept these "fights."

In that case, Stack Exchange has provided us with an amazing thing. Ready... Reveal yourself...

The Chat Room!

We have a few chat rooms:

  • The bikeshed - For General Site Discussions
  • Chatbot dev - For Discussions on the Development of Robots

Not only that, but there are a gazillion other chatrooms. You can even create one of your own. Keep the larger arguments out of The Bikeshed, as that is for general site discussions, not which coloured unicorn is more beautiful. A quick debate there is fine, but if there's serious disagreement then be respectful to others and get a room.

So if you have an issue, bring it to your own chatroom :)

That being said, if you're a chatroom moderator, and if you see "pointless" arguments about this, feel free to take the appropriate actions... i.e.

  • Move/Remove messages
  • Move users to a separate chat room
  • Warn users
  • Or whatever other appropriate action (there are many of em)
  • The question was posted because of a conversation in the chat.
    – user490
    Jul 14, 2015 at 13:39
  • I understand that. You realize that I am incredibly active in chat right? I'm offering a solution to these future problems.
    – Zizouz212
    Jul 14, 2015 at 13:40
  • 3
    As Eric already said he didn't see it as a fight, I might also be a bit oversensitive in this regard. Anyways, I didn't take any action like flagging, only asked to behave, although it was over at that point anyways. I think we should have an eye on discussions in the future, to prevent them going toxic. Your suggestion how a chat-room-moderator might act are good. Thanks.
    – Mnementh
    Jul 14, 2015 at 13:45
  • I wasn't there, but don't worry. I agree with your stance in that we need to be careful and a little sensitive to this.
    – Zizouz212
    Jul 14, 2015 at 13:47
  • Note: room-owners can't arbitrarily delete others' messages.
    – ArtOfCode
    Jul 14, 2015 at 16:13
  • I disagree with "So if you have an issue, bring it to your own chatroom". The Bikeshed is a kind of meta-meta, it is not a social place to talk about the weather.
    – user490
    Jul 14, 2015 at 17:24
  • @EricGärtner The bike shed is a place for general site discussions. Yes, we can have smaller scale debates, but if there is an argument going on, that is pointless and won't end until the world explodes, then it doesn't belong there, because we don't want to clutter our chatroom with that. The practice of moving users to other rooms is quite accepted, and is normal behaviour.
    – Zizouz212
    Jul 14, 2015 at 20:12
  • Not every debate will be endless. How do you tell them from the productive ones?
    – user490
    Jul 14, 2015 at 20:16
  • If people are unreasonable and stuff like that. Regardless, if they are short, then fine. If they are long, and others are started to get disturbed, then mods will need to move messages, block users, take the appropriate action to get them out into their own room, and stay out of our beloved bikeshed.
    – Zizouz212
    Jul 14, 2015 at 20:17

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