It's probably no secret that my opinion of EGF is extremely low, and probaby neither is the fact i'm not alone in this sentiment. The reasons behind this disenchantment are multiple, but the core reason can be traced back into something aptly described by a fellow member "I considered coming back after a year or so but then i saw they descended to a level of demagoguery that makes even me seem like a temperate monk by comparison". More often than not it seems to me that members prefer to go for some clever/pithy line in arguments rather than a polite, proper discussion and this behavior is either unpunished by staff or even displayed by some of the staff itself.
I believe This harms both the thread in specific by killing or derailing the discussion due to either hotheads taking the thread down in a flamewar or people simply not wanting to deal with the toxicity anymore, as well as the forum in general by creating a culture where it's ok or even expected to reply to someone's opposing argument/point/etc with things like "You are a good captain, sir, as I can see that you’ve decided to sink with your ship. I salute you from my lifeboat.". This was certainly clever and funny, but frankly it came off as patronizing dismissal... which while probably intended, i'm not sure belongs in a thread attempting to be serious.
Furthermore, here are a bunch of gems gleaned almost entirely from one EGF visit:
Gentlemen wrote:you gotta just suck it up. You are not a special little snowflake. (...) like how retarded can you fucking be to take waifu culture and otaku drama that seriously? (...) Rightists please stop embarrassing yourselves this is worse than (...) Geez, nerds are so fucking touchy. (...) Ah, we already had this discussion. He quickly noticed that I'm no match for his analytic überbrain; I simply dislike some things, and he got bored. The next time I saw him he dropped a mega post about why my penis is wrong. Then he left. I miss this wicked motherfucker. (...) I mean idiots lost their mind over (...)
My problem with these examples isn't so much their particular snark or their "appropiateness" for their respective threads or even how much they might or might not skirt the rules. It's that to some degree it seems to have become more common and ok to talk like this. I fear that this not only will make the case of threads going to shit more frequent, but likely will also dissuade potentially constructive members from joining and therefore the possibility for good discussions starting in the first place get diminished further contributing to a toxic or at least unproductive forum atmosphere.
Well, hope that isn't too rambling and carries the point i tried to make somewhat clearly. Thoughts?