Monday, July 03, 2006

A small phrase reduces flame postings

Via Johnnie Moore, via Jon Strande comes this gem from Captology Notebook: A small phrase reduces flame postings. It is so good, I'm reposting the whole thing with a major hat tip to Ramit Sethi for this January 2006 story. Great input for online facilitators everywhere.
I had coffee with Kevin Hale of ParticleTree today. He has an active discussion forum where lots of people come to debate recent articles on his site.

Kevin told me that he's had a problem with flamers, who come to the site and start posting angry comments about other people. They get out of hand very quickly.

Here was his answer:

He pre-filled the comment box with the simple phrase 'Everybody needs a hug.' Turns out that this small step reduced flame postings by a huge number."


Blogger Andy said...

'everyone needs a hug" may work in some communities and cultures but in some of mine I have a feeling it would become extremely irritating quite quickly. This would then exacerbate the differences where online spaces are shared internationally etc.

2:17 AM  
Blogger Nancy White said...

Absolutely. There is no uniform fix. Good point to raise. What would be interesting would be to know what sorts of things help people in different contexts to slow down a beat and have a slightly higher self awareness about the potential impact of their actions. I know that is expecting a lot.

But sometimes little things can alter our paths just enough to change things.

6:02 AM  

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