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I have an unsupportable hunch that many users here in Politics SE only skim the question posts and quickly move to the comments to see what others have said about the post instead.

My concern is that one can indirectly affect other's up/down/close votes by leaving comments saying the OP is angry, argumentative and making "rude and condescending comments" in situations where this is not happening?

Are these instances of "false flagging"?

An answer might address this question by breaking it down into two parts:

  1. Would "false flagging" be a not-incorrect way to characterize commenting that an OP is angry, argumentative and making "rude and condescending comments" in situations where they are not?
  2. Is there a better term to use for this?

In extreme cases, such as "I can see you have gotten very angry and have lost perspective; I will now attempt to calm you down and guide you to your mistake step by step" this could be considered a form of trolling and that's certainly not what happened here. But I do feel that saying that I am angry, argumentative and making "rude and condescending comments" as potentially influencing other readers, especially those that skip directly to the comment section looking for things like that.

So I'm interested in others' perspectives on this.

note: I've asked about 5,000 Stack Exchange questions in a number of different sites, and I don't really see this kind of thing any more except in Politics SE.

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    Referring to your note: dogmatic persistence is a human attribute, which seems to have it's place in evolution and naturally instantiates post-truths. This happens in all exchange communities, I have seen: Each community follows certain dogmas, and there are questions, which are not answered for not understood, they are ignored or actively combated, even by moderators. Else I agree, that the ability to self reflection of commentators appears worse to me than elsewhere. I see my contributions voted for their result, not the quality of reasoning, even if properly founded on reliable sources. Feb 17, 2022 at 12:38

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this could be considered a form of trolling and that's certainly not what happened here.

Good, then we need not concern ourselves with it in this case. If you do see this sort of subtle trolling in the future, flag for moderator intervention, do not respond or engage with the trolls, and let the mods do their job.

But I do feel that saying that I am angry, argumentative and making "rude and condescending comments" as potentially influencing other readers, especially those that skip directly to the comment section looking for things like that.

  1. Comments will influence people's opinions.
  2. Some people don't read, form snap judgments, etc.
  3. Users have an absolute right to up/downvote as they wish, as long as they're not engaged in voting fraud.
  4. Therefore, what you describe is an inevitable result of How The System Works™. We can't fix it!

Finally: Many of us (such as myself) are more interested in discussing general political processes and broad structural issues, and we are less interested in playing gotcha-of-the-week (wherein each "side" tries to find the dumbest thing they can plausibly accuse the other "side" of saying/doing in public). While there is certainly room to discuss actual issues, it must remain focused on education and understanding, rather than "winning." This is why it's a bit risky to ask questions of the form "Why did person X say/do thing Y?" - such questions must be very carefully worded to remain objective and dispassionate. Even so, I tend to be more hesitant to upvote such questions, at least in comparison to "how does the government work?" questions, because I feel that the latter type of question is more likely to be useful in the long run. In 10 years, I could imagine someone wanting to know why the US Senate now requires 60 votes to advance legislation, even if that threshold has since been altered, but I find it much more difficult to imagine someone in the future caring about the fine details of Trudeau's political views w.r.t. protests.

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  • How is leaving comments like that "how the system works"? If we feel someone is rude we don't go after them in comments, we flag a moderator. The bulk of your answer here is about some question but my question here is about a specific aspect (and tone) of commenting. If you really want to write about that question you will see that there are links to two meta questions about it underneath. That would be the appropriate place to discuss it I think.
    – uhoh
    Feb 26, 2022 at 13:51
  • @uhoh: Either you think the comments were permissible (in which case there's nothing for us to talk about) or you don't (in which case, flag them, and there's still nothing for us to talk about).
    – Kevin
    Feb 26, 2022 at 21:58
  • Also, I wrote a whole paragraph about voting tendencies because you specifically mentioned voting tendencies in your question. I am trying to point out that not everyone who downvoted (or failed to upvote) the main-site question was necessarily doing so in response to comments.
    – Kevin
    Feb 26, 2022 at 22:05
  • I don't see any assertion of "everyone" in "My concern is that one can indirectly affect other's up/down/close votes by leaving comments..." and my concern is for all questions by all authors, not just this one. The reason I discuss the comments on that is because they are a timely and clarifying example.
    – uhoh
    Feb 27, 2022 at 0:15
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    @uhoh: I reiterate my stance: Either a given comment is problematic and can be flagged, or it's not. If you're trying to demonstrate the existence of some sort of middle ground, where a comment should be allowed to stay up but people should (somehow?) ignore it, then I don't think you have made a coherent argument for that position. If that is not your position, then frankly I have no idea what you are trying to accomplish with this meta question.
    – Kevin
    Feb 27, 2022 at 23:30
  • "I've asked about 5,000 Stack Exchange questions in a number of different sites, and I don't really see this kind of thing any more except in Politics SE." So I wonder if we can consider not doing it here either?
    – uhoh
    Feb 27, 2022 at 23:39
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    @uhoh: Your question is so vague that I don't even know what you mean by "this sort of thing." If you mean comments that are flag-worthy, those happen all the time on all sites, and moderators take them down. If you mean comments that are not flag-worthy, those comments are by definition not a problem. Your (meta) question appears to be trying to have it both ways, where these comments are problematic enough that we should avoid making them, but not so problematic that you're willing to involve site moderation in that effort, and IMHO that is simply a contradictory set of premises.
    – Kevin
    Feb 27, 2022 at 23:53
  • okay, "stance" noted.
    – uhoh
    Feb 28, 2022 at 0:02

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