Recently I noticed one of my many "anti-fans" had posted something like 15 dislikes in a row on my comments. On the one hand I was happy to see someone so truly old able to work a mouse and keyboard. It gave me hope for when I become as ancient. Enshallah.
Technically this is called "Trolling" however. Not because the anti-fan is a Troll (I love Trolls), but it is a practice not unlike stalking. I would normally report this, by using the exlamation mark on the comment, that opens the form above. I am not so inclined. But I will now write a piece about it.
This got me to thinking that maybe it was time to post a "How To Guide" of sorts, one that would clarify our collective behavior and set an expectation so that we could all really get into it, without well, getting too into it.
Another reason I thought it might be a good idea, is that all too often Iranians are either too easily insulted and sulk off without arguing back, or they are far too easily insulted and fire back with way over the top venom.
I think we need to address our "debate health" and learn to argue, without taking anything too personal, or more importantly it seems, without getting too personal.
The fine line of this is the all too often misunderstood personal attack. To me, as I am sure you know if you have read just one of my posts, I actually love it when you call me names, bring it on, it shows that I made you angry, and given the general apathetic Iranian tendency to sit quietly and never really complain (too loudly) about anything of importance to us, it shows me there is an angry Iranian alive somewhere deep in all the conflicted complexes we tend to carry around. Like fat around our guts and innards. Some of us carry this weight around our brains. Think of me as your angry diet.
See, this is how you insult an entire people wthout getting personal! Again, this is most certainly bait for some of you, which you will not be able to resist, and whom I will joyously welcome onto the main field of battle, which will actually take place after you read this piece, put on your best gladiator outfit, grab your sharpest trident and net, and enter the "Circus Commenticus".
This is what this site is for. Some say it is for dating. Sorry Saïd jan, but Iranians don't date. They marry as arranged to. Dating is for divorcees. Who usually don't want to date Iranians. I have always said, the single biggest flaw and problem with all Iranian singles dating services is that it puts single Iranians together with other single Iranians. When no one in their right mind (Ok, not many) actually wants that kind of humiliation ever again.
But I digress. As usual. Sorry, I'm Iranian. I have a lot of useless knowledge about almost any topic.
Like or Dislike: This ^ or (sorry can't find the key for v) feature is a "no effect" indicator of the total number of people who liked the comment, and those who did not like it. It does not affect whether the article is featured or not featured. That is an arbitrary decision made by the editor. Who being human and possibly Iranian, is most certainly biased. They all are. All editors have to be biased. Whether your piece is featured or not, it is subject to the bias and personal and sometimes calculated "rule of featuring". No one knows what those rules are, and what the bias of the editor choosing which article to feature today is, on this site. And I agree with that.
Every Like or Dislike, and who made it, is however recorded in the Activity link of the writer. And it becomes pretty obvious WHO dislikes you and WHO likes you. I like this. It allows me to respond to those who liked what I wrote and those who didn't, allowing me to hopefully convert and convince the Dislikes into being Likes. Also allowing me to gauge the relative acceptibility of my pieces if I start getting more Dislikes than I'd like to see.
Robo Disliking like an angry banshee however, quickly becomes obvious, which falls under "Trolling". Which could lead to banishment from the site. So if you like your identity or username, be careful with your Dislike dispensing.
Toops are another form of general Like (likes and dislikes are limited to comments). But is a way to reward a good article with a uniquely Iranian thumbs up. There is no way to Dislike an article, say with an ironically equal uniquely Iranian thumbs up!
Other stats on the article are the number of Facebook re-posts, and Twitter re-posts the article has received, along with total number of views or reads, and the number of comments a piece has received. These can give you an idea of whether the article is popular or not. But I have found this is not a necessary gauge of whether or not it meets your standard fo what you like to read. I often find some of the best pieces are those that are not featured, or have only a few readers and comments.
Another way to find popular articles to read is in the Most Discussed, Viewed, or Toop'd section on the main page.
Which brings us to Turmoil. The various ways to object to a comment if you receive one. As you can see, this gets serious pretty quickly. I wish there was no need for this option, but unfortunately with the degree of disagreement on this site when it relaunched, this along with a sound editorial and comment moderation policy, was one of the most requested features.
Here's to a healthy debate, a non-personal exchange of ideas, and a robust argument filled challenge of notions.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion. And to have that opinon challenged. And if convinced, to change it.
"Of course that's just my opinion! I could be wrong." - Dennis Miller