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What Is Happening To Civil Debates On Patch?

Some Blog posting have gone well beyond disagreement about facts and degenerated into electronic screaming matches.

To All

Differing opinions, opposing points of view, challenges to prove or disprove allegations, requests for facts to back up statements can all be part of civil debates without becoming vulgar, abusive and threatening. Some of the individuals posting seem to think they are participating in football riots with soccer hooligans in Europe! Several people have told me that they no longer read the blog section of Patch because of the nasty comments being posted.

I have seen some blogs where contributors have strongly stated and defended their positions on issues without resorting to abusive language. I can't say I was thrilled when a blogger suggested I either belong in a senior citizen home or was to dumb to find one and had accomplished nothing on the Township Committee. However, that did not degenerate into out and out name calling and aggression.

 We all need to calm down and stop putting Jason in the position of being a referee or censor. Freedom of speech does not mean that everyone can scream "Fire!" in a crowded theater.  

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

esquire908 June 08, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Oh, this is the first light-heatered jesting in weeks. Lighten up Tracy and take a bvreak from your Patch keyboard. It's nice outside.
Thomas Lotito June 08, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Tracy- The uncivilly you are complaining about came from anonymous posters when I asked Tuscha Quatrone, who is seeking public office, will she apologize for calling Republicans of Morris County "teabaggers" The defitnition of the term teabagger is a vulgar sexual act. Are you familiar with the definition of that term?
Thomas Lotito June 08, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Tracy- I asked a legitimate question was defamed by childish cowardly posters who never add to the conversation and post in their own names. If the defamation continues it becomes harassment.
Thomas Lotito June 08, 2012 at 12:39 PM
If the Patch required that comments were made by people posting in their own names the conversations would not become uncivil.
Thomas Lotito June 08, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Thanks be to God a little minds ... Just joking!
Thomas Lotito June 08, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Joe, What exactly do you mean with that latin phrase? and Forsby is a card carrying GOP'r?
Thomas Lotito June 08, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Definition of the term "teabagger." http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=teabagger
Hookerman June 08, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Oh good lord Tom! The point of Tracy’s article was debating in a civil manner, not using terms that, when used in a very specific context, could be considered vulgar. Obviously in context that ‘teabagger’ was used here, the poster was referring to a member of the Tea Party, and not the sexual act you referenced.
Thomas Lotito June 08, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Hookerman, Liberals use the term "teabaggers" out of mutual respect and admiration for people in the Tea Party? The term "teabaggers" as used by Truscha Quatrone is a pejorative, it's hate speech.
Hookerman June 08, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Two points Tom; 1) The term 'teabagger' may be a derogatory term to refer to members of the Tea Party, but that does not mean it is necessarily a vulgar term, nor does it have anything to do with the sex act. There are a number of words in the English language that have entirely different meanings based on the context in which they are used. 2) There is a big difference between referring to a generic group of people in a derogatory manner (such as 'democrap' or 'libtard'), and personally attacking a specific person. Tracy was obviously referring to the later when he referenced the attack made on himself; " I can't say I was thrilled when a blogger suggested I either belong in a senior citizen home or was to dumb to find one and had accomplished nothing on the Township Committee."
Thomas Lotito June 08, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Now we're getting somewhere, however the term "teabagger" is a vulgar term. I would not want the definition recited in front of my mother. I know words and the definition of words change meaning over time. The term "teabagger" used by liberals directed at Tea Partiers was used purposely to portray the obscene, pornographic definition.
Domino June 08, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Tracy, this type of activity and far worse has been going on for more than a decade in Washington Township. There have been extremely hateful blog sites and continual smear campaigns and character assassinations of anyone who has run for office who is not part of the old Republican group in town. You have watched good Individuals have their names and reputations run throught the mud, brought to court; brought before state commissions, splashed across the newspaper and hassled by OPRA requests. The are a couple of dozen individuals in this community who have endured this kind of nonsense from the "braintrust" of the local republican party. I have never seen you step up and address it when someone else is getting the abuise. You know what? You reap what you sow. Stop whining.
GiGi Richards June 08, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Not only have I seen candidates for offices get smeared but the poster to whom I was referring has also gone after teachers, BOE presidents, other posters on this forum (asking them if they are drunk for example), etc.. I agree some civility would be nice but the worst offender is worried about someone using a term for a party of people who adorn their hats with tea bags? I may be wrong but I think someone within the Tea Party itself used that term until they found out it's slang meaning. I am disgusted by the one poster who has turned this town into a soap box for his extreme rightwing christian hate filled ideas. Not because he is a GOP, not because he is religious but because of his methods.
Jon June 08, 2012 at 08:55 PM
On the Yahoo! Finance message boards, there is an option "Ignore all posts from this person". By choosing it, the site simply hides all that person's posts from your view, as if they weren't there. Would it be possible for the programmers on Patch to add that feature here? If so, I would definitely make good use of it, and I have a suspicion others might find the feature very useful as well. Patch editor: Please consider this to be a formal enhancement request.
Thomas Lotito June 08, 2012 at 09:46 PM
What's GIG and Jon want is censorship of an opposing view .Homosexual bloggers on the Huffington Post were the first to use the term "teabaggers" meaning the disgusting sexual act in reference to people who participate in the Tea Party. No participant at a the Tea party rally ever referred to themselves as "teabaggers" It would be like a gay person referring to themselves as "queer." Which they would not do.
GiGi Richards June 08, 2012 at 11:42 PM
http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/12/to-teabag-or-not-thats-still-the-question-for-conservatives.php I hope that link works. It shows that the TP did in fact use the term "tea bag" in reference to it's members and what they wanted them to do before any one else referred to them that way. BUT, that was beside the point of this blog and my post: the fact that one person thinks it is okay to try and dismantle groups and destroy people's reputations to suit his agenda and to make personal attacks against other posters like "did you hit your head" "Do you have ADD" etc. is disgusting and should not be allowed on any public forum. I hope I have made myself clear. I refuse to address this stupidity any longer.
Jon June 09, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Thomas, your posts never cease to amaze me, I must grant you that. I am going to make this one comment directly to you, and then no more: a) At no time did I request censorship here, nor anything like it. If you read my post carefully, you will see that I was asking for the ability to suppress posts from my personal view if they were made by people I specify to ignore. That is not censorship, it is simply exercising a choice for how I choose to spend my very valuable free time, of which there is precious little. You should probably look up censorship since you don't appear to know the definition (but you don't need to post it here, since most everyone else probably already knows the definition; b) At no point did I say, nor even insinuate, that I disagree with the views of any other individual on this forum. Again, read my post and try to find words indicating that I hold views that oppose views of anyone else; c) the tone, frequency, ferocity, irrationality, paranoia, and embedded anger of virtually ALL of YOUR posts on this site leads me to conclude that you could benefit from some professional psychological counseling, and that is an investment in yourself that I strongly encourage you to consider making. Each time I (waste my time to) read one, I shake my head in a combination of disgust, disbelief, and compassionate pity, and wonder whether the individual behind these words is as deranged and out-of-touch in real life as he makes himself out to be in this online forum.
Llama Tostito June 09, 2012 at 12:58 PM
As Thomas Lotito's rational alter ego, I must say that most incivility on the Patch is caused by Thomas, he is a blogging bully.
Thomas Lotito June 09, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Harassment Law & Legal Definition . Harassment is unwanted, unwelcomed and uninvited behavior that demeans, threatens or offends the victim and results in a hostile environment for the victim. Harassing behavior may include, but is not limited to, epithets, derogatory comments or slurs and lewd propositions, assault, impeding or blocking movement, offensive touching or any physical interference with normal work or movement, and visual insults, such as derogatory posters or cartoons.
Richard Vernon June 09, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Wow, that above is the height of hypocrisy. Thomas you preach smaller government, etc... yet twice now I have seen you threaten legal action against patch posters. That's getting the government further involved in your life, that's big government. The two bloggers call themselves Llama Tostito and Jack Mayhoffer, I think you can be mature enough to ignore them, right?
Thomas Lotito June 09, 2012 at 05:33 PM
No Richard, it's becoming a pattern I have the right to voice my opinion, I am equal time. like it or not..
Richard Vernon June 09, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Once again Tom, you are seeing this incorrectly. No one is taking away your right to voice your opinion; no one is or has even tried to do so. You are the one threatening legal action, therefore, you are trying to stop them from from voicing their opinions, however childish they may be. I think you should continue to voice your opinion, but dont try and restrict someone elses because you don't like what they are saying or doing, that is big government, that is totalitarianism. If you dont like what they are saying, either say something back or ignore it. You write lots of things people don't like, I am sure they employ the same tactic.
Jack Mahoffer June 09, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Thomas is a patriot !!! He is despised by ALL who read his posts. He gets a charge out of it ( why, I'll never know ). To quote a famous philosopher - " A flute without holes is not a flute - a donut without a hole is a danish ".
Jason Koestenblatt (Editor) June 10, 2012 at 12:08 AM
It's great to see everyone's enjoying the comments section on Tracy Tobin's most recent blog post. Especially on the weekend. So, let's all scale it back, again, before we need to close the comments section and delete posts and blah blah blah. We're better than this, folks. Let's start acting like it, please.
Thomas Lotito June 10, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Richard- It's one thing to voice an opinion, repeated defamation through personal attacks by anonymous posters is harassment. I'm not putting up with it. What's the matter with you that you don't get that? I'm not restricting anyone, however, if these personal, unwarranted attacks continue I will make an example of someone. They will stop. I've been to court once before, if these attacks continue I will do it again.Count on it. Every post is recorded. ,
Jerry Gordon June 10, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Jason- I'm the one who's always attacked here and you mostly tolerate it because you let these posts stand for hours. where's the civility?
Jack Mahoffer June 10, 2012 at 12:36 AM
" will make an example of someone " ?????? Hey Tommy - get a life pal. It's obvious you are a painfully empty human being - find a different outlet. Try online chess or maybe community service. Your an empty voice. Nobody cares. I suspect thats what you have felt your entire life. Just a guess. WAAAAAA !!!! grown man crying about getting a little taste of what he dishes out DAILY ( ALL DAY LONG ). Job ? Hey Jason - we ( your clientelle ) are tired of this LONELY CLOWN .
Jack Mahoffer June 10, 2012 at 12:50 AM
who are you ??? The Tony Soprano of the mean streets of Long Valley ???? Joke
Llama Tostito June 10, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Yay! More people standing up to Tom's threats. He is going to bring the Llama Tostito to court and when he does, he will look across the court room and see a South Amerian beast of burden with a bag of corn chips on his back, no one silences the freaking Llama... I am the twelfth son of the Lama. I have the flowing robes, the grace, I'm bald... striking if I may say so. Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-lagunga.
Jason Koestenblatt (Editor) June 10, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Well, we tried civility, right? It was worth a shot. Comments are now closed.


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