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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this is a spin of from another thread in which @Deborah and @kathymuggle have decided to daily call out provax members who are not responding to their questions.

What are our rights and responsibilities posting here (by which I mean more than the UA rules banning personal attacks)?

Do we "deserve" answers to all questions which we post?
 

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I sort of know what you mean. I asked one question and, though it's been edited out, the poster responding by answering my question but then added, "Btw, you are aware this is a nonvaccinating support forum, correct?" and though it's since been edited out they assumed I was trolling. Not giving any names.
 

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I sort of know what you mean. I asked one question and, though it's been edited out, the poster responding by answering my question but then added, "Btw, you are aware this is a nonvaccinating support forum, correct?" and though it's since been edited out they assumed I was trolling. Not giving any names.
Sorry, don't feel special, the PRO vaccers just did the same to a poster who answered a question in their section! Goes both ways!
 

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So this is a spin of from another thread in which @Deborah and @kathymuggle have decided to daily call out provax members who are not responding to their questions.

What are our rights and responsibilities posting here (by which I mean more than the UA rules banning personal attacks)?

Do we "deserve" answers to all questions which we post?
Thank you so much for posting this. I hadn't even read that thread until I saw all of the bumps and call-outs to the provaxxers (I still have not read it all). But it's not just in that thread. In the GMO thread, at 2:13 p.m. yesterday, someone posted several links addressing complicated questions that would have required substantial research to read, research, and respond to. At 3:32 p.m., there was a request that I address the post with the links, because we were "discussing pretty much everything but the science itself." That request was renewed when I hadn't answered by 5:43 pm.

To answer your question: We do not deserve answers to any questions that we post in this forum. This is a voluntary endeavor.

I sometimes post questions that are not answered. If someone does not answer my question, I assume one of the following is likely:

1. People did not find my question as interesting as I did.

2. People think it would take more time to answer the question than they are able or willing to devote to it. (That could be because they are answering other posts, could be because they are busy with life, or could be because the question requires significant time to research and think about.)

3. People did not read the question, either because the thread is so active that they were focused on other posts or because they are not reading the thread or because they are not reading the forum.

4. People are avoiding my question because it is so insightful and cutting that there is no good answer.

Pick whichever one you like. Usually if I don't answer it's #2 , but feel free to assume that it's #4 . I don't really care.
 

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Well, considering the title of the thread you linked this to, which is about debating a response, I'd say responses to individual questions are necessary to conduct a proper debate. If questions or comments are presented and thus being ignored or glazed over, isn't it safe to assume no one has an answer to the question, or they are avoiding them? If you want a true debate, members such as @Deborah and @kathymuggle are great ones to do it with (among others) because they always present excellent arguments. If people simply just want to bash "the other side" with no debate, well then I can see why people would choose to not answer individual excellent questions.

I understand sometimes questions are missed, but it's honestly hard to miss questions presented by certain members because the questions are laid out so well, and respectful. We are adults here and free to do as we choose. If no one wants to argue a point, that's their prerogative, but is it a true debate if people are cherry picking what they choose to respond to and what they don't?
 

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I think it can be overwhelming to try to keep up here every day for those who are not stay at home moms. Also there are only a handful of pro vax posters who are on regularly. No one is entitled to have their questions answered specifically and the whole bumping it every day thing seems pretty sophomoric to me.
 
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I'd say responses to individual questions are necessary to conduct a proper debate. If questions or comments are presented and thus being ignored or glazed over, isn't it safe to assume no one has an answer to the question, or they are avoiding them? . . . We are adults here and free to do as we choose. If no one wants to argue a point, that's their prerogative, but is it a true debate if people are cherry picking what they choose to respond to and what they don't?
Responding to all of the questions and posts in this forum in a meaningful way would significantly interfere with my real-life work and family responsibilities. That's particularly true given the relative numbers of nonvax vs. provax voices. Because I am unwilling to devote that much time to the forum, I cherry pick the questions I respond to based on a combination of how interesting they are to me and how quickly I can provide an answer to them.

The cherry picking does lessen how interesting and complete the debate is, but that's just the nature of a voluntary internet debate forum frequented by a small number of people with other responsibilities and interests.
 

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Responding to all of the questions and posts in this forum in a meaningful way would significantly interfere with my real-life work and family responsibilities. That's particularly true given the relative numbers of nonvax vs. provax voices. Because I am unwilling to devote that much time to the forum, I cherry pick the questions I respond to based on a combination of how interesting they are to me and how quickly I can provide an answer to them.

The cherry picking does lessen how interesting and complete the debate is, but that's just the nature of a voluntary internet debate forum frequented by a small number of people with other responsibilities and interests.
I completely understand the lack of time and energy to devote to this forum when moms have little ones at home to care for, or are working full time; however, I also understand the frustration of posters continuously being told how excellent scientific studies are, how safe vaccines are, how rare reactions are, yet when direct questions about the lack of scientific studies in specific area care brought up, no one seems to want to address them. It seems to be quite an off-balance forum at times, and I have to say, it doesn't always appear to be due to a lack of time to address questions. People just don't have the answers, and they (some, not all) don't seem to want to admit the many faults in the system for some weird reason.
 

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The questions on the living whole thread are foundational questions to the very oft repeated "scientific consensus is vaccines are safe and effective". They address how to define safe and effective, and if there are set parameters. The questions also ask that if "vaccines are safe and effective" is too vague (partly due to lack of parameters) then what is the actual consensus?

People fail to answer questions for a variety of reasons - most of which are fairly benign. They do not see the question, do not have the time to research the answer, etc. Other reasons people do not answer question are because they think the questions are baitish, or simply not important. I do not think that is what is going on here. People have clearly seen the questions, and do have/make the time to post on other threads. I would even go so far as to say that many of the questions would not necessarily take a lot of research to answer. I think people are not answering because they do not want to. They know darn well there is no consensus on what "effective" means, for example, and have decided it is easier or benefits their side more to drop that line of discussion and hope others do too.

I would go so far as to say that if you are a person who says "scientific consensus is vaccines are safe and effective" then you really should be willing to engage in hard questions about what that statements means...or you should not say it, as the statement is meaningless.

Mamabear...I do not disagree it is slightly sophmoric. It certainly does drive home the point, though, that hard questions are being avoided. I would hope that no one is avoiding answering hard questions because they think we are being pesty in asking them. That would be nothing more than deflection, and the proverbial strawman.

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I completely understand the lack of time and energy to devote to this forum when moms have little ones at home to care for, or are working full time; however, I also understand the frustration of posters continuously being told how excellent scientific studies are, how safe vaccines are, how rare reactions are, yet when direct questions about the lack of scientific studies in specific area care brought up, no one seems to want to address them. It seems to be quite an off-balance forum at times, and I have to say, it doesn't always appear to be due to a lack of time to address questions. People just don't have the answers, and they (some, not all) don't seem to want to admit the many faults in the system for some weird reason.
I understand the frustration. And it is absolutely true that I usually "just don't have the answers" when people ask for scientific studies in a specific area. I am a random internet mom with an interest in vaccines, not a public health official or immunologist. The question is then whether I am willing and able to do the independent research to find out what studies are there, read them, and post about them. The answer is usually no, unfortunately.

It is often easier to ask a question than to answer it. I think whenever someone is asking a question (on either side) and making inferences from the lack of answer, it is always important to think about how much time would be required to answer the question.
 

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So this is a spin of from another thread in which @Deborah and @kathymuggle have decided to daily call out provax members who are not responding to their questions.

What are our rights and responsibilities posting here (by which I mean more than the UA rules banning personal attacks)?

Do we "deserve" answers to all questions which we post?
I'm not going to base my response to the Living Whole thread because I was getting bogged down in it.

If people are asking broad questions to all forum participants, of course it's OK to abstain. I don't have time to commit to every thread, and I can't imagine that everyone else does. If they're asking a question to you personally, of course we don't "deserve" anything. I just consider it a matter of polite conversation to answer. :shrug

A good rule for online decorum, and one that we all have occasionally slipped away from following, is to treat others online as you would treat them in person. If you were in the room with kathymuggle, Deborah, Silvermoon, etc. would you just turn away and ignore them after they asked you a question?

It would even suffice to acknowledge them with, "I want to dedicate some time to writing a thoughtful answer, so let me get back to you on this when I have a better opportunity."

Granted, this forum can seem like a very crowded room with a lot of people talking over each other. So it's OK to miss a question posed to you, and the person repeating it should be polite about it. I try to make good use of the quote and tag features so that people receive notification that I'm addressing them personally.

This is the scenario that drives me crazy and that I prefer to avoid.

Person A: Makes Argument X.
Person B: Challenges Argument X with facts, evidence, links, questions, or just a compelling point.
Person A: Ignores Person B. Later repeats Argument X in other threads.

There's a fair amount of bickering here about rudeness. But to some degree, it reminds me of First World tourists complaining that they don't like the McDonald's in their host country. We actually have it relatively easy on MDC. At least here I'm not called an "anti-vax idiot" whose children need to die of polio. :eyesroll
 

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I'm not going to base my response to the Living Whole thread because I was getting bogged down in it.

If people are asking broad questions to all forum participants, of course it's OK to abstain. I don't have time to commit to every thread, and I can't imagine that everyone else does. If they're asking a question to you personally, of course we don't "deserve" anything. I just consider it a matter of polite conversation to answer. :shrug

A good rule for online decorum, and one that we all have occasionally slipped away from following, is to treat others online as you would treat them in person. If you were in the room with kathymuggle, Deborah, Silvermoon, etc. would you just turn away and ignore them after they asked you a question?

It would even suffice to acknowledge them with, "I want to dedicate some time to writing a thoughtful answer, so let me get back to you on this when I have a better opportunity."

Granted, this forum can seem like a very crowded room with a lot of people talking over each other. So it's OK to miss a question posed to you, and the person repeating it should be polite about it. I try to make good use of the quote and tag features so that people receive notification that I'm addressing them personally.

This is the scenario that drives me crazy and that I prefer to avoid.

Person A: Makes Argument X.
Person B: Challenges Argument X with facts, evidence, links, questions, or just a compelling point.
Person A: Ignores Person B. Later repeats Argument X in other threads.

There's a fair amount of bickering here about rudeness. But to some degree, it reminds me of First World tourists complaining that they don't like the McDonald's in their host country. We actually have it relatively easy on MDC. At least here I'm not called an "anti-vax idiot" whose children need to die of polio. :eyesroll
I get where you are coming from @prosciencemum. I think because you and I have more of the minority opinion here, it's almost like there's an expectation that we either defend our position constantly because our opinion is the aberration, or that we are expected to speak for everyone who is on "our" side whenever someone posts a vaccine-critical post. If we don't it's a sign that our silence we don't have a leg to stand on to dispute what they are saying.

However I also think if we are on here asking questions of people about their views etc, it's only fair we share our perspectives as well (not saying you don't of course.) So I think it's important we do respond, when possible, about WHY we believe what we do to relate on an interpersonal level. It's easy and comfortable to just say that science supports us and that's that, but I think this is a place for discussion, and part of that is to share why we personally disagree (or indeed agree!) with what is being said. I'm assuming if people wanted to just do what science says they probably wouldn't be posting here in the first place lol. Likewise, I wouldn't stay here if it was only a place to ridicule people who do vaccinate.

Of course no one is mandated to respond to anyone. I try my best to respond to questions directed directly toward me, but I am only human and I miss a lot. And if I post a question I don't "deserve" an answer, nor does anyone else. Also my not answering something is usually not I sign I can't answer the question, it's usually a sign that my laundry pile is getting high enough to kill a small child should it fall on them, and I have responsibilities elsewhere ;)
 

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If people are asking broad questions to all forum participants, of course it's OK to abstain. I don't have time to commit to every thread, and I can't imagine that everyone else does. If they're asking a question to you personally, of course we don't "deserve" anything. I just consider it a matter of polite conversation to answer. :shrug

A good rule for online decorum, and one that we all have occasionally slipped away from following, is to treat others online as you would treat them in person. If you were in the room with kathymuggle, Deborah, Silvermoon, etc. would you just turn away and ignore them after they asked you a question?

It would even suffice to acknowledge them with, "I want to dedicate some time to writing a thoughtful answer, so let me get back to you on this when I have a better opportunity."

Granted, this forum can seem like a very crowded room with a lot of people talking over each other. So it's OK to miss a question posed to you, and the person repeating it should be polite about it. I try to make good use of the quote and tag features so that people receive notification that I'm addressing them personally.

This is the scenario that drives me crazy and that I prefer to avoid.

Person A: Makes Argument X.
Person B: Challenges Argument X with facts, evidence, links, questions, or just a compelling point.
Person A: Ignores Person B. Later repeats Argument X in other threads.

There's a fair amount of bickering here about rudeness. But to some degree, it reminds me of First World tourists complaining that they don't like the McDonald's in their host country. We actually have it relatively easy on MDC. At least here I'm not called an "anti-vax idiot" whose children need to die of polio. :eyesroll
You make some good points.

One nuance I just want to point out.

I see a difference in my politeness-based obligation to respond to (1) thoughtful and articulated arguments vs. (2) posted links, or brief assertions combined with links.

If I'm engaged in a conversation with someone (in real life or online), and that person is making the effort to compose thoughtful arguments directed toward me, then I feel a social obligation to respond in kind or to explain why I am not doing so. I try to do that here, though I'm sure I am not always successful.

But if I'm in a conversation with someone (in real life or online) and they hand me a pile of books to read or email me a bunch of website links to read, I don't feel any obligation to read those books or read those links--now or ever. And I don't really feel an obligation explain why I'm not doing so.

For the record, I rarely read links people post here, unless I feel like the links would help me understand an argument they composed independently. I also rarely post my own links to sources that make arguments, and I don't expect anyone to read them if I do. It's not that there's anything wrong with posting links; it's just a matter of time and debate preference for me.
 

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I get where you are coming from @prosciencemum. I think because you and I have more of the minority opinion here, it's almost like there's an expectation that we either defend our position constantly because our opinion is the aberration, or that we are expected to speak for everyone who is on "our" side whenever someone posts a vaccine-critical post. If we don't it's a sign that our silence we don't have a leg to stand on to dispute what they are saying.
I resonate with this in a lot of ways. I try to avoid the vax forums due to hostility all around and because I come to MDC for supportive conversation with other moms--the vax forums are the opposite of that. I'm pro-vax and I've seen a few of the threads that try to "bait" pro-vaxxers into responding, and have also noted the hostile tones and ridiculous time frames expected in responding. I pointedly DO NOT respond to those because, honestly, who responds well to being told "You there! See this? What do you think about this, huh? You haven't responded 15 minutes later? Then you must not have an answer and I win the argument by default!" Yeah, no thanks.

Truthfully, I AM interested in learning more about vaccine reactions and the benefits of selectively delaying, but due to the hostility and the squabbling the vax forums here are the last place I'd come to do it. I get that I'm relatively new here and that there's probably been quite a bit of mud-slinging from BOTH sides in the past to cause this bitter divide between "sides". Even so, it's not an environment conducive to learning, or even walking away with your dignity intact.
 

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You make some good points.

One nuance I just want to point out.

I see a difference in my politeness-based obligation to respond to (1) thoughtful and articulated arguments vs. (2) posted links, or brief assertions combined with links.

If I'm engaged in a conversation with someone (in real life or online), and that person is making the effort to compose thoughtful arguments directed toward me, then I feel a social obligation to respond in kind or to explain why I am not doing so. I try to do that here, though I'm sure I am not always successful.
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I resonate with this in a lot of ways. I try to avoid the vax forums due to hostility all around and because I come to MDC for supportive conversation with other moms--the vax forums are the opposite of that. I'm pro-vax and I've seen a few of the threads that try to "bait" pro-vaxxers into responding, and have also noted the hostile tones and ridiculous time frames expected in responding. I pointedly DO NOT respond to those because, honestly, who responds well to being told "You there! See this? What do you think about this, huh? You haven't responded 15 minutes later? Then you must not have an answer and I win the argument by default!" Yeah, no thanks.
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We have a lot of threads on MDC where we complain about the other sides posting behaviour. Those are not typically helpful. Seeing as this is basically a call out thread about a particular incident, let's keep it to that, shall we? I think it will be cleaner that way and more useful.

Jessica - Deborah's questions were polite, as were mine. There was little or no link dumping going on. Thoughtful, important, on topic questions that were repeatedly brought up and ignored.

Jade - the thread is question is about a week old. The important questions on the thread are almost as old. No one demanded anyone answer instantly. I have seen that happen, but it wasn't happening there...
 
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People fail to answer questions for a variety of reasons - most of which are fairly benign. They do not see the question, do not have the time to research the answer, etc. Other reasons people do not answer question are because they think the questions are baitish, or simply not important. I do not think that is what is going on here. People have clearly seen the questions, and do have/make the time to post on other threads. I would even go so far as to say that many of the questions would not necessarily take a lot of research to answer. I think people are not answering because they do not want to. They know darn well there is no consensus on what "effective" means, for example, and have decided it is easier or benefits their side more to drop that line of discussion and hope others do too.
Just for the record, my entire history with that Living Whole thread is as follows:

1. I read the first page of posts and found it full of insults and bickering about a topic I wasn't interested in to begin with.

2. I checked back in after all the bumps and saw myself (or at least the small number of provax posters here) get called out repeatedly for avoiding answering questions and talking about important things.

It sounds like some interesting arguments were raised in the thread, but I'm not inclined to wade through 147 posts in a thread that appears to have started and ended in a thoroughly irritating way in order to find them. That may not be an admirable debate position, but the reality is that I choose not to spend my leisure time hanging out in places I find unpleasant.

If you want to start a new thread(s) with the specific interesting arguments/questions, that might be useful. Though I cannot at this time make promises about posting in it. (I'm so busy at work this week that I swore to stay off the forum for a week--but we see how well that worked out. :) )

The topic of this thread is what responsibility posters have to answer questions/respond to arguments posed. As I read it, it is not and should not be limited to discussion of one thread (that I haven't even read!). It's a problem that was percolating in my mind at the same time based on a completely different thread.
 

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We have a lot of threads on MDC where we complain about the other sides posting behaviour. Those are not typically helpful. Seeing as this is basically a call out thread about a particular incident, let's keep it to that, shall we? I think it will be cleaner that way and more useful.

Jessica - Deborah's questions were polite, as were mine. There was little or no link dumping going on. Thoughtful, important, on topic questions that were repeatedly brought up and ignored.

Jade - the thread is question is about a week old. The important questions on the thread are almost as old. No one demanded anyone answer instantly. I have seen that happen, but it wasn't happening there...

I don't think any one person or "side" is to blame here. I find the vast vast majority of posters here polite and thoughtful, yourself and @Deborah included definitely. I feel you are both welcoming and kind people, as again, pretty much everyone here is.

I don't think Deborah is guilty of link dumping at all, and I didn't take it as a call out to her or anyone else in particular. I HAVE seen posts on MDC and other places where's it like 78 million links with no commentary, but that's not something I have seen on this board, not recently anyway :)

I think the question is, if for some reason a question goes unanswered by the other "side" does that mean they are actively avoiding it because either they can't answer it or don't want to? Or is it just that they are busy or something. In my case it's because I'm busy, and while I (honestly!) love debating stuff and could do it all day my children also demand food and attention the greedy little buggers, plus my schoolwork and husband occasionally have to be attended to :grin: So if you specifically ask me a question I WILL GET BACK TO YOU, promise, but as @Deborah knows, it will take bit likely. If you post a general question to pro-vaxxers, I will *try* to answer it if I have time, but I simply may not be able to get to it :) Doesn't mean I don't want to or can't, it simply means I don't want the inmates running the asylum over here and need to pay them some attention ;)
 
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