You know, compared to some of the local newspapers and other forums, I think the discussions here on WhosPlayin have been pretty tame, tending towards cordial and intellectual, even when we disagree. The worst "flame wars" we've had here barely come close to a typical day for some forums. Now and then though, someone will write something here that another person will take offense to, for right or for wrong, and the discussion will go off-topic into a bit of a flame war.
I hate getting in the middle of them, because I really, really dislike censoring anything here, and I'm also keenly aware that the discussions that go off-topic end up being viewed as noise by those who want to just stick to the issues. I'm not pointing any fingers here at all. In fact, I've probably participated in it more than I should.
So I had this idea: What if we had a place to take these conversations, so that our anonymous users and our registered users alike could say their piece without feeling censored, yet still maintain the original topic without a bunch of noise? What if we could use THIS POST for that? I'm just asking. Maybe it would work, maybe it wouldn't.
The way I envision this working would be that if someone felt the need to get into it with another user, (or me) they could just leave a quick comment on the original topic saying "Taking this to the flame pit...". Then come here and say it. It would be up to each user to decide if they want to engage, but as a moderator, I might request that a conversation be moved here.
We still need to preserve the posting rules and not so much have personal attacks, but those arguments that go off-topic and speak to things like the language people use, and whether someone was rude, or whatever could go here.