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Which is best, iyo? (a)Ignore; (b)Engage, "correct" and, perhaps, persuade? (c)Seek to silence dissent?

2 years ago
Hi everybody.

On online forums (as in our daily lives in the "real world"), we're likely to come across opinions and comments that we like and can easily agree with. We're equally likely to come across opinions and comments which we disagree with, and even which we (well, at least some of us, anyway) take offence from, and maybe even resent.

Whenever we hear or see a comment or an opinion that we disagree with, or that we don't like, it seems to me that we have two main options: (a) ignore the comment/opinion; or (b) engage with the person who expressed that comment/opinion and correct that person's errors, so that observers will benefit from seeing a balance of views, and -maybe, just maybe- the person who expressed the "wrong" view might be open-minded enough to be persuaded that you, in fact, are right.

Option (c) is that we could petition an authority figure to have the comment/opinion deleted, thus silencing anyone who dares dissent from our own worldview. (And, of course, the added "advantage" of option (c) is that if we apply it frequently enough, other potential dissenters will simply self-censor, so that we never have to deal with whatever their contribution might've been.)

I am a huge fan of option (b) (because I happen to like open communication, and I'm one of those folks who enjoy exchanging views, stories, experiences, jokes and playful japes with people who think differently and can handle diversity of opinion). I frequently take option (a), too (because, well, life's too short - right?). But I am not so enthusiastic about option (c), and I, personally, have never done that and I would never do it.

Would you ever take option (c)? Have you ever taken option (c)? Under what circumstances would you endeavour to silence someone whose opinions you, personally, don't happen to like? How (in)tolerant are you of people who think differently?