|Most of us are likely aware that we are being called out for our incivility to each other on HN. Indeed, the majority of us are well behaved and it is likely a very small minority who mixes things up a bit.|
Because of our differing personalities and backgrounds, it is natural and to be expected that conflicts will arise, especially since we are usually in discourse on evaluating someone else’s work. Yet, we must improve on the way we treat each other.
The idea that we have to be forced (through stricter rules or programmatic restrictions) to behave more civil to each other, should be disappointing and embarrassing to each HNer. We cherish this forum for each other’s intellect and input, and we know that our fellow HNers make us better at what we do. We cannot afford to lose some brilliant minds (old and new members) because a few of us are rude to each other.
This post is a follow-up to the recent (and some not so recent) blogs and posts written about incivility on HN. here is one:
Here are some small things we can do amongst ourselves to change HN for the better:
— 1. Each one of us must make an effort to politely call out any uncivil commenter.
— 2. If someone insults you, do not respond with a rude comeback; instead, notify the offender respectfully that we do not tolerate incivility on HN.
— 3. If you have offended any of your HNer mates, send each person whom you have offended a small note, this would suffice: “[HNerName], I might have offended you with a comment I made some time ago, I just want to say I am sorry.”
— 4. If you have been offended and you in turn have offended the offender in a fit of self-defense rage, you should also send the note above.
—— Note that it takes a confident person to apologize for a wrong, so if you lack the confidence in yourself or you find it too cowardly or improper to apologize for a wrong, albeit a seemingly “small” wrong, then write this instead: “Good to see , [HNerName],” or “How is it going, [HNerName]?” That’s it. That’s all it takes to makeup sometimes. With that brief comment, you could turn an enemy into a friend, or potentially a client, an employee, or even a cofounder.
— 5. If we notice a first time poster on HN, we should welcome said poster and simultaneously notify him or her that civility on HN is of paramount importance, and that he or she must also make note of incivility by others and call out any offender, politely.
Due to HNers' differing cultures and first languages, things can get lost in translation, so here are some euphemistic alternatives to potentially coarse language:
— Bad: “That looks like a piece of shit” (or any such similar comment)
— Bad: “You are any idiot...” (and the like)
Better: “I would not do it that way, I personally would have...”
— Really Bad: “Your are not smart enough...” (you know these offensive comments)
Better: “If you do it this other way, you would find some major advantages...”
And I am confident there will be some brilliant ideas and recommendations to follow in the comments below.
Better: “You should try this book, ..., it will vastly improve your knowledge in...”
If you agree or disagree on the proposal above, please comment below and help us to rectify this issue.