State of civil discourse: LIVE chat with...
 
8:52
9NEWS: 
Welcome to our conversation on the state of civil discourse. Do you think we're becoming more vulgar as a society? If so, are you ok with it? To add your voice to the conversation log into the chat.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 8:52 9NEWS
9:00
Ryan Jones: 
Supporting the notion of free speech does not mean you necessarily support what someone's speech may be. Many people do not like things that Westboro Baptist Church says; however, I support their right to say what they want. I always support free speech when no threats are made, including calling someone a nasty name. Of course, I will disassociate myself from people like that. Promoting liberty is about principles - you can't pick and choose what speech is deemed 'ok' whether online or not.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:00 Ryan Jones
9:01
Yvette M Alley: 
I am not OK with vulgar or crude language. I don't believe the 1st amendment gives anyone the right to be rude to anyone no matter the case. I do not like most of the politicians what so ever, nor do I agree with most of the ideals coming out of Washington. I do not have the right to address them with filthy language. That does not bode well for me. I have been guilty of such things in the past, but no more will I ever use ugly words to express my anger.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:01 Yvette M Alley
9:03
Ryan Jones: 
@Yvette, someone opposing your political party might be deemed rude. The 1st amendment exists to allow speech which is supposed to push bondaries.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:03 Ryan Jones
9:03
mwachtel: 
Ryan, do you think that protecting a person's freedom of speech means that we, as a society, need to tolerate it? Is it possible that, although we have the right to say what we want, there are some things that should be out of bounds?
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:03 mwachtel
9:04
9NEWS: 
Ryan, at what point does pushing the boundary actually hinder and prevent a free flow of dialogue that result in action?
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:04 9NEWS
9:05
Ryan Jones: 
Yes, we need to tolerate it, principally speaking. It doesn't mean we must agree with whatever is said. Initiating threats are out of bounds.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:05 Ryan Jones
9:05
Yvette M Alley: 
@ Ryan. I think it is fine to oppose my views, or my political party. It is not fine to retaliate with vulgar name calling. That's what I mean.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:05 Yvette M Alley
9:05
9NEWS: 
Thanks for joining us Max, tell us what this kind of hate speech does to those who are targeted?
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:05 9NEWS
9:06
chrisvanderveen: 
Courts make it pretty clear - the First Amendment allows anyone to be a jerk... But how far is too far? And at what point does the vulgar comment become ignored?
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:06 chrisvanderveen
9:08
Yvette M Alley: 
Having any kind of liberty means taking responsibility for the proper use of that liberty. I guess I just like well thought, and well spoken language.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:08 Yvette M Alley
9:08
Ryan Jones: 
@chrisvanderveen I think courts have drawn the line at threatening speech or causing 'panic.' You cannot say 'fire' in a movie theater or call-in a false bomb threat, for instance.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:08 Ryan Jones
9:08
mwachtel: 
There is some interesting research on this topic, which I can share in a few minutes. On a personal level, it takes a toll reading negative comments about the work I put out into the world. I don't need to have everyone agree with me, but name calling and uncontrolled anger are hard to take.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:08 mwachtel
9:09
Yvette M Alley: 
Mr. Wachtel, it is true. The negative name calling just erodes the energy of trying to make a valid point.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:09 Yvette M Alley
9:09
chrisvanderveen: 
Agreed, Ryan.. There are limits to speech, but calling someone the B word is generally protected...
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:09 chrisvanderveen
9:09
Ryan Jones: 
@mwachtel, it certainly can be hard to take. As time progresses, we can see that online for instance, many social constructs such as this require people to use a real name or some type of real account, vs. an anonymous troll. Even so, people still sometimes say more than they otherwise would have in person.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:09 Ryan Jones
9:10
9NEWS: 
Have you been the target of speech like that?
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:10 9NEWS
9:10
chrisvanderveen: 
Yvette, you're not alone...
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:10 chrisvanderveen
9:11
mwachtel: 
@Ryan: What is amazing is that research shows it does not matter if people need to log in to chats like this using a real name or a Facebook/Twitter account. The people who would post horrible things are just as likely to post horrible stuff under their own name!
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:11 mwachtel
9:13
Ryan Jones: 
(watching the segment LIVE now)
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:13 Ryan Jones
9:15
mwachtel: 
Chris showed me the segment earlier today, and he let me read some of the actual emails a few weeks ago. I was absolutely stunned at what people had written. It was so much worse than anything I had seen before (on comment boards for example).
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:15 mwachtel
9:15
chrisvanderveen: 
And Max, you know, we left a lot out of this...
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:15 chrisvanderveen
9:16
mwachtel: 
Yes, Chris...I know you had to pick the relatively tame stuff to put on the air.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:16 mwachtel
9:17
9NEWS: 
First of all I have to brag about our editor who artfully edited that story! It is not easy dancing around that kind of language. Good job Anna.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:17 9NEWS
9:18
9NEWS: 
Second, I want you to tell us what you think about what you saw tonight. Is that how you expect people to speak to their legislators?
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:18 9NEWS
9:20
9NEWS: 
Chris how hard was it to choose emails to use in the story?
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:20 9NEWS
9:21
mwachtel: 
In a study of online political discourse in the 2012 election, one researcher discovered (probably no one's surprise) that people's online comments were highly influenced by their campaign of choice's messaging. In particular, people would comment using information they got directly from political ads. And we all know how negative those ads are.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:21 mwachtel
9:21
chrisvanderveen: 
I think we wanted to give a relatively broad representation of what was said, yet we also knew that we couldn't air a lot of this...
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:21 chrisvanderveen
9:22
chrisvanderveen: 
For context, most of the emails went to a select few legislators.. Not everyone received many of the vitriolic ones
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:22 chrisvanderveen
9:24
Yvette M Alley: 
I missed the live broadcast.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:24 Yvette M Alley
9:24
chrisvanderveen: 
Yvette, story will be online soon and will re-air in 10pm newscast
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:24 chrisvanderveen
9:25
9NEWS: 
I have never had email like some of what was in our story but I have personally been called every name in the book. It never makes me want to change my mind about a topic.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:25 9NEWS
9:27
Yvette M Alley: 
I've never had emails such as those described. Makes me sad that people talk to one another that way. Seems worse in electronic media.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:27 Yvette M Alley
9:28
chrisvanderveen: 
Journalists and politicians tend to share the need for having thick skin...
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:28 chrisvanderveen
9:28
mwachtel: 
Research is very clear on that: the worst way to change someone's mind is to present a weak argument against their point of view. Instead, it just strengthens their original belief.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:28 mwachtel
9:28
9NEWS: 
I do have to say after many of those emails, when I replied in a calm and professional way most respond with an apology.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:28 9NEWS
9:29
mwachtel: 
But, there is some new research showing that getting someone a little bit angry before having a reasonable discussion with them can actually help to change their mind. Kind of weird...
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:29 mwachtel
9:29
9NEWS: 
Max, what prompts people to write such mean things?
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:29 9NEWS
9:29
Yvette M Alley: 
That is odd.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:29 Yvette M Alley
9:30
mwachtel: 
I talked to Chris about this earlier today. One interesting study from 2011 determined that most people equate rudeness with power. Like, if someone is rude, he is more likely to be a leader and get what he wants.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:30 mwachtel
9:31
mwachtel: 
When you couple rudeness with anonymity, things can get out of hand.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:31 mwachtel
9:31
9NEWS: 
Wouldn't the truth be the opposite?
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:31 9NEWS
9:32
Yvette M Alley: 
Anger is a powerful secondary emotion. Uncontrolled it is destructive.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:32 Yvette M Alley
9:32
mwachtel: 
I'm not so sure. I think some level of rudeness actually gets you what you want. I don't think that is the best way to go, but it seems to work.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:32 mwachtel
9:32
9NEWS: 
I am guessing many people say these legislators get what they deserve. Does anyone feel that way?
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:32 9NEWS
9:32
Yvette M Alley: 
Perhaps rudeness goes along with the "squeaky wheel" mindset.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:32 Yvette M Alley
9:33
chrisvanderveen: 
Yet, Max, I think most would agree the more vulgar you get, the better the chance of being ignored...
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:33 chrisvanderveen
9:33
mwachtel: 
Yes, Chris. Rudeness works up to a point. There is a line that is crossed where it becomes counterproductive. Those emails are a good example.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:33 mwachtel
9:34
mwachtel: 
@9News, I would not be surprised if there are a lot of people who think the legislators got what they deserved.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:34 mwachtel
9:34
Yvette M Alley: 
No doubt I feel that legislators often get what they deserve, I just refuse to stoop to a low level by being rude.
Wednesday February 26, 2014 9:34 Yvette M Alley
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