Fast ones - debating etiquette


Is subststantial editing of posts after a reply has been received ethical?

Hartzell posted on ROC nationality and reciprocity and concluded with:

“Note: Serious comments and analysis of this topic are appreciated. Wise-cracks, heckling, and other unconstructive commentary are not welcome, and will be removed”

Lu Hao-tung replied in a way which could be construed as “heckling.” But he did ask, in a somewhat convuluted way, why foreiners should expect recipocity from the law in Taiwan (perhaps off the point, perhaps better posted in a separate thread). His post concluded with:

“Since I don’t agree with you, I suppose this makes this an “unconstructive post”, though.”

In reply Hexuan posted:

“No it just makes you an idiot.” (entire original post quoted)

Though I agree with Hexuan’s sentiments it seems that his post is a prime example of heckling and has nothing constructive in it. As a personal insult it also seems to invite an insult back. After Lu Hao-tung replied Hexuan then edited his post to include his reasoning on why Lu Hao-tung is an “idiot.”

What’s the idea? Just insult someone and hope they flame back so when (after you have have edited your post) others reading the thread will get the impression that the second party is just firing of insults with no reasoning or justification.


I suppose to Hexuan, and most other people who read the post, Lu Hao-tung’s heckling directly after a request for no hecklers seemed idiotic.

Besides, heckling is when you are shouting unconstructive comments towards the ‘speaker’, in this case the original poster, Richard.

Perhaps Hexuan should not have used a derogatory term, but surely the poster at fault here is Lu who should vent his (her?) frustrations in another thread.


OK. I stand corrected; I can be heckled as I instigated this thread, but no one else can. So Hexhuan flamed (Is this the right term?) Lu. But my original point/ question remains. Is it accepteble to flame someone and then come back later and substantially modify your post? A straight insult (and I have no real objection to insults) just seems to invite a tit-for-tat response:

            A:  You're an idiot
            B:  No, you're the fuckwit

But if speaker A then modifies his original post to be a rational critique of B’s position it leaves B looking as if he/she has nothing to say.


it would help if there were more “edited on …” tags on posts. not sure if editing your post will EVER show a edited comment(i have edited many of my own posts, but have yet to see a edited tag), but on other boards i visit, you get a time stamp on each edit so it’s clearer when someone changes their post.


Apparently if you edit your post within about three minutes after posting u don’t get a “last edited by XXX at XXP.M.” at the bottom of your message.

Of course you are right that u can edit your post to that extent that it is completely unrecognisable - such as all XXs. There is a ‘query about editing’ thread in the miscellaneous forum in which I make that point, albeit in a rather silly way!


I apologise for the confusion. I went back to edit my post immediately after posting it, and when it was refreshed, LHT’s post had already been made.

There is actually a serious amount of work being done on this topic, and I am up to my oxters in British, Irish, and other nationality regulations, court reports, and international law bumf, and I know Richard is as well because I am in regular communication with him on the topic. So LHT’s post annoyed me immensely whilst contributing absolutely nothing to the debate. But I agree with the point - the post should be marked “edited”.