I have a suggestion, it is due to a discussion that has just restarted and, as it keeps happening, and happens a good deal to posters who are new to the site and don’t realize that they might step in it, I wonder if we can make it happen less. I don’t in any way mean for the people in the current discussion to take it that I am talking about them, I am not, this is a general thought (and not nearly as well written as the first version was, which I lost as it was posting *cries*).
I want to suggest that we consider stopping referring to other peoples’ opinions as ‘negative opinions’.
I remember when the idea of ‘bitterness’ threads was introduced some people were offended that their opinions should be ousted to a corner and labeled as ‘bitter’ (and I have come to see their point to an extent since I have seen people use the existence of these threads as a weapon against others), however a person might be inclined to agree that they are feeling bitter, if they are. On the other hand nobody is going to be happy about their opinion being described as ‘negative’ and why should they?
Peoples’ opinions are not positive opinions or negative opinions, they are ‘opinions’. Opinions can be insightful, playful, mischievous, serious, lighthearted, funny, polite, aggressive, out-there, muckraking, accidentally muckraking, metaphysical, incoherent, religious, bleak, neverending, blunt ... but they shouldn’t be categorized as negative or positive because that just doesn’t mean anything. The only person who could be described as having a ‘negative opinion’ is someone who doesn’t at all believe what they are saying and is only posting to deliberately annoy other people – there is a word for people like that (begins with T) and I don’t believe that anyone who posts on here (regularly) thinks that way.
For example ‘I feel that Sam is being ignored by the show’ / I think that nobody understands Dean’s pain’ are opinions. ‘Sam is selfish’ / ‘Dean is a dick’ are insults, and those are unwelcome, untrue and banned by the site rules anyway. It is unfair on commenters who have an opinion to have both of these types of commentary grouped under the umbrella of ‘negative opinions’ since they result in people with valid points being marked as troublemakers, and as such unwelcome on the site, with the use of what may seem to some to be a pretty innocuous term.