I lurk round the fringes of a few different movements, such as organised scepticism, and it is an essential value of such groups that they aren’t homogenous. A variety of views coexist, and healthy debate is to be encouraged. What I’ve no patience with are the personal feuds.
I’ll clear one thing up first: I’m not objecting to people defending themselves. If someone is being abused or genuinely wronged, they are utterly justified in calling that out.
My objection is to individuals or groups, often nominally on the same side, resorting to public slanging matches. I’m not going to give examples, as I don’t want to call attention or get dragged into squabbles; but I’m sure that I’m not the only one who’s found debates descending into “who” not “what”. Groups are categorised as “enemy”, and their actions judged primarily on that ground. It’s an old joke about socialist movements, but it seems to be universal, and progessive or evidence based groups are especially undermined by it.
I do wonder if twitter doesn’t help – it’s a marvelous communication tool, but it’s enforced brevity is a double edged sword. It’s too easy for tone to be misunderstood, and for a critical tweet to lack enough detail to be constructive. The persona displayed on twitter may be unwittingly distorted, damaging it’s effectiveness and encouraging a more hostile response.
So I’m sorry, I just don’t care about your schism. Don’t be offended if I miss any nuggets of wisdom lost amongst a playground feud. Please don’t try and drag me into your row . Also, since no one is perfect, please feel free to call me on it if I’m ever guilty of the above!