Recently, this came up in a discussion:
I think we need to try and break this norm of answers from X viewpoint always being besieged with comments. It must be exasperating.
All depending on the circumstances, it could qualify as harassment.
The trend doesn't seem to be associated with any one viewpoint, but is about a line between viewpoints, usually on Bible passages that somehow relate to the doctrine of the Trinity—for or against, interpreted this way or that way, those passages.
This is the pattern:
- Either a question or an answer slightly relates to a text or hermeneutically-driven interpretation that fits a more in-depth discussion on Christianity.SE.
- The question or answer gets swarmed with comments that attempt to hold that discussion.
We need to avoid number 2 and keep the discussion on Hermeneutics. The status quo is filling up the queues.
Question or Answer?
There is a fundamental difference if the question itself is loaded. One example could be This question about John 8 v24 cf v58.
Is the ego eimi (I am) in John 8:58 and John 8:28 the same?
John 8:28[ASV] Jesus, therefore, said, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he and that I do nothing of myself, but as the Father taught me, I speak these things
John 8:58[ASV] Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was born, I am.
Fortunately, that one didn't get swarmed with viewpoint comments. If it had been asked in the last few months, it probably would have gotten a lot of comment-related flags.
How to identify viewpoint swarming
The actual question or answer is probably not the source of the comments. But, it might invite a swarm of comments if it is not clear enough. So, we need to consider:
- Clarity in the question or answer
- Staying focused on the topic of hermeneutics
If a post crosses the line of being swarmed by viewpoint-related comments, we need to look deeper and figure out the source. Even if the post could have been more clear, comments need to focus on clarity, not swarming over a viewpoint.
What else can be said about this?
Are there any useful examples of posts we can learn from?
How might we go about identifying these early to avoid them?
How should we respond as a community when we see that we have crossed this line?