I think some people struggle with forums, because forums don’t have the block/follow systems of other social media platforms (and this is a deliberate design feature of forums)
No echo chambers or worldview curation here. So there’s a constant risk of encountering opinions that differ from our own.
Like @Thewrongtrousers, I relish that kind of environment.
However, some people struggle to tolerate different opinions, so they react by denigrating and marginalising anyone whose worldview differs from their own.
It’s easier to make a personal attack than it is to come up with a reasoned counter-argument.
I think there are two main reasons for this. My worldview, whilst generally inline with the UK as a whole, differs from the SE23 majority, and so some people seek to marginalise me on that basis.
In some ways I understand this reaction. It’s difficult for people inside the bubble to realise just how skewed and one-sided the political climate is in Lewisham. And there’s a natual tendency for people to distrust and dislike those who differ.
Also, when I was involved in moderating the forum, I (very occasionally) intervened against people for breaking the forum guidelines, which has left people with lasting resentment, which was then exploited and amplified by mobs on other local forums and social media platforms.
The Internet can quickly become a hostile environment when conspiracy theories and hate campaigns gain momentum, and sadly that can manipulate opinion in the real world too. Some really smart and decent people got pulled into the hate mobs. So sad.
One of the reasons I left SE23 was because of coordinated attacks by certain local people. I don’t regret moving to Tunbridge Wells, but I’m sad at how things ended in SE23.
I’m uneasy to see the same aggressors starting to make baseless attacks on @ForestHull too. I think for some, local community affairs are a power play.