Dumb Bomb

4 Conversations

Researchers are encouraged to use the phrase "Dumb Bomb" in situations where further discussion can only be conducted in a hostile and vicious manner. Its rough definition:

I vehemently object to the statement you just made, and cannot discuss it without turning this into a huge flame war. I will not allow it to pass uncommented, however, because if I do so then I imply tacit acceptance. I hereby register both my disapproval, and my refusal to discuss it in depth.

The phrase came into use as the result of widespread flame wars involving several longstanding members, and a particular individual who became noted for dropping "conversation bombs," ill-considered and often offensive comments which, while not technically against the terms and conditions, and therefore not subject to moderation, still infuriated fellow researchers, and they responded in kind. While the person in question showed no interest in adjusting their behavior, the general community sentiment favored a solution, as the wars were derailing conversation topics in many areas of the site.

Conditions where use of the Dumb Bomb would be appropriate include:

  • Threats of death or violence
  • Racist abuse
  • Homophobia, explicit or implicit
  • Idiotic generalisations
  • Posting as fact something easily proven to be untrue
  • "Poor baby" victim behaviour, perhaps following being Dumb Bombed for any of the above.
  • Deliberate misrepresentations of another's previous statement for the purpose of winding them up.

A synopsis of the situation at the time and the evolution of the phrase can be found here.

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