Question everything. Nothing is true until proven true.
Be able to entertain different viewpoints and perspectives even if you don’t believe them or are convinced by them. You often learn the most from people you disagree with the most.
Have the conviction to defend your viewpoints.
Have the humility to change our viewpoints when someone has made a better point.
Think for yourself
It’s easy to bandwagon off other thoughts but that’s not going to get us to the best answer. Instead, reason your way through the argument independently.
Confront the issue, not the person.
Address the issue you’re debating. Don’t make arguments personal by bringing people into it.
Ask clarifying questions.
Always ask why if you don’t understand something or don’t see how a piece of evidence proves the point a user is trying to make. It’s his or her responsibility to prove. Don’t be afraid to ask for better evidence.
Admit when you are wrong.
It’s okay to be wrong. Openly acknowledge when you are. People will appreciate you for it.
Keep your identity out of it.
The reason conversations become hard is because it becomes an attack on the ego. Keep your identity unattached to the conversation.
Flag bad stories.
Stories have to pass certain filters to be voted on. If you think a story is not falsifiable (e.g. too subjective or ambiguous) or abusive (e.g. trolling or spam), point it out!
Use constructive criticism when replying.
When refuting someone’s point, start with “I agree with X but I disagree with Y”.
Be clear and concise.
Brevity is always appreciated. Strive towards keeping responses short and to the point.
Cite evidence that is as direct to the source as possible.
i.e. A BBC reporting of an event is a better than a Huffington post about that BBC reporting. But what’s better than the BBC reporting is a transcript of the local that the reporter interviewed.
Be transparent about what’s required to validate/invalidate a claim
When analyzing a claim, evaluate and publicize what the audience needs to know to evaluate the information. This makes it easier for others to contribute.