How You Sound to Others/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on April 9, 2017

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A software startup, Civil, forces people who wish to comment on a discussion online, to first evaluate three other comments for their civil quality. The third comment subject to this evaluation is that of the reviewer herself. The reviewer is asked if they wish to modify their comment, which they often do. In this way, a person can see their own words as another party might react to them.

Disputes can occur because people are unaware of the impact their comments may have on others. Civil discourse is best accomplished when the parties are sensitive to the needs and reactions of other parties. This is akin to the idea of Win-Win in mediation transactions. It is helpful to try to elevate discourse in on-line situations. It is crucial to do so if a civil and fair resolution of a dispute is sought.

Mediate don’t litigate.

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