Halstead comments on Considering Considerateness: Why communities of do-gooders should be exceptionally considerate - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Halstead 01 June 2017 05:46:54PM 3 points [-]

Brief note: one important norm of considerateness which it is easy to neglect is not talking about people behind their back. I think there are strong consequentialist reasons not to do this: it makes you feel bad, it's hard to remain authentic when you next see that person, it makes others think a lot less of you

Comment author: MichaelPlant 02 June 2017 12:22:43PM 4 points [-]

I'm not sure I agree. There's an argument that gossip is potentially useful. Here's a quote from this paper:

Gossip also has implications for the overall functioning of the group in which individuals are embedded. For example, despite its harmful consequences for individuals, negative gossip might have beneficial consequences for group outcomes. Empirical studies have shown that negative gossip is used to socially control and sanction uncooperative behavior within groups (De Pinninck et al., 2008; Elias and Scotson, 1965 ; Merry, 1984). Individuals often cooperate and comply with group norms simply because they fear reputation-damaging gossip and subsequent ostracism

Comment author: Halstead 02 June 2017 12:37:46PM 2 points [-]

I can't access the linked to studies. Even if true, this only justifies talking behind people's backs as a sanction for uncooperative behaviour. And I suspect that there are much better ways to sanction uncooperative behaviour.

Comment author: Denkenberger 05 June 2017 01:01:11PM 1 point [-]

I never really understood this concept. It seems to me a helpful process to be able to discuss disagreements you are having with other people, and some interpret this as talking behind the original person's back. Clearly spreading false rumors is harmful. But are there other aspects that are objectionable like telling more people than necessary about the disagreement?

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