In the last few months we've received a number of email from users who complain about altercations on this site's comment sections. If the problem revolved around just one or two people, I'd contact them individually. But it seems to be epidemic.
I took a look at the data and of the 111 sites currently on the network, History is tied for 26 in terms of excessively long comment threads. It ranks 16 for rude and offensive comments. That's far more smoke than one would expect from the size of this site. Putting those two data points together (and augmenting it with some specific example) I think the problem is that long comment threads almost always push someone's buttons.
Here are tips that might help keep you out of trouble:
- Once you've said something in a comment, there's no reason to repeat yourself.
- It's better to write an answer or a new question than a comment if possible.
- Try not to tell people they are wrong until you have demonstrated that you understand what they are trying to say.
- Once it's clear you profoundly disagree with someone, don't engage with them.
As always, remember that be nice applies even when the other person is wrong.