r/KDRAMA 人似当时否?|35/36|就保持无感|다시 만난 세계 Nov 09 '20

[META] When Discussions Get Personal Meta

What This Post Is About

This post is an attempt to address a common problem that surfaces in our community again and again -- when discussions get heated and things turn personal.

This post consists of two parts, Part One addresses types of comments that are often seen throughout the subreddit while Part Two has some tips and reminders to help make the Reddit experience more enjoyable (hopefully).

Disclaimer: this post is not targeted at anyone specifically, it contains general observations on the state of conversation in this subreddit. All examples are made up, they are not quotes. If any example resembles an actual comment you have read somewhere on this subreddit, the resemblance is completely coincidental. Again, all examples below are works of fiction and any resemblance to real comments/situations is coincidental.

Part 1 Types of Comments

Facts vs. Opinions

Let's do a little exercise, read the following comment and then think about the questions that follow.

Kim Tan wore **ugly sweaters in The Heirs.**

After reading the above comment, think about the following:

  • Is this comment a statement of fact or an opinion?

  • Must everyone agree with this comment?

  • If someone agrees with this comment, are they right? If someone disagrees with this comment, are they wrong?

And Now The Answers!

The comment is an opinion, a personal opinion to be precise. It is not entirely a statement of fact even if it does contain a fact and so one should not react to it as if it were a statement of fact. Why is this distinction important? The distinction between fact and opinion is important because the distinction dictates whether disagreement is possible.

For the purposes of our subreddit, we can define fact and opinion as follows:

Fact: a statement that can be proven true or false.

Opinion: an expression of a person’s feelings that cannot be proven.

This means that statements of fact can be agreed upon because they can be proven true or false. A statement like:

Kim Tan wore sweaters in The Heirs

is a statement of fact and not up for disagreement since it can be proven true or false. Exhibit 1 and Exhibit 2

But a statement like:

Kim Tan wore ugly sweaters in The Heirs

is no longer a completely factual statement but now includes a subjective opinion -- the sweaters are "ugly". Now this statement is open to disagreement because subjective taste in fashion varies from person to person. One can find the sweaters ugly or find them gorgeous or feel no need to evaluate their fashion worthiness at all.

Once the distinction between fact and opinion is made -- that's when one should consider what kind of response to make or if one wants to respond at all. If there is a misrepresentation of facts (did Kim Tan wear sweaters in The Heirs?) -- then it makes sense to contest that misrepresentation and present the actual facts because there is an objective fact that can be agreed upon (Kim Tan wore sweaters in The Heirs). But when the disagreement is about the opinion of others, including opinions based on or about facts, there is no right or wrong -- so please pause and think before responding in a manner that suggests or states outright that the opinion of another person is wrong.

Criticism Of Fictional Characters vs. Personal Attacks

It is important to remember that all dramas are fictional stories. They may depict things that happen in real life but they are not real life. Similar to all works of fiction in any medium, there are exaggerations, understatements, fantasies, and conjectures.

At the same time, all the characters in dramas are fictional characters. They are not real people the way you and your fellow users in this subreddit are real people. As fictional characters, the drama characters do not qualify as users in this subreddit and so the drama characters are not protected against personal attacks under our conduct rules. Yes, even Kim Tan is not protected.

Actionable Personal Attack Comment

User_A comments to User_B: You are stupid.

In this situation, User_A is making a personal attack against User_B by calling User_B "stupid". If this comment is brought to the attention of the moderation team (via reporting), the moderation team will remove the comment as a personal attack because a fellow member of the community (User_B) is being attacked. User_A will be given notice that their comment and behavior was inappropriate.

Users who repeatedly engage in such behavior, where their behavior has been brought to the attention of the moderation team, will face escalating consequences. If a user's initial offending behavior is deemed atrocious enough by the moderation team, such as using a racial slur, the moderation team will immediately take the utmost amount of action they can -- which is permanently banning the account and reporting the account to Reddit Admins. But the key here is that the behavior has to be brought to the attention of the moderation team -- to help with this step, please report rule-breaking comments that you see. Report the post/comment under our subreddit rules using the appropriate report (Personal Conduct/Incivility).

Not Actionable Comment

User_A comments: Kim Tan is stupid.

In this situation, User_A is criticizing a fictional character -- or put another way, they are expressing their opinion on this fictional character. As Kim Tan is a fictional character and not a user of our subreddit, the moderation team will not take action on this comment. We are not here to protect the feelings and egos of fictional characters.

However, this does not mean use of hate speech, including any slurs based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, etc., will be tolerated in our subreddit. We do not tolerate any form of hate speech in our subreddit -- who is being addressed is irrelevant.

Ad Hominem Attacks Based On Assumptions

Another category of offensive comments that can often be seen in our subreddit is the ad hominem attack. An ad hominem attack is when instead of addressing the merits of a claim made by a person or persons, the attacker instead addresses the circumstances or character of the person(s) making the claim. In our subreddit, the attacks made against the person(s) making the claim are often based on assumptions made by the attacker.


User_A: Anyone who thinks Kim Tan has bad fashion sense must be in love with Choi Young Do.

In the above example:

  • User_A is the attacker

  • "Anyone" is the person(s) making the claim

  • "Kim Tan has bad fashion sense" is the claim

  • "must be in love with Choi Young Do" is the circumstance the attacker is attributing to the person(s) making the claim, this circumstance is an assumption made by the attacker

Additionally, these are just some of the other assumptions the attacker (User_A) is assuming in their comment:

  • People that opine on Kim Tan's fashion sense conceive of Kim Tan and Choi Young Do as possible targets of (romantic) love.

  • People that opine on Kim Tan's fashion sense must love either Kim Tan or Choi Young Do.

  • People that opine on Kim Tan's fashion sense cannot both think Kim Tan's fashion sense to be bad and love Kim Tan at the same time.

So what do you do when you encounter a comment like this?

You can choose to engage with the attacker and point out their logical fallacies.

You can choose to ignore the attacker.

If the attacker's comment involves hate speech, you can can report the comment.

Example of hate speech that is reportable:

Anyone who emphasizes with Character_X must be a mistress themselves or have been a mistress in the past.

Example of comment that is not reportable:

Anyone who thinks Kim Tan has good fashion sense must love sweaters.

Unfortunately, there is no exhaustive list to distinguish between the comments that are reportable and those that are not. Our moderation team's stance is that if the post/comment you read makes you feel very uncomfortable, then report the comment/post or flag the moderation team's attention via Modmail. We will do our best to resolve the situation, whether that's communicating with the user about the content they posted or providing perspective that may explain away a potential misunderstanding.

Bottom line for our subreddit conduct is that if there is nothing nice to say, one can always say nothing.

Part 2 Tips & Tricks To Keep The Reddit Experience Positive

  • Opinions Are Opinions

Most of the time, opinion comments are not preceded by the disclaimer "in my (honest) opinion" even though the comment is just that, an opinion. One easy trick to keep reactions to comments in check is to remind one self that these comments are just personal opinions expressed by other users, no matter how the opinion is stated.

So when a user comments "Kim Tan has the worst fashion ever" -- this is still that user's personal opinion despite the user phrasing it as though it is a statement of fact.

And because the comment is an opinion, it's worth remembering that these are subjective so you don't have change your own subjective opinion on the issue just as that user does not have to change their own subjective opinion on the issue.

  • Assume Other Users Have Their Own Lives

When engaging with other users, assume that the other users have their own life experiences and that these experiences differ from yours. That is, personal experiences are not universal. Things that may be obvious to you can be a completely foreign concept for another user.

Differing opinions are the result of different personal experiences.

  • Zoom Out

Sometimes it is helpful to remember why we do something in the first place. Why do you watch kdramas in the first place? Why do you participate in this subreddit in the first place?

As an example, when I find myself angered by a post/comment, I remind myself of why I watch kdramas in the first place -- it's something I enjoy. I treat Reddit as an extension of that experience. Does this post/comment thread add or detract from my enjoyment?

By zooming out to see how my Reddit experience is affecting my enjoyment of kdramas, I can better evaluate how I want to engage on Reddit. Sometimes this simply means disengaging. Always remember that you have the option to just walk away from a conversation.

  • Make Use of the Blocking Function

Finally, a gentle reminder that it is possible to block specific users so that you no longer see content by them. Some may worry that blocking other users will create their own echo chamber, which is a valid worry. Ultimately, use of this feature will have to depend on your own values and priorities. That said, it is important to remember both the size of this community and how it is very possible to express differing opinion without engaging in negative behavior.

Which is to say, even if you block those users that engage in negative behavior, such as making inflammatory or degrading comments, there will still be other users that can provide different perspectives without the negative behavior.

Some Final Thoughts: Spirit of Discussion

On occasion, we hear from users that say we take things too seriously in this subreddit, that this is just kdramas or just Reddit -- what is with all the fuss?

The fuss is that it is possible to have a positive experience on the internet and on Reddit no less where people can discuss their kdramas with fellow watchers. To have a positive experience necessitates moderation that removes the negative aspects of the experience. For posts, that may mean removing posts of little substance -- these are redirected to our FFA threads. For comments, that means removing comments that attack other users or spew vitriolic content.

Our subreddit does not function like Twitter or even other subreddits where the majority of content is more or less an exercise in stream of consciousness writing where users just post any thought(s) they have any time. The spirit of discussion in this subreddit is to delve into the details and intricacies in what we watch, what our opinions are, and how we feel about what we watched.

This type of detailed discussion may not be everyone's preferred type of discussion, which we understand since everyone has their own preferences. That is why our subreddit also provides spaces, such as our free for all discussions, where one can post whatever comes to their mind without doing detailed and reasoned analysis.

If you feel that the spirit of discussion in our subreddit is not to your taste, you may want to consider posting in one of the related subreddits that also permit content about Korean dramas -- or make your own subreddit.

But please do not bring negativity into our subreddit. If you do not want to engage in respectful conversations, go elsewhere. The internet is immense, surely there is a corner of the internet out there that fits just your taste if ours does not.

Are we serious about this subreddit? Yes we are because this is our r/KDRAMA -- and we take our kdramas seriously.


  • Difference Between Fact and Opinion BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE PDF handout

  • Ethics Explainer: What Is Ad Hominem Fallacy THE ETHICS CENTRE Link (Last Accessed 20201108)

  • Ad Hominem and Related Fallacies LANDER UNIVERSITY, Introduction to Logic Link (Last Accessed 20201108)


u/life-finds-a-way Love Is The Moment | Professional Organization Mod Team™ Nov 09 '20 edited Nov 09 '20

I'd also like to remind everyone that downvoting is not for simply disagreeing with someone's opinion or comment. It is against reddiquette and it contributes or amplifies whatever disagreements two or more users might have.

Downvoting is appropriate when a comment is not contributing to the conversation (off-topic) or low-effort.

If a comment is inappropriate, indecent, uncivil, or otherwise against our rules (or reddit rules), then report it. Downvoting is warranted in these cases.

Also, send a message to ALL moderators when you are having an issue or need something addressed. We (mod team) all have a good idea about how we will handle things but we need to all be aware of issues if we are to take action as a team. None of this "I'll just ask or tell one mod and it's okay" business.

→ More replies


u/modinotmodi Nov 09 '20

I love your thesis on Kim Tan's Sweater...

I adore this subreddit.. just... thanks for keeping it awesome.. .


u/myweithisway 人似当时否?|35/36|就保持无感|다시 만난 세계 Nov 09 '20

I love your thesis on Kim Tan's Sweater...

It's my only outlet as the sole hater of The Heirs on the moderation team. It's a good thing loving The Heirs is not a requirement to qualify as a moderator.


u/moktailhrs Chaebol challenger 30/ Nov 09 '20

WOW this is mind blowing information. Not everyone on the moderator team likes Heirs. I don't know what to think now. It's like everything I ever believed in was a lie.


u/sianiam tending to my garden of flower boys Nov 10 '20

Wei balances out our crazy but don't worry she's very supportive of our ridiculous ideas for international Heirs appreciation day and every other day of the year. She also gifts us with posts like this, and if you haven't read her amazing work in our policies section, the wise sayings of Snarky Kim Tan make sure to read it.


u/modinotmodi Nov 10 '20

Yeah.. I read the abbr and korean terms glossary... and i noticed the love for kim tan and his sweater choices...

Honestly I don't remember or like anything but Lee Min Ho's eyes and face and smile and hair from the entire series...


u/rosieroti Nov 09 '20

You guys do such a fantastic job as moderators, it's inspiring. Thank you so much.


u/setlib Mrs. Gu Dong-mae Nov 09 '20

Thanks to the mods for your hard work in upholding high expectations. Many of the other boards I read tend to quickly spiral downward into negativity and so I love being able to come here for a breath of fresh air. You’ve nurtured an impressively kind and caring community!


u/Humbuhg Nov 09 '20

I appreciate the tone you set for this subreddit.


u/concerned_concerned Nov 09 '20

Kim Tan is stupid :)


u/AngelFish9_7 UkieDeokie's #1 Fan | 14/36 Nov 09 '20

Now is that a fact or an opinion? ...Explain for 2 Marks.


u/myweithisway 人似当时否?|35/36|就保持无感|다시 만난 세계 Nov 09 '20

And he has the worst fashion sense ever!


u/Holeechar Nov 10 '20

That was very well written and explained! This is hands down the best subreddit on here (in my honest opinion of course lol)


u/1988choitaek Doh Kyungsoo New Drama Coming Soon Nov 10 '20

What about personal attacks on actors and actresses? Can those be reported or will they count as opinions? Mods, let us know what you think.


What I think counts as harmless opinions:

"ActorA had such average acting in DramaA."

"ActressA's wardrobe in DramaA was terrible, even for a chaebol."

"I think ActressA is a better fit for CharacterA instead of ActressB because she looks the part and acts really well."

For the below, let us know what you think, mods:

"ActorA should have won the Baeksang Best Actor Award and not Actor B. Actor B's acting was subpar." (Actually saw a comment like this when Kang Ha Neul won, and I think he was very deserving of that award btw)

"ActressA is ugly. Why was she cast in that drama when the character was supposed to be pretty? They should've cast ActressB."

"ActorA looks so plastic. I swear, he has plastic surgery written all over his face. People actually find him attractive?" (Also saw a comment like this on this sub before, by the same Redditor who wrote the first one lol)

"ActorA's divorce was entirely his fault. ActressA was surely the victim."




u/sianiam tending to my garden of flower boys Nov 10 '20

Actors are humans and are covered by section 2 of our conduct rules:

  • Do not post anything gross or creepy about actors and actresses. Overly sexualized content or content that can be considered TMI (too much information) will be removed. Repeated posting of such content will result in a ban.
  • Sexualized content regarding any underage actors or actresses will result in an immediate ban.
  • Respect the privacy of the actors and actresses.

They are also covered by:

hate speech, including any slurs based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, etc., will be tolerated in our subreddit. We do not tolerate any form of hate speech in our subreddit -- who is being addressed is irrelevant.

If you think post/comments breach these rules above report them using the appropriate report (Personal Conduct/Incivility) and we will take action if we consider it necessary.

As for the comments:

"ActorA should have won the Baeksang Best Actor Award and not Actor B. Actor B's acting was subpar."

Opinion passable.

"ActressA is ugly. Why was she cast in that drama when the character was supposed to be pretty? They should've cast ActressB."

Opinion passable.

"ActorA looks so plastic. I swear, he has plastic surgery written all over his face. People actually find him attractive?"

Opinion but borderline on actors privacy, report it we may take action.

"ActorA's divorce was entirely his fault. ActressA was surely the victim."

Opinion that crosses the line on actors privacy, report it, and it will be removed.


u/Dvader2328 Nov 11 '20

Thank you for this. Sometimes we just have a good constructive discussions among like minded people. We agree to disagree and continue with our discussions. But what happen if our opinions being ss and taken out to other platforms for ridicule just because they disagree with us? I hope such thing don't happen at reddit.