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Conflict Management in Higher Ed Report
Volume 4, Number 1, Oct 2003

CR Strategies for Conflicts in

Cyberspace - Meatball Wiki

From the early days of the internet people have used it to build online communities where people can discuss topics and exchange ideas. Just as with face-to-face discussions, conflict can occur in online conversations. People can easily misunderstand what was meant by a particular phrase or comment and have been know to take offence to minor things such as typos and messages posted in all-caps by accident.

A good source for strategies to deal with online conflicts, and conflict in general, is the conflict resolution page at Meatball Wiki. Collected on this page are some techniques to resolve conflict. Strategies discussed include:

  • Assume Good Faith
  • Forgive And Forget
  • IgnoreMalice
  • Assume Stupidity NotMalice
  • AvoidConflict
  • NameTheConflict
  • SmoothItOver
  • DontLookAtTheFinger
  • OpenDiscussion
  • SuperordinateGoal
  • EnlargeSpace
  • SeekThirdParties as ConflictMediator
  • CompromiseAgreement
  • SeekCommonGround
  • ChangeThePeople
  • ChangeTheStructure
  • TimeOut
  • AgreeToDisagree
  • SurrenderWithGrace
  • Vote
  • TacticalDistraction
  • TacticalEngagement
  • Fork the community

Since the web site is a wiki you can add your own strategies and edit existing ones - a Wiki is a piece of server software that allows users to freely create and edit Web page content using any Web browser. Wiki supports hyperlinks and has a simple text syntax for creating new pages and cross links between internal pages on the fly. They first appeared in 1995. For more information on wikis see

So next time you have a conflict arising from an online discussion go to Meatball Wiki and see if any of the strategies listed will help. And if you have a new strategy or thoughts on an existing one you can also add them at the Meatball Wi site.


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Page last updated 04/27/2004

The CMHER is a project of
Campus Conflict Resolution Resources
with support from a FIPSE grant from the US Department
of Education and initial seed money from the
Hewlett Foundation-funded CRInfo project.

Correspondence to CMHE Report c/o
Campus Conflict Resolution Resources Project
Department of Communication (Attn: Bill Warters)
Wayne State University
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