I gave a lot of thought to this topic before I posted it, because some people might take it as being unduly critical, but It's not. This is just a viewpoint based of observations made as I wander around the Forum. I will start by saying that the overwhelming number of discussions are extremely civil and the level of expertise exhibited is exceptional. And I find Forum members to be very generous in offering help. I am very comfortable being a member of this Forum. The points I make below are very rarely seen on the Forum, but they do occur and when they do, the exchange stops being fun, and is certainly not informative.
That said, I do occasionally see instances in which the discussion very quickly approaches the flash-point, mostly when an artifact posted is determined, or considered, to be a fake. In those few cases, I see the opinion-givers making the following--may I say, mistakes? The most serious mistake I see is the dismissal of an artifact without adequate explanation.
Some apparently assume their expertise is self evident and dismiss the artifact as "rubbish" or use a similar one-word dismissal. In nearly every case where this occurs, the artifact under review is junk, but dismissing it with a single word or a phrases like "Sorry Jack, it's a fake" is irritating to the poster because it explains nothing. My suggestion is that whenever you offer an opinion as to authenticity, you should do so with a complete explanation as to why you feel the way you do. It really doesn't take very many words.
Some time ago I read a post in which the detractor defended his position on the grounds that he had "read a lot of books on the subject." I'm sure he had and I'm sure he knew what he was talking about. But it would have been much better had he cited his sources or offered a detailed explanation, rather than simply stating that the item was a fake. This is especially true when you take the position that an artifact is not authentic on the basis that some characteristic that is "always present in such and such a case" is absent. I don't know about the rest of you, but my experience with mass-production and military uniformity is that absolute standardization is a myth.
Explaining your reasons for stating that an artifact is not authentic is simply good manners and enhances your image as one who is knowledgeable. Especially when we consider the reality of the medium in which these artifacts under study are displayed. None of us can actually touch, heft, or hold the artifact in question. The nature of digital imagery prevents us from actually seeing small detail that would be visible if seen in real light. And the quality of the photography is often less than needed for proper examination.
The point is that, right or wrong, by providing a detailed, supported opinion about an artifact, you lessen the potential for a clash of interests and personalities.
Having said that, I will now hunker down and take the beating about the head and shoulders for not citing specific instances. I did not cite specific instances because I see no reason to stir the pot any more than I already have. Besides, I have high regard for many of you, and recognize that behavioral aberrations do occur. Except in my case, because I have read a lot of books on how to avoid that. Dwight