In the discourse-guidelines there are multiple bullet points of what to avoid to improve conversation.

One of these points is Knee-jerk contradiction.

Now I know what a knee-jerk is and I know that (in a conversation) it usually means a reflexive answer or behavior without reflecting the actual conversation.

But what does a contradiction has to do with this? In this context does it mean that I should not automatically oppose what the other person said because it was them who said it (basing my response on the negative emotion towards them, not on their actual post)? Does it have a different meaning?

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    It sounds pretty straightforward: your interpretation appears right. (It may also depend on the subject being discussed, not just the person.) – Cascabel Feb 10 '17 at 15:11

Contradiction means what its etymology suggests, "speaking against", disagreeing with what was just said.

The expression "knee jerk" is a reference to the patellar reflex, where a slight blow to the patellar ligament just below the patella (kneecap) causes the leg to move. This behavior does not involve the brain; the "decision" is made in the spinal cord only a third of the way up your back. Used metaphorically, it means to do something instantly without thinking the issue through.

When you are advised to avoid "knee-jerk contradiction", it means to resist giving into the impulse, during a heated argument, to simply disagree without thinking about whatever your disputant just said.

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As in knee-jerk reaction, a "knee-jerk contradiction" refers to an uncontrolled impulse to contradict others or yourself based on an emotional reaction rather than a rational one:

  • an immediate unthinking emotional reaction produced by an event or statement to which the reacting person is highly sensitive; - in persons with strong feelings on a topic, it may be very predictable.

(The Free Dictionary)

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In the context of the site the link for which is in the question, they say to avoid the following:

Name-calling. Ad hominem attacks. Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content. Knee-jerk contradiction.

I would have written it like this:

Contradicting others in a knee-jerk manner.

Knee-jerk = right away, without further thought.

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