07 December 2013

Comments policy (new)

This replaces the old one which was a little haphazard in composition.  In general I like getting comments, and it's extremely rare that I reject or delete one.  However, there are a few cases where I consider it appropriate to do so (minor update to item 2 on 26 January 2018):

1) Being rude, insulting, condescending, hectoring, etc.  I know this is common and even normal on the internet, but I won't put up with it here.

2) Going off-topic, including "change-the-subject trolling" ("why are you writing about that trivial subject when here's something else which is more important", etc.), and also including the kind of thread hijacking via irrelevant side issues that happened here.

3) Making threats.  I've never actually gotten a threat, but if I ever do, I will report it to the authorities if that seems appropriate, along with any personal info I can get about the commenter.

4) Being contentious for the hell of it, including pursuing interminable back-and-forth arguments.  This is a blog, not a debating forum.  There are plenty of sites out there which are debating forums, if that's what you're looking for.  There are people who do this with the intent of wasting a blogger's time and energy (read this too if you have a political blog).  I don't play that game.

5) Crackpottery and reality-denial -- I just don't have time for it.  It would take a fairly long and scholarly post to comprehensively refute a typical creationist claim, for example, and the person making the claim probably wouldn't be able to mentally process it anyway.  There are books and websites out there already which address such claims.  The same is true of global-warming denialism, "scientific" racism, "porn causes sex crimes",  "homosexuality is abnormal", 9/11 conspiratardia, etc.

6) Bigotry and hatred toward gays, Jews, women, racial or ethnic groups, sex workers, atheists, etc.  I will sometimes let a comment of that kind stand as a "these people really exist" object lesson, but in general this blog needs to be a "safe space" from such venom.

7) Meta-arguments about what I choose to write about or not write about and how, etc., including this comments policy -- this boils down to "you should run your blog the way I want, not the way you want."

Finally, remember that there is no issue of censorship or freedom of expression here.  You can start your own blog and say anything you want, and I neither have nor want the ability to stop you.  This one is mine, though.  As I've said before, freedom of expression means you can put a bumper sticker of your choosing on your car.  It doesn't mean you can put that same bumper sticker on my car, not unless I choose to let you.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Zosimus the Heathen said...

A couple of the things you mentioned - specifically, points 2 and 4 - have been things that have long irked me myself. With regards to "changing the subject" trolling, I remember seeing some blatant examples of this on other blogs. In these instances, the troll didn't even pretend to stay on topic; they just dumped some utterly irrelevant URL in the comment thread, or said something along the lines of "OMG everyone! I just saw this disgusting example of [some outrage] on such-and-such a site. Let's go invade the comments!"* To me, it seemed akin to a person rocking up to a party and saying to the other guests, "Hey you guys! There's a much cooler party happening at such-and-such a house on the next street over! Why don't you come and crash it with me, instead of hanging around this dump?"

As for the back-and-forth debates between two people, those get incredibly tedious as well. I remember seeing them occur with depressing regularity on a number of blogs I used to visit (invariably they'd involve the same small group of commenters, who were usually notorious derailers as well), and it really put me off continuing to read the blogs in question or leave comments on them. It was like watching two increasingly concussed boxers continue to slug it out, long after everyone else had gotten bored of the fight and gone home.

*MRAs seemed to be notorious for this sort of nonsense.

07 December, 2013 19:58  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Zosimus: That's the main thing that confirms the need for some rules -- seeing what happens on blogs that don't have them and essentially let the trolls take over. No point in threads running to 30 or 40 comments if they're mostly bickering about issues tangential to the post.

08 December, 2013 01:19  
Anonymous Bible Quotes said...

It seems so simple but your rules are actually fair and comprehensive. I commend you for laying it out whether people agree with you or not. Its your blog and you get final say. Thanks for the transparency and may god bless you.

08 May, 2014 03:51  
Anonymous Professor Taboo said...

Infidel,

Your latest post "On Being Conflict-averse" is a concise and much needed post. I am glad you kept the comments closed. For me personally, I believe that there is an inherent responsibility of a blogger to fairly censor their blog... or for that matter, censor their social-media platform when its forum/medium is blatantly abused to promote EVERYTHING that is not virtuous for humanity and for the greater good for the greatest number. Perfect example?

What Facebook and MANY social-media platforms have SHUNNED doing as their responsibility & accountability for too many years... all for the sake of revenues, profits, and shareholder happiness (again, ROI or bottom-lines) while allowing mass-murders to film/video LIVE their atrocities of violence, hate, and murdering (e.g. Christchurch, New Zealand)... to the point that watching children being slaughtered live is somehow NOT PART of their responsibility and yet the concept and spirit of freedom of speech/expression is abused time and time again promoting the absolute WORST of humanity.

When does it stop? When are the tools and skills of productive, civil, humane contention or opposition taught? When does blatant disrespect for the sanctity of life stop? When all peacemakers are killed and dead? The basic needs for every single human being alive on the planet is actually a very, VERY short list. Homo sapiens are a remarkably resourceful, YET survivable or thriving on little as well -- our physical bodies do not require excessive gluttony or abundance of all the Earth's resources or its people!

So when do a few that hate life and all living things get stopped and possibly redirected in virtues of a greater good for the greatest number? When they've killed near everything but themselves? A Native American Indian proverb proves my point:

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One day an old Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson. He said, “There are two wolves fighting inside all of us – the wolf of fear and hate, and the wolf of love and peace.“

The grandson listened, then looked up at his grandfather and asked, “Which one will win?”

The grandfather replied, “The one we feed.”

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Even wolves might be skillfully trained in the best virtues, but constantly feed its carnivorous DNA and eventually it will not stop until all is devoured or it is killed by the next untrained top predator.

I applaud you Infidel for taking responsibility for a life of virtue, not hate, death, and extinction. If we don't hold each other ultimately accountable, then we are no better than the worst carnivores on this planet.

16 March, 2019 12:11  

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