When using Decaturish, please comment responsibly
Over the weekend I got to meet one of our website’s regular readers. She was incredibly complimentary, and eventually our conversation turned toward the subject of comments.
She told me that in the past there had been some pretty nasty exchanges on several of the local blogs. The conversation reminded me of why I am wary of allowing anonymous comments at all. They can lead to flame wars, bruised feelings and negative reader experiences.
I want people to feel comfortable commenting here. However, I want those people to recognize that this website is ultimately my establishment. You will play by my rules or play elsewhere. I am lenient, but reserve the right to ban any commenter for any reason.
I’d rather not be an uptight moderator, though. There’s value in a good, healthy debate. I don’t want to silence anyone, even if I disagree with their opinions. I want you to be a part of the conversation. If you’re persuasive enough, you might convince me and others to change our minds. I’m never afraid to admit when I’m wrong about something.
However, there’s a difference between having an unpopular opinion and being a troll. Determining where comments cross that line is a tough call, but at the end of the day it’s my call.
I’ve decided to allow anonymous comments for the time being, but you can expect that I will work to curtail any kind of inappropriate behavior.
My comments policy is essentially contained in the ideas outlined on Reddit’s policy. Reddiquette, Reddit’s list of do’s and don’ts, is a great guide for having debates both on and off the internet.
Here are a few of my favorite points. When commenting here, please do not:
– Be (intentionally) rude at all.
– Conduct personal attacks on other commenters.
– Start a flame war.
– Insult others. Also, and this is my favorite bit of Reddiquette advice, “Insults do not contribute to a rational discussion. Constructive Criticism, however, is appropriate and encouraged.”
– Troll. Trolling does not contribute to the conversation.
You really should read the whole thing and apply it in your interactions across the internet. It’s a guidebook for how to argue online and still come off looking like an adult. To read more about Reddiquette, click here.
In addition to the above suggestions, you will be permanently banned from making comments – no exceptions – if you do any of the following:
– Make any comments that are bigoted or racist. Special warning: If you start your sentence with, “I’m not a racist, but …” just don’t post it. What follows will likely get you banned.
– Make threats against writers or other users.
– Engage in trolling-stalking behavior against users on other websites (Provided it can be documented.)
– Make comments about the website that lack constructive criticism. I have banned a few users already who write in with such helpful observations as, “This website sucks” and “This post is dumb.” This is my storefront, people. Don’t come into my store and act rude to me and my guests. I won’t put up with it here.
As long as you’re making your argument using reason and (even better) facts, you’ll always be welcome here. I like passion and humor, too. I want to facilitate a healthy, fun conversation.
If I see you getting in the way of that, you will be muted. It’s just that simple.