January 18, 2015

Keeping Comments Civil

We've had some commenters here over the past couple of weeks who have veered away from the comment policy. I've been giving considerable leeway to the off-topic and excessive comments. They have generally been respectful to others, and some have even managed to be thought-provoking. The few that are starting to concern me are those that seem increasingly focused on insulting other commenters.

We're going to have some heated disagreements from time-to-time because we care about the subjects we're discussing. And yet, I think it is important that we are able to disagree with someone's ideas without resorting to personal insults and name calling. They aren't necessary, and they tend to undermine whatever argument we are trying to make. I'm reluctant to moderate heated discussion, possibly to a fault, because I think it can be valuable; however, I'm not interested in commenters attacking each other. I've seen far too many examples were a few unreasonable individuals have managed to drive away many reasonable ones when those who should be paying attention choose to look the other way.

If you encounter comments here that you consider to be blatant violations of the comment policy, especially if they involve personal insults and name calling, I hope you will feel free to report them by clicking the red Report link directly under the comment in question. This makes sure I'll see the comments in question and gives me some input about the sort of thing that bothers you.