Saturday, February 19, 2005

Morons' Comments Will Be Deleted

We use a simple comment system on this blog, nothing fancy, but it seems worthwhile to provide a chance for people to discuss the topics that are posted. Note that not all of us are always in the mood for discussion, and not all of the posts have comments enabled. But most do.

I don't always have time to go through all the comments, but today I looked at some that were very creepy.

We all remember when the web site had its message board out where people could see it. The comments there were barbaric, to put it flatteringly. The level of discourse was so low, the intellectual standard so lax, that it was an embarrassment to that community. Quickly they put a password on it, put it away in secret so the rest of the world couldn't see how they talk among themselves. That was a smart thing, I think, because it was obvious even to their leaders that the discussants there were ... a bunch of lunatics. Their president ended up apologizing to the school board about people threatening board members, the newspapers wrote about it (though they got a sort of half retraction, not that the threats didn't exist but that they weren't the reason a meeting was cancelled), and I know of at least one web site that regularly published quotes from those repulsive message boards as a joke.

So now it appears some of those guys are coming over here and trying to talk like that. Calling names, accusing people of lying, one nice quote was "YOU ADVOCATE THE DESTRUCTION OF THE HEALTH AND WELLBEING OF OUR CHILDREN!" All in caps, of course, like my hearing is going or something.

Listen, we're not going to put up with that kind of idiocy. If you want to talk that way, go sign up with the recall group, and say those things where the public can't see it. Be a laughingstock over there, and do not stink up our site.

I am leaving that particular set of comments up for now, as an example. But from now on, it will go like this: morons' comments will be deleted.

You can criticize our arguments, point out inconsistencies, question our motives, point out flaws in our reasoning, challenge our characterizations of the facts, boast about the superiority of your own views ... that's cool. It keeps us sharp. We're not here to make statements of nonsense, and if you think you can convince us that there's a better way to see things, well, great, tell us what it is. I personally do not get a commission for winning arguments, am not affiliated with any political party or advocacy group or anything else who I owe loyalty to. Make a good point, convince me, hey, I'll switch sides. (Yeah, that would have to be a p-r-e-t-t-y good argument ...)

But don't come over here calling names and recycling old election cliches, OK? (The guy called me a "flip-flopper" -- woo-hoo, can you imagine bringing that one back?)

So, again, I'm going to remain cheerful about this. If people come here and say stupid things, I am an administrator of the blog and will simply delete the comments.

PS So far the only comments I've deleted have been my own, when a troll elicited a little stronger language from me than I really wanted to use here.


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