With freedom comes great responsibility. As is true with freedom of speech. Contrary to what many people wish were true, freedom of speech does not mean “freedom to be as cruel as you want without any consequences.” My blog is subject to moderation wherever I see fit, and you may feel free to do the same on your blog.
Here are a few new rules about commenting on my blog. They may be changed based on my experience with comments, though commenters will be given a warning if this is the case. They come into effect today, 25 February, 2011. I am aware that I have been guilty of violating some of these rules as well, and I will try to be consistent in the future. However, it is my right to defend myself when I feel that I am being attacked in my own space.
No personal insults. Calling somebody an idiot or an asshole is not going to change their mind, or even convince other people that your argument is correct. It will only (most likely) hurt somebody’s feelings. There are many assholes and idiots of all political/ethical persuasions.
No trolling. It is obvious when people say things just to get a rise out of somebody, and have no interest in actually contributing to a discussion. Troll comments will be either deleted or disemvowelled and made an example of, and trolls will be filtered as spam.
No abuse. Even if you are not trolling per se (only trying to get a rise out of me) and your comment comes from genuine concern, that doesn’t give you the right to be cruel and abusive. Abuse is not conducive to intelligent debate or discussion, and is therefore pointless. I have never changed my opinion because of an abusive comment.
Do not mention somebody’s grammar/spelling. It is not relevant to any of the things I post on my blog. This is not a linguistics blog, and I’m sure you’re quite capable of comprehending comments that have even the most atrocious grammar. I know I am.
Do not insult somebody’s writing style. It is equally irrelevant. People of all walks of life, whether conservative, liberal, anarchist, etc., are capable of being bad writers. This has nothing to do with ethics/socialism/sexism/whatever else I might write about on my blog. It is possible to understand somebody’s point (and for them to make a valid point) even if it is written badly.
I have incredibly low tolerance for bigotry. That includes but is not limited to: Racism, sexism, cissexism, fat-phobia, ableism, homophobia. and classism.
If you do leave a comment that violates the comments policy, I will:
1. Leave an aggressive, snarky, or sarcastic comment. It is up to you to comply with the policy. If you do not, your comment is fair game for ridicule. I will not, however, be abusive or use personal attacks.
2. Block you. You will go into my spam filter, and my spam gets deleted immediately without review.
3. Disemvowel your comment. If I find your comment too obnoxious or abusive to be on display, but I wish to make an example out of you, I will take the vowels out of your comment. That way, if people really want to, they can put their energy into figuring out what it originally said. But others, including myself, will not be bombarded by it.
I do not check my spam filter – I simply delete it. I have received thousands of spam and looked over every single one, and every single one has been actual spam. It also filters out comments from people I’ve blocked, and comments with too many links in them. So if your comment doesn’t appear, that’s probably why.
In summary, this is my blog and I don’t allow people to shit all over it. Just like I wouldn’t let somebody shit all over my home. You are free to write what you wish in your own blog.