Comment policy

[Updated 3/17 for clarity.]

On this blog, I’ve always been happy to follow a policy of not editing or filtering comments, and to let comments stand whether the commenter agrees with me or not. However, recently a few comments have strayed into name-calling (e.g., I’d never heard the term “freetard” until last week), and I’ve decided to start moderating all comments, and to remove some existing comments that seem to me to be disrespectful of others.

Fortunately, the vast majority of comments aren’t like that, and opinions that respectfully disagree with my own or with those of other commenters continue to be welcome. Thanks for understanding.

8 thoughts on “Comment policy

  1. It’s sad that internet discourse often devolves into name-calling and ad hominem attacks. I think you’re doing the right thing. We ought to be able to discuss even contentious topics in a civil fashion.

  2. When I went back to delete all comments that contained pejorative wording like “freetard,” that unfortunately included comments that made potentially reasonable points but then ruined themselves by including attacks like ‘what [X] said in his comment is just crap’ or ‘the goal is to provide lifetime employment for people who [X].’ I could have just edited each such comment to remove the pejorative part, but felt that editing would be worse than approving/rejecting the entire comment as written, which is as the author intended it to be read.

    Sorry for losing some potentially reasonable content in the same comment as an attack, but here’s the deal: If a point is worth making, it’s worth making respectfully.

    If your comment was deleted, I encourage you to resubmit it without the inflammatory part. Thanks, again, for understanding.

  3. Censorship is always questionable but this is your blog and your policy has now been clearly stated. I appreciate the smart and civil comments that get posted here and keeping things that way is worth losing a few badly worded comments.

  4. FWIW, I don’t particularly mind having my comment called crap. That’s an attack on my opinions and reasoning, if not in the most elegant language. I strongly dislike personal insults or imputation of motives, and I’m happy to see them go.

  5. It’s not really censorship since this isn’t a public forum, it’s Herb’s personal website. I wholeheartedly agree with Herb’s actions and I think one of my posts was pulled! I used the ‘F’ word and on reflection it’s clear that it doesn’t add anything to the state of the world to do so.

    Thanks Herb!

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