Friends, there has been some good discussion about yesterday’s post regarding the comments on this blog. No sooner, of course, did the Patheos tech people implement the changes but, before I could even explain them, someone started flagging everything, resulting in a “flagocalypse.” So to prevent any one person from doing that, or from flagging comments just because they disagree with them, I have asked the Patheos tech people to require THREE flags before the comment disappears, leaving behind only the “Comment Awaiting Moderation” line. True, a sinister cabal could still banish innocent comments, but an individual will not be able to. Also, this will enlist the virtual community that we have built up here in protecting itself and enforcing its rules of decorum.
Some of you don’t know how to flag an item, but please learn. Hover your cursor at the top right of the comment, in line with the name of the person commenting, and a little flag should show up. So if you come across something you find offensive–not just that you disagree with, something that is “out of line”–please flag it.
Now what bothers me the most are personal insults. Again, I think a person should be able to visit a blog and contribute an opinion without having his or her name or reputation torn down in public. I’m realizing that if I am going to keep readers from insulting each other, I should certainly keep them from insulting God. I encourage atheists and others of different religions and theologies to take part, but I’m going to delete comments that strike me as blasphemous. Now other things bother other people. If three people find something offensive for any reason, I’m going to respect that, even if I would be fine with what was said.
Then again, the worst thing that will happen at this point would be for the comment to go in “Awaiting Moderation” limbo. When I get a chance to review them, I may well set them free.
So let’s try this, understanding that the only true fix will come from your good will. (I’m not sure how long it will take for these changes to be implemented, so please be patient.)