What began as a personal blog has become an active online community. I have created the following guidelines in an effort to facilitate positive discussion.
1. No personal insults. Focus on arguments rather than on the people making them. Do not make provocative or inflammatory comments to get a rise out of other commenters.
2. No dog piling. If someone has already responded critically to a comment, only add your own thoughts if you have something new or different to contribute.
3. Listen before speaking. Make an effort to understand others and their arguments. Set out to learn what you can from other commenters.
4. Disagreement is welcome. (a) It is not possible to have discussion if differing viewpoints are not allowed. (b) While most of the commenters in this space share common social justice values, there are issues on which reasonable people can disagree. Discussions of disagreements do not have to end in one person seeing the error of their ways and conceding the other person’s rightness.
5. Find common starting points. In some cases disagreement happens between commenters who agree on 90% of issues overall. Locating common starting points may help commenters in these situations identify why and where they disagree. Try not to let minor disagreements become a Litmus Test for Being a Good Person.
6. Treat others with kindness. Assume the best of other commenters and ask for clarification where necessary. Avoid “gotcha” politics or excessive nitpicking. Avoid slurs and abusive language.
7. No doxxing. Respect the anonymity or pseudonymity of other commenters and blog authors.
If another commenter is not following these guidelines, you are welcome to point them to this page. However, make sure you are not using the comment guidelines as a weapon. Try to focus on the spirit of the law rather than on the letter of the law.
If a situation gets out of hand, you may contact the mods or myself.
Please try to work out situations yourself before initiating such contact, and bear in mind that the moderators and I have other jobs and responsibilities and may not be able to get back to you immediately. Remember, too, that the moderators may disagree with your assessment of the situation. Sometimes taking a short break from a difficult discussion may help provide clarity or perspective.