I think it’s time to put some comment policy on this weblog, because the arguments are getting heated and angry and I think it is good to make sure there are some rules in place.
Why have rules at all?
I don’t think having rules is an impediment to free speech. I don’t think all internet communities and weblogs needs to have rules. I can understand that someone might say “this is a forum where everything is allowed, attack each other mercilessly”. This blog is not such a place though. The ultimate aim of this blog is to create for the readers an opportunity to contrast my views with yours, and to decide for him/herself what is the truth.
To have such a place, we need to have some rules for the debate, the same way that we need traffic rules for transportation to happen.
So, these are the rules:
1) You may never attack other commenters personally. You can criticize their ideas, as vehemently as you want, you can use humor if you like, but, their personality is off-limits. Don’t make assumptions about what people know, on people’s intelligence, on their morals, or their personality. You don’t know them. Even if you did know them, this is not the place to use that knowledge.
Saying “What you say is wrong and irrational” is OK, saying “You are stupid” is not.
Saying “This position of yours is morally reprehensible” is OK, saying “You’re an asshole douchebag for having this position”, is not.
You can address what other people say, not who they are.
If you do this, first I will ask you to refrain, then I will delete your comment, then I will ban you.
2) Don’t say overly and viciously racist/sexist/classist things. I have never encountered any on this blog so far, which is good, but I’m placing it here just in case.
That’s all. Nice and simple, isn’t it?
3) You are not allowed to make a comment which is not addressing the topic of the post. You may not hijack the comment thread and make it about an irrelevant topic. The only person allowed to interpret what is relevant and what is irrelevant is me. If you do that your comment will be deleted and after two other violations you will be banned. However, I understand that you might want to ask specific questions from me and I would be very glad to answer them, you can ask them on this page or from my ask.fm account.
What I do encourage you to do is this: promote your own blogs and posts if they are relevant to the topic at hand.
If you have any thoughts, feel free to share.