Monday, April 03, 2006

Comments Policy

Over the weekend, we had a visit from a troll with a rather uncharming way of expressing herself. Thus, it seems that we need to spell out some sort of comments policy.

Callimachus' approach has been that "direct threats get you banned, period," with the definition of threat being more lenient depending on whether the speech was directed at him or other commenters. That sounds about right to me, except that I also object to virulent name-calling, especially when it involves the serious use of strong cursing. It's not that I'm a prude; believe me, there was a time when I generated plenty of blue streaks of my own. But they have no place in a public forum, and I won't stand for it, any more than I would let a guest at one of my outdoor parties piss in the neighbor's yard or flash the people strolling by.

So here's where I stand regarding my posts here: direct threats or offensive name-calling aimed at a fellow commenter gets you banned from the get-go; if directed at me, I might choose to give a warning or two, depending on what's said and how, before banning you. If any other issue comes up that I think calls for a comment deletion, I would post an explanation and give the commenter a chance to re-post.

Also, if you are someone who I know comments under multiple "handles" here and/or elsewhere AND--repeat, AND--you misbehave as outlined above, I won't hesitate to "out" you here (only as to the multiple identities part: I wouldn't disclose a real-life identity even if I knew that off-line) or share any information I have with other bloggers. Merely being a troll, however, isn't necessarily a problem, in and of itself.

I've left up the nasty comment that inspired this post, in case anyone needs an example of what I'm talking about. But I may very well ban the poster, depending.

And that, as they say, is that, from me.

From Callimachus:

Like two bartenders working different shifts in the
same joint, RIA and I will have slightly different
interpretations of the code of decency. But what is
outlined above is generally true for this place as a
whole. I would add that I don't like multiple
"handles" for commenters -- choose one and stick with
it -- though that in itself is not a banning offense.
But for me, "spoofing" -- i.e. posting something under
the known name or nickname of another poster or
commenter -- is.