Comment Policy; Why I Just Rejected a Comment

I just approved and, on further consideration, unapproved a comment about the posting below. It was written by someone who was looking at the ProPublica board of directors and learned that Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates is a member of the board. From this discovery the writer made several truly ridiculous inferences (framed as leading questions) straight out of the  right-wing conspiracy-theory playbook.

The commenter may or may not have used his real name. I doubt that he (or she) did, because the email address (which is not made public when you comment in any case) was phony.

We will have one fundamental rule here in the conversation: civility. Even when we disagree, and we can do so in a strenuous way, we’ll treat each other with respect. That comment didn’t pass the test.

This reminds me that I need to create a semi-formal “rules of engagement” for this project. I’ll be borrowing liberally from the brilliant “Community Guidelines” at BlogHer, which state, in part, “(W)e agree to agree and to disagree — as strongly as need be — without crossing the boundaries into unacceptable content…”

I invite the commenter whose posting I’ve rejected to try again. Or, better, I urge him to create his own blog and post it there, where he can be more accountable.

One thought on “Comment Policy; Why I Just Rejected a Comment”

  1. Dan, just a bit of advice from my many years of slogging through net discussions – if you’re going to have a rule along the lines of “No talk-radio nonsense, especially wingnut ranters”, then be forthright and say that. Don’t try to cloak it as “civility”. Otherwise, the wingnut ranters will whine I’m-being-censored, and while it doesn’t matter, since you’re the A-lister, it’s tedious all the same.
    Note also – if you run too much with dogs, you’re going to be beset by fleas.

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