Wired has a nice amusing interview with Richard Dawkins. They asked him about comment moderation at RDF the website.
I’m afraid the internet is filled with people using really very intemperate language. I’m in favour of ridicule, but not abuse and I think we do a pretty good job on RichardDawkins.net of controlling the abuse.
Part of the problem all over the internet is anonymity. Because people are anonymous they would say things to other people that they would never dream of saying to their face and would never dream of saying if they had to sign their own name to it. But if you call yourself Tinky Winky or something no one knows who you are or where you are.
Exactly, and what that means is that you can say any horrible thing you like and suffer no real life consequences at all. People keep saying yes but a nym can build up a reputation over time so there can be consequences. Please. The consequences are not of the same kind or weight.
What do you think about the fact that many modern atheists see atheism as part of their identity?
I didn’t know that was the case. It’s undoubtedly true that many religious people see their religion as part of their identity, but I thought atheists were largely free of that.
Really? Good lord. That seems quite inattentive.
Do you still stand by the “Dear Muslima” comments you made about Rebecca Watson?
I’m not saying anything about her.
When was the last time you changed your mind about something?
I’ve changed my mind in science.