Comment policy: Be kind, be charitable, don’t swear

My comment policy is simple:

  1. Be kind. Don’t go into a comment section gun’s blazing, armed with hate, anger, snark aimed at me or other commenters. Don’t assume me or others are trying to hurt or harm you: and thus don’t respond as such. If someone is, point it out to me first or ignore. I might allow responses but I don’t want horrible engagements at all, if possible, no matter “who started it”.
  2. Be charitable: assume poor communication, not animosity or antagonism until you have sufficient evidence.
  3. No swearing: I’m serious about this. I’ll explain below.
  4. Argument, not assertion: You can’t just declare something is right or wrong, good or bad, or whatever. You need to argue why. If you do not, I will read you as merely asserting yourself, rather than that you’ve reached a rational conclusion. Simply declaring something wrong does not make it so. Please make full, proper, justified arguments. Obviously this doesn’t apply to every comment or case, but probably most and, almost, definitely when indicating something is right or wrong, good or bad, etc.

This is my blog, not a place for you to do and say as you please. You have the entire Internet on which to rage against the evils of women, atheism, aliens, or whatever. No one is stopping you from doing that.

On this blog, I want to foster an environment of safety for as many as possible, as well as one that manages to cater to many views, arguments and opinions. I do not keep up with online politics, since I have many others things that I already struggle to understand. Please don’t bring your animosity of one or two bloggers from whatever network to the comment section: I won’t raise it, so there’s no reason for you to do so.

I am interested in ideas, arguments, opinions; I want to hear them, be told about them, indicated when I’m wrong. And if I’m wrong, point it out in a reasonable, charitable way, that would make anyone want to listen.

Just because I hold a different view to you doesn’t mean I’m trying to hurt or harm you. That assumption and animosity that comes with it creates very poisonous environments I’m trying to do away with.

I will almost never immediately ban: instead I will point you here, to a specific policy rule or paragraph. If you continue, I will ban you.

Finally: I will be quite intolerant of swearing and namecalling from now on. Swearing is a good measure that someone isn’t trying to mount a good argument, be charitable or actually participate in debate. Namecalling is almost always childish and unhelpful to discussion. Playground this is not.

Is this true for everyone? No. Is it impossible to use swearing effectively, eloquently, powerfully and in a way that solidifies an argument? Of course not. The problem is I doubt most people, including myself, are so skilled in their use of language to be able to utilise expletives to such an extensive degree. Instead, swearing and slurs so often are indicators someone is merely angry at someone else and wants that person to know it – which helps no one here, including both parties in many instances. This blog and comment section is not the place for it.

If you have a problem with someone’s opinion and you can’t express it without swearing at that person, then clearly there’s a problem.  Take a breather. Come back with cleaner phrases. I don’t want a wrong opinion to remain unchallenged but it would be unfortunate if a great argument is buried beneath the muck of expletives and animosity.

I know the misconceptions will be read as follows:

- “You’re censoring me!” That implies this is your blog, your network, and so on. As I say, no one is stopping you from writing and shouting from the rest of the entire Internet. Please, go ahead. Just as you have the right to have what you want on your blog, I have the same right on mine and I’ve indicated what that is. Failing that means removal. It’s quite simple. I’m not stopping your blog or words: I’m managing my own and you are a guest.

- “Why are you a prude about swearing!” Because swearing is a good indicator of crappy arguments. Am I going to ban you saying “crappy” and “dick” and so on? It depends on context. I want you to not use it and I really, really dislike namecalling – as it’s incredibly childish.

These rules don’t apply to other bloggers at FtB. Only me. So again: don’t bring your views and politics about other bloggers, whether FtB or otherwise, here. I’m not interested nor do I particularly care. My blog is not the space to beat out your weird frustrations. The entire Internet is there for you to do so.

Any of these rules might change at any point. If you don’t like these rules or that I could change them, no one is keeping you here – unless you, like much of the internet, are cursed to read blogs and sites you don’t like. If you have queries, suggestions or problems, do let me know.

CODA: I find it sad that I have to have a policy at all to “police” adults. Seriously? We can’t just have mature discussions without threatening and hating one another?