May 21, 2004

New Comments Policy

Itís time to start cracking heads in the comment section.

Iíve been getting too many complaints from reasonable people about trolls, and invariably the people who (rightly) complain tell me they donít want to hang out here anymore or that theyíre thinking about leaving.

This is going to stop now.

Iíve had open comments for almost a year, and Iíve banned fewer than ten people. So far Iíve only kicked people out for two reasons. Either theyíre exceptionally rude to others or theyíve posted overtly racist and inflammatory statements. I had to summarily kick out one German neo-Nazi who wants his country ethnically-cleansed of Muslims and Jews and who bragged that his grandfather got a medal for shooting at mine sixty years ago. I kicked out another person who said 250,000 Bosnian Muslims deserved to die at the hands of Serbian fascists because they were all ďstinking terrorists.Ē The rest Iíve banned because they have some kind of serious social personality dysfunction that I and everyone else found intolerable.

I have never kicked anyone out because I donít share their opinions. And I wonít start now. Argue with me and everyone else all you want. Thatís what the comments are for. But I am going to have to start showing people the door if they repeatedly harrass everyone else with unserious, scurrilous, and idiotic commentary. I wonít kick you out for arguing with me, no matter how sharply you disagree. But I will boot those who insist on acting like idiots and twelve-year olds.

For a very brief window of time Iíll be open to changing my mind. If you have a reasonable objection to this policy, use the comments and tell me why. I donít want to be a hard-ass about this, but I prefer that option to letting my comments degrade like so many others all over the blogosphere. If you want to convince me to change my mind, address the fact that my comments are degrading and that something must be done to put a stop to it. I refuse to passively sit and watch it happen.

(As a side note, donít bother accusing me of wanting to ban people because theyíre liberal or conservative. Save the partisan victimology. This has nothing to do with your voter registration. Of those Iíve had to kick out so far, roughly half were left-wing, and the other half were right-wing.)

Posted by Michael J. Totten at May 21, 2004 2:40 PM
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