More ideas for comment policies

June 28, 2009 | By | 31 Replies More

Dan Klarman recently referred me to Pharyngula’s comment policies.  That led me to Pharyngula’s High Crimes and Misdemeanors. I think that we have many of these covered in DI’s comment policy, but I do agree that all of these behaviors serve to hinder meaningful discussion.  I anyone else has good comment policy ideas that they’ve seen elsewhere, let me know.  I want to have free and open discussion, but I do want to keep the discussion moving and meaningful.

Perhaps more important, let me know what you think about the comments of Karl, who submits comments to this site almost every day.  How much access should have have to this site?  Unrestrained?  Severely edited?  How would you handle Karl’s many comments if you were administering this site? What is fair? How tired are you of Karl? Or do you see his points of view as a valuable foil that drives meaningful conversation?

Here are Pharyngula’s High Crimes and Misdemeanors:

Concern trolling A particularly annoying form of trolling in which someone falsely pretends to be offering advice to favor a position they do not endorse; a creationist who masquerades as someone concerned about the arguments for evolution as an excuse to make criticisms.

Godbotting Making an argument based only on the premise that your holy book is sufficient authority; citing lots of bible verses as if they were persuasive.

Insipidity A great crime. Being tedious, repetitive, and completely boring; putting the blogger to sleep by going on and on about the same thing all the time.

Morphing Changing pseudonyms to avoid killfiles.

Slagging Making only disparaging comments about a group; while some of this is understandable, if your only contribution is consistently “X is bad”, even in threads that aren’t about X, then you’re simply slagging, not discussing.

Sockpuppetry Like morphing, but with a specific intent: creating multiple identities supporting a position to create a false impression of popularity

Spamming Using the comments to sell real estate, mortgage assessments, little blue pills, porn, or Russian mail-order brides. Spammers are not tolerated at all; they are expunged without comment.

Stupidity Some people will just stun you with the outrageous foolishness of their comments; those who seem to say nothing but stupid things get the axe.

Trolling Making comments intended only to disrupt a thread and incite flames and confusion.

Wanking Making self-congratulary comments intended only to give an impression of your importance or intelligence.

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Category: Censorship, Communication, Community, Networking

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (31)

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  1. Mindy Carney says:

    Well, DUH, Erich! Don'tcha think God would WANT those heathens trounced but good?! I mean, it's not like we're asking God to take sides – he already has. And we're on HIS side, so anyone else is NOT WORTHY. I thought you knew that already.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Mindy: Wouldn't it be fun if God descended from the clouds and announced to everyone that the World Series down here on our tiny planet has His unabated interest. Yes, Earth, one of trillions of life-supporting planets in the vast universe has God's unabated attention.

    God picks up the PA microphone and and announces that he has picked sides. "I'm rooting for the Red Sox," he announces. At that moment, the Red Sox fans go delirious. "Did you hear that!?" they scream to each other.

    But if you look closely, you'll also see thousands of Rockies fans all beside themselves. They love their Rockies, but they don't want to root against God. What to do?

    If the Red Sox started scoring a bunch of runs, it wouldn't take long before some of the drunk Rockies fans start accusing God of intervening . . . cheating. Eventually they would start throwing beer cups at him and God would need to be escorted from the stadium so that the game could continue.

  3. Erich,

    Classic piece of science fiction, you should look it up:

    "Evensong" by Lester Del Rey. First story in "Dangerous Visions"

  4. Mindy Carney says:

    Yup. God works best when His "behavior" and "choices" can be interpreted at will to fit a particular situation. Were God to give definitive, specific answers and policies and "sides," religion would be quite a different animal – as many of the pious searched frantically for loopholes . . .

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