Bil Browning

Comments on Bilerico sites

Filed By Bil Browning | September 14, 2009 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Site News
Tags: comments policy

We've had a few issues in the comments section of Bilerico sites lately, so it seems like a good time to remind everyone of our Terms of Service and our policy on comments. We print this on every page under the box where you type your comments. Please take a moment to review what it says.

We want to know your opinion on this issue! All comments from unregistered users are held for moderation. While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.

If you would like to let the editorial team know about a possible policy violation, please use the Contact Us link at the top of the page.

It is not our intent to discourage anyone from actively participating or arguing strongly for an issue or idea. We will not tolerate insults and smears, past grudges and/or blood feuds, or excuses that by responding in kind to someone else's poor behavior you are "helping us out." We want to encourage discussion and debate on the site, but not at the expense of basic civility.

More specific info after the jump.

Penalties for Violating TOS

Registered users will get two warnings before they lose the privilege of commenting without moderation on the site for two weeks. Once an account has been re-activated, there will be no further warnings for policy violation. Instead, the account will be turned off and banned from commenting on all Bilerico sites.

Unregistered users' comments that violate the Terms of Service will be deleted without warning. Repeat offenders will be banned from commenting on all Bilerico sites.

Help Us Out

We do our best to stop offensive and spam comments from publishing, but occasionally one will slip through. If so, please let us know! Send us an e-mail and we'll review the comment. Due to the high amount of messages we get every day, we can't guarantee that we'll be able to answer individual e-mails, but we read every one.

The Spirit of Bilerico

Your opinion is always welcome. Free speech is an integral part of human rights, but, as in life, there are reasonable limits. We encourage readers to argue the merits of a post's content, but personal attacks don't advance any debate.

The Bilerico Project was purposefully structured to bring you points of views that will challenge or inspire you. Our community is deep and diverse; our communication should match that standard as well. Some things you'll agree with, but you'll actively oppose others. That's fine. Tell us why.

We simply ask that chips be taken off shoulders before you enter.

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We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.

No past grudges and/or blood feuds? Damn!

"basic civility"

...I do not understand these words.

Prince G, do you remember high school chemistry class? "Basic civility" is the opposite of "acidic civility" --- I think Bil is trying to tell us to keep the pH of our comments around 7.0, although I do recall that an extreme base is considered "caustic" while an extreme acid is called "vitriolic".

So, Bil is saying (I think), do not be caustic and do not be vitriolic. Mixing an acid and a base together produces a salt (and usually quite a bit of liquid or gas!) ... so stay in the middle range, and you will be the salt of this blog. (That's a good thing, and a stupid fracture of a famous Bible verse.)

And I'm sure this explanation makes everything crystal clear ... right?

No, and chemistry was one of my best classes. I know what "caustic" comments look like, up close and personal. I'm trying to figure our what a "basic" comment would look like.

To be the opposite of a caustic comment, wouldn't look something like this, "You are so sweet. I worship the ground you walk on. Every word out of your mouth drips with honey and Splenda. My life is so fulfilled because I have read your comment."

Since you are good at Chemistry, A.J., does that look about right?

Well, Monica, how's this: If a caustic comment is "up close and personal", then maybe a basic comment sticks to the points of the discussion at hand and doesn't let itself get "up close and personal".

And actually, Monica, I was just being silly. Wilson was also being silly. Prince G, I'm not sure, but I think he was being silly.

And then sticking "and I'm sure you'll find this to be perfectly clear" on the end of a paragraph that is largely non sequitur is one of my stock jokes. Sorry if my humor didn't work for you --- and as they say, if you have to explain it, then it didn't work.

Gertrude supposedly once said, "Oh, Alice, leave him alone! Playful infantilism is the leit motif of Pablo's genius!" Same thing going on here, except I'm not a genius like Picasso.

Try lightening up a bit. Or don't. Whatever.

And, I was also being silly. It's so much more fun then trying to defend oneself from caustic comments.

"Caustic comments" --- isn't there a brand of fancy tea with a name something like that? Maybe I saw it at Trader Joe's or Pavillion's?

I prefer to think of it in terms of sour and sweet.

You have sweet comments where the writer agrees with everything.

You have sour comments where the author picks on the writer of the post, personally, or on other commenters.

Then you have lemonade.

A lot of people don't eat lemons, but some people love them plain.

A lot of people can't stand something too sweet.

And most folks like a good glass of lemonade when the heat is high.

Sour and sweet in the right proportions.

Everybody has different proportions they like though...

I'm personally partial to sweet & sour chicken. :)

Good article and very timely. So please folks when you do comment keep it to the article not your personal diatribe on something that is so off the wall that it leaves all of us shaking our heads and wondering if it was Mars or Venus. Oh and please try your best to keep the comments short. These term paper dissertations for your PhD responses left me well left me a little more confused than I am normally and with the delete button that worked. That is the best that I can add sweet or sour.

I realize I'm guilty of long comments --- but I also take the attitude that if a comment looks like too much work to read, then anyone who wants can skip over it. The longer the comment, the more optional the comment. If I write a long comment, it's my responsibility to make my commentary relevant enough and valuable enough that at least some readers will make it all the way through.

I skip long comments made by others when they don't look worth the effort --- and anyone with limited time and good time management skills (and that means practically everyone here) will do the same.

Of greatest annoyance are the hunters of one prey. For instance, there are those who believe "The color pink is bad". When I write "The glow of the sunset was purple and pink", they come out of the shadows and jump on my post screaming "Pink is bad!" I explain that the post was about a sunset. They don't care. They say "You need to be more sensitive about our extreme sensitivity to pink." I respond "That's your issue, not mine, and the post was not about you or that." They do not care about this fact. They are obsessed with their own hatred of pink and are incapable of sane and polite conversation. These commenters are a millstone around the neck of Bilerico. They are of limited number but they show up here because it is one of the few places where they are allowed to trot out their antisocial dispositions. There are valid reasons why they have been banished from other places. I think we should not let the few run rough shod over the many. I like a well-weeded garden.

I like a well-weeded garden.

And vice versa.

Sometimes, you get a little behind on the weeding, even when your neighbors complain.

Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect
including on-line.

We all have a right to express our opinions. Our
opinions are neither right or wrong; simply our

Opinions on subjective subjects are not neither right nor wrong, but it's different for objective matters. If your opinion is that the earth is flat, you're wrong.

Oh-oh, now we have entered the realm of epistemology --- how do I know for sure that what I think is true is actually true?

Caprice, have you actually gone into space and checked for yourself that the earth is round? And those pictures of a round earth that we all have seen, how can we be sure that they are not fake if we haven't gone up into space ourselves and checked that the earth actually looks like that? The astronauts say that the earth really does look like that from space ... but are we sure we can trust them to tell the truth? Maybe NASA pressured them into lying? Have you ever seen the movie The Flight of Capricorn One where they fake a moon landing? (O. J. Simpsom played one of the astronauts --- but let's not go there.)

And before the 16th Century, the average person thought that the earth was flat, and thought that people who thought the earth was round were crazy. The average person was wrong, and the people that were right were wrongfully assumed to be crazy.

On the other hand, if you live your entire life in a 12-foot by 12-foot room, then the earth might as well be flat. The earth is actually round, but under these conditions, that fact might as well be ignored. The earth is round, but that doesn't matter, and you might think that people who think that the earth is round are crazy.

Is there life on other planets? The answer has to be either YES or NO --- but at our present time in history, we can't be sure one way or the other. There is one and only one objectively correct answer, YES or NO, but we don't know for sure which it is.

But you can be sure about the answer to some questions, such as this one:

I'm being a real jerk, aren't I?

The movie was actually called, "Capricorn One." See, even you can be wrong. (giggle)

If only our politicians could hold the same high standards. It is possible to debate without attack.

I think what Donn and Bil and a few others are saying here is that it's possible to disagree without being disagreeable. It's one thing to attack a comment,but an entirely different thing to personally attack the writer of the comment. I've seen a few of those here, and Bilerico is no place for that.