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Lock down

Because of an appalling outbreak of taunting and bullying behavior on the part of several commenters on this blog, I temporarily shut down all comments on the blog, deleted about 40 particularly offensive comments and edited many others to remove offensive material (the deletions are clearly marked). Four commenters have been added to the moderation list meaning that their comments will not appear here until they are individually reviewed for compliance with the editorial policy.

This is just the latest in several incidents where people have been attacked and run off from the blog. I do not intend for this to be a “hostile web site” by tolerating behavior that would get someone quickly fired from a real job for creating a hostile workplace. Just because someone is wrong does not make them subhuman.

I am personally ashamed that I let things go as far as I did and for as long as I did.

Update: Normal commenting for most visitors is now restored. Comments on this article are closed.

10 Responses to Lock down

  1. avatar
    Paul May 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    Dang… missed all the excitement

  2. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) May 16, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    Is nodda tummah

  3. avatar
    nbc May 16, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    Good move Doc. Civility, especially when disagreeing, makes for much better discussion as it allows one to focus on the facts, arguments.

  4. avatar
    Thrifty May 16, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    Not a bad idea to let everyone cool down for a while. Are the offenders being made aware of their transgressions? A vague statement about “an appalling outbreak of bullying behavior on the part of several commenters on this blog..” leaves a lot of open space for people to wonder “Am I guilty?” or to tell themselves that they are not.

    [This should be clear once I turn global moderation off. Doc.]

  5. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) May 16, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    Anyone want to chance doing Pacino’s monologue from And Justice for All?

  6. avatar
    El Diablo Negro May 16, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    Back in the late 90’s, there was a saying in forums “Don’t feed the Trolls”

    Emotions get the better of some people when it comes to forums & blogs. I know, I have been there. If something upsets you, don’t reply right away. Take a step back, do not respond with anger because that is what trolls want you to do. They get you off your game. Emotional responses sometimes are not well though out and that’s where Trolls kill you.

  7. avatar
    JoZeppy May 16, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    I admit to occassionally get frustrated with those how repeat long debunked lies, throw around junk law legal theories, or just flat lie….and on occassion I do throw some personal insults around (mea culpa…we all get frustrated). But I thought a recent exchange between Lucas Smith and a few folks was a bit beyond the pale.

    I don’t think anyone can claim to be “without sin” but hopefully we can avoid the compele downward spiral into the gutter.

  8. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 16, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

    Down to 71 comments, working back to front.

  9. avatar
    richCares May 16, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    It seems we get the diehard birthers here, as they are impervious to facts, they generally just insult and harass, my point is if they appear here with comments that have no supporting data then ban them. As they never vary from their rigid and erroneous views, the only response they get is ridicule, they just poison the discussion. Responding to them with facts or knowledgeable information does not work. My guess is they spout nasty things to force a response not to learn or discus, so ban them early. It is hard not to feed a troll that brigs ridiculous points to the discussion.

  10. avatar
    Tarrant May 16, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    Wow, I must have missed this. I have no idea what would have triggered this.