The RBC has managed to achieve a far higher-than-average level of civility in its comments section, with only a very modest level of “moderation” (i.e., censorship). One persistently obnoxious commenter has been banned (after repeated warnings).
I’m especially pleased that there is some diversity of opinion among commenters, though not as much as I would prefer. Those whose views are in the minority here are doing the rest of us a service, and should be cherished accordingly. That makes it especially important to apply the posted “play nice” rules to them. Especially when one is in the majority, it ought to be possible to disagree without being disagreeable.
Below are the rules, pretty much as originally posted. I see no reason to change them in substance.
1. No naughty words. (They trigger all sorts of filters, and we canâ€™t corrupt the minds of the youth if they’re prevented from reading our stuff.)
2. No insults to bloggers or other commenters. Calling someone’s beliefs “delusional” is an insult; just explain why you think the belief is false. “Liar” and “fool” are deletion-bait.
3. No group defamation. Truth (as you see it) is not a defense. If you think fundamentalists are boobs, Republicans are bigots, or liberals are traitors, please say so elsewhere.
4. Donâ€™t assume weâ€™ve read your comment. If it contains something you think the poster needs to know, send email, as before.
5. Donâ€™t assume weâ€™ve read anyone elseâ€™s comment. Our not deleting it does not constitute an endorsement, or even a certification that we think it within the bounds of civilized discourse. None of us has the time or the inclination to play censor. By the same token, a posterâ€™s failure to respond to an argument is not a concession of error; probably the poster either didnâ€™t read the comment or didnâ€™t think it worth responding to.
And yes, posters have somewhat more latitude than commenters.