One of the things I love about blogging is getting feedback from my readers! However, due to the actions of a few readers, its become necessary to set a few rules:
1) Be respectful. This means treat the author of this blog, and others who comment here, with a basic level of respect. Disagreements will almost certainly arise, but we can all be polite about it. I write about controversial things sometimes, and I want to hear every perspective so I can learn. However, if you are so aghast and infuriated by the contents of the blog or its comments that you feel you cannot help but be rude and hostile – then go cool off and come back when you can act like an adult. Or don’t come back at all.
2) Don’t be a hater. Don’t bash Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Scientology, Baha’i, Falun Gong, Jainism, Shintoism, Unitarian Universalism, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, Wicca, or any faith – even if they seem strange or somehow wrong to you. Don’t bash members of these or other religions (or Agnostics and Athiests) on the sole basis of their religious affiliation. Further, do not bash people for their gender, sexual orientation, nation of origin, etc. (Ok, a few jokes about women’s shopping habits or America’s self-importance might be tolerated, but watch yourself). Comments that do not comply with this rule will either be edited until they comply or trashed in their entirety. If you feel you cannot follow this rule, do not bother posting your comment.
3) Don’t copy/paste – Tell me what YOU think. This isn’t a ban on quoting others to illustrate your point, or just to share something you wanted us to read. However, copy/pasting paragraphs from other websites to make some point, without any input from you, is not really commenting. At worst its plagiarism, at best its advertising. The same goes for sending me internet videos instead of saying what you want to say. If you send me content that isn’t actually from you, I will assume you don’t have an opinion of your own – and therefore you won’t care if I delete your comment. If YOU have a strong opinion, I want to hear about it from YOU, not some random website.
4) Disagree with me. I mean it. Do not let me off the hook because you agree with me sometimes, or because you completely disagree with me so often that you don’t see the point – how will I learn if I’m not forced to analyze myself from time to time? If I make a factual mistake, please correct me(respectfully). If you just think I’m plain wrong, say so (in a respectful way). Try to be specific, and if possible cite sources to back yourself up as well (not required but its very helpful).
5) Stay on target. Sometimes comments will digress wildly away into new topics, and thats fine. But don’t post extraneous comments with the sole purpose of provoking people or touting your own agenda. In short – no trolls allowed!
I don’t want to be heavy-handed about this, and I truly hate censorship. However, internet harassment is not something I feel the need to endlessly put up with. Please follow the above rules. If you can’t, for whatever reason, then don’t comment here. It really is that simple. I have no qualms about trashing comments before they ever appear on my blog, and all comments go through me before they can appear – if you violate the rules, the comment will not appear. If you repeatedly break the rules, create spam, or even make threats – I am fully capable of tracking you, legally and with impunity. So, lets all try to get along.