Rules For Commenting

It’s been almost six months since we transitioned to a standard blog format, complete with comments, and we thank all of you for joining the conversation. As mentioned in a previous thread, we’ve taken a mostly hands-off approach to moderating comments because we want to encourage as vigorous a debate as possible. Some of our opponents have taken advantage of our open approach to offer thoughtful critiques of the positions we hold.

Others, unfortunately, have abused it by being vicious and vindictive. One commenter posting in a thread last February put her finger on the problem:

You’re not coming here to learn or to understand anything. You’re coming here merely to be confrontational, a burr under the saddle, to simply be oppositional and apparently, as above, purposely obtuse…This is what is known to all in blogdom as “being a troll.”

It’s that latter group that makes this post necessary. Below are our new rules for posting comments on FIC Blog:

1. No name-calling.

2. Good-natured–and even sharp-elbowed–kidding of one another is acceptable. Flat out ad hominen attacks are not. Focus on criticizing arguments instead of attacking the people making them.

3. No obscenity.

4. For the most part, try to stick to the topic. Comments that run too far afield run the risk of being deleted.

5. Respect everyone’s right to privacy.

6. No trolling (see quote above).

7. No libelous statements.

8. You must provide a valid e-mail. Your e-mail will not be posted on the blog, but a phony e-mail means your comment will not be posted.

9. All entries in comments boxes are solely the responsibility of the person writing the comment. We take no responsibility for comments posted to our blog, whether the comment be for or against us. But we reserve the right to delete and/or ban commenters as we please.

[Note: Rule # 8 was added on 2/16/08.]

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