March 15, 2010

Why We Can't Have Pretty Things

Ugh. This is a sad day for this blog. As many of you know, I am a bit of a fundamentalist when it comes to free speech. I have always supported an open comments policy on the grounds that it is better for ugly and offensive language to be exposed to the light of day than to employ some bound-to-be-arbitrary standard for moderating comments. And that policy worked for over three years. But some of my co-workers have recently complained, with justification, about the comments that were on this post, resulting in us deleting a few comments. Sadly, the comments threads on this blog have featured a lot of offensive, nonsensical language recently. What the heck is wrong with some of you people?

I have come to the conclusion that tasking a few CNAS interns with moderating the comments on this blog will not be too great an offense to the marketplace of ideas. A policy regarding offensive language in the comments is being drafted and will soon be posted. If you want to be ugly and write offensive comments using racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim and/or anti-gay language, that's fine -- just do it someplace else. From today on, you will no longer be allowed to write them on this website and expect them to remain published in the comments section.

Again, this really makes me frustrated. We shouldn't have to do this, gang.

Update: Okay, here it is. I hate having to do this.

CNAS retains the right to delete comments that include words that incite violence; are predatory, hateful, or intended to intimidate or harass; or degrade people on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. In summary, don’t be a jerk.