Patterico's Pontifications

9/15/2018

New Commenting Rules

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:02 am

I’ve become less patient with wading through nonsense in the comment section. So we’re going to have some new rules.

Personal attacks on commenters (or me) are out. Criticizing the arguments is fine. Criticizing the person is not. [UPDATE: Criticizing public figures is just fine. What would a blog comment section be without that?]

Violations will be handled according to my judgment and the judgment of moderators I trust. There will indeed be a sliding scale, depending on your track record.

For example, I will go much easier on commenters of all political stripes who bring analysis and reason to the table. aphrael is an example from the left. From the Trump-supporting right I have seen excellent honesty and civility from commenters such as “GOOCH” and Stephen J. If someone like that leveled a personal insult at someone, I’d be very surprised — but I would be inclined to go easier on them because of their track record (some short, and some, like aphrael, very long) of sensible commentary. The longer your track record, the greater the leniency. But even there, there is a breaking point.

The converse is also true: if you’ve always been a jerk, I’ll toss you out the second you violate this rule.

As an example of the latter sort of commenter, a nasty sort calling himself or herself “School Marm” recently tried to post a comment that concluded: “Jesus, you’re stupid.” I trashed the comment and banned School Marm for life. Would I do that to anyone who said those words? No, but School Marm had a long and consistent history of being a royally unpleasant [insert word here that would probably get moderated]. I just now reviewed some of this person’s more recent comments, and each and every one was hateful and filled with vituperation. It was a joy to use this occasion as an excuse to rid myself of this particular [repeat same word] forever.

Another rule: you may get called on your untrue statements, and there may be consequences for failing to man up and apologize if you’re wrong. Recently, I have become more aggressive about forcing people who made nasty and untruthful comments to either back up their statements or apologize. I have rid myself of a handful of total jerks this way. The scenario goes something like this: jerk commenter says “Patterico is always saying [insert something I never said].” In such cases, I tell them that they have a choice: prove their assertion (which of course they can’t) or apologize and retract (which, for people of a certain mindset, is unthinkable). This technique has rid me of about five people who were constantly lying about me. It’s fun holding liars to account. Keep that in mind if you’re contemplating making an angry and sloppily thought out accusation about things I have said.

That leads me to the key principle: DO NOT MISCHARACTERIZE OTHER PEOPLE’S POSITIONS. Also, do not mischaracterize other people’s positions. One more thing: do not mischaracterize other people’s positions.

Few things are more corrosive to honest discussion than constantly having to say: “That’s not what I said. Nope, that’s not what I said either. Nope, you’re still misrepresenting what I said.” One particular commenter here — a longtime commenter who used to guest blog here and often had interesting and insightful things to say — is no longer welcome to comment at this blog because he simply could not stop doing this to me. Virtually any time he took a position opposite to mine, he would mischaracterize my position — and the more viscerally upset he became, the more vicious the distortions of my statements. It became unworkable to keep him around — and when, in a single thread, he misrepresented my position badly in three separate ways, I used the “retract and apologize or prove it” strategem. He failed to retract and apologize, and the rest is history — and so is he, as far as this blog is concerned.

Don’t let that be you.

Some words have been added to the filter. Some are legitimate words but are overused in a particular context. (Example: Mitt Romney is not a “pervert” and I tire of reading that a dozen times in a thread. So now, that word causes a comment to get red-flagged. If you want to use the word “pervert” for a legitimate reason, guess who you can blame for that? I won’t say, because I don’t want to embarrass him, but his handle rhymes with the word “flappyseat” and he often leaves the first comment on any given thread.) If you get caught in the filter, don’t assume you have been banned. Comment threads are being monitored. If you put a lot of effort into a comment and it did not appear, feel free to email.

I have always encouraged freedom of expression. However, the level of nastiness has driven some good people away, and made reading the comments difficult for the rest of us. This is an attempt to do better.

The rules are simple, and won’t affect most honest and good-natured people at all. The rest of you will have to be more careful.

I’m not cross-posting this at The Jury Talks Back, because that blog has a different purpose: to provide a forum for people who would never say anything to anyone that they wouldn’t say to their face at a gathering in my living room. It’s a more polite forum for discussion and it’s underpopulated. If that ethic appeals to you, consider commenting there more.

P.S. Dana recently had a post called Report: College Professor Shoots Himself To Protest President Trump. It was a very good post that merited adult discussion. However, for a particular brand of overly partisan tribalist, there was no resisting the temptation to suggest that the professor should have killed himself. Such comments are so reprehensible that I deleted every such comment and closed the thread. But the post deserved, and continued to deserve, discussion by people who can refrain from such idiocy. That discussion can still be had at the version of her post at The Jury Talks Back, and I encourage people to go there and discuss it, subject to the rules that apply there.

102 Responses to “New Commenting Rules”

  1. Yay!

    DRJ (15874d)

  2. Bravo. Thank you.

    Q! (86710c)

  3. Good. At another site that I blog and comment at (and which I inexplicably cannot link to here without getting stuck in moderation), we have these posting rules and they work well.
    1. No profanity
    2. No insults or personal attacks on other users
    3. Try to write entries that will encourage discussion. We don’t discourage disagreement, just disagreement based on personal attacks and nasty comments.
    4. Try to stay on topic, or at least limit yourself to a related topic within discussion threads. If you have a point that is entirely unrelated, it’s easy enough to post a diary about it (we are generally pretty lax about this one, it’s more of a guideline).
    5. Do not try to hack your way around an established policy or try to mess with the site’s configuration or settings (this one will get you banned immediately and permanently).
    6. Please don’t create multiple user accounts.
    To me, consistently mischaracterizing another’s argument is a form of personal attack, and so is saying something patently untrue about another commenter. Protocol should demand that the accuser either back it up or retract and apologize. I had that issue with a certain arrogant hyperpartisan douchebag, and I’m glad you bamsticked him.

    Paul Montagu (9dcfd2)

  4. Hey the Atlantic banned me, too much interference with their narrative I guess.

    Narciso (1208a7)

  5. Good. At another site that I blog and comment at (and which I inexplicably cannot link to here without getting stuck in moderation)

    What’s that?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  6. The reality though, is there is an spate of violence against even those assumed to be trump supporters, I don’t know if Rudy Peters is one, and that very long multiple tirade directed to Zima bash

    Narciso (1208a7)

  7. http://www.theforvm*dot*org. It would be nice to link to it because so much of my brilliant commentary is there!

    Paul Montagu (b695ad)

  8. Discussing Zina Bash’s gestures is not “violence against Trump supporters,” narciso.

    DRJ (15874d)

  9. I commented on douthats affiliated blog, still a troll ruined it, the case of professor bird say something, none of it good about the current climate.

    Narciso (1208a7)

  10. http://www.theforvm*dot*org. It would be nice to link to it because so much of my brilliant commentary is there!

    Yeah, a fellow calling himself “Spartacvs” was banned for calling Beldar a “pussy.” He used that URL as part of his commentary and so it went into the filter. Can you shed any light on that fellow?

    I could take that URL out of the filter but first I want to know if you know anything about that guy.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  11. The reality though, is there is an spate of violence against even those assumed to be trump supporters, I don’t know if Rudy Peters is one, and that very long multiple tirade directed to Zima bash

    Could we get this in English?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  12. No it was seriously missing the point, the reality is what happened at trump hotel and candidate Peters meeting, not an error driven delusion, the reality is cutting unwra down to size, the 6th circuit showing some sense.

    Narciso (1208a7)

  13. Yeah, a fellow calling himself “Spartacvs” was banned for calling Beldar a “pussy.” He used that URL as part of his commentary and so it went into the filter. Can you shed any light on that fellow?

    The site hosts commentary by prominent U.S. Senators… I’m genuinely impressed at the circles you move in, Paul…

    :)

    Dave (445e97)

  14. Also jerry Brown’s trek back in the 19th century, he feels confident his diktat will not be reversed.

    Narciso (1208a7)

  15. Good rules; I wish all worthy blogs would follow suit. I’m a long-time reader who may have commented here a time or two. I often try to read the comments but get discouraged for all the pointless negativity—maybe now we can crack our knuckles, gird our loins, take a deep breath (running out of cliches) and winnow down to some fruitful discussion.

    RigelDog (5d99f9)

  16. The website gives me an Access Denied when I try to read a post, Paul. Do I have to register to read?

    DRJ (15874d)

  17. They are trying a more selective strategy.

    Narciso (1208a7)

  18. The “Nikki Haley’s Curtains” story is why I voted Trump. My experience has been that Democratic public figures are under-scrutinized in the mainstream press, and over-analyzed (past the point of conspiracy theory) by the opposition. Republican public figures are only slightly over-scrutinized in the mainstream press (Bush’s air national guard story being the example) while the combination of support for the GOP and opposition to the press is sufficient to balance the beam. So, NYT over-reaches, then corrects under “opposition” pressure. Yay, for “factions”, as the Federalist Papers predict. A process promoting factionalism, although “divisive” is as important as the advocacy / oppositional prosecution vs defender process in court. Yay again.

    The notion that a voter may choose (or advocate) on the basis of process or policy rather than person seems under-appreciated, here in this blog and comment section as in the general commetariat. Trump says or does anything, and we generally go to his personality, or intentions, or history or celebrity persona. A “never-Trumper” highlights what Trump has said or done, and again commentary zeros in on the intentions, intelligence, or biases of the person instead of the analysis. This saddens me.

    The Gospel of Matthew (chapter 21, for those who like citations) has Christ offering the parable of two sons, one of whom lies and says he will not work, but does; opposing another who says (and lies) he will work, but does not. Both are liars, but one is doing the Father’s work. Milton Friedman similarly taught that the way to fix a problem is not to elect the right person, however clever or virtuous such a person might be. The solution begins when the voters make it politically profitable for the wrong people, even evil people, to do the right things. (By implication, we must make it politically painful for those who do the wrong things.) We now must allocate our votes among two parties, both full of liars. (And bribe-takers, and oath-breakers, sell-outs and hypocrites and self-dealers …) Do we, with our votes, reward those we know have pursued failing policy? Or do we punish those with a record and risk it all by rewarding those who may be just as evil (stupid, incompetent, crazy, etc) but have no record? How many times (seven times seventy?) do we forgive known past misconduct before we take a big risk on someone new? And is it necessary we all must reach that point of choice, at the same point in time?

    Trump, and Trump-ism, is full of baloney. (or possibly bologna) But Never-Trumpism is, in my opinion, a Pampers-load of used Gerbers. Opposition or resistance to a change in policy direction and habits of thought is support and encouragement to persistence in policy and direction. Let it be profitable to follow existing law (on Marijuana, or Immigration, or Marriage or Firearms or Abortion) until a duly constituted legislature changes it. If an executive, from Scott Walker to Donald Trump, has too much power to bust unions or raise tax/tariffs, then let us push legislatures towards changes in the law to take over (or take back) those powers.

    Pouncer (df6448)

  19. I applaud you, Patrick, and I look forward to the revamped coment section.

    BuDuh (e20d25)

  20. Could I suggest linking this post, or a more concise summary of the rules, somewhere easily accessible, for instance with the other policy statements/disclaimers in the right hand margin, for easy reference/reminder in the future?

    If they can be sufficiently condensed, appending the rules to the “Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear” message right below the “Submit Comment” button might help encourage people to respect them, as well.

    It looks like they could be boiled down to:

    1) Do not make personal attacks on others who post or comment.
    2) Do not mischaracterize other peoples’ positions.
    3) Avoid untruthful claims or statements you are unable to back up.

    Dave (445e97)

  21. Noted! It’s a shame though, I didn’t see all the comments that were upsetting on the Professor TDS post since they were all removed. It seems like that post led directly to this.

    DejectedHead (775d48)

  22. Just wanted to let y’all know, I’m still lurking here even though I don’t post much. The trolls and idjits take a lot of the fun out of back-and-forth discussion on most blogs. Personally, I don’t think the rules will be too much of a problem for me. I try my best to act in good faith always and I would hope the rest of you would do the same.

    Gryph (08c844)

  23. I get the feeling that part of Brett Kavanaugh’s appeal is that he’s the Ted Cruz that gets along better with Homer Simpson than Ned Flanders if one remembers the Simpson’s episode where GHWB moved to their block.

    urbanleftbehind (77f429)

  24. And yet it doesn’t matter, now this in part an intimidation exercise, that gor such, is immune to, of course the milieu we find ourselves was depicted by McCarty in better angels 40 years,ago

    Narciso (1208a7)

  25. Those seem to be the generally good comment etiquette rules.

    Then there is the pure comment spam, comments that have nothing to do with the topic and are generally unintelligible in English, it just makes it tedious to read a thread, at least without filtering it.

    Colonel Klink (eaafec)

  26. Can you shed any light on that fellow?

    I’m familiar with Sparti. He used to comment a lot at theforvm, but he’s only made a dozen comments this year and they weren’t disagreeable or obnoxious. He was really in prolific in 2012 and further back, and he showed himself to be an unreasoning partisan liberal and generally unpleasant person whose only real reason for commenting was to antagonize and troll conservatives. We got into it more than a few times. Anyways, I wouldn’t ding the site for that guy because he hardly darkens our door anymore. And I give him credit for a Trump nickname that I hadn’t heard before: Hair Furor.

    Paul Montagu (9dcfd2)

  27. Good move, Patterico. I too was finding the comments here more and more difficult to put up with.

    Charlie Davis (92fc73)

  28. As it turns out that shamarama happened after the plea bargain

    Narciso (1208a7)

  29. 22 – Narciso.

    Interesting post from Prof. Jacobsen but I disagree that this will cause Kavanaugh to become a right wing angel of vengeance.

    Everything I’ve read about him portrays him as good, and decent, non-partisan and logical and oh yes brilliant, you know, compared to many judges these days the adult in the room.

    harkin (7f4688)

  30. He might not grant the left the benefit of the doubt, then again he might.

    Narciso (1208a7)

  31. It’s a shame these kinds of rules are needed at a place where people came to discuss issues, but I think they are. People want to talk about eachother, and make these discussions personal, rather than talk about the issues themselves, and that’s not only boring, it’s distracting.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  32. conversational health

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  33. The website gives me an Access Denied when I try to read a post, Paul. Do I have to register to read?

    Shoot, I guess you do. I’ve been there since ’07 and seldom have to log in.

    Paul Montagu (9dcfd2)

  34. I’ve been trying to “walk away” or self penalize more because the skill levels I possess in debate, research, precision with word, reading comprehension and even typing speed are not always up to the task and I get frustrated and start being an ass. I also often mischaracterize others arguments because I begin to rephrase the language in order to gain understanding, because the words as written by the other say something different to me. I’m fairly certain what happens is that I subconsciously substitute synonyms and in doing so, make so many subtle changes that I lose my way.
    Other times of course I am being a heckler because I think someone is being arrogant and tedious so I’m enjoying screwing with them.

    And here’s hoping hf redefines what insouciant means to him so he can stick around.

    steveg (a9dcab)

  35. OT, but did anyone here watch that 2017 season of Counterpart (on Starz) starring JK Simmons? It’s pretty twisted, and fairly entertaining.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  36. Two thoughts. One, I hope these posting rules will bring Beldar back. Two, I think someone else mentioned it, but a link to the posting rules in the sidebar, say right below “Recent Comments”, would be beneficial.
    Having had experience with moderating, we’ve done a system where you start with a warning, then a yellow card (which means if you do it again, it’s a red card), and then a red card, with the timeout ranging from a day to forever depending on the offense.

    Paul Montagu (9dcfd2)

  37. steveg:

    the skill levels I possess in debate, research, precision with word, reading comprehension and even typing speed are not always up to the task …

    I think we all feel that way sometimes but the solution is more discussion, not less, because these are skills that get better with practice.

    DRJ (15874d)

  38. Mischaracterization?

    Who decides that (you).
    Sounds very facebook-algithmy.

    Jb (9dfac8)

  39. In the early days of the web, I was an admin at a very good discussion site that ended up being destroyed because the owner of the site was basically completely unwilling to moderate it at all, and then once some a******s photoshopped a picture of his wife in disturbing ways, he gave up paying attention to the site at all.

    So … just as over moderation can kill an internet community, so can under moderation.

    All of which is to say — I’m glad to see some moderation; it will make the community better, because it will increases the signal:noise ratio and decrease everyone’s reactivity to one another.

    Thank you.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  40. Mischaracterization?

    Who decides that (you).
    Sounds very facebook-algithmy.

    Yup, me. And people I trust. Because it’s my blog.

    Because it’s done personally and not via algorithm, your comment makes no sense other than as nonsensical lashing out.

    I don’t like nonsensical lashing out.

    Patterico (3f74b5)

  41. > People want to talk about eachother, and make these discussions personal, rather than talk about the issues themselves, and that’s not only boring, it’s distracting.

    I both agree and disagree.

    I think that part of the value of the internet is that we can use it to form friendships with one another, *even across tribal lines*, and that the more such cross-tribal friendships there are, the better off the country is.

    There are a number of y’all that I’d love to have a (beer/coffee/joint, depending on your preference) with.

    So talking about each other in a way that’s directed at relationship building isn’t either boring or distracting, to me. YMMV.

    Talking about each other in a hostile or unfriendly way? Yah, that’s both boring and distracting — although sometimes it’s important for the entire community to be able to turn to someone and say “go away, you disruptive a*****e”.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  42. >Mischaracterization?

    There’s an old saying about honest debate requiring you to listen to what the other side is saying and then repeat it back to them in a way that *they* will agree is a fair statement of what they are saying, and only then can you respond to it.

    So I’d say that the person speaking ultimately is the determiner of whether or not you are interpreting them accurately. But of course it’s really easy for someone in a heated debate to think that they are being mischaracterized when they aren’t, and to realize it after they’ve calmed down — or, as *I* did yesterday, to think they’re being mischaracterized when in fact there’s an ambiguity in the statement that makes the mischaracterization reasonable and understandable. So the speaker can’t be the determiner in the short-term, at least not for the purpose of website moderation.

    But — speaking as someone who has moderated many things over the years, it’s usually pretty obvious when someone’s trying and failing (due to linguistic ambiguity or what not), and when someone isn’t even trying.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  43. Google is at it again:

    “A prototype for Google’s censored search engine in China would reportedly connect users’ queries to their phone numbers, making it easier for the government to track their searches.

    The engine, reportedly code-named Dragonfly and designed for Android devices, would exclude content that isn’t approved by the Chinese government, such as information on democracy, free speech and protests, according to The Intercept.

    Sources told the publication that prototypes for Dragonfly link the search app to users’ phone numbers, meaning those who search for banned information could be interrogated or detained if security agencies got a hold of Google’s search records.”

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cnet.com/google-amp/news/googles-dragonfly-would-reportedly-collect-chinese-citizens-phone-numbers/

    Dalmore was right.

    harkin (7f4688)

  44. Thank you, Patterico. Even lurking, I become overly tired by the bad-faith expressed in comments. A tiredness that affects even my desire to say hello to those I esteem.

    felipe (023cc9)

  45. Narciso, at 22: i’m seriously concerned that the next time the Dems have a majority in both houses and the Presidency, they will increase the size of the court, which the Reps will then do in retaliation, turning the size of the court into a political football. I’m also pretty concerned that they’re eventually going to try to impeach Kavanaugh (on the grounds that he perjured himself during the hearings).

    aphrael (3f0569)

  46. Only the likes of avenatti seriously considered that, he slept through that lecture on con law, turkey must be disappointed, of course it was the threat to do that changed the courts opinion

    Narciso (1208a7)

  47. Good change. Does this meen happy feet is gone?

    Time123 (d54166)

  48. i’m an american citizen and i always follow the rules because the rules are the rules

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  49. Good change. Does this meen happy feet is gone?

    In my experience, happyfeet does not attack other commenters or mischaracterize their positions.

    When he’s in an ugly mood, he does make and repeat charges that everyone, including himself, knows are untrue though…

    Dave (445e97)

  50. @8. Discussing Zina Bash’s gestures is not “violence against Trump supporters,” narciso.

    Meh. Watching ‘A League Of Their Own‘ it’s difficult to discern who signals with the more negative gestures to Trump supporters, Tom Hanks or Geena Davis. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  51. happyfeet normally hears voices either from the Cat Planet or from the Vegetable King (asking him to come back and marry his daughter Broccolina). That’s when he’s his usual self. I don’t know what he hears when he drinks that potion that turns him into a strong, fiercely independent, woman of color.

    nk (9651fb)

  52. It is true that HF follows the rules, even if he sometimes finds himself on the periphery, he is still in the field of play. It is during his transition from one end to the other that he can make me laugh, as nk points out

    felipe (023cc9)

  53. @Patterico
    I don’t know if your software allows the following:
    At another forum where I hang out, they have a procedure we call “turtling”, it’s somewhat a timeout but its controlled by the software and it really really sloooooooows one down; page refresh/loading and posting becomes a matter of minutes vs. the normal microseconds. When a member is turtled it can be for a few days up to a month. It’s so unpleasant (if the member really wishes to remain a member) that once usually gets the point of behaving across.

    Angelo (bf5aba)

  54. Haikhrushchev is still Helstinki. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  55. “Criticizing the arguments is fine. Criticizing the person is not.”

    So if Trump ever has a blog, your commenting privileges will not last long.

    Fred Z (05d938)

  56. [UPDATE: Criticizing public figures is just fine. What would a blog comment section be without that?]

    Patterico (115b1f)

  57. So if Trump ever has a blog, your commenting privileges will not last long.

    He doesn’t strike me as a guy who does much writing.

    Or reading.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  58. Or reading.

    Except for the Bible.

    Remember, nobody reads the Bible more than Donald Trump.

    Dave (445e97)

  59. But Cap’n Patterico, you’re a Public Figure. That’s why I often urge you to moderation.

    You seem not to think you’re an important conservative intellectual, but you are, though rather bad tempered of late, on one subject anyway, and burning up your good will capital at a great rate.

    And of course Trump will never have his own blog. He has people to do that for him, if he wants.

    Fred Z (05d938)

  60. I forgot to say that happyfeet, when he’s hot, writes more engagingly and humorously than anyone else here, including you, so please forgive him as many sins as you are able.

    Fred Z (05d938)

  61. Trump has Twitter. Why would he want a blog since he says everything on Twitter?

    DRJ (15874d)

  62. Patterico is the host. He is not a public figure. I suggest you confine your opinions to his arguments, Fred Z.

    DRJ (15874d)

  63. He is our esteemed – sometimes steamed – host.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  64. And Twitter is teh Devil’s Dandruff.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  65. Haiku, I agree!

    DRJ (15874d)

  66. DRJ:

    Based on the number of links I see on other political sites that lead here, he’s a public figure, and deservedly so.

    Go to InstaPundit and search Patterico. Lots of very respectful links.

    Fred Z (05d938)

  67. “I suggest you confine your opinions to his arguments,…”

    Or else?

    Anyway, I do. Lately his arguments on Trump are wrong in substance, tone and manner.

    Am I allowed to write that?

    Fred Z (05d938)

  68. Heh.

    DRJ (15874d)

  69. Good lord, Patterico allowing a minion to make “suggestions” in an ominous manner

    It’s like being a conservative commenter at the Guardian or a Jew at Der Sturmer.

    Ve suchest you be more respectvoll, or zere vill be consequences.

    Fred Z (05d938)

  70. Am I allowed to write that?

    I’d be more specific.

    Dave (445e97)

  71. or a Jew at Der Sturmer

    Dude…

    Dave (445e97)

  72. burning up your good will capital at a great rate.

    What does this even mean? Because the owner of a blog has decided to set some parameters for commenters, he’s burning up good will? Or because the owner of a blog criticizes an elected official who works for us, he’s burning up good will capital? Or is it’s something personal: because he’s criticizing an elected official who works for us, and for whom you voted, he’s burning up good will?? Is that it, because it sounds like it’s personal.

    Dana (023079)

  73. But Cap’n Patterico, you’re a Public Figure. That’s why I often urge you to moderation.

    You seem not to think you’re an important conservative intellectual, but you are, though rather bad tempered of late, on one subject anyway, and burning up your good will capital at a great rate.

    See, I’m not interested in your views of whether I’m good-tempered or ill-tempered. Whatever you may think my status is as a public intellectual — my own personal view on that is LOL good one — for purposes of this blog I am just another guy who’s not a public figure, and so personal comments about me are not welcome. Including opinions that I am bad tempered.

    And of course Trump will never have his own blog. He has people to do that for him, if he wants.

    Also he barely reads or writes. Those are prerequisites.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  74. burning up your good will capital at a great rate.

    What does this even mean? Because the owner of a blog has decided to set some parameters for commenters, he’s burning up good will?

    Oh, I know what he means. Read the comments at recent posts at Twitchy or Instapundit. Read any comment thread at Ace’s to a post that mentions me. You see a ton of “Patterico? I used to read his blog, but now he’s just another leftist/NeverTrumper.” (That’s the same thing to these people.)

    I have burned up a lot of good will with people who hate me because I criticize Donald Trump. And you know what? Good. Pardon an impolitic comment and pardon what I hope is increasingly rare profanity from me, but fuck those people. I’m glad to be rid of them. I could never encounter such a person for the rest of my life, in real life or online, and I’d be the happier for it.

    If someone’s criticism of Trump makes you hate that person, you are a broken person and I want nothing to do with you.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  75. I think the guidelines are good, and sadly, necessary. People used to be polite, resist personal attacks for the most part, be more interested in actually discussing the substance of an issue rather than slinging mud, and were generally respectful to those with whom they disagreed. And I’m just going to say it: it has indeed gotten worse since Trump. The chasm is greater. So much so, it seems more difficult to find common ground at times.

    The thing is, Patterico didn’t want to have to set these commenting ground rules, but certain comments fairly demanded something be done if a rich and healthy discourse and debate were to flourish in his house.

    Dana (023079)

  76. DRJ:

    Patterico is the host. He is not a public figure. I suggest you confine your opinions to his arguments, Fred Z.

    Fred Z:

    “I suggest you confine your opinions to his arguments,…”

    Or else?

    Anyway, I do. Lately his arguments on Trump are wrong in substance, tone and manner.

    Am I allowed to write that?

    You’re allowed to write that about my arguments, yes.

    You are not allowed to talk about me as a person. Or else. Calling me bad tempered is a comment about me.

    So yeah, it’s an “or else.”

    I don’t like your attitude towards DRJ and I don’t like your personal comments about me. If you want me to make you an object lesson of the sort of thing this post says is not tolerated, keep it up. I’d be happy to oblige.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  77. Anyone who can’t behave themselves in comments to a post that explains how they should behave, is sending a signal that they will never behave.

    I don’t think you realize just how thin is the ice you’re on, Fred Z. Let’s hope you figure it out before you plunge into the icy waters of Lake Bansville!

    Patterico (115b1f)

  78. Also, a moderator who won’t pull the trigger in comments to a post about how to behave, sends a signal that they will never pull the trigger.

    So you’re making this a test of my credibility, Fred Z.

    I really can’t be more clear.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  79. But the civility is a two way streak, take that last tragic thread re professor bird, who was gleeful at his plight and who muttered what the heck is going on. Trump is the first to admit hes not an intellectual but hes tried to tackle difficult subjects, say nuclear proliferation and trade issues.

    narciso (d1f714)

  80. people who hate me because I criticize Donald Trump.

    If criticizing a president you favor causes you to actually hate the critic, then there is something terribly wrong with you. The president is an elected official hired to work for us, and to fulfill any number of requirements. He is our employee, answerable to the people as he holds the most powerful position in the world. If we are not going to scrutinize and criticize and attempt to hold him up to a certain standard of accountability, then who else is?

    Dana (023079)

  81. I am very, very glad to see this post. In my opinion, it is long overdue.

    Demosthenes (7fae81)

  82. Trump is the first to admit hes not an intellectual

    My ROFL-copter just fell into a LOL-cano…

    Dave (445e97)

  83. Fred Z,

    My suggestion was intended as helpful advice but obviously you are don’t have to take it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  84. I feel I need to make a comment here very directly. I think the world of Patterico, and several of the commenters, like DRJ, Dana, JVW, nk, Beldar, and some others who have been quite pleasant to me—and from I have learned a great deal.

    I truly detest vulgarity in the public scene (and as I have written before, my father was an accomplished vulgarian). There is a time and place for everything. I dislike bullies and “mean girls/boys” more.

    So when I see women—even public officials—described in a personal, vulgar, and ugly fashion, I dislike it. When I see good and decent men—even public officials—defamed in such a manner that could result in a lawsuit (or a fistfight), I take exception. Let me be as clear as possible: disliking Romney’s policies about, say, Obamacare Lite is fine. Even when the commentary gets over the top (sort of like the Left is currently doing with Kavanaugh, claiming his joining the SCOTUS will lead to “many deaths”). What I dislike is the consistent and repetitive drumbeat about his character. And not just Romney, I only use him as an example. Repetitive and weird references to people who are pro-life, ditto servicemen and servicewomen.

    My rule of behavior, generally speaking, is to only write things I would not mind saying in person to the target. And despite many people acting like “keyboard cowboys” flush with faux-macho, I strongly suspect that many people, face to face, are eager to be polite and convivial.

    True, these are only my opinions, and I don’t expect them to be widely shared. And since he pays for the party, Patterico can say whatever he likes. If it bothers me, I don’t have to read or comment.

    When it takes place consistently and constantly, such juvenile and corrosive dialogue (again, often writing things that would lead to lawsuits and fistfights when said person to person) I believe that it creates a “broken window” situation, opening up things to still more vulgar and nasty statements. Which takes me back to bullying and “mean girling”—sort of a mob or herd behavior. I have watched it come to dominate discourse in this comments section. This is my opinion, and you need not agree, of course.

    So I stepped away. I know that there is a script that can make various commenters go “poof.” That bothered me, since there was no cost to the people who treated the comments section like a urinal. I could do that, and when I tried, it became hard to follow threads of comments. Too many “disappeared” comments. And then I became angry; I liked many of the commenters. I appreciated their thoughts and ideas, even or especially when I didn’t agree with them.

    To deal with it, I decided to treat one commenter precisely how he treated public figures, to show him how it felt: with repetitive, vulgar name calling that very probably had no basis in fact. Because if that commenter had the right to say truly dreadful things about one person, surely I had the same right to show that commenter how it felt.

    Thus, I may have brought some of this to a head, and for that I want to specifically apologize to Patterico and Dana and JVW, who work so hard to create a place for me to learn, and a forum where I might—less and less perhaps, given the current political climate of bizarreness—interact with a variety of opinions. I have written to Patterico, offering to no longer comment. If that is the case, so be it.

    But I am hopeful that Patterico’s new guidelines for commenting can create a climate among the commenters where I can learn from diverse voices. Hopefully with less of the vulgar and nasty personal nonsense that I believe we would all prefer to not see in our politics.

    Best wishes to all.

    Simon Jester (e5f6ee)

  85. Fair point, Simon, but didn’t the whole zina bash matter strike you as odd, her crime was appearing to lend support to her former boss, and showing impatience at a collection of hacks that shouldn’t have gotten out of one l

    Narciso (a27830)

  86. Fred Z, you are right that Patterico is an influential voice on the internet but he has asked us to focus on his arguments, not him.

    DRJ (15874d)

  87. Who are the “hacks,” narciso 89?

    DRJ (15874d)

  88. Leahy, Harris, coons, et Al.

    narciso (d1f714)

  89. The Democratic Senators at Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing. Thank you for clarifying that for me. They are consistently disappointing to me but I guess Democrats like them.

    DRJ (15874d)

  90. I didn’t realize (until I looked at an old post) how long Fred Z has inhabited the blog. I found a comment from 2005.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  91. It’s no wonder he still considers me an influential voice. I used to be, a little.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  92. You still are but you don’t get linked as much.

    DRJ (15874d)

  93. Good rules, Pat.

    Stu707 (e2fb68)

  94. Just a random thought, but these posting rules do align with the Crash Davis Rules for Civil Disagreement. To put it bluntly, you can say the person wrote a c**ksucking comment, but you’re kicked out of the game with “you c**ksucker”. For that matter, lots of things followed by “you” will likely–and should–cross the line.

    Paul Montagu (e7d63b)

  95. You say here that criticizing public figures is fine (and you have been very harsh to some public figures as have many commenters here, unbanned).

    “Criticizing public figures is just fine. What would a blog comment section be without that?”

    But when we had the McCain funeral, we had this proscription:

    “McCain pissed me off many, many times. But he’s a far better human being than Donald Trump (I’m sorry for the absurdly faint praise, Senator) and he is owed some respect at this point in time for the good aspects of his character. Best of luck to him and his family in facing the tough times just on the horizon.

    P.S. I am asking you to be civil in this thread. And I mean very civil. If you can’t be civil in this thread, that’s a good indication that you need to be tossed off this Web site for good. I have an itchy ban finger. Do you feel lucky, punk?”

    ————-

    Now I don’t really feel the need to slag someone at his funeral. At the same time, this is inconsistent.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  96. This blog is much the poorer for having shippie banned. He was not a sophist or a time waster and he made a lot of good points, with excellent writing. I think he was unfairly banned. And that there is too much of a tendancy to ban people who the host disagrees with. (Even with the ‘he said something wrong about what I said and did not apologize for it’ game.)

    I believe the intention is to use moderation to allow the discussion to proceed, but I definitely did not see shippie blowing it up in the way I have seen others ruin blogs (cursing or the like). I think it is something that gives pause when someone is banned by the host in the midst of a detailed debate which had plenty of detail and substance on the arguments (both commenter and host lawyers and good writers).

    I don’t think Pat sits in some evil castle and plans to abuse moderation power to quiet those who disagree with him. Most people see themselves in a positive light. But there is still a tendency to abuse moderation. (I see the same thing if I go to a peak oil blog and try debating the cornucopian side. Even with supplying lots of data and avoiding my tendency to curse and use insults, even at the more analytical ones (e.g. The Oil Drum, now closed). Basically, foreign organisms must be expelled.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  97. How about this comment about Trump dick suckers? Can I say similar things about the other side of the aisle?

    http://patterico.com/2018/08/24/john-mccain-ending-treatment-for-his-terminal-cancer/#comment-2145680

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  98. I am not surprised that Shippie was banned, but not because he was anything like a spammer or a troll. But because of the oversensitivity of the host and because of his unfair use of moderation power versus debate opponents (demands for “apologies” when he finds some minor issue in an argument.)

    Anonymous (d41cee)


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