Policy on posting
Charles (that’s me) ends up taking out the blog garbage most evenings, while making sure not to exclude any genuine discussion. The garbage includes dozens of commercial spam comments, but also self-promotional attempts. Some people are under the illusion that the best way to build blog traffic is by starting arguments on other blogs and having people on those blogs follow one home on the link they provide.
Most of the comments which I delete or edit violate the normal Terms of Service of Internet Service Providers. Violations of TOS include: advocacy of violence, threats of any kind, racial/ethnic hatred, and harassment. Harassment is a more complicated issue, but anyone who has had to administer a blog knows what it is (see Trolls, Internet). Harassment includes constant off-topic posting, chronic use of well-known logical fallacies to frustrate honest debate, and the use of fake facts. But, very simply, any behavior that is repeated after a site administrator says stop is harassment. As for anything else, please don’t even think about it.
I honestly don’t care what political beliefs our posters have, as long as they engage respectfully, honestly, and in a manner that shows an open mind. Tom Metzger posted here to correct a misstatement by me. I thanked him. But the reality of this age is that the country is deeply polarized, tempers are hot, and there are a lot of people willing to lie for Jesus, as the phrase goes, to advance their cause. I don’t have the time or the patience to accommodate all the various egos.
I think I speak for MEC and Phoenix Woman on this. We love hearing from people, even people with whom we disagree. But in order to keep this fun for all concerned, it has to be a real conversation. That means real facts, genuinely-held beliefs, and mutual respect. If you’re not willing to take the risk that your opinion might be changed by talking to someone, well, then, are your beliefs really worth holding?