Originally Posted by graz
I wonder if PreppyMcPrepperson, JimM47 or Bobby G could point me to an example (web based) of the commenter Utopia that they envision.
Preppy: Feel free to maintain your high standards. Please don't ask everyone to conform. A neutered exchange is a dull exchange.
Jim: Your "interesting exchange of ideas" are also subjective. Sifting through the free expression, including turn-offs and time saps is integral to the process.
Bobby: Protecting your professional status is understandable. Repressing your desire to call a perceived D-bag by name, because of the public/private split should remain a private impulse. Feel free to persuade otherwise, but don't assume it as a given shared by all.
I'd agree with what Keefe and Bobby have said already, that Crooked Timber and academic blogs generally are good examples of respectful web discourse. I think niche sites are also pretty good that way, places that focus on one area of policy, not one area of the political spectrum. I follow a number of South Asia sites--Chapati Mystery, Sepia Mutiny, Kafila--where the dialogue is always both polite and interesting. I think, though I follow these less closely, that a similar dynamic holds for local news sites, where debate can be spirited but rarely hostile.