Go Back   Bloggingheads Community > General comments on Bloggingheads.tv
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Notices

General comments on Bloggingheads.tv Post comments about our website here.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-03-2009, 08:58 AM
Brenda Brenda is offline
BhTV staff
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 109
Default Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Here's a draft of a comments policy we're considering. We look forward to your feedback.

COMMENTS POLICY FOR THE BLOGGINGHEADS COMMUNITY

We welcome all political viewpoints in the Bloggingheads forum, and encourage lively debate, but we do ask that you treat other commenters with common decency. We don’t like to censor* posts or ban people from the forum, but we do so when necessary to keep the environment from getting too ugly.

We particularly aim to keep the "Diavlog comments" subforum civil and on-topic, so we enforce a higher standard there than in the other two subforums.**

Here are our baseline rules for the "Diavlog comments" subforum:

#1 No name-calling aimed at fellow commenters or diavloggers.

#2 No gratuitously rude comments aimed at diavloggers.

#3 Use four-letter words sparingly, if at all.

#4 Use the vBulletin quote function only for real quotations.

Notes on the rules:

re: #1 Like most superficially simple rules, this one is easier to state than to enforce fairly—one man’s verbal abuse is another man’s fair and accurate characterization. Here are some examples of what we’d label name-calling: moron, idiot, asshat, wingnut, moonbat, troll—and, absent very good evidence: racist. (To be clear: We don't proscribe the use of such words, only their use as epithets against other commenters, either directly or by implication.)

re: #2 In particular, avoid derogatory or demeaning remarks about physical appearance and speaking style. Don’t forget that many diavloggers read the comments section.

re: #3 Fair warning: A post containing profanity that appears early in the comments (“above the fold” on the videopage) may be hidden from the videopage,* even if the post is loaded with insightful substance.

re: #4 We realize that sometimes commenters like to fabricate quotes for humorous or rhetorical purposes, but we think this compromises the integrity of the quote format. Readers should be able to trust that if something looks like a quote, it really is a quote.

* * * * *

*Note that we have two levels of post-removal: (a) “hiding” a post, which removes it only from the videopage (it can still be viewed in the forum), and (b) “deleting” a post, which removes it from both the videopage and the forum thread.

**The "Diavlog comments" subforum is the one that feeds comments from the vBulletin forum onto the videopage (directly below the diavlog). This subforum has exactly one thread per diavlog, and no other threads. The other two, less structured subforums are "General comments about Bloggingheads.tv" and "Life, the Universe and Everything."

Last edited by Brenda; 09-03-2009 at 12:06 PM.. Reason: Added "gratuitously" to rule #2.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-03-2009, 09:07 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. Sa®ah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Probably worth making clear who will be, and who will not be, enforcing the comment policy.

Other than that, looks fine to me.
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-03-2009, 09:35 AM
Lyle
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Not that it matters, but I support this. Preferably moderators won't come from the commenting community either, if at all possible.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-03-2009, 09:58 AM
Brenda Brenda is offline
BhTV staff
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 109
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
Preferably moderators won't come from the commenting community either, if at all possible.
Only BhTV staff will moderate comments. And maybe this is a good time to re-state for the record that the few non-staff forum members who've been deputized to delete spam are NOT authorized to moderate other posts and have NEVER done so. (When I first gave them the spam-deleting capacity, I unthinkingly accepted the default vBulletin "moderator" label for users with that level of access. Big mistake. I apologize for the confusion this caused.)

I think all the regulars know the deal, so how about knocking off the needling of the spambusters for their supposed "moderator" role? It's probably confusing the newbies.

And while we're on the subject: Much appreciation to our spam-deleting volunteers for their mostly unsung efforts at keeping the forum tidy. I don't thank you enough.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-03-2009, 10:09 AM
Lyle
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brenda View Post
Only BhTV staff will moderate comments. And maybe this is a good time to re-state for the record that the few non-staff forum members who've been deputized to delete spam are NOT authorized to moderate other posts and have NEVER done so. (When I first gave them the spam-deleting capacity, I unthinkingly accepted the default vBulletin "moderator" label for users with that level of access. Big mistake. I apologize for the confusion this caused.)

I think all the regulars know the deal, so how about knocking off the needling of the spambusters for their supposed "moderator" role? It's probably confusing the newbies.

And while we're on the subject: Much appreciation to our spam-deleting volunteers for their mostly unsung efforts at keeping the forum tidy. I don't thank you enough.
My comment was not meant to needle anyone. Perhaps you aren't addressing me specifically though for there are those who give bjkeefe and whoever else a hard time about their perceived role at bh.tv.

Personally I like that none of bh.tv's moderators are commenters. I'd like it to remain this way if possible.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-03-2009, 10:33 AM
Brenda Brenda is offline
BhTV staff
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 109
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
My comment was not meant to needle anyone. Perhaps you aren't addressing me specifically though for there are those who give bjkeefe and whoever else a hard time about their perceived role at bh.tv
Sorry, Lyle, I most definitely was NOT directing that at you, but at any regulars who've propagated the notion that some non-staff forum members are in the business of moderating comments other than spam. (I should have made that clearer.)

Last edited by Brenda; 09-03-2009 at 10:35 AM.. Reason: clarification
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-03-2009, 01:22 PM
Lyle
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Thanks Brenda. I understand.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-03-2009, 07:27 PM
pampl pampl is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 750
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
Personally I like that none of bh.tv's moderators are commenters. I'd like it to remain this way if possible.
Yeah, I agree.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-03-2009, 11:48 AM
graz graz is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,162
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

The evolution of bhtv.
Thanks for your efforts Brenda.

Comments policy, editorial clarity, spam-busting and hopefully more details about booking.

Rather than let the site mutate randomly, some intelligent design is being proposed. The timing seems (W)right.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-03-2009, 12:00 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Heartland Conservative
Posts: 4,933
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Brenda,
Thank you and the Bh.TV staff for putting this together, and for asking for feedback.

Couple of questions.

(1) Why the difference in language between rule #1 and rule #2? The first says "no name calling," while the second says "no rude comments." The "no rude comments" forumulation sounds much broader than "no name calling." Why not limit the 2nd rule to "no name calling" as well? (Or maybe "no name calling or rude comments about personal appearance.) Broadly defined, almost any legitimate criticism could be considered "rude."

Example: If it is my opinion that a particular diavlogger is consistently dishonest, and I believe that this diavlogger should be called on this dishonesty, can I say he or she is dishonest or lying? Presumably to do so would be rude in some sense, but quite possibly true.

(2) What about attacking groups of people? If I say the Republican Party is the Party of Race Hate, can every person on the forum who self-identifies as a Republican take it as a personal attack under rule #1? If I refer to tea-partiers as "tea-baggers," can everyone who went to a tea party claim that I have insulted them directly?

I am certain these questions will will arise once the policy goes into effect, so it may be worthwhile to clarify as much as possible at the start.

Last edited by TwinSwords; 09-03-2009 at 12:03 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09-03-2009, 12:26 PM
Brenda Brenda is offline
BhTV staff
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 109
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
Why the difference in language between rule #1 and rule #2? The first says "no name calling," while the second says "no rude comments." The "no rude comments" forumulation sounds much broader than "no name calling."
Rule #2 is intentionally broader than #1. We'd like to maintain a somewhat higher standard when it comes to the diavloggers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
Broadly defined, almost any legitimate criticism could be considered "rude."
I actually meant to change that to "gratuitously rude." I've done so now. It's not meant to discourage legitimate criticism. But under this rule, comments such as "Ann Althouse is a stupid, stupid woman" would be considered off-base. (Sorry, AA-haters.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
Example: If it is my opinion that a particular diavlogger is consistently dishonest, and I believe that this diavlogger should be called on this dishonesty, can I say he or she is dishonest or lying? Presumably to do so would be rude in some sense, but quite possibly true.
This is one of the very hardest questions. I have a personal opinion about this, but I'd like to hear what others think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
What about attacking groups of people? If I say the Republican Party is the Party of Race Hate, can every person on the forum who self-identifies as a Republican take it as a personal attack under rule #1? If I refer to tea-partiers as "tea-baggers," can everyone who went to a tea party claim that I have insulted them directly?
Again, I'd like others to weigh in on this.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-03-2009, 05:39 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Heartland Conservative
Posts: 4,933
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brenda View Post
Rule #2 is intentionally broader than #1. We'd like to maintain a somewhat higher standard when it comes to the diavloggers.
Thank you for the clarification. I would have done it the other way around: like libel law, I would think the diavloggers should expect to take a little more heat than the normal folk in the forum. For one thing, they have far greater reach and therefore the need for them to be held accountable is much greater. But I understand BhTV has its own imperitives, including recruting quality diavloggers, and if this is what's needed to encourage them to participate, I fully support it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brenda View Post
Again, I'd like others to weigh in on this.
My personal feeling is that attacks on classes of people, e.g., athiests, Republicans, liberals, should not be counted as personal attacks on individuals who consider themselves to be members of those groups.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-03-2009, 04:11 PM
graz graz is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,162
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Isn't it obvious that any such rules can be circumvented with rhetorical flourish.
I might say, eg: You're obviously being disingenuous or willfully obtuse? Which is simply calling someone a liar by a different route.

Isn't a dagger applied with a smile as deadly?
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09-03-2009, 04:33 PM
Me&theboys Me&theboys is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 447
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by graz View Post
Isn't it obvious that any such rules can be circumvented with rhetorical flourish.
I might say, eg: You're obviously being disingenuous or willfully obtuse? Which is simply calling someone a liar by a different route.
Isn't a dagger applied with a smile as deadly?
Well, at least that may serve to raise the caliber of the writing, which could be a good thing and perhaps quite entertaining. I'd much prefer to read:
"We're getting off track by you being wrong" (Steven Colbert to Robert Wright) rather than "You're an idiot" (not to imply that that is what Colbert meant in that particular exchange).
Or
"He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire" (Winston Churchill) instead of "He's a self-righteous, sanctimonious jerk."
We may never reach a Churchillian level of rhetoric in these forums, but some of the commenters here are quite the wordsmiths, and I like the idea of encouraging them.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09-03-2009, 05:05 PM
graz graz is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,162
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by Me&theboys View Post
Well, at least that may serve to raise the caliber of the writing, which could be a good thing and perhaps quite entertaining. I'd much prefer to read:
"We're getting off track by you being wrong" (Steven Colbert to Robert Wright) rather than "You're an idiot" (not to imply that that is what Colbert meant in that particular exchange).
Or
"He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire" (Winston Churchill) instead of "He's a self-righteous, sanctimonious jerk."
We may never reach a Churchillian level of rhetoric in these forums, but some of the commenters here are quite the wordsmiths, and I like the idea of encouraging them.
Here's to hoping. I'm all for striving, but wary of free speech restrictions. Have you ever taken notice of the lengths people go to in other forums to disguise banned words? It simply mocks the rules. The ignore function is still a functional last resort.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 09-03-2009, 05:33 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Heartland Conservative
Posts: 4,933
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvantony View Post
Yeah, good point. I don't know what the answer is. Perhaps one distinction that could serve is that between calling a person a liar or dishonest person versus focusing on a particular case of dishonesty (being disingenuous, etc.), which one might be less strict about.
This is an excellent point, and is, in my opinion, the best way to respond to the occasional bit of dishonesty. But there are cases where a person is habitually dishonest and uses lies as a regular component of their rhetorical strategy. If someone is constantly using lies in their presentation across a long span of time, they need to be called out for it.

Let's also remember that diavloggers have a much larger platform than we in the comments. The damaging lies willfully told by some have great reach and the potential to do great damage. It would be a shame if BhTV's forum rules were used to insulate dishonest diavloggers from the tiny bit of accountability commenters can bring to bear. And that's the key: the point of calling someone a liar is not to attack them personally, but to hold them accountable, to expose a disrepuatable tactic intended to harm others and / or advance one's own agenda.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 09-03-2009, 05:36 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 7,750
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
This is an excellent point, and is, in my opinion, the best way to respond to the occasional bit of dishonesty. But there are cases where a person is habitually dishonest and uses lies as a regular component of their rhetorical strategy. If someone is constantly using lies in their presentation across a long span of time, they need to be called out for it.

Let's also remember that diavloggers have a much larger platform than we in the comments. The damaging lies willfully told by some have great reach and the potential to do great damage. It would be a shame if BhTV's forum rules were used to insulate dishonest diavloggers from the tiny bit of accountability commenters can bring to bear. And that's the key: the point of calling someone a liar is not to attack them personally, but to hold them accountable, to expose a disrepuatable tactic intended to harm others and / or advance one's own agenda.
If the strictest version of this policy is enforced, and somebody like Michael Goldfarb appears - I'm going to to find it difficult to stay out of trouble here.
__________________
-A. E. M. Jeff (Eponym)
Magnets - We know how they work!
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 09-03-2009, 05:25 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Heartland Conservative
Posts: 4,933
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

MV,
A thoughtful post; you make a number of good points.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mvantony View Post
An accusation of lying or dishonesty is a pretty serious charge against a person's character.
Indeed, and it should not be made recklessly. It should only be made when it is sincerely believed to be true.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mvantony View Post
Assuming one has uttered a falsehood which one (in some sense) knows to be false: Was it done consciously and intentionally, i.e., in full awareness of what one was doing, or not? Was it done for self-gain, or for some non-selfish reason like keeping a promise to protect someone's privacy, etc. (something more like a "white lie")? [...] Another issue is the severity of the dishonesty, which can range from an intentional lie for self gain, even to hurt someone, to rhetorical flourishes
These are key points. In most situations, it would be unwarranted to call someone a liar or dishonest for all of the reasons you carefully enumerated.

But there are occasionally "worst case scenarios" under the terms you have outlined, i.e., cases where the diavlogger makes statements

— they know to be false
— they do so consciously and intentionally
— in full awareness of what they are doing
— for reasons of "self-gain," (or to promote their political agenda),
— with the intention to hurt someone, or protect someone from legitimate criticism.

Especially if there is a pattern of behavior and not a single isolated incident, the diavlogger really needs to be called out and challenged. Indeed, if a diavlogger is behaving in this way, calling them dishonest is not an insult or an attack, but a responsable and accurate characterization which they should expect. Calling a dishonest diavlogger a liar is a proper way to attempt to get them to correct their behavior and act in a responsible manner, and is not nearly as harmful to them as the lies they are telling about their targets.

For the record, I don't know of any commenters who fit this description or who deserve to be called dishonest, despite the fact that some have played a bit loose with the facts from time to time. Whatever any commenters I have read have done, it doesn't rise to the level that would warrant calling them, flat out, a liar.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mvantony View Post
In my opinion, it's best to avoid labeling other commenters or diavloggers 'liars', 'dishonest', etc.
Again, you have made a number of key points that are critical to deciding when it's fair (or not) to call someone a liar. That said, I don't think we should issue a blanket edict prohibiting the term. Instead, each situation should be judged on its own merits.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09-03-2009, 12:12 PM
rcocean rcocean is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,077
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

I disagree about not criticizing "Speaking Style". Many Diavlogers are terrible speakers but could get better if constructively criticized. Matt Y, for example, has gotten better over time by speaking lower and softer. At first his loud, high-pitched voice was almost intolerable.

Also, I agree its a good idea to backpage/delete those comments with insults like "Nazi" "Fascist" "Racist" "Wingnut" etc. These add nothing to the discussion.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09-03-2009, 12:33 PM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,803
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcocean View Post
I disagree about not criticizing "Speaking Style". Many Diavlogers are terrible speakers but could get better if constructively criticized. Matt Y, for example, has gotten better over time by speaking lower and softer. At first his loud, high-pitched voice was almost intolerable.
Agreed. Appearances on BHTV are performances, and they should be judged as such.

We don't expect concert goers not to comment on singing voice!
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 09-03-2009, 12:36 PM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 765
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikkibong View Post
Agreed. Appearances on BHTV are performances, and they should be judged as such.

We don't expect concert goers not to comment on singing voice!
general comments section for that I say. You can create links to specific posts in other sections if I am not mistaken.

Last edited by thouartgob; 09-03-2009 at 12:38 PM.. Reason: adding all kinds of value
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 09-03-2009, 12:15 PM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 765
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

on rule #1 will there be a difference between calling out someone for what they say vs. what they "are" as in saying "that is a racist statement" or "that comes off as a racist statement" and calling someone racist ?

ps. there are such things as "trolls" as a phenomenon of life on a comment section and although it is used way too much as a simple bludgeon there is an argument for delineating what can arguably be called trolling or flaming or any number of soon be be created categories.

#2 Absolutely good idea. Should have been in place from day 1.

#3 Is there a list of proscribed words ( Carlin's 7 words or some analog ?) since "ass" "goddamn" and others that find themselves on prime time tv might be used without any foul intent. ?

#4 I take it the vbulletin means
Quote:
blah blah
and if so good idea.

Last edited by thouartgob; 09-03-2009 at 03:13 PM.. Reason: ?
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 09-03-2009, 12:19 PM
rcocean rcocean is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,077
Default Racism

Most of the lefties here can't do anything else except call or imply that others are "racist". So I can see why they'd look for loopholes.

My suggestion: Just ban the word "racism" and "Racist" from the comments. Problem solved.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 09-03-2009, 12:27 PM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 765
Default Re: Racism

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcocean View Post
Most of the lefties here can't do anything else except call or imply that others are "racist". So I can see why they'd look for loopholes.

My suggestion: Just ban the word "racism" and "Racist" from the comments. Problem solved.
Howsabout "that was a moronic statement" vs. "you are a moron" ;-)

also the excessive use of smiley faces can something be done about that ;-D
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 09-03-2009, 12:37 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 7,750
Default Re: Racism

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcocean View Post
Most of the lefties here can't do anything else except call or imply that others are "racist". So I can see why they'd look for loopholes.

My suggestion: Just ban the word "racism" and "Racist" from the comments. Problem solved.
Nobody has said "racist" in response to what you've posted more than me, I daresay. I hope it's also obvious that my posts aren't limited to that one mode. It seems to me that if a label is arguably accurate, and particularly if it's in reference to a non-participant, then it would be in conformance with the guidelines as they've been stated.

I'd really hate to see a Carlin style list of verboten words.
__________________
-A. E. M. Jeff (Eponym)
Magnets - We know how they work!

Last edited by AemJeff; 09-03-2009 at 12:42 PM.. Reason: fix typo
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 09-03-2009, 04:29 PM
rcocean rcocean is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,077
Default Re: Racism

Quote:
Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
I'd really hate to see a Carlin style list of verboten words.
We already have a list of words that are "Verboten".** The question is simply which ones to add. A good start -Ban inflammatory insults like "racist" and "traitor" & like words that impede meaningful discussion.


**We all know what they are- so don't play dumb and ask me to list them.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 09-03-2009, 05:14 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 7,750
Default Re: Racism

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcocean View Post
We already have a list of words that are "Verboten".** The question is simply which ones to add. A good start -Ban inflammatory insults like "racist" and "traitor" & like words that impede meaningful discussion.


**We all know what they are- so don't play dumb and ask me to list them.
I'm not sure why you thought that last was needed.

Does it occur to you that it might look like you're trying to work the refs?
__________________
-A. E. M. Jeff (Eponym)
Magnets - We know how they work!
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 09-03-2009, 12:46 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Heartland Conservative
Posts: 4,933
Default Re: Racism

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcocean View Post
Just ban the word "racism" and "Racist" from the comments. Problem solved.
Since racism is a very real feature of American life, and a deeply important feature of American politics, these words must be protected as a legitimate part of any dialogue.


.

Last edited by TwinSwords; 09-03-2009 at 05:50 PM.. Reason: fixed typo
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 09-03-2009, 01:42 PM
rcocean rcocean is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,077
Default Re: Racism

Banning words like "Racism" "Racist" "bigot" "KKK" et al will force those who wish to discuss race related topics to focus on specifics and and provide meaningful statements rather than simply using insults and tired cliches.

The constant use of the words "racism" and "racist" has rendered them meaningless on this board - except as an insult.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 09-03-2009, 01:54 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Heartland Conservative
Posts: 4,933
Default Re: Racism

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcocean View Post
Banning words like "Racism" "Racist" "bigot" "KKK" et al will force those who wish to discuss race related topics to focus on specifics and and provide meaningful statements rather than simply using insults and tired cliches.

The constant use of the words "racism" and "racist" has rendered them meaningless on this board - except as an insult.
I am very sympathetic to the observation that there are some people (a small group, and not on this forum) who are too quick to condemn their political opponents as racist. And I am even more sympathetic to how aggravating it must be for conservatives to be constantly put on the defensive on the question of racism. I know a lot of conservatives and Republicans who don't have a racist bone in their body, so it's important to not paint with too broad a brush.

Nevertheless, you can't talk about politics in America without being allowed to talk about racism. This is a country which exterminated an entire population of non-whites, and then held another entire population in chains from the early 1600s to the Civil War, a period of centuries that was then followed by 100 years of Jim Crow. The civil rights struggle was aggressively resisted by conservative white Southerners, to the point that the US Army had to be deployed to enforce basic human rights for black people. This conflict led directly to the reformulation of the Democratic and Republican Parties along lines defined by their positions on issues of race. This long legacy persists to this day. To not talk about racism would be like not talking about government, or taxes.

Having said that: It's probably a mistake for us to take over this thread with a semi-off topic side conversation, so I'll let you have the last word, or if it merits extended discussion we can start another thread. In any event, I am glad you are presenting your thoughts on the matter so we can constructively work towards a forum that everyone enjoys and benefits from.

Last edited by TwinSwords; 09-03-2009 at 03:24 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 09-04-2009, 01:41 PM
thornybranch thornybranch is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Chicago
Posts: 44
Default Re: Racism

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
...you can't talk about politics in America without being allowed to talk about racism....
TwinSwords is absolutely right about this, and has written eloquently about it.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 09-03-2009, 06:28 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,606
Default Re: Racism

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
Since racism is a very real feature of American life, and a deeply important feature of American politics, these words must be protected as a legitimate part of any dialogue.


.
I.. A..gre....e with twinswords...

(GOD that was hard!)



It is a useful word to describe things and in some cases people, and just because most of the uses I have seen on forums are incredibly sloppy, the word itself is fine.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 09-03-2009, 12:29 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 7,750
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brenda View Post
Here's a draft of a comments policy we're considering. We look forward to your feedback.

COMMENTS POLICY FOR THE BLOGGINGHEADS COMMUNITY

We welcome all political viewpoints in the Bloggingheads forum, and encourage lively debate, but we do ask that you treat other commenters with common decency. We don’t like to censor* posts or ban people from the forum, but we do so when necessary to keep the environment from getting too ugly.

We particularly aim to keep the "Diavlog comments" subforum civil and on-topic, so we enforce a higher standard there than in the other two subforums.**

Here are our baseline rules for the "Diavlog comments" subforum:

#1 No name-calling aimed at fellow commenters or diavloggers.

#2 No gratuitously rude comments aimed at diavloggers.

#3 Use four-letter words sparingly, if at all.

#4 Use the vBulletin quote function only for real quotations.

Notes on the rules:

re: #1 Like most superficially simple rules, this one is easier to state than to enforce fairly—one man’s verbal abuse is another man’s fair and accurate characterization. Here are some examples of what we’d label name-calling: moron, idiot, asshat, wingnut, moonbat, troll—and, absent very good evidence: racist. (To be clear: We don't proscribe the use of such words, only their use as epithets against other commenters, either directly or by implication.)

re: #2 In particular, avoid derogatory or demeaning remarks about physical appearance and speaking style. Don’t forget that many diavloggers read the comments section.

re: #3 Fair warning: A post containing profanity that appears early in the comments (“above the fold” on the videopage) may be hidden from the videopage,* even if the post is loaded with insightful substance.

re: #4 We realize that sometimes commenters like to fabricate quotes for humorous or rhetorical purposes, but we think this compromises the integrity of the quote format. Readers should be able to trust that if something looks like a quote, it really is a quote.

* * * * *

*Note that we have two levels of post-removal: (a) “hiding” a post, which removes it only from the videopage (it can still be viewed in the forum), and (b) “deleting” a post, which removes it from both the videopage and the forum thread.

**The "Diavlog comments" subforum is the one that feeds comments from the vBulletin forum onto the videopage (directly below the diavlog). This subforum has exactly one thread per diavlog, and no other threads. The other two, less structured subforums are "General comments about Bloggingheads.tv" and "Life, the Universe and Everything."
I hope we don't end up engaged in an endlesss to and fro over the details. I think these are pretty good guidelines that highlight the problems without being overspecific. I'd hate to see this turn into some endless list of proscriptive examples.
__________________
-A. E. M. Jeff (Eponym)
Magnets - We know how they work!
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 09-03-2009, 12:35 PM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 765
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
I hope we don't end up engaged in an endlesss to and fro over the details. I think these are pretty good guidelines that highlight the problems without being overspecific. I'd hate to see this turn into some endless list of proscriptive examples.
I think that a list of proscriptive examples would be funny, for a while at least. Actually creating a comment section called "stuff I would like to have said" would be cool, although the general comments or life, universe yada yada could be re-purposed with threads on a particular subject
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 09-03-2009, 12:42 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Heartland Conservative
Posts: 4,933
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
I hope we don't end up engaged in an endlesss to and fro over the details. I think these are pretty good guidelines that highlight the problems without being overspecific. I'd hate to see this turn into some endless list of proscriptive examples.
The rules have to actually be enforced, and will be enforced either strictly or loosely, so someone is going to have to think in very concrete, specific terms sooner or later. The more public a fashion in which these decisons are made, the less able BhTV's critics will be to accuse them of bias.

No matter what happens, BhTV will be accused of unfair and ideologically biased enforcement, so again, it's probably worthwhile to understand precisely what is meant by these rules. No question yet raised in this thread will not come up again once the policy is in effect and being enforced. If BhTV clarifies the rules before putting them into effect, it will be harder for people to accuse them of making it up as they go along and applying enforcement in an arbitrary or biased fashion.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 09-03-2009, 12:51 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 7,750
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
The rules have to actually be enforced, and will be enforced either strictly or loosely, so someone is going to have to think in very concrete, specific terms sooner or later. The more public a fashion in which these decisons are made, the less able BhTV's critics will be to accuse them of bias.

No matter what happens, BhTV will be accused of unfair and ideologically biased enforcement, so again, it's probably worthwhile to understand precisely what is meant by these rules. No question yet raised in this thread will not come up again once the policy is in effect and being enforced. If BhTV clarifies the rules before putting them into effect, it will be harder for people to accuse them of making it up as they go along and applying enforcement in an arbitrary or biased fashion.
I'm not saying there's no justice in your POV. My personal belief is that if you concentrate on the details, then the urge to "lawyer" every dispute is magnified, and the policy has the effect of enforcing a particular form, rather than deflecting conflict. If the rules are nebulous, and you trust the judgment of the enforcers, then (IMHO) the policy has a far better chance of achieving its aim.
__________________
-A. E. M. Jeff (Eponym)
Magnets - We know how they work!
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 09-03-2009, 05:45 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Heartland Conservative
Posts: 4,933
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
I'm not saying there's no justice in your POV. My personal belief is that if you concentrate on the details, then the urge to "lawyer" every dispute is magnified, and the policy has the effect of enforcing a particular form, rather than deflecting conflict. If the rules are nebulous, and you trust the judgment of the enforcers, then (IMHO) the policy has a far better chance of achieving its aim.
You may be right. Perhaps it would be better to leave it nebulous and see what happens. As for "trusting the judgement of the enforcers," this will be possible for each individual up until the point they have one of their comments deleted; then the "lawyering" will begin, whether the rules were spelled out clearly or not. It's inevitable that enforcing codes of conduct is going to be a thankless job for whoever has it; we can be sure there will be complaints about unfair and biased enforcement. You may be right, though, that spelling out the rules clearly in advance will only make matters worse.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 09-03-2009, 05:50 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 7,750
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
You may be right. Perhaps it would be better to leave it nebulous and see what happens. As for "trusting the judgement of the enforcers," this will be possible for each individual up until the point they have one of their comments deleted; then the "lawyering" will begin, whether the rules were spelled out clearly or not. It's inevitable that enforcing codes of conduct is going to be a thankless job for whoever has it; we can be sure there will be complaints about unfair and biased enforcement. You may be right, though, that spelling out the rules clearly in advance will only make matters worse.
I'll add that it's the overall trust of the community that matters. There will always be individuals who won't accept the view that a sanction isn't personal. My experience with mgmt here and my opinion of the high quality of this community are such that I think that level of trust is absolutely achievable here.
__________________
-A. E. M. Jeff (Eponym)
Magnets - We know how they work!
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 09-03-2009, 06:59 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Heartland Conservative
Posts: 4,933
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
I'll add that it's the overall trust of the community that matters. There will always be individuals who won't accept the view that a sanction isn't personal. My experience with mgmt here and my opinion of the high quality of this community are such that I think that level of trust is absolutely achievable here.
Well, I agree, because there really aren't any problem posters here, except one. We've made it this far without any policy and without any (or very many) deleted comments because it's such a remarkable community.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 09-03-2009, 01:07 PM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,803
Default Re: Comments policy - DRAFT - feedback requested

Will posters be informed if their comments are deleted? Is there a way to start an automatic notification function? This might be a good feature.

Also: we can make nice comments about DVers physical appearances, right? (I'm lookin' at you Michelle G.)
Reply With Quote
 


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:22 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.