Creative Destruction

January 14, 2007

Who Wants a Slice of Pie?

Filed under: Blog Status,Debate — Brutus @ 12:50 pm

Ampersand wrote, in the comments to Tweaking Amanda:

Of course, none of this represents official “Creative Destruction” policy — this is all just in my opinion. I’d like it if the other CD members — or at least, those of us who are still active on CD in some capacity — could discuss what we want CD to be. (Perhaps we should move this discussion to a private post?)

I will add a few thoughts.

First thing first: simmer down, now. The meta-argument (arguing about the way we argue) is long past counter-productive. Whoever said what or did what or failed or shone is at this point sorta lost in the twisted rubber bands of logical wrangling and is hardly any longer worth sorting out. If I may be so bold, let’s wipe the slate clean for now and go forward with what we want, rather than fixating on past wrongs. There will be plenty of time for further wrongs.

Let me be clear about a couple things to readers and commenters who aren’t posters to Creative Destruction (CD). There are no fixed rules to be broken, no moderators approving and disapproving posts or comments, no tally of deleted comments and insults slung. However, those 4-5 of us still posting here have agreed that we want discussions and arguments to remain as respectful as possible, even in disagreement. One can go anywhere in the blogosphere and read others’ rants and threats and incoherence. As human beings, we may not always be above that fray, but at CD, we try to restrain ourselves from exhibiting our asshole natures.

Yeah, self-restraint. That’s the ticket. If I slip up and the gloves come off a bit, that doesn’t mean that everything is thereafter fair game. I expect someone will hit back, but it’s precisely then that I realize I need more restraint. If the thread has already been lost, then I don’t participate anymore.

Whatever Robert’s mistakes may have been (or will be), he pulled back and refused to go further. DavidByron continues to fan the flames, now arguing with everyone. There is no winning, as there is nothing to win. Not even an apology, sorry. So we can move forward, or we can stay mired in argument. Very few comments are ever deleted (other than spam), but they can certainly be ignored.

15 Comments »

  1. Er. There are, in fact, moderators disapproving comments. We just haven’t had to bust many, other than spam (we do get a fair amount of spam for our size). And I think that Amp and I jointly agreed to banish one commenter so far, for posting really vile anti-Semitic stuff, calling writers here c*nts, and so forth.

    It’s true that it would take an exceptionally ugly non-spam comment to trigger a moderating action, but those actions aren’t off the table. Moderation powers are used like nuclear weapons – the fact of their existence hopefully restrains some borderline behaviors and actors. (Of course, there is always the problem of folks who view rules as threats, but there isn’t much we can do about that.)

    And there is, also, at least one fixed rule, albeit it isn’t a rule laid out like a Federal statute with definitions and appendices: treat other members of the community as though they were human beings. A rule broken, on occasion, but a rule nonetheless.

    All that said:

    Yeah, what Brutus said. Self-restraint and a joint attempt to recognize that we all have assholes, which do not need to be on display. I want Amp to be able to write about the gross moral failure of some conservative position, and I want to be able to write about how some liberal idea is Satan in thin disguise, and have all participants be able to discuss the issue, even vehemently and passionately, without it turning into a DailyKos/Freep parade of “f*ckstains” and “libtards”.

    I greatly appreciate the restraint and maturity demonstrated by most of our writers and comment regulars, particularly those who are on opposite sides of various fences from me. It makes the community a viable place in the only way such communities can be, when there is bona fide disagreement on foundational questions – by everyone adapting just a smidge of humility and making a little bit of room for other people. I’ll try and do a better job in that department myself, as we all should.

    And THAT said, we remain faced with a problem/opportunity, which is that there are people holding all kinds of different perspectives, who simply don’t accept those basic ideas and aren’t willing to participate in discussions on those terms. Brutus suggests ignoring them, and that resonates with me. That works really well, if the community is small enough and entirely enclosed. We’re small enough, but I wonder if we are enclosed enough – in fact, I know we’re not enclosed enough, and we don’t want to be, either. We want new people to come along and engage our ideas, present their own, become part of the community. Which means a certain irreducible proportion of jerks entering the community, which in turn means that an ignore-it policy just ends up putting the burden of fighting the war on the newbies who come along and either don’t know about or don’t agree with the don’t-feed-the-troll meme, which ISN’T our core value.

    Not to be a parasite on Amp, but I think the moderation style adopted at Alas hits a pretty good compromise on all of the tradeoffs that have to be managed. There is a written statement about the blog’s community philosophy, which is broad enough to cover most forms of misbehavior and specific enough to give a reasonable person a good idea of what kind of posting is going to be acceptable, and what kind isn’t. Our statement, if we went this route, would be a little more open than Amp’s, since Alas is a place with a particular political position and point of view, while CD is more of a place where people can argue different positions. We don’t need the “dear right-wingers and MRAs” part of the policy, in other words; our principles ought to apply as fairly as possible to everyone, because (other than civility and mutual tolerance) we don’t have a favored set of ideas. Amp is able to administer a very large set of discussions without having to ban more than one or two people a week, because many members of the set of people he would normally have to ban see the policy and either restrict their behavior to community norms, or go somewhere else on their own. Plus, such a policy serves as a gentle bulwark against the inevitable people who view private weblogs as appropriate venues for free-speech absolutism; “it doesn’t work that way here, Charlie, so please go write about your views on your own space if you can’t accept the rules of this space.”

    I think that approach would be very productive for us. Create a short philosophy piece, refer people who seem to not get it to that philosophy piece, and cheerfully and civilly show the door to folks who ultimately won’t or can’t get it.

    Thoughts?

    Comment by Robert — January 14, 2007 @ 3:28 pm | Reply

  2. I had no idea anyone was routinely acting as a gatekeeper/moderator. While your detailed response is well reasoned and attempts to account for all contingencies, I would tend to opt for a simpler don’t-feed-the-trolls response. Sure, a handful of virulent comments get deleted, and perhaps a few ridiculous trolls get banned, neither of which is unreasonable in my view, but I don’t want to go to a moderated comments approach.

    Comment by Brutus — January 14, 2007 @ 5:16 pm | Reply

  3. Well, we don’t moderate ahead of time. (I do that on BNN, because it isn’t a comments-driven discussion forum.) It’s ex-post-facto. So I think we’re actually on the same page.

    Comment by Robert — January 14, 2007 @ 6:18 pm | Reply

  4. If this was true, had Robert apologised, none of this would have happened. It’s just not true. Robert escalated by chosing to threaten me. That’s the way I see it and if I am wrong then Robert could and still can easily end it by apologising for threatening me.

    Whatever Robert’s mistakes may have been (or will be), he pulled back and refused to go further. DavidByron continues to fan the flames, now arguing with everyone.

    I realise it’s nothing to you if I get threatened. I however see it a little more seriously perhaps because I was the victim. I suspect if someone had done it to you then you’d treat it a little less cavalierly.

    Comment by DavidByron — January 14, 2007 @ 8:04 pm | Reply

  5. LOL. Ampersand has a policy of banning debate and pointing people here for real discussion. So if you adopt a similar policy here Robert, which blog will you point at for people to go to where real discussion is allowed?

    Not to be a parasite on Amp, but I think the moderation style adopted at Alas hits a pretty good compromise on all of the tradeoffs that have to be managed.
    —————————

    Brutus,
    Yeah, self-restraint. That’s the ticket. If I slip up and the gloves come off a bit, that doesn’t mean that everything is thereafter fair game. I expect someone will hit back, but it’s precisely then that I realize I need more restraint.

    That’s really not what is being discussed. Did Robert lose his cool? No. He deliberately decided to go off and attack lefties with zero provocation because that’s what he wanted to say. And I’m fine with that. That’s the price of talking to a conservative. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    It wasn’t a slip. Neither was my response. I deliberately took his tone and replied in the same vein. There is no question of anyone making a mistake. The question is what is acceptable.

    Is it acceptable for moderators to threaten people? Is it acceptable for a moderator to claim a different set of rules apply to them? Is it acceptable that the most authoritarian members of this board feel they have the right to set the agenda? Why is it that authoritarian sentiments must be respected but liberal sentiments should be ignored?

    It seems to me that the stated goals of this board support the liberal view, and not the authoritarian view of Ampersand and Robert. However it’s up for discussion I suppose. But by your comments so far you are actually supporting my position and opposing Robert’s. The only difference is you are not taking the authoritarian trend seriously. You think my vigorous response is over the top considering all Robert did was take a few cheap shots. He didn’t ban anyone yet. Just ignore it, you say. That’s fair enough, but if you ignore them they will take over. They will start banning folks. IMO it’s a case of a stitch in time saves nine, to tackle this before they get into the habit.

    Comment by DavidByron — January 14, 2007 @ 8:26 pm | Reply

  6. Of the eight posters listed here, six are still active. Adam has been MIA for months, and Tuomas hasn’t been seen for a while. Also Mythago (not listed there, but a former poster) is MIA. Have I missed anyone?

    I assume we all have moderator power.

    Like everyone else, I delete any spam I see which makes it though the filters. I also regularly scan the spam pit to check for false positives, before deleting it outright. I’ll also edit comments to fix borked markup. On just one occasion, IIRC, I deleted most of the content of a comment which was just content-free vitriolic attack on the Duke Uni complainant.

    Other than spam, I don’t think commments should be deleted. If extreme action is needed, then it is better to blank them out, and add a note to say who took that action.

    I had no idea anyone was routinely acting as a gatekeeper/moderator.

    As far as I’m aware, nobody is.

    While your detailed response is well reasoned and attempts to account for all contingencies, I would tend to opt for a simpler don’t-feed-the-trolls response. Sure, a handful of virulent comments get deleted, and perhaps a few ridiculous trolls get banned, neither of which is unreasonable in my view, but I don’t want to go to a moderated comments approach.

    As far as I can tell, nobody wants that. But I’m happy to see the virulant and idiotic comments get blanked. Idiocy is the greater sin, in my opinion.

    Comment by Daran — January 14, 2007 @ 8:33 pm | Reply

  7. Daran:

    All the blog writers have moderation power on their own threads. I believe Amp and I have administrator power, meaning we can do anything anywhere, although I am pretty sure in his case and absolutely sure in my own case that we wouldn’t moderate another writer’s threads without some genuine exigency. (Brutus goes incommunicado for a week, and Nazis take up residence in one of his comment threads, Amp or I will probably clean it out for him).

    As far as what is to be done to objectionable comments: hollowing them out and posting a note is a perfectly good solution. We each must do what feel is right on our own threads. Knowing that you always hollow-and-comment, that’s what I’d do in the unlikely chance I had to moderate one of your threads for you. Let me know if that isn’t the right thing, or if you don’t want your threads moderated under any circumstances.

    David:

    I’ve apologized for being snarky to you. I’ll not apologize for noting that there are conduct rules here, and asking you to comply with them. That is indeed “authoritarian”, rather than “liberal”; if you believe that a blog with open admissions policies for comments and a public profile can operate under what you would consider “liberal” values, then I invite you to create such a blog, and I will watch its development with interest. If you perceive the existence of rules, and the existence of custodians of those rules who have no particular scruples against their reasonable implementation, as “threats”, then I suggest you are unlikely to find satisfaction in any implementation of any moderation policy likely to be agreed upon by this blog’s contributors.

    As far as Ampersand’s moderation policies on his own personal blog go, they are fairly strict on both conduct and content, with an open avowal that views congruent to Amp’s will be given more leeway than those opposed. Amp requires civility from everyone, but gives more chances and forgiveness to people whom he likes, respects, and/or agrees with. This is a very reasonable position, in my view, for a blog owned by a single person; you obviously disagree, which is your prerogative. At CD, we are strict only on conduct, for the most part. You may post fifteen thousand comments arguing politely (for example) in favor of a men’s rights approach to child custody on Amp’s child custody thread at CD; at Alas, he may well ask you to stop after you’ve made your point of view clear in a few comments. That is (one) essential difference between the two sites.

    As far as your personal, general, attitude is concerned: No one is required to make a platform available for your point of view. In all cases on the Internet, you are entering someone else’s private venue. Some people run their sites as open-content anarchic free-for-alls; others closely censor every word anyone puts on the site in any capacity, and still others permit no public participation whatsoever. All of these moderating decisions make sense in particular contexts and for particular individuals, and as a private participant in private forums, you have no rights which anyone is bound to recognize and no standing to criticize – or even to advocate for a particular point of view or rules, unless invited to do so. In fact, the appropriate metaphor for a person’s conduct on a blog site is “houseguest” – present at the pleasure of the people whose property you inhabit, generally granted a presumption of good faith and friendship, and with the mutual understanding that, if any of the rules or conditions of the house fail to please you, you are constantly in the possession of an absolute remedy to your distress: a freely-swinging door, with a bright “Exit” sign illuminating the passage.

    To The General Population:

    By implication, David has raised a question that is material. Who runs this place, anyway? Right now, Amp and I have total power. I imagine Adam does, too, if he ever remembers we exist. I don’t know why he stopped participating; he’s still around on the Intertubes so it isn’t that he got hit by a bus and has been in a coma for a year.

    I think of CD as “my blog”, but not in the same way that (say) “Alas!” is Amp’s blog. I wouldn’t (for example) make major format changes or say “here are our new rules for posting” – but I would (for example) tell a commenter whose behavior I found problematic that his or her behavior was problematic. Without Adam, I view CD as being a pure group blog, whose full contributors are peers. If CD is to become large and successful, it makes sense to me for administrative responsibility to devolve on the people who are experienced with running large Internet sites, which AFAIK is just me and Amp. (If Adam is just taking a break or whatever, then we do have to take into account that he started this puppy; he might well think of it is as his baby. On the other hand, he abandoned it, so screw him. :P)

    The presumption I’ve been operating under goes something like this: all full contributors are peers. We all have pretty much absolute power within our own threads; Mythago may invite FrankJones to post on her threads even if Brutus tells FrankJones he never wants to see his ugly face on his threads again. If I don’t like Amp’s thread, I’m welcome to say so in my capacity as commenter, but I don’t use my power as admin to tell Daran to stop posting what he wants to post about. On matters that primarily affect one of us, the affected person is the king. On matters that concern everyone – for example, a general moderation policy, the site’s values and ethics, our layout – we’re a council of peers with no one holding authority. (Site administrators thus have a ministerial, rather than executive, role.) On questions of absolute site bans, we should probably have some kind of majority-rules system.

    But that’s just how I’ve been looking at it. How do the rest of you look at it? Are we in basic agreement on this, or is it something we should hammer out in session?

    Comment by Robert — January 14, 2007 @ 9:14 pm | Reply

  8. Robert: among conservatives your insincere and snarky “apology” which was immidiately followed by a further attack, might count as a real apology. For civilized people an apology requires repentence and humility — not further hostility and an insistence that you were right all along.

    Your choice is clear. If you were sincere in wanting to apologise you had every chance and still do, to behave appropriately. Therefore you were not sincere. So please stop with this “I apologised” thing. What are you six years old? Good grief you are acting that age. Do I have to call your mommy in and have her tell you, “Now say it like you mean it, Robert”?

    Is this the sort of behaviour you mean when you talk about being civil and respecting people? Is this how you behave to earn my respect? It’s exactly this sort of behaviour that gives conservatives such a poor name. The simple minded hypocrisy. Insulting people and then running and hiding behind excuses so pathetic they are more suited to a six year old, and you an adult. It shows extremely poor character.

    Do you even comprehend what an apology is?
    Oh — perhaps you had your fingers crossed when you said it?

    And next the pompous grandstanding. How am I supposed to take you seriously now? How can I treat you with respect when you don’t even respect yourself? You strut around as if this was your own blog but it isn’t of course. You go off on your little conservative ownership lecturing rant as if you were the owner here.

    You know what? Fine. I can play to that game. Hey, I just want to know what the rules are here. The real rules not the rules everyone pretends are there. So the rules of CD are this: there’s a little six year old that struts around as if he owns the place. He pretends to be an adult. He insults people but when he gets caught pretends he was “just joking” and then pretends to apologise while blaming anyone but himself.

    (BTW, you’d make the perfect Republican president.)

    You want me to condescend to you then? That’s the rules of this blog? Sure I can do that. You don’t want to be treated as an equal, but as a sensitive little kid with no manners. Like an imbecil. “Oh that’s just Robert he can’t help it really.” Just ignore him? I can do that Robert. Is that what you want?

    Because so far I’ve treated you as an adult who is accountable.

    Comment by DavidByron — January 15, 2007 @ 2:00 am | Reply

  9. Four things.

    One: I think Brutus messed up when he created this one, as this one should have been hashed out by us contributing partners behind the closed door marked “Private”. Meh. Too late now to do anything about that one.

    Second: I took a peek at some other moderation policies out there, and the civil liberties absolutist in me recoiled in horror at some of the things I found. So as far as I’m concerned, anything beyond the automatic deletion of anything remotely associated with comment spam (And no, singing along with the Monty Python song of the same name doesn’t count.) (Bloody vikings.) is not something that I would agree with. I might go along with it eventually, but it’d take some serious cajoling and/or ass-kissing and/or not-so-veiled threats to get me to do it.

    Third: David. Dude. Point [CENSORED] made, already. You have your gripe. You’ve aired it. Some of us have considered it. And mostly rejected it. My advice to you is to take two steps away from the keyboard and then take three deep and calming breaths before clicking the “Submit Comment” button. As it stands now, we see Robert as attempting to offer an apology (Something that he doesn’t do very graciously in the first place, as most readers have discovered on their own.) and you rejecting it on the grounds that it wasn’t couched in terms generous enough to you. If I’m wrong, so be it. Mea culpa. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa and all that good rot. In advance. But that is precisely how your latest series of tirades read to me.

    Would I call it a offense to be banned for? Hell no. I’m too much of an absolutist when it comes to personal freedoms of expression to call it that. Is it an offense to be ignored for? Well, it’s starting to look that way, as do all attempts to escalate matters when the other side attempted to take a step backwards. When the other party still stands in their face screaming, you can’t entirely fault the one who took the step backwards.

    Brutus is right in his first thought. Meta-argument is definitely something that gets old fast.

    Four: If I recall correctly, Adam is in his final semester of college right now, unless it hasn’t quite started yet. And from folks I know, that last year doesn’t present much time to breathe, much less do much blogging. If he’s still MIA after April or so, then I might start thinking he’s dropped off the face of the earth.

    Comment by Off Colfax — January 15, 2007 @ 2:31 am | Reply

  10. there’s a little six year old that struts around as if he owns the place. He pretends to be an adult. He insults people…

    …and his name is David Byron.

    Seriously Robert screwed up in comment #2 of that post, in the same way we all screw up from time to time. He’s admitted that, and has apologised for that.

    Your conduct is an entirely independent matter. It’s not incoherent of him to apologise for his behaviour, while still disagreeing with yours. I don’t agree with him or Amp that you were out of line with the posts that started this, and I can agree to disagree with them about that. But since then, you’ve escalated to the point of trolling. Please stop.

    If you seriously don’t believe you can to express yourself fairly under the current regime here, then I suggest you go somewhere else, ’cause the regime here ain’t about to change. Alternatively you could confine yourself to just those threads started by those whose moderation you do have confidence in.

    But please, let’s bring this matter about Robert to an end.

    Comment by Daran — January 15, 2007 @ 2:51 am | Reply

  11. Off Colfax, what’s your suggestion for moderating comments along the lines of “it’s a shame Hitler didn’t finish killing off you f’ing Jew c*nts” (viz. Amp)? (Or maybe it was calling me a cowardly c*nt for loving the Jews, I forget the details.)

    That’s the sort of thing we’re talking about when we discuss comments being removed. You are of course free to moderate your own threads as you see fit; I won’t have that kind of thing on mine. (And, I would understand perfectly a decision that you would let such a comment stand because of your own commitment to free discourse.)

    I quite agree with you that no civil comment, or even an uncivil comment which has a substantive point, ought not to be blown off or removed.

    Comment by Robert — January 15, 2007 @ 3:41 am | Reply

  12. One: I think Brutus messed up when he created this one, as this one should have been hashed out by us contributing partners behind the closed door marked “Private”. Meh. Too late now to do anything about that one.

    Unfortunately “private” doesn’t mean “invisible”. Posts and comments still show up in the “recent posts” and “recent comments” panels. The risk is that those excluded might think we were talking about them.

    Plus, I’d quite like to hear what non-bloggers who have been active within the commments have to say. They’re part of our community too. What I would want to avoid is having this thread become dominated or derailed by the Robert/David spat.

    Comment by Daran — January 15, 2007 @ 4:09 am | Reply

  13. Pure abuse? If it’s directed at me, I’ll dump it right back. While I have my own personal policy about keeping my posts PG rated, that says jack-all about my comments. Or, if they’re specifically trolling for said reaction rather than being knee-jerk imbecilic morons with a room-temperature IQ (Or, for that matter, both at the same time. It’s amazing how often those two categories seem to mesh.), then I might mention something about placing a sign reading “All Your Troll Are Belong To Us” on my banner.

    But that is the danger of being in, or simply advocating for, a free society. Once you place restrictions on the apparent intelligence levels of your allowed commentariat, you no longer are part of a free society. So let the scum of the earth, which is what those arrogant bastards you cite really are, prove their low worth if they so choose. I won’t stand in their way. Instead, I’ll simply point and laugh.

    If it is like the infamous Deb Frisch episode, however… Well, first I’d copy everything into a separate file, remove them from public view, then send things off to the proper authorities. Gramma didn’t raise no fool. Abuse is one thing. Translation of abuse into real-world consequences is quite another. Or, to put it in the not-quite-old saw, “Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.”

    Comment by Off Colfax — January 15, 2007 @ 4:15 am | Reply

  14. All the blog writers have moderation power on their own threads. I believe Amp and I have administrator power, meaning we can do anything anywhere,…

    For the benefit of those who have never run a wordpress blog (or who have, but don’t know what their powers are) The categories of user are:

    Contributor: Can write posts, but needs an editor to approve them.
    Author: As contributor, but can self-approve.
    Editor: As author, but can create, edit, or delete any content, including comments, posts, pages, blogroll, and categories. Editors are not limited to their own posts.
    Admin: As editor, but can also do user admin, and certain other tasks, mostly configuration.

    Admins are not all-powerful on wordpress.com, with a paid subscription they get a few more options, but for real power and flexibility you need to go for a hosted environment.

    As far as I’m aware all the posters here have editor privileges. (It’s damn silly that I have to say “as far as I’m aware”. As an editor, I ought to be able to be able to see who the other members are, and what their privileges are.)

    One of my gripes about wordpress is the lack of fine control over member privilege. For example, it ought to be possible to give authors the power to moderate only their own threads, or to put comments into moderation, or mark them as spam without giving them the wide powers of an Editor. CD only works because we can all be trusted not to abuse our powers.

    Although I am pretty sure in his case and absolutely sure in my own case that we wouldn’t moderate another writer’s threads without some genuine exigency. (Brutus goes incommunicado for a week, and Nazis take up residence in one of his comment threads, Amp or I will probably clean it out for him).

    As I said, I have moderated one comment. It was one of Amp’s threads, and I pretty sure he would have done the same thing, (or deleted it outright) if he had gotten there first.

    I’ve also put one comment into moderation after recovering it from the spampit, rather than approving it outright. This was from our now banned member while you and Amp were discussing banning him.

    As far as what is to be done to objectionable comments: hollowing them out and posting a note is a perfectly good solution. We each must do what feel is right on our own threads. Knowing that you always hollow-and-comment, that’s what I’d do in the unlikely chance I had to moderate one of your threads for you. Let me know if that isn’t the right thing, or if you don’t want your threads moderated under any circumstances.

    The rules for my threads are here. As far as magic-button usage is concerned, I suggest best practice is as follows:

    Delete robotic spam or anywhere they appear on the blog without comment. (I presume this is non-controversial.)

    Delete posts by banned posters without comment. (This situation has never arisen, as far as I’m aware.)

    Delete all but one instance of human-posted spam (“Mel Gibson sucks”). The last one hollow out, and add a brief note summarising who you are, what you did, and why.

    Abusive and/or idiotic posts are best moderated with kind words, followed by harsh words if necessary. I am less tolerant of idiocy than I am of abuse.

    Comment by Daran — January 15, 2007 @ 5:22 am | Reply

  15. I took a peek at some other moderation policies out there, and the civil liberties absolutist in me recoiled in horror at some of the things I found. So as far as I’m concerned, anything beyond the automatic deletion of anything remotely associated with comment spam (And no, singing along with the Monty Python song of the same name doesn’t count.) (Bloody vikings.) is not something that I would agree with. I might go along with it eventually, but it’d take some serious cajoling and/or ass-kissing and/or not-so-veiled threats to get me to do it.

    I’m not sure what the civil liberties absolutist in you is recoiling at; any good civil libertarian should recognize that publishers have the right to choose what not to publish, as well as what to publish. That’s part of free speech.

    Here’s my belief:

    Any discussion that takes place, precludes some other potential discussion from taking place in the same space.

    If we have a no-holds-barred, no-moderation-rules, civil-libertarian-approved discussion, posters who prefer quieter, friendlier discussions will withdraw. If we moderate more heavily to make sure that only civil and amicable posters participate, then of course other posters are shut out.

    Fortunately, the internet has limitless venues. So everyone can find a space they can post in. No one space serves all kinds of posters; nor is it censorship if a space is dedicated to conversations of one sort rather than conversations of another sort. The only question is, which kind of space do we want to run?

    Comment by Ampersand — January 15, 2007 @ 6:47 am | Reply


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