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New Comment Disclaimer

I do not like that I have come to the point where I am informing folks that I reserve the right to moderate (polite way of saying delete) comments, but that is what I have added to the comment widget, shamelessly paraphrased from the Volokh Conspiracy Comment Policy, on every post.  Comments have gone downhill lately, to the point where I no longer really enjoy blogging.  As soon as this becomes an obligation rather than something I enjoy, I’m not liable to continue doing it for much longer.

I want discussion, and I don’t mind disagreement, even passionate disagreement, but we’re going with dinner party rules in the comments from now on.  I do not pay for the bandwidth, server, storage, and I don’t bum backup services off my friend Jason, to host a platform for nastiness.  If you want to disagree with me or other commenters, that’s fine, but I think it’s not too much to ask to make your case with civility and class.  That’s what’s going to be enforced around here from this point forward.  It’s a big Internet.  Everyone is entitled to a voice, just don’t ask me to pay for it if you’re going to be rude.

UPDATE: I should note that Robb has a special dispensation to not wear pants when he comments.  I didn’t say my dinner parties had to be completely boring :)

UPDATE: Randy Barnett is going without comments entirely.  No plans to do that here.  Prof. Barnett must have heard about Robb posting with no pants.

18 Responses to “New Comment Disclaimer”

  1. Robb Allen says:

    Does that mean I’ve got to start wearing pants when I comment here?

  2. Sebastian says:

    See my update.

  3. Xavier says:

    Yeah, shame isn’t it? I had to begin comment moderation after some friends of the young lady killed in NOLA began verbally attacking my daughter in my comments. Strange that they would want their friend to be remembered by the filth they spewed.

  4. OrangeNeckInNY says:

    Shirts too? I’m usually sitting in my tighty-whities when I’m commenting from my home computer.

    Did you spell “excessively” wrong on purpose?

  5. mike123 says:

    I always “Go Commando” when commenting. I like the feel of the breeze.

    Sorry you had to take this actions. Its your house, you get to make the rules.

  6. Sebastian says:

    Did you spell “excessively” wrong on purpose?

    Crap. Fixing.

  7. Sebastian says:

    I should also note, I’m not going to be a nazi about comments. Everyone gets a little carried away every once in a while. Long time commenters who have a habit of being reasonable will get more leeway than newbs who just come on and spew crap. They will also get more leeway than people who make a habit of being nasty.

  8. Magus says:

    I always liked the way Robert Heinlein said it in a “A Stranger in a Strange Land”

    Jubal Harshaw says to Jill: “This is Freedom Hall, my dear. Everyone does absolutely as he pleases … then if he does something I don’t like, I just kick him the hell out.”

    This is your sandbox, if the kids can’t behave, they can take their marbles and play elsewhere.

    (excuse me while I go look for an icepick to poke out my mind’s eye to get the visual of people posting while commando out of my head…)

  9. Linoge says:

    Your site, your money, your rules.

    Simple as that.

    It is unfortunate that it has finally come down to that, but I think that is a function of overall website growth – congratulations, you are large enough to finally attract the attention of idiots!

  10. Bitter says:

    It is unfortunate that it has finally come down to that

    I disagree. I noticed a clear change in overall comment quality for a long time after the biggest resident asshole-just-to-be-an-asshole was banned. Normal people were far more comfortable engaging in conversation in the comments once they knew he wouldn’t randomly interrupt them with bizarre threats and completely irrational arguments.

  11. Sebastian says:

    I think he meant that it’s unfortunate people can’t be trusted to behave on their own.

  12. Linoge says:

    *points at what Sebastian said*

    Sorry for the confusion.

  13. Robb Allen says:

    Since my comment threads never get heated, I don’t have to worry about it too much. Alas, when someone DOES decide to crap on my carpet, I have fun and change what they said.

    I also highlight my changes so one can tell I did it. I’m even fair when I screw with people.

  14. Philbert says:

    It’s a dinner party at your house, Sebastian and any decent person would back your right to set the tone of that party.

    A lot of bloggers I’ve followed over the years have gone to comment moderation. There is nothing to even feel remotely apologetic for. This is your blog and blogging should be fun.

    If it’s any consolation, I’ve noticed that the need to moderate comments is often correlated with increased success of the blog.

  15. Tom says:

    “Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one.”

    Reasoned discourse™ has led to silence.

  16. Sebastian says:

    I will still be remarkably tolerant. Anyone arguing in good faith has nothing to worry about. At worst, you’d get one comment nixed. But I’m not out to discriminate on viewpoint.

  17. noflashbang says:

    This reminds me of “John Gabriel’s G.I.F.T.”
    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19/

    It’s a phenomenon of the internet.

    Try not to let stuff like this get you down.

  18. Ride Fast says:

    The unfortunate price of fame. Just wait till the paparazzi show up trying to take a picture of Robb.

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