Moderation in All Things

I’ve been writing this blog off and on for about 6 years, and I had a different blog for a couple of years before that. One thing I decided early on was that I would leave the comments section open to anyone who wants to comment. Very rarely have I regretted that policy. My thinking was that most of the comments are aimed at me, and I have a pretty thick skin these days. I’ve had one commenter who spends a lot of time making little digs at my character and abilities, and it really doesn’t bother me. I figured that people like him are a good reminder of what things could be like if I were of a different mind. I don’t tend to engage in vitriol against any person or organization, so when readers throw such things against me or anyone else, it tends to show by contrast who is being civil and reasonable. (Mind you, I have had lapses in civility and reason on occasion, too.)

Recently, the situation with Kate Kelly has elicited some comments that I consider to be attacks on her character and demeaning to women in general. I have done some soul-searching, and I realize that I can’t let such things stand, so I have set up a moderation queue for the first time since starting the blog. WordPress automatically puts your first comment in the queue to avoid spam comments, but once the first comment is approved, you’re good to go. But any commenter who uses demeaning language or engages in personal attacks will be given a warning, and if that doesn’t resolve the problem, their posts will have to be moderated.

I don’t like this, and I’m sure some people will be unhappy with me for doing this, but I feel it’s the right thing to do.

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15 Responses to Moderation in All Things

  1. Camille Biexei says:

    Thank you! I have been hoping that you would make such a decision.

    • runtu says:

      I’m glad, as I think you’ve been the target of some of this guy’s nastiness, and I’m sorry about that. I feel much better about things having made that decision.

  2. Camille Biexei says:

    “Recently, the situation with Kate Kelly has elicited some comments that I consider to be attacks on her character and demeaning to women in general.”
    Yes, there were some mean-spirited and ugly comments, but I disagree that they were “elicited”. Those comments were the REACTION of those people to what you had written, and were not invited, as “elicited” implies.
    I think those people who said those things felt their beliefs were challenged and that frightened them. People who are frightened can say and do terrible things, but their fears do not justify their actions.

    • runtu says:

      Very well said. The problem with the commenter in question is that the personal attacks were entirely gratuitous and designed to hurt. I just can’t allow that anymore.

  3. robinobishop says:

    The irony runs wide and deep concerning tolerance at the moment, at this blog. Censure here publicly announced to all but specific to only one person “engages in vitriol against another person”.

    Concerning Kate Kelly: if the church is moving forward in an effort of disciplining her for apostasy, that entails issues of character – especially where she refuses to defend herself in church court. not attending shows a deep character issues that may be self indicting and disrespectful to leadership. Being apostate involves multiple character traits well defined by the church. Why is it insulting that the candid conversation is attempted by me concerning those character traits?

    I now am accused of making comments that are deemed insulting to “women in general” where nothing has been said in the blog. Okay. Having claimed that, can anybody identify where that has occurred? It certainly has escaped me; perhaps there was miscommunication. I would not know; nothing has been said before this moment, As I recall.

    • runtu says:

      As I said in the post, my decision applies to all commenters. I have asked you on several occasions to stop taking personal shots at other people, and your response here suggests you may not be willing to do that. If you want to participate here, you will have to play by the rules. There’s a difference between tolerance and putting up with mean-spirited attacks.

      • robinobishop says:

        Most everyone here willing to write a comment, interpret church leadership as being mean-spirited In part because in your minds their actions hurt. I sit with leadership. Interpreting the words of others as mean-spirited does not make it so. Tolerance is the willingness to endure the existence of opinions that are disagreeable. Too often in my experience, opinions held that cannot be defended provide a convenient springboard to accusations fraught with & from desperation.

        “As I said in the post, my decision applies to all commenters.”

        Let’s be intellectually honest here. Everyone living in your little universe of opinion knows the new policy is directed at me alone. After all that was your complaint in being forced to change the policy from tolerance to intolerance. You have no argument with the mean-spirited opinion against church leadership; you agree with those opinions.
        Occasionally a disagreeing person will enter your blog; if you are to exercise tolerance, what other opportunity are you going to have here to do it except with that person? How does one exercise tolerance of others if we tacitly reject their opinion on the basis of what we interpret as unkindnesses, disagreement and ungenerous words? that technique I call intolerance. I have come here for a time to engage in that challenge personally. While I am here, you may continue to Interpret my words as containing unkindnesses, disagreement and ungenerous thoughts as I consistently agree with church leadership. That doesn’t mean my words or sentiment are, in fact, unkind or ungenerous. They are simply different from your own. React as you will; when you accused me of sentiments that I do not harbor and could not have stated, it hurts that I would be treated in such a manner.

        Now, from my view, you insulted my character by accusing me of speaking disparagingly of women generally. In the spirit that your rules apply to everyone, substantiate your claim or apologize.

      • runtu says:

        No doubt you were the tipping point, but the rules apply to everyone. What decided it for me was your defamation of Kate Kelly’s character and motivations. Your suggestion that a woman who would do what she has isn’t comfortable being around “strong male leaders” is sexist and disgusting. That you referred to her as “the little lady” was just icing on the cake. There’s a lot of crap you’ve spewed in the last few months that I could bring up, but I don’t have my waders on. Either treat people with dignity and respect, or don’t expect to have any commenting privileges here.

      • robinobishop says:

        As I recall, the strong male leadership issue was raised as a question by me and was the original suspicion of my wife. The irony continues: Please don’t tell me I am in blog court because I ask the wrong questions.
        It is not sexist to note she has issues with LDS male leaders where her organizations mission is to demand the ordaining of women claiming those men (from her Bishop on up) are sexist. For heaven’s sake, take it to Jesus Christ. He’s the original Christian sexist of all time. Don’t you think?

      • runtu says:

        You haven’t been blocked, but I have clearly said that your inability to behave in a civil manner requires me to moderate your comments. If you can’t handle that, I suppose that means you aren’t willing to behave.

  4. Camille Biexei says:

    Runtu,
    We are faced with two evident problems, in this situation: 1) absence of self-awareness, 2) closed categories. No amount of respect and openness in a forum can overcome those problems in a conversation. The “together with” part of the meaning of the word is absent. In other words, at the very least, there is a lack of a universe of discourse with at least one individual in question.

    I suggest that you consider blocking people who seem to only have something to prove and don’t care how they go about attempting that. Let them find another place in which to demonstrate their superiority/righteousness.

    • runtu says:

      I agree. As I said, those who can’t be bothered to behave themselves won’t be given the privilege of commenting here. And it is a privilege, as it’s my blog, not theirs.

    • robinobishop says:

      Cam,
      John need do nothing. Color me gone. I give you back your cozy togetherness.

      That takes the cake. You demand my excommunication (blocking) for this blog for what reason? The different positions I bring to your conversation, as seen in a disruption of your cozy togetherness, because I have something to prove in a strong, rock solid opinion, that I somehow “don’t care”. You think I came here and endured this because I don’t care?

      • Camille Biexei says:

        Bird,
        “…only have something to prove and don’t care how they go about attempting that.”

        Do you read what is written before you react? Obviously, you “care”, just not about how you “prove” your point, or who you insult in the process.

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