Because of some recent rude ad hominem attacks on various individuals and unfounded rumors about various organizations in comments on this blog, I’m instituting a policy for moderating all future threads. Now, I’d like it to be known that I will still allow any and all comments, even those that are sharply critical or polemical, so long as they are relevant to the topic at hand. You don’t even have to be polite or feel like you’re walking on eggshells in writing in. The aim here is not to censor voices of disagreement, but rather ensure those comments that do go through meet basic discursive criteria that make them conducive to meaningful debate.
Of course, since no such policy existed before, it would be unfair for me to go back and retroactively enforce a screening process that I’ve only established after the fact. Just as with the blog controversy several months back, when some of my own personal views were conflated with those of Platypus as an organization, I issued a disclaimer but decided against going back and sanitizing various opinions I expressed at one time so as to avoid criticism. This did not mean that I still held these views; it merely meant that I was not looking to exempt myself from critiques ex post facto. Likewise, all past comments on this blog, whether authored by myself or others, will be left intact.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have, at times, made remarks that fall well beneath the threshold of the kind of commentary I’m advocating here. This has led some to point out the hypocrisy of my request not to baselessly attack certain individuals or organizations. Such an observation is, of course, warranted, but it in no way weakens my resolve to enact this moderation policy henceforth. In a similar fashion, I will make every effort to refrain from writing posts or comments that violate this norm. Self-regulation is not always the best way to go about this, though, so feel free to write in if you feel this standard is not being met.
Finally, I’d only like to add that no one is forcing anyone to read the contents of this blog. If you find something offensive, upsetting, or even embarrassing in the views or opinions expressed here, please consider reading other blogs or visiting other sites that don’t vex you so. Nobody’s sticking a gun to your head. This goes not only for things I write, but things other people write in comments that appear on this site. Unless you feel that a warrantless personal attack is being made, or believe that someone is perpetuating a blatant falsehood, it’s unlikely that there would be grounds enough for the comment or post to come down.
Obviously, libel will not be tolerated. If it’s something that’s demonstrably, factually false, it’ll be easy to correct. If it’s something where one person’s version of events doesn’t line up with somebody else’s, it’s much more difficult to rule one way or another unless overwhelming evidence is presented. Beyond this, I’m afraid that complaints about what’s written here will not result in any revisions or alterations on my part. Here I’d simply urge individuals to frequent other websites that upset them less instead of obsessively checking for updates (either on their own behalf or on behalf of others) out of fear that something posted might offend their sensibilities. There are plenty of other pages on the Net.