Play nice or don’t play at all: comments on Muzzlewatch

OK, as careful readers have observed, Muzzlewatch has made a point of allowing a wide range of comments on the blog, including those that fall uncomfortably outside of the bounds of normal civil discourse. But there is a difference between heated but principled debate, and simply calling people names or threatening them.

I realize the safe anonymity of the internet (many Muzzlewatch commenters use false names and registrations) gives many people permission to communicate more freely than in person. This can be freeing, but also destructive.

Today is sad for me because it marks the very first time I have ever deleted a comment on Muzzlewatch. I did not do so for political reasons, but because the comment clearly crossed the line,making an endless personal attack on one person. That the person who made the attack registered with false information made the attack even more despicable.

PLEASE: disagree and debate to your heart’s content. But be substantive about it. Simply calling people names, no matter what side you are on, diminishes your dignity and your credibility, and debases all of us. If we’re serious about making this a better world where all of us can live side by side, and I believe that many of us on all sides of this issues do have that in common, then we can practice what we preach.

If the level of discourse continues to erode, I will not hesitate to delete further posts.


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