Sunday, July 26, 2009

Things could be worse.

As much as I think the guidelines I try to set for Chaliceblog comments are pretty basic and obvious, and as clear as I feel I've made them, people do violate them sometimes.

Yet commenting situation could be far, far, worse around here and I know it.

Or, as the guy who draws XKCD puts it, "the internet has always had loud dumb people, but I've never seen anything quite as bad as the people who comment on YouTube videos."

Or to put that another way:

A review of the posting guidelines

-Try to stay on topic. If you must digress, make it an interesting digression. Your political views, beefs with other commenters, etc, etc, are not really all that interesting.

-You can be insulting, you can be pointless, but try not to be both in the same comment.

-Puns about the WVC are really freaking old and need to stay out of serious threads.
(No, I'm not arguing about what's a serious thread with you. I'm telling you that making a pun about the word verification code makes it very likely that I will at least consider kicking it and the more serious the thread is the more likely I am to kick it.)

-Don't make fun of anything in the DSM or accuse other people, jokingly or otherwise, of having conditions in the DSM. Maybe that's just a pet peeve of mine, but there are millions of blogs where you don't have to pay any attention to my pet peeves. If you can't follow this, go find one.

-We don't have a problem with ethnic slurs here or anything like that, but in general, comments that insult large groups of people who share beliefs, political affiliations, etc. (e.g. "Christians," "Atheists," "Republicans") are highly frowned upon.

Don't want your comments kicked? Act like you're at a party talking to your friends. When you're at a party, do you repeatedly interrupt serious conversations with puns that no one gives any sign of finding amusing? Do you randomly insult large groups of people, assuming that if anyone from any of these groups is offended or hurt that it's their problem? Do you insult someone who is trying to talk to someone else and/or tell people they are stupid for disagreeing with you because you are so obviously correct? Do you come up to other people's conversations and change the subject to something you find more interesting?

If so, that's why you don't get invited to many parties.

I'm glad I don't have most of the problems that the girls in the video have, but my standards for reasoned discourse are still higher. The CB used to be a fun party. I'd like to get it back there.



epilonious said...

Two thoughts:

1. If you're going to start laying out the rules I have a set of cautionary stories for Moderation Gone Wrong over here:

2. People talking about passed friends/relatives always makes a party a bit more somber and the more jocular attendants a bit more tense.

Chalicechick said...

And if one joke really breaks the tension and makes people feel better, OK.

But when people keep politely ignoring pun after pun and going back to what they were talking about before and the jokester just can't take the hint, well, the jokester isn't getting invited to many parties.

I don't want to moderate. I want people to be reasonable so I don't have to moderate. If people acted here the way they act in person, we could just have cool, detailed conversations and not have to worry so much about the signal to noise ratio.


L said...

Seems to me that a blog is a bit different than a forum in that the blog owner has total control over the blog, whereas forum moderators (in general) are more often interested parties who volunteer for the good of the forum, and therefore should act with the public interest in mind.

In other words, I kind of feel like CC has complete dominion over her own blog, and therefore she can eliminate/allow comments as she sees fit.

P.S. I liked your video. It made me laugh.

Chalicechick said...

(((In other words, I kind of feel like CC has complete dominion over her own blog, and therefore she can eliminate/allow comments as she sees fit.)))

That really is what it comes down to, I'm just trying to persuade people to be reasonable because hands-on moderation is annoying and time-consuming and I don't want to do it if there's any way I can just convince people to follow the rules because they make sense rather than following them because I have the power to enforce them.


Anonymous said...

It is really hard to have a conversation on the internet without some jerk messing it up. You should get used to it.

John A Arkansawyer said...

"Getting used to it" sounds like the counsel of despair.

I say don't get used to it, don't expect people to live down to their worst. Moderation is, like editing, among the arts of civil society. Use it wisely to make peoples' public aspects better than they otherwise might be.

hafidha sofia said...

that video is great.

kim said...

I think that people who do the rude things you listed (and others) generally do that sort of stuff because either they were never taught otherwise or they are unaware they are doing it.
Perhaps the internet needs an Internet Miss Manners? Maybe manners and consideration need to be taught in school? I know they should be taught at home, but if it's not getting done.... Of course, I am assuming people WANT to get along with people....