Lately I’ve noticed a certain degeneration of the comments section here, and I’d like to comment on it.
Lots of bloggers don’t have comments sections, and I can understand why. But I’m not that kind of blogger; it was always my intent to have a lively comments section, and I’ve been gratified that that’s exactly what has happened.
But lively is one thing, free-for-all is another. As blogs grow, there’s a natural law of comment entropy (I just made that up) that seems to take over. The quality tends to go down as the quantity goes up, and the bickering, name-calling, and off-topic meandering increases.
I don’t really mind the meandering, and a good argument is always fine, but petty bickering, name-calling, obscenities, and of course good old-fashioned trolling aren’t things I really enjoy having in the comments section.
I can change policy and make comments more restrictive in various ways; it’s not all that hard to do. But I’d really rather not. So I’m asking people to please clean up their acts. I don’t know whether that will work–for some, it may only act as a spur–but I thought I’d try that approach first. I’m a polite person, and I expect the same from others.
So, these are my requests (they actually seem to boil down to two, for now):
(1) No obscenities, especially name-calling obscenities.
(2) Do not respond to trolls, obscenities, and/or obvious provocateurs.