Comments policy explicated

If there’s one thing I didn’t want to do with this blog, it was clutter it up with administrative posts. However, the number of low-quality comments has been increasing and, in an effort to keep this blog unmoderated, I’m going to try to explain in more detail what I meant by “try and be respectful.”

The primary purpose of this blog is to serve as a source of information about Georgia to people who have never been here. I do not wish to devote a large number of posts or comments or a large amount of time arguing about things that are not technically relevant to that purpose.

Therefore, the primary criteria for comments gaining approval is that they contain some useful information or insight about Georgia. I am perfectly happy to entertain disagreement or negativity in comments if it furthers this purpose – in other words, if you want to say “no, you idiot, Georgia’s not like that at all” then at the very least this informs the reader that some people disagree with me and feel quite strongly about it, even if it doesn’t tell them why.

However, comments that just attack my character or intelligence without offering any sort of argument or reasoning or even statement as to what it is about Georgia that I may have gotten wrong do not serve the purpose of this blog, and in addition are very obviously not respectful. Therefore, such comments will be deleted.

Here is an example of a comment I deleted:

you american pig! you can’t go to another country, then complain about it!!!
if you want to be protected from cig smoke etc, lock yourself in your house
and, learn to write the english language correctly, especially before you come to my neighbourhood

This is pretty much a textbook example of a comment that is disrespectful, unconstructive, and worthless. I won’t make you read my point-by-point analysis of why the entire comment completely fails to have value.

Instead, I will offer some constructive guidelines:

1. Please read and understand what you are replying to. The above comment refers to a post in which I complained about my health. The commenter misinterpreted that post and thought that I was complaining about Georgia, even though I specifically said in the post that I was not complaining about Georgia. I understand that for many people who now read this blog, English is a foreign language, and I am willing to extend tolerance to people who are respectful. However, if the only purpose of your comment is to insult me based on a misreading of what I have written, I will delete your comment. Multiple offenders will have their IPs banned.

2. Back up your statements with some kind of argument or evidence. Statements like “you are an idiot” or “you don’t understand Georgia” or “you have obviously never left your home state” or “you do not know how to write the English language” are useless. They do not give anyone any information other than that you are an inarticulate troll. On the other hand, “you don’t know how to write English – look how many sentences you ended with prepositions” – despite being based on a grammatical “rule” that is completely spurious – at least has the merit of being a claim with evidence to support it, which means that I can address it in an intelligent and constructive way. Remember, this blog is supposed to be providing information to people – which means that comments that can contribute in some way to providing information are acceptable, while comments that can not, are not.

3. Do not be offensive or abusive. First of all, do not post comments that insult people based on their race, gender, sex, nationality, sexuality, age, disability, class, or any other personal characteristic beyond their control. Do not post comments that are offensive to women. Do not post comments that support, incite or appear to support or incite violence, harassment, or intimidation. These policies apply to women as well as men: being a woman does not give you a free pass making statements that are offensive to women.

4. Try and be respectful. If you think your comment might not be respectful, consider not posting it. You might wait a day, read the post you are responding to again, and then decide for yourself whether you think the thing you were going to say is really an appropriate response for a mature adult. Another technique is to read your comment out loud to yourself and ask yourself what you would do if someone said all that to you, in person. If the answer is “punch them in the face,” then don’t fricken post it.

5. Remember whose blog this is. First of all, if you are so offended by something I said that you can’t restrain yourself from letting fly an incoherent stream of curses and insults with no unifying thread or apparent purpose, I suggest you get your blogging entertainment elsewhere. Nobody is forced to read this blog.

Second of all, this is a blog written from my own personal perspective. I am not a statistician and this is not an encyclopedia and the statements I make, unless otherwise specified, are meant to portray that personal perspective. If I say “I had a bad day because people were smoking” that does not translate to “Georgia is a bad place because people here smoke.” Every person on this earth has problems, challenges, stress, and bad days, and I’m not going to pretend that I don’t just because I have a few readers who are so thin-skinned and defensive that my becoming ill in their country offends them. Again, nobody is forced to read this blog.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.

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2 Responses to Comments policy explicated

  1. blintu says:

    your blog is pretty interesting. keep it up

  2. zura2 says:

    btw if you say “Georgia is a bad place because people here smoke.”, it will be true…

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