One of things that has always distinguished HA from most other blogs is the unmoderated, no holds barred nature of the comment threads, and the nasty, brutish and often profane political bloodsport that they produce. No stranger to vitriol and foul language, I never felt it my place to impose more solemn standards on the HA community.
But really, enough is enough. It is one thing to abuse me personally, but it is entirely another to abuse the whole HA community by hijacking threads with intentionally off-topic comments. I have no obligation, ethical or otherwise, to continue to tolerate this deliberate trolling, and the deliberate disruption of legitimate debate on important issues of the day, especially in the face of the constant and baseless accusations that I have been blocking comments. (TIP: I don’t have the time to read most of my comments, let alone censor them.)
So as of this moment I am imposing new policies regarding comment thread moderation. The following type of comments will no longer be tolerated:
- Deliberately off-topic comments (except in “open threads”), as well as pointless comments on these comments.
- Deliberately repetitive comments, particularly those intended to repeat and a reinforce slander that has already been sufficiently debunked.
- Large chunks of cut-and-paste from copyrighted works or other blogs and comment threads.
- Blatant sock puppetry.
Each of my co-bloggers are now free to delete comments on their own posts based on their own arbitrary interpretation of these standards, while Darryl and I have global moderation privileges. Repeat offenders will be banned. And don’t be surprised to see these standards imposed sporadically and selectively. This is my blog. Life isn’t fair.
My advice to the rest of you is please don’t feed the trolls. Ignore the off-topic comments and the abusers who post them. When you comment on this garbage, you only encourage them. Comments on deleted comments will likely be deleted too, so as not to disrupt the flow of the thread. And if you absolutely feel the need to discuss some off-topic issue, or announce some sort of breaking news, please save it for an “Open Thread,” which will now be graciously provided on a daily or more frequent basis.