People who register here, and whose registrations I approve, can post comments. I use the “about you” section to determine whether or not you are a real (and serious) person or a vile spammer or bot of some kind. It can’t be viewed by others.
I am also – more and more, it seems – manually switching on the moderation queue for my entries here.
Some blogs have suspended their comboxes completely. I don’t want to do that.
As we see circumstances in the world and in the Church becoming… interesting, I have seen an uptick of what I can only call “spew” in my combox.
If you call specific people “idiots” or suggest that they are possessed by the devil because of this or that, I am not going to approve comments. That’s because you are attacking the person. Stick to the issues. Comment on words and deeds and their effects. Let the spectacularly uncharitable Fishwrap or Amerika commentators cravenly hide behind internet anonymity and sink into the slime of ad hominem attacks.
I ask you to be better than they are, no matter how frustrated, angry or anxious you might be. Sometimes I fail in charity and patience sometimes, so I know that there is a temptation from time to time to go over the top, but, be better than they. It won’t be that hard, actually.
Over the years I have tried to provide a place where people can also “vent” a little, though I have also tried to place boundaries around the venting.
Avoid hyperbole (aka spittle-flecked nutty language, aka knuckle-headed stuff). Exercise a little restraint in your language and tone.
1) Think before posting. Review what you wrote before hitting that post button.
2) I delete comments with comments on my choices to moderate comments. I don’t care if you think that’s unfair. That’s what I do. I am benevolent dictator, but a dictator nonetheless. It can’t be any other way and have an open combox.
3) If you comment on someone else’s comment, make sure the first thing you write is that persons name or handle and then include, if needful, a brief quote pertaining to your point.
4) This is not Twitter. Save your @ thingy for tweets. We don’t do that here.
5) We can handle all sorts of points of view in the combox. But don’t expect that heresy or persistent error (which isn’t always at the level of heresy) or consistent and insistent obtuseness is going to be tolerated forever.
6) Avoid both rabbit holes (stick to topics) and hyperbole.
7) Did I mention sticking to issues and not making ad hominem attacks? If I didn’t, I’m saying it here.
8) Anonymity doesn’t mean that God and the angels – holy and fallen alike – don’t know you and what you did. Remember the Four Last Things.
9) Examine your consciences and GO TO CONFESSION. That’ll help you keep your eyes and heart clear when you post here.