I really enjoy reading the comments at 3QD. The overwhelming majority of them are intelligent discussions of the subject at hand and often lead to spirited and useful conversations in the comments sections of posts. But (you knew a “but” was coming!) recently some commenters have started to abuse the privilege that we grant them to express their views in our space.
In the last two days I have banned several commenters from 3QD and sent warnings to several others and deleted their comments. In the last year or so, I have noticed an increasing abusiveness in the comments and there are certain repeat offenders. I want to put them on notice that I am now going to have a new very low tolerance for that sort of thing. I do not have the time to write explanations of why I am deleting a given comment each time I do it but as long as you engage the argument being made in the post in a respectful way and stay on topic and desist from ad hominem attacks against either the author or the 3QD editor who posted the item, we welcome your contribution to the discussion. If you make ad hominem attacks, use nasty language, are disrespectful, call the motives of the authors or editors into question, or stray outside the topic under discussion, your comment will be deleted and you may also be blocked from commenting permanently. And this will be done without any explanation to you. I do not have the time to engage in discussions with people about why I think they are jerks.
Some commenters have been personally abusive to me or insinuated ulterior motives on my part in my choice of posts and other 3QD editors have also been attacked as well as the authors of the articles we have posted. I used to tolerate this type of thing but I will not any longer. I just don’t see why we should allow people to call us names on our own website. You can disagree with me as much as you like but you cannot insult me or question my motives. I will do the same for you. One person (whose comment has been deleted) just today, for example, called Noam Chomsky a “clown” and a “buffoon”. What sort of person has the insane chutzpah to say such a thing? Needless to say, we will not be hearing from him again at 3QD. I have absolutely no patience for this kind of thing anymore. I’ve had it.
I encourage you to argue against the views (sometimes we don’t even agree with them, we just find them interesting) that we post but insist that you do it in a civilized manner.
To the vast majority of you who do not engage in boorish commenting behavior: thank you for all your stimulating thoughts and please keep engaged in the conversation here. I love hearing from you.
You can see our very simple comments policy here. Scolding over. 🙂