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House Rules

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Blogcritics was founded 18 months ago, and we have worked hard to keep our disciplinary hand as light as possible from the beginning. We’re almost all adults, the reasoning goes, and so we should all know how to act like adults. There are now over 450 authors at Blogcritics, and while the vast majority of those people have never caused a problem of any sort, the problems that have developed over the last year have only gotten worse.

This leads to a difficult decision, one over which we have agonized for a long time. Many people have offered suggestions about what they felt would solve the problems, and most of those conflicted with each other.

We do not believe the problems are caused by any one person, and we’re not going to kick out a half-dozen people to sidestep the current issue, because the problems will only crop up again eventually with another group of people. To use a metaphor probably borne from watching Deadwood late last night, the Wild West needs new rules.

We welcome suggestions about these rules, which can be modified if we’ve overlooked something. We want to make the site more pleasant to read and a more pleasant place at which to post. That’s the goal, always.




House Rules for Posts and Comments

1. No more posts about Blogcritics.org.
By this we mean that the “Et Cetera” column should be reserved for items that aren’t “Books,” “Music,” or “Video,” but not for anything related to the operation of Blogcritics.org itself. While we truly appreciate the spirit of recent efforts to raise funds for Blogcritics, even those kinds of posts simply jar the readers of the site who are not Blogcritics themselves. We are working on an alternate method of letting Blogcritics communicate with each other out of the public view, and any site-related information should be kept there.

2. “Your” post is not entirely yours.
Regardless of the technical limitations of MovableType as currently configured, when you create a post it is not entirely “yours.” That is, you contribute the content, and we will not modify it beyond correcting obvious spelling and grammatical errors. However, we may take various additional actions, including but not limited to: choosing alternate and/or additional categories, modifying and/or adding Amazon ASINs, re-formatting the Title and/or Excerpt, or anything else not related to the primary content of the post itself. You may not delete any post, though you are allowed to add additional notes to the post itself, so long as those are clearly marked with “Update:” or a similar designation. As an extreme example, let’s say you post something and find out later that you were hoaxed. We suggest modifying the title to include ‘(HOAX)’ and adding an update at the end of the post with whatever information led you to determine that the post was actually a hoax. While it is human nature to want to cover up our mistakes, you provide a more valuable service to readers in leaving the information there.

3. All posts will be open for comments
In addition, those comments are not at all under your control. Keep in mind that not everybody spends all day at this site, and it is unnerving to the casual reader to encounter inconsistencies. Not all comments will make you happy. Don’t worry — those comments are linked to the name of the person posting the comment, not to you. We will edit or delete comments based on the comment itself, unrelated to the content of the page on which it appears.

4. Any post may result in debate, even a cookbook review. Any post may receive no comments at all, too, even a post on a hotly contested political issue. Try not to worry about it. No, that’s not really a rule, just good advice.

5. Do not label people
This is very serious; labeling of people will not be tolerated in posts or comments. You may be convinced in your own mind that so-and-so is a xenophobe, a thief, a racist, or dangerous to society, but you may not say so. You may address statements or ideas, and are certainly welcome to debate issues all day and all night. Simply be sure that you are debating the ideas or policies or statements, and not the person. Since we can anticipate questions about this, here is an example: Blogcritic A states that all men are stupid, especially northerners. Blogcritic B may think to himself that Blogcritic A is a bigot, but he should only say, “That statement is bigoted.” If a person consistently makes bigoted statements, the pattern will become clear to everybody without any need to identify the person in any way.

6. No ad hominem statements
Yes, this is exactly the same as rule #5, but many people are confused about the definition of ad hominem, and this principle is important enough to merit two rules. No Blogcritic may attack another Blogcritic, period. Debate the idea, debate the statement, make accusations with documentary evidence, or simply express your disgust, but with the statement, not the person. It is not acceptable to say, “You’re just saying that because you’re XYZ.” People are more complex than any labels, and labels serve only to derail serious debate.

7. No posting personal information on any member who has requested it not be posted: most particularly, no posting the “real name” of a member who does not use that name online, or who has requested that their real name not be posted.




In this first draft, that is all: seven rules that could easily be written as five. One might even get the idea that nothing has really changed, but it has: for the first time we are asking that members constrain their speech to certain degree. We welcome comments, and reserve the right to add, subtract, multiply or divide these rules at any time.

Please take this opportunity to start again with a clean slate, to shake hands and move on, and to make Blogcritics.org the wonderful site it can be.

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About pwinn

  • http://www.shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    I’d like to amend a 2 drink minimum, as well.

  • boomcrashbaby

    I’d like to point out that number 5 doesn’t always work, unfortunately.

    Example – someone offered a point of view recently. My response was that individuals with that point of view had physically attacked me before. Next thing I know, there was a whole new thread on the definition of hate and how dare I accuse said individual of being capable of violence. But the posts are still there, I challenge anyone to find such an accusation in my words.

    The point is, how can you say a viewpoint is bigoted, to an individual who holds said viewpoint, without them making the implication that A=B=C? Or whatever, you know what I mean.

  • http://tbux@psualum.com Tom Bux

    I think the respected blogger from Pennsylvania is an a-hole.

    That’s how the Senate does it.

    hehe

    Good ideas though.

  • http://www.blogbloke.com BB

    Although I am encouraged with this turn of events I wish to add the following for clarification:

    I can appreciate the more we become entrenched in our positions, frustrations do arise. And for others old habits are hard to break and those instigators take much enjoyment in stirring up the pot.

    BUT we are not conducting private conversations on the internet, and it is NOT acceptable to say “so-and-so, your statement is stupid and racist”.

    The proper way to say it is “so-and-so, your statement is problematic. In my view it paints too wide a brush… etc., etc.”

    The difference should be obvious. The first statement invokes Newton’s third law of physics – “To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. The second statement shows respect for your opponent and that his or her opinion is valued and will in turn invite positive discourse.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    boomcrashbaby (#2): And your response contributed to the conversation how, exactly? I would suggest that your comment already seemed certain to cause problems, and should be considered before the responses.

    Tom (#3): “I think the respected blogger from Pennsylvania has missed this important fact: etc.” would be better. The insult isn’t any less a rule 6 violation when wrapped in political speech. 😉

    BB (#4): Agreed. There were a couple of more specific statement in an early draft of this list that didn’t make this first cut, because I still have a naive belief that adults can act like adults. But labelling of people is a thing of the past, and blanket labelling of positions without consideration is sure to follow. The main issue I have with this is that some statements are simply too foolish to deserve a response, so I have to keep that in mind while writing the rules.

  • http://breakingwindows.com/ Ken Edwards

    I like the new rules Eric. Good job!

    I, for one, am getting very tired of the personal attacks. They look childish. And look, there is a personal attack here in the comments!

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    I think there should be a “no brown Smarties ™” rule. A pointlessly nitpicking rule which means people have to pay attention to it.

    It comes from the Van Halen clause in their rider, which as Diamond Dave says in his book, was to ensure that promoters paid attention to all of the contract (especially the parts which outlined hanging tons of stuff over the stage, and putting many volts through wires)

    But then, I’d probably be the first asshole to get bounced.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    Down here, we call those “M&M’s,” because the name “Smarties” is taken by sugar little tart things.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    So what do y’all call a “Coffee Crisp”?

    And does this have anything to do with the weirdness of the Mars family?

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    Sadly, we have no Coffee Crisps here, nor Aero Bars. At least not in Texas – they may sneak into the Northeast somewhere.

    At least annually, we have Coffee Crisps and Aero Bars carried across the border for my wife (an ex-Canuck) and I.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    Phil writes: sugar little tart things

    Up here, we call that Britney Spears or Hillary Duff. But then there’s butter tarts, mmmmmm, butter tarts.

  • boomcrashbaby

    boomcrashbaby (#2): And your response contributed to the conversation how, exactly? I would suggest that your comment already seemed certain to cause problems, and should be considered before the responses.

    Hmm. Well, I was specifically asked if I knew where he (i.e. the ideology) was coming from. In my point of view, I did follow rule #5 to the letter.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    Okay, you’ve pressed me. I looked into this a while back because of a bet over “which came first.” and here is what I found:

    1937 – Smarties (the chocolate kind)
    1941 – M&M’s (sweeter than Smarties)
    1949 – Smarties (the U.S. kind)

    As to why the original Smarties weren’t introduced in the U.S. in time to beat the 1949 variety which put a lock on the name, well, that’s a slightly longer story.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    BCB (#12): If your chief concern is following the rules to the letter, you’re likely to encounter problems from this point forward. Please try to discern the spirit of these rules at this time and act accordingly. We are trying to eliminate the acrimony which has been too prevalent on the site. There aren’t enough electrons to spell out the exact limits on civility under every circumstance, but I hope that most people can figure that out on their own with these guidelines to help.

    I haven’t read the entire thread you mention, but the bottom line is this: If you have something to say about a statement, feel free to say it. But trying to determine a person’s motivation is unlikely to shed any real light on a given statement, which is either true or false (or neither) regardless of who makes it.

    Specifically suggesting that inviduals holding a particular view might be prone to violence (the heavy implication of the statement as you’ve represented it here) is much too thinly-veiled a personal statement. Pigeonholing someone a half-step removed is the same as labelling them directly.

    Here’s a good rule of thumb, which I might eventually add to the rules above: Always assume that the statements that anger you most are made in innocence, regardless of the context or the person making them. If there are factual issues, correct them. But don’t attempt to judge intent. That’s hard enough to do in person, with all of the visual cues that go along with face-to-face communication, and it’s much harder on the internet.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    To those who will feel restricted by this attempt at getting some civility: I feel your pain.

    As the official White Devil of Blogcritics and all around #1 bad egg, Decent People need to express their Outrage at my continuing existence. Feel free to flame me viciously in private email. I promise not to accuse you of stalking, etc.

    Also, of course, flame away on your personal web sites. I won’t be mad. Indeed, if you let me know, I will probably happily link to your flame from my morethings domain.

    Also, as far as I’m concerned, please feel free to open up on me in the new Blogcritics mailing list at Yahoo. I don’t mind so much if we’re arguing amongst ourselves some- I just hate doing it in front of the neighbors.

    Just trying to do my part to help out.

    XOX

  • http://www.blogbloke.com BB

    One further thought on the matter. Rules are ineffectual unless there are consequences to back it up. Are you considering specific measures for habitual offenders that continue to spew hateful comments? Just wondering (smile).

  • Shark

    BB, Keep it up, and you get a timeout with Boomcrashbaby.

    Better yet, Bloke, let’s make it real simple:

    Just assume you’re banned for asking questions before getting out of the starting gate.

    “Sir, you need to put down the mouse and step away from the keyboard. ‘kay?”

    (Anyway, hope yer feeling better …physically, I mean.)

    xxoo
    yer eternal nemesis,
    Shark

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    So, Philip, can you also clarify which came first: the Krustyburger or the Royale wit’ Cheese?

  • Stately Wayne Manor

    “Oh comedy,thy name is Carruthers”…

  • http://www.blogbloke.com BB

    Tanks Shark. Feelin stronger every day.

    Looks like I missed all the fun. Dat’s what I get for dozin on the job.

    BTW, what’s a Crashboombaby?

    Crikey — I’m banned again!

    …your fan, BB

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    While I think about it, you should start the rules with: “The First Rule of Blogcritics.org is you don’t talk about blogcritics”.

    But then, I’d probably have to punch somebody in the face. And I don’t think my hands could take it, I might have to play piano someday.

    As for chocolate bars, I thought the Cadbury factory just the other block over might make Smarties, but they don’t – though they do make Mr. Big, the compensating chocolate bar.

    I think Smarties are made over on Dundas near Roncesvales the other side of the train tracks yonder.

  • http://www.corinna-hasofferett.com Corinna Hasofferett

    We had the same problem at the Hebrew blogs’ Site (“Notes” – “Reshimot” – URL listed above /beneath?), where all the participants are highly educated persons (which shows not always one can find a correlation between education and communication skills) – but a few were using some disturbing language.

    Finally a forum was established for Reshimot bloggers alone.

    At the beginning the slandering was indeed moved to the forum but then some of us made some firm friendly-funny comments and now the forum itself is clean of those as well and concentrates on sharing technical and writing issues of our ohh so secret sect. No more crucifixions!

    To the best of my understanding – and since the visitors might still feel frustrated by not having a forum of their own to vent their beer ladden rage – it might be helpful to remember that the best way to stop attacks is to ignore them since:
    a.
    Nothing hurts a troll more than being ignored;
    b.
    What’s the fun in talking to the wind?
    c.
    You need at least two parties to a war. No one likes to attack oneself (actually this might be a major motive for attacking The Other);
    d.
    a friendly response focusing attention on the rational component of the attacking comment and commentor will in the end be returned in kind and then finally both Joseph and Elliahu along with all the 72 virgins will come back to us and bring about total Salvation.
    Amen
    Halleluyah!
    Happy Holiday Season!

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    I agree fully with the new rules.

    (I recall predicting that the comments section would turn into a cesspool without an enforcement mechanism designed to prevent that eventuality. Sadly, I gleefully wallowed in the filth. I vow not to do so in the future. Mostly because, you know, I don’t wanna be banned…heh)

    In the spirit of “A New Day”, I would like to extend the hand of, not “friendship”, but spirited and enlightened debate, to those I have had recent personal disagreements with.

    The “Road-Map To Peace” post did not work, because it did not originate from a position of authority. This post does, and therefore it will work.

  • http://www.corinna-hasofferett.com Corinna Hasofferett

    Let’s extend the rules to the posts as well, JR. Have you read your last post?

  • Sandra Smallson

    Oh Damn! There goes the fun in the neighbourhood. So we can’t call anybody names anymore? I mean, most of it is characterisation of the person from my point of view. We can’t do that? I understand the whole racist/violence part..but good old stupid, daft etc surely can still be said if the evidence is there?

    Besides, what is the point? If I can say that statement is very stupid and a complete nonsense..it still reflects on the maker of the statement, does it not?

    I hope the houserules apply to the topics as well? There is no point in calling John kerry a waste pipe, or Britney Spears a tart/whore or Mel Gibson an antisemitic nutjob and then expect to get away with it because of the house rules? Civility begins at home in this case. If your post in itself is not civil, You can’t possibly expect a civil response?

    Aww..pish posh! let’s call the whole thing off. What’s wrong in ignoring the offending post? I can not understand the purpose of these rules..we are not kids here, and if someone wants to call me a skank ass whore, i don’t see why they should be stopped from doing so. I will either respond, or I will ignore it..eventually it all blows off and we move on. What a shame Blog is going to loose it’s freedom to become some fake place. I don’t see how my calling Mr X a complete imbecile, and he calling me a complete idiot affects madame Z?

    Why can’t people become less self important/obssessed and stop shaking their heads when they see posts with people going at each other. It’s not about you. What’s the point of getting eric&Phillip to make rules? This is some high school nostalgia going on here. Finally have the freedom we all once craved but we just miss those rules:) Oh well, it does give me a challenge. See how long I can last before I am booted off:) Anyone want to take bets?;)

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    Oops, I thought I had made it clear, but I see now that I did not. The rules apply to fellow Blogcritics, not to public figures. You’re welcome to rain invective on Tom Cruise, Lars Ulrich, or Slash all day long, just not on fellow Blogcritics.

    Consider this — and I know that this is a stretch: If someone is public enough to be considered a “public figure” in an American court of law, they’re fair game. If someone is a Blogcritic, they’re not. And if someone is just a random blogger (not a famous one) minding their own business, well, be careful — they might decide to become a Blogcritic one day!

    And yes, the rules apply to both posts and comments.

    Sandra (#25): “Stupid” is different from some other labels in many ways. To name just one, Everybody has stupid moments, most of us have at least one per day. It’s easy to follow up with, “Oops, you’re right. Never mind.” after a “stupid” label. Not so easy with some other labels.

    Generally I urge people to be careful with all labels, for people, for statements, for anything. Sometimes descriptive words are necessary, but taking care will only enhance discussion and debate.

    Sarcasm is splendid, though. Keep the teeth, but lose the claws. 😉

  • Dawn

    Phillip,

    I have more than one “stupid” moment a day. Does that make me Blogcritics fodder more than most?

    Just checking.

  • Shark

    Sandra: “What’s wrong in ignoring the offending post? I can not understand the purpose of these rules…”

    Sandra, the new rules are a relatively benign reaction to some pretty malignant incidents.

    You’re only getting part of the picture, but suffice it to say that that’s all you need to know: The New Rules.

    PS: Meet me at Yahoo, *bee-atch!

    (just kidding — And I don’t know about yall, but I won’t be visiting that piece of crap site again: too many animated ads, or as Shark’s rule of web design states: “The Universe is Over-designed and Underedited!”)

  • Sandra Smallson

    I understand, Phillip. However, I still think it’s unfair for people to be able to say derogatory things about “public” figures because we have assigned them fair game. If you post your opinions/comments on a public forum such as blogcritics, you and your opinions are fair game. From your opinion, we rightly or wrongly, judge your character and we lay into it or applaud it , whatever the case may be.

    If some are so sensitive that they are unable to cope with attacks on their characters deduced from their opinions then perhaps they shouldn’t post it on a public site where anyone in the world can come and take a “look-see”.

    Ah well..

  • boomcrashbaby

    I agree 100% Sandra. From people getting bent out of shape over a child in school’s ‘disruptive t-shirt’ to people supposedly being traumatized by Janet’s breast, to the introduction of the laughable V-chip, the list goes on and on, I really think this is an extension of that philosophy and it won’t stop until we all are Father Knows Best clones, who can all hold hands and sing and dance together.

  • Eric Olsen

    The point is to address the statement, the idea, the opinion, not the person.

  • http://www.makeyougohmm.com/ TDavid

    Shark – so as not to violate #1 in this comment, I just posted at the other place a possible solution, so maybe you can endure at least one more trip …

    Dawn – LOL!

    Phillip – “lose the claws” — love it!

  • jaded naivety

    Can I still write something like ( example) ” Phillip is an asshole”? Or is that against the rules now?

    I am uncertain as to whether or not I would be allowed to put that phrase in print here.

  • jaded naivety

    P.S. Can you please add a rule discouraging being extraordinarily pedantic and uppity to your rules list?

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    You can write whatever you want to. Writing something like that again, however, will get you banned from the site, as I’m sure is perfectly clear to you and everybody else.

    And no, the intent is not to make people into someone other than who they are, but to encourage people to treat other people with respect.

  • jaded naivety

    but if I write it again, it will post, then you ban me? “cause if it doesn’t post, then your basis for banning me would be invalid.
    Sad, though that this site, which I have been lurking on for a bit, is being treated like your sandbox. Well have fun Napoleon, it’s your show.

  • boomcrashbaby

    For the record, my post was not directed at the rules, but at the sensitivities some people have. And I realize that my post wasn’t being questioned though, but just wanted to add this afterthought.

  • Sandra Smallson

    Eric: The point is to address the statement, the idea, the opinion, not the person.

    Sandra: Poppycock! Can I say poppycock? 😉 If I think Joe bloggs is a fool and I can no longer say so on Blog..how does that make me a better person? How does that encourage me to treat anybody with respect. You will find people like me saying..”Oh, what a foolish statement. What a daft opinion. What a ludicrous idea” I clearly mean, that Joe bloggs is stupid and daft and that is why he has this ludicrous opinion.

    Ofcourse, it’s a correct and wonderful sentiment to encourage people to treat others with respect. It is also an admirable trait if you can always treat people with respect. Some people however, deserve no respect at particular points in time. If I go to the centre of town and say George Bush is an imbecile, who’s to say there are no Bush fans around who will call me a lunatic and insult me? That’s the real world. Why should Blog be any different? Why should people be protected, cuddled and kept away from real life? In real life if you make comments about things in public, you will get a reaction. Some good. some bad. You live with it. If I am insulted here, how does it affect my life?

    You can not ask people to detach the maker of the comment from the actual comment on a site such as this. Especially because of the topics we debate. It’s all personal. It’s personal what type of music you like. It’s personal which Political party you support. It’s personal whether you agreed with the War or not. The comments you amke are your personal point of view. To ask one to refrain from making an observation that might be seen as insulting and restrict criticism to the actual comment is truly just encouraging a fallacy more than anything else.

  • Sandra Smallson

    amke=make…a thousand apologies.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    “Sandra: If I think Joe bloggs is a fool and I can no longer say so on Blog..how does that make me a better person?”

    It doesn’t, but it certainly makes the thread more interesting reading for everyone else.

  • Dawn

    Phillip,

    If I say (for example) “jaded navelty is a retarded douchebag,” would I in fact be breaking the rules?

    I am not saying that he/she is, just want to make sure I understand. I thought we just couldn’t insult other BC members.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    Well, I thought we could still insult each other, but that we couldn’t call each other names. So I could say that Dawn picks her nose and eats it, but not that she’s a f*(&%$#$# d*&^%$#@!@.

  • Sandra Smallson

    My point exactly Hal. If I want to make myself a better person I will purchase a self-help book. I am not sure that it is the job of Blogcritics to help us along. It’s all about keeping it interesting:)

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    Sandra – keep your own site “interesting,” and behave yourself here. Is that so much to ask?

  • apparent bad guy

    Now we’re talking… Sandra, you have been warned, don’t make Phillip have to help you conform to the standards that were set for our own good, so that we can all just get along.Any freedom that you may have thought that you were entitled to ( even though yes, I realize that it is not technically a public website, but that could be argued also) is now under the control of the powers that be….do not push your luck….you have been warned….

  • Eric Olsen

    The silliness of arguing with this is that we have avoided making any rules like this for over a year, while the cry for – specifically – action against direct personal attacks has grown louder and louder and more and more members have become disgusted with the rancorous tone. So now we finally have acted and we are stifling despots.

    The bottom line is: no more name calling.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    Yeah, I was trying to avoid comments here as much as possible, but frankly, anybody that chafes at these mild rules needs to grow up or move on. You should have seen the first draft I didn’t even show Eric!

    I’m actually inclined to temporarily close comments on this thread so that people can think things through. We have an environment set up for Blogcritics to talk about this kind of stuff off-line, and non-Blogcritics don’t care about this garbage — they just want results.

  • apparent bad guy

    Wouldn’t it actually be more of a forced exile from the fiefdom, rather than a ban?

    BTW, forget that proposed rule against Pedanticism.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    What you might consider is a penalty box, where we can see offenders sitting (and in the words of of “Slapshot”) “feel the shame”.

  • boomcrashbaby

    Going along with the theme of creating an area where some can go and others can’t, I’d suggest creating the ability for registered bloggers to have an ‘ignore’ list, where they can put people they just don’t like. This would also encourage commenters to become bloggers so they could have the option too. Then when they go look at a thread, all the ‘ignored”s comments are stripped out just for them, but available for everyone else who chooses. I don’t know if it’s possible to create on a blog, but I know chat rooms do it.

  • http://www.tekwh0re.net Ms. Tek

    That would require some functionality that MT doesn’t have. I don’t see it even in the current MT3 Alpha.

    Now, there is a way for comment registration but I don’t run this site and well.. I don’t care so… Phillip and Eric can think about that.

  • http://www.blogbloke.com BB

    I think Austin Powers said it best. Oh behave pullease.

  • Sandra Smallson

    I do not have a site Phillip. I do not have the time to run one. I note that you made no comment to the person who actually mentioned the word “interesting” in the first place:) Hal, suggested that “name calling” made it an interesting read for everyone. I agreed:)Not to worry, Your response doesn’t surprise me.

    It is a lot to ask..so many here leave me with no choice. We’ll see how it goes. i have no doubt you’ll be on patrol.

    Apparentbadboy..was that a warning from Phil? I did not see it as one. It was a suggestion. I still have two warnings to go..I think.

    Eric: The bottom line is: no more name calling.

    Sandra: LOL..Calm down Eric. I know power is intoxicating;) But please, look around, this is not the White House and you are not the leader of the free world. Chill out. You make rules, people are entitled to question the advantages or disadvantages of the rules. People still debate the Constitution of several countries. That is why we have constitutional amendments. Why should Blogcritic rules not be discussed at all? It is not the time to start pushing your weight around. Save all that energy, sugar pie. I’m fixing to give you a great opportunity to exercise that power in due course:)

  • http://www.blogbloke.com BB

    The new world order is a long time coming and has been discussed to death (believe me I know :). I don’t think they’re perfect by any means, but nevertheless (hopefully) point towards some semblance of civility.

  • sheri

    And the plot thickens!!

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Miss Sandra- It would not take that much time for you to maintain your own page. You could have one set up in 5 minutes at Blogger. After that, it’s no harder than posting a comment here. It’d be a good outlet for you.

    Let me know if you do. I’d be happy to try to send you at least a little handful of visitors to get you started.

  • Roger

    Too bad this policy wasn’t in place before I was banned. Uh oh! I’m leaving. I promise…

    I am however starting a web page on blog history and other interesting topics.

    Stay tuned!!!

  • Sandra Smallson

    Al Barger: Miss Sandra- It would not take that much time for you to maintain your own page.

    Sandra: Mr Barger, how many times do I have to flush before you go away? I do not have the time or desire to run a site.

    Al Barger: You could have one set up in 5 minutes at Blogger. After that, it’s no harder than posting a comment here.

    Sandra: I am not taking advice from you. You can’t count to twenty-one unless you are naked. 5minutes? That’s 5 minutes too much.

    Al Barger:It’d be a good outlet for you.

    Sandra: why do people with closed minds always open their mouths?

    Al Barger: Let me know if you do. I’d be happy to try to send you at least a little handful of visitors to get you started.

    Sandra: And your completely irrelevant point is?!

  • http://www.tekwh0re.net Ms. Tek

    Sandra: I am not taking advice from you. You can’t count to twenty-one unless you are naked. 5minutes? That’s 5 minutes too much.

    OMG…

    ROFLMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Sorry, that WAS FUNNY.

  • Shark

    Eric: “The bottom line is: no more name calling.”

    How about “Fatuous Flanagan”?

    (fatuous: 1. “Vacuously, smugly, and unconsciously foolish. 2. Delusive; unreal)

    see MacDiva comment #23

    Is that a violation?

    If not, why not?

    If so, is she banned?

    If not, why not?

    Thanks in advance –

  • sheri

    Shark, your teeth are ugly, you smell funny, and your talking to yourself.

    I want my spankin now.

  • Shark

    I’m assuming it’s still okay to ask for legitimate clarifications in this thread?

    And Phillip, Eric, I’m not trying to open a can of worms here; just trying to sort out the can that’s already been opened.

    (original)
    “I began using “Fatuous Flanagan” before I had the complete picture of what the specimen would be publishing here. I do indeed now believe he is purposely deceptive. Therefore, future references with be to “Flatulent Flanagan.”

    A fellow BCer is now a “specimen”, not to mention a “Flatulent Flanagan.”

    And is calling someone “purposely deceptive” the same as calling them a “liar”?

    Is there a special name-calling thesaurus we don’t know about? Looks like the “House Rules” might be defeated by it on Day Two.

    “5. Do not label people –
    This is very serious; labeling of people will not be tolerated in posts or comments. You may be convinced in your own mind that so-and-so is a xenophobe, a thief, a racist, or dangerous to society, but you may not say so. You may address statements or ideas, and are certainly welcome to debate issues all day and all night. Simply be sure that you are debating the ideas or policies or statements, and not the person…

    6. No ad hominem statements
    Yes, this is exactly the same as rule #5, but many people are confused about the definition of ad hominem, and this principle is important enough to merit two rules. No Blogcritic may attack another Blogcritic, period. Debate the idea, debate the statement, make accusations with documentary evidence, or simply express your disgust, but with the statement, not the person. It is not acceptable to say, “You’re just saying that because you’re XYZ.” People are more complex than any labels, and labels serve only to derail serious debate.”

    Just wondering if this applies to any of the above.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    I think everyone needs to take a deep breath.

    The rules were meant to decrease the number of mindless personal attacks on this site, not to censor any opinions.

    With the rules, there is finally an enforcement mechanism for those who repeatedly behave badly. I doubt a one-time transgression will get anyone banned.

    At some point, someone is going to get snarky enough to booted. And then the cries of censorship will be bellowed far and wide. Which is exactly why Eric and Phil did not want rules in the first place.

    But there were a number of BlogCritics who either directly or indirectly demanded such rules be put into place. Now they have been. I think we should just get used to it, and deal with it.

    This isn’t an attack on anyone’s First Amendment rights. This isn’t a public Website.

    I suspect, after the initial grumbling about it, these new rules will be a boon for BlogCritics.

    Anarchy doesn’t work very well. The center cannot hold.

  • http://www.blogbloke.com BB

    Um… wait a minute RJ. You are back-pedaling here. I hope that you are not SERIOUSLY implying the person in question is a first-time offender, OR that it has not broken the House Rules. Because if you are you’ve lost me. Shark is correct in his observations and deserves a proper response.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Sorry. Let me be clearer:

    I mean “first time offender” in the sense that [this individual] has offended only once (or relatively infrequently) since the new rules were adopted, and therefore applicable.

    You know, retroactive rules are the hallmark of despotic governance… ;-]

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    I am a firm believer in the ability of humankind, as well as individuals, to better itself/themselves. At the same time, I think most people are pond-scum.

    So, I’m contradictory here. So what? I contain multitudes. See: Walt Whitman… ;-]

  • http://www.blogbloke.com BB

    RJ, you’re OK in my book but way off base here. Either the Rules are the Rules, or just electrons flapping in the ether-wind. There was no discussion of first offences, and in this respect this is clearly but one further example committed by the record-breaking offender of all time. It is an obvious in-your-face violation of the rule – THOU SHALT COMMIT NO NAME-CALLING. I rest my case.

    Now either this Rule is for real or it isn’t. This will be the litmus so we shall see what happens.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    BB:

    I don’t know exactly what posts will cause “enforcement” of the new rules. I suspect enforcement will be tempered with a warning or two.

    I agree that certain posters are walking a fine line. If they continue to do so, I suspect they will be banned.

    But why the impatience? Do you honestly think such creatures will abide by the new rules for long? And if they do abide by these rules, why the push for banishment?

    I am a more forgiving bloke than you, perhaps. Some individuals opined that you were faking your stroke. I, personally, found such comments to be foul and inhuman.

    But I ain’t in charge here. And those comments were posted before the new rules were official.

    If your goal is to get [certain people] banned from here, I encourage you to just wait. Given enough rope, such people will likely hang themselves…

  • http://www.blogbloke.com BB

    RJ, that is a very unfair statement to make. You forget – I did NOT make the Rules. NOR did I put the words into the offenders mouth.

    Regarding your comments about my stroke. You know those callous comments were made by the very same person we are discussing and was to be expected. Do I care what she or others think? Frankly I could be dead now and nobody would have even noticed. So do you really think I care what small minded people think?

    But I digress. The bottom line is the Rule has been violated and we shall see what happens. My only issue was with your back-pedaling and denial of the facts. Nothing more and none personal I can assure you so please don’t attempt demonize yours truly because it doesn’t wash.

    All the best my friend.

  • http://www.corinna-hasofferett.com Corinna Hasofferett

    It seems to me that there is a misunderstanding here, as if people are encouraged to move their attacks from their fellow/enemy commentors to the outside world and it’s public figures.

    If it were so then it would have been like a Mafia protecting it’s members and killing it’s group enemies.

    A blog is a place to share ideas and knowledge, to be enriched, not depleted.

    Now, a blogger invests a lot of time and caring in writing an article. She has a point to make, an understanding to share. She puts on a white dress and looks forward to comments that will contribute to a deeper understanding for both herself and the readers.

    There comes the joy-killer and throws some mud. Why? Because it takes less time than relating thoughtfully to the issue? Because the color white reminds him of Bergman’s “The Virgin’s Fountain”?

    Immediately everybody is busy throwing mud back and forth while in the process the post, the white dress, the chance to have a friendly intelligent encounter – all is lost as in a Kristalnacht.

    As I was reading your comments I came to realise that actually violent language on the net equalls physical violence in a school-yard/war camp. You cannot hit or kill The Other, so you kill them with violent words and then, being frustrated by their frequent Ressurection, you increase the violence and its frequency, to Doomsday.

    All this while debating against Violence and Injustice…

    May I suggest not a rule but a point to figure: Whenever one feels like getting nasty, imagine yourself in Eric’s living room, warm and cosy and friendly, while a debate is going on. Communicate your ideas and intelligent responses as if you were there. I assume you won’t get violent, in speech or in action. Otherwise you’ll be breaking the party and losing face and friends.

    It’s that simple.

  • http://www.corinna-hasofferett.com Corinna Hasofferett

    It seems to me that there is a misunderstanding here, as if people are encouraged to move their attacks from their fellow/enemy commentors to the outside world and it’s public figures.

    If it were so then it would have been like a Mafia protecting it’s members and killing it’s group enemies.

    A blog is a place to share ideas and knowledge, to be enriched, not depleted.

    Now, a blogger invests a lot of time and caring in writing an article. She has a point to make, an understanding to share. She puts on a white dress and looks forward to comments that will contribute to a deeper understanding for both herself and the readers.

    There comes the joy-killer and throws some mud. Why? Because it takes less time than relating thoughtfully to the issue? Because the color white reminds him of Bergman’s “The Virgin’s Fountain”?

    Immediately everybody is busy throwing mud back and forth while in the process the post, the white dress, the chance to have a friendly intelligent encounter – all is lost as in a Kristalnacht.

    As I was reading your comments I came to realise that actually violent language on the net equalls physical violence in a school-yard/war camp. You cannot hit or kill The Other, so you kill them with violent words and then, being frustrated by their frequent Ressurection, you increase the violence and its frequency, to Doomsday.

    All this while debating against Violence and Injustice…

    May I suggest not a rule but a point to figure: Whenever one feels like getting nasty, imagine yourself in Eric’s and Dawn’s living room, warm and cosy and friendly, while a debate is going on. Communicate your ideas and intelligent responses as if you were there. I assume you won’t get violent, in speech or in action. Otherwise you’ll be breaking the party and losing face and friends.

    It’s that simple.

  • Shark

    RJ: “But I ain’t in charge here.”

    Which is why it would be nice for you to withhold your comments for a few minutes and let management respond. This is not really an issue that demands a response from you.

    RJ: “And those comments were posted before the new rules were official.”

    NOT TRUE.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    BB, I don’t know if you remember or not, but you’re not a Blogcritics any more. If you would like to join again, email Eric and I think we are open to that. In the meantime, however, this is the sort of discussion that I would like to see only on the other site.

    As for enforcement, give things time. Mighty ships don’t turn on a dime, and momentum is a powerful force. In due time, all things will be resolved.

  • Shark

    Phillip: “…however, this is the sort of discussion that I would like to see only on the other site.”

    Will do.

    Thanks
    S

  • http://www.blogbloke.com BB

    Phillip I tried joining the “other site” but was greeted with this reply: “The moderator of the blogcritics group has denied
    your request for membership.”

  • http://www.corinna-hasofferett.com Corinna Hasofferett

    Dear Philip,
    Should I get the following automated e-mail even when I’m not e-mailing you a message, even when innocently writing a comment? I do not feel like leaving public info with them once and twice, since, as I’ve told you previously, this anti-spam program was generous enough to spam me…

    “I’m really sorry about this inconvenience. I get scads and scads of junk mail, and I’m trying to regain control of things. I know this message seems a little bit like spam itself, and I’m sorry about that. I know some people hate “whitelist” solutions like this one. All I can say is that if you got as much spam as I do, you would probably consider things like this too.

    Don’t worry, you only have to do this once.

    Just this once, click the link below so I can receive your emails. You won’t have to do this again.”

  • apparent bad guy

    What other site?

    -d3

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    ABG- If you weren’t emailed an invitation to the other site, don’t worry about it.

    Corinna- When you leave a comment here, I get an email, just as happens to you when people comment on your posts. You can confirm yourself with SpamArrest.com or not – it’s your choice.

  • Eric Olsen

    BB, if you want to rejoin, let me know, then we’re happy to have you on the other site.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    What other site?

    Me too – what other site?

  • http://www.corinna-hasofferett.com Corinna Hasofferett

    Philip, I do not get an e-mail when people comment on my posts.

  • Eric Olsen

    Hal, didn’t you get the email about the yahoo group?

    Corinna, please go into Edit Your Profile and put in your current email address. Thanks.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    Nope, didn’t get the mail or it was munged by my anti-spam rules (I’ve been “adjusting” them :-). Mail seems to be working fine now, though.

    Thanks.

  • boomcrashbaby

    Not sure where else to comment on the functionality of links.

    the chicken hawk t-shirt/sponsorship by agitproperties is a broken link.