Almost anyone who's been reading diaries here lately have noticed that there are a lot of fights going on. Brutal, awful, name calling, fierce battles being waged in the comments. They've been getting worse and we've been losing far too many great Kossacks in the process.
We lost good people in the Obama/Hillary fights in 2008 and more to the Rox/Sux wars that still break out from time to time. Now we're in the midst of fierce battles over firearms and it's a good thing that this is the virtual world or there would be a shoot out at the OK Corral every hour or so.
Despite the lack of bloodshed, there are hurt and angry feelings. And call out diaries where fights in the comments of another diary are the main topic and the fights just go on at an even more intense level.
This cannot go on.
It won't resolve itself without intervention and I'm almost afraid to look at the diary list for fear of seeing more TTFN or another diary that I fear to open because of what I might find inside. I'm not alone in this either. Disgust at the current state of our beloved Daily Kos is extensive.
We often forget that there is a real, live human being with feelings behind every post. We also forget that discussion is good even if we disagree, but we can disagree without being disagreeable or hostile. We can disagree without the name calling and insults. We can and should walk away when discussion turns into argument which deteriorates into angry tirades and even more hurt feelings and anger.
Aside from forgetting our manners at times, what we really lack is consistent moderation.
We cannot police ourselves because we don't have the power to do so. There's only so much that a call for civility can accomplish in the midst of a flame war and those comments sometimes gather the dreaded "mind your own business" response. And, while Trusted Users have the ability to Hide Rate comments that step over the line, there's a limit to the power of the HR. While enough HRs can stop comments from being viewed by general viewers, most of us can see those hidden comments. And by the time comments have stepped over the line, it's too late already.
I'm not asking for the Ban Hammer to get dusted off and put into use. In fact, in the past, when it has come out when flames have engulfed the place, it sometimes gets used on the sort of innocent as well as the truly guilty and works a lot of overtime. Bringing it out when things are truly out of control isn't the answer.
We need consistent moderation, the sort that occurs continually.
And I'll drop in my own personal rules below the GOS Squiggle as food for thought. I'm not suggesting that anyone follow them, but me.
Puddy's Own Rules for Comments
Remember, behind every post is a person.
They have feelings and beliefs. Don't say anything in the comments that you wouldn't say to them if they were standing right in front of you.
Never, ever post when angry.
Don't drive a car when angry, don't make decisions when angry, in fact, don't do anything when angry. Whatever you do in anger usually leads only to a pile of regrets.
Being polite doesn't cost anything.
In fact, you get bonus points sometimes.
Don't ever be afraid to apologize if you've been misunderstood or phrased something unclearly.
If at first you don't succeed, try again. Rephrase the point you were making.
You are under no obligation to reply to a comment.
Walk away when a fight starts. You're not displaying cowardice, but wisdom. You haven't "lost" the discussion or surrendered your position. If it makes you feel better, put in a reply that says you'll have to agree to disagree on whatever the subject was.
If there's a point you want to make privately, there's always KosMail.
Highly recommended for spelling, grammatical, or other errors rather than posting it in a comment in the diary. Also recommended to carry on a discussion that started in the comments, but needs to move out of the public.
Always remember that I'm a guest here and need to behave like one.
This isn't my house. I don't pay rent or mortgage (not even the light bill). When I go to someones house, I don't start fights or trash the place. Do you?
Those are the rules I try to live by (at least the ones I can remember off the top of my head. I expect them of no one else and only post them for consideration.
So, can we please be kind (or at least civil) to one another? Thanks in advance.
And, can we please haz some consistent moderation?
Update: J+H kindly posted his own rules for blogging here and they are even better than mine.