While the majority of you, regardless of age, gender, race or political orientation, seem to be able to express yourselves in an intelligent, respectful manner, there is a growing minority that seems to be growing, shall we say, less restrained. This is especially true when the subject involves race or nationality, but it doesn’t stop there.
So, in the interest of giving everyone fair warning, here’s a reminder of our standards, quoted or paraphrased from our published comment guidelines:
No name-calling. We have had a lot of this lately.
Do not insult, bully, threaten or harass the writers or your fellow commenters.
Racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments will be deleted. Continued violators will be banned.
Do not include email addresses, physical addresses, or phone numbers in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion, or for the purpose of harassing or publicly exposing the private data of others. Such comments will be redacted or removed.
Offensive, inappropriate or annoying comments may be deleted or subjected to distempering. This includes character assassination by innuendo.
Anything we deem libelous or slanderous, or otherwise open to legal action, will be deleted.
Sock puppets – alias accounts created by previously banned commenters or by commenters who are seeking third-party approval the easy way – will be banned.
These rules, and the enforcement thereof, have nothing to do with politics and everything to do with maintaining a civil, mature atmosphere where people of disparate opinions can engage in vigorous debate without being subjected to playground-level taunts and bullying. Continued violations will lead to commenters being banned.