Comment Policy: Time for an exorcism

NoN reader reacts to recent “dialogue” in the comments section. (Edvard Munch)

It’s not even 2019, there’s only one declared mayoral candidate, and yet the NoN comments section has already devolved into a food fight.

Today one commenter described another as having “demons” inside.  Someone else accused a person of “spewing toxic venom.”

It’s time for an exorcism.

One of the above commenters is a D and the other is an R.  I excised the offending bits from each comment.

I won’t be doing that anymore.  From now through Dec. 31st — and maybe beyond — if a comment violates the policy, or just has that “ick” factor, the entire comment will be deleted.  Vaporized.  Poof!

You are welcome into our “living room,” and we will set a standard there for civil, respectful, and decent behavior.

Thanks for reading, commenting, and donating.



Bob Welsh

Chair, Board of Directors




13 responses to “Comment Policy: Time for an exorcism”

    1. Bob Welsh

      @Bryan Meek

      Thanks for the chuckle. I am reminded of your comment some time ago that “people who don’t get carried away occasionally, should be.”

  1. James Cahn

    The change the NoN comments section REALLY needs is the ability to post gifs.

    There are no comment exchanges in recent memory on NoN that would not have had their hilarity and hysteria increased by the ability to post the: “Pre-werewolf Thriller Michael Jackson eating popcorn.” Or the “Robert Downey Jr. dismissive and aggressive eye-roll.” Or the “Mommy Dearest ‘I AM NOT ONE OF YOUR FANS” Or the “OH YEAH!!’ Kool Aid pitcher guy busting through a brick wall” Gifs.

    It may not be the comment section the commenters want. But it IS the one they need.

  2. Susan Wallerstein

    Is there a way to monetize comments?

  3. DrewT

    The other change that needs to be made is no more secret names!!! If people have something to say they should be man/woman enough to use there real name and stand behind the comments they are posting. Further this banning of people must end! Delete their comments but do not ban them!

  4. James Cahn

    Susan, I’ve suggested to Bob and Nancy for a long time to let the comment section be a total free-for-all and charge people to use it.

    I mean, sure, at first you’d have to put up with the outcry, sworn blood oaths to never return the breathless arguments in make-pretend internet lawyer-speak about the first amendment, etc.

    But, then, they’d all pay.

    You’re not wrong.

  5. Piberman

    Could it be “possible” that the anguish reflects anguish of many longtime homeowners that Norwalk’s governance is failing us. Some examples include the recent Reval property hikes, influx of renters (now 40% up from 30% few years ago), punitive levels of property taxes, exodus of long time residents, failure to reduce violent crime below comparative cities, reluctance of major business to locate here and perhaps most significantly a stagant Grand List at $12 billion for an entire decade while the nation experiences its greatest economic expansion since the War.

    Our surrounding towns and those of the Gold Coast generally are widely viewed by their citizens as well managed. With no shortage well qualified business and professional residents doing “public service”.
    Norwalk has very different standards and those standards reflect our problematic governance and disappointment.

    Norwalk is CT’s only commuter city in a State where there’s only one well functioning City – Stamford. Without a much more competently run City those of us with major business careers know where we’re headed. Earlier generations of immigrants to Norwalk came to a City that offered good jobs. Today the only good jobs are with local government. Cities that grow expand and attract new homeowners offer good jobs. But Norwalk’s recent government has shown little ability or even interest in doing what it takes to encourage major new employers to locate here.

    At day’s end those who support the capabilities of Mayor Rilling, our former Police Chief who received high marks in that position, and are happy with how Norwalk is managed under his guidance ought continue their support. Those who want a much more professionally run City ought explor alternatives.
    Danbury manages City services 30% less per capita than Norwalk. It’s longtime Mayor was a Gubinatorial candidate. Why not the same for Norwalk ? Even if we’re mostly a One Party City.

    Nancy’s team ought occasionally read the comments section of our nations most prominent newspapers – the New York Times and the Washington Post. Quite often they’re not “polite”. And fairly often far more mean spirited than anything appearing in Nancy’s. That’s largely true for most of the nation’s political journals as well.

    If we want better governance in Norwalk we need a public forum where readers can let it loose. And if it’s objectionable that’s OK. We all say stuff that’s objectionable to others. And sometimes get angry phone calls. But that’s the essence of Democracy. Controlling what readers say is not the path to success either for Nancy’s. And most certainly not for Norwalk – a City in distress. Unless one doesn’t believe our falling property values and exodus of long time residents

    Hardly anyone posts comments in the Hour. For well known reasons. So Nancy’s is the only opportunity in town. Nancy’s team ought read comments posted in the CTMirror which has a 1/2 million budget and a large readership. Sometimes they’re bloody awful. Which is how it’s supposed to be.

    1. Bob Welsh

      @Peter Berman

      Yes, I read comments on NYTimes.com occasionally. I’ve never seen the mean-spiritedness of which you speak.

      The NY Times has someone read and approve all comments before they post. The NY Times comment policy states:

      “To be approved for publication, your comments should be civil and avoid name-calling.

      Our standards for taste are reflected in the articles we publish in the newspaper and on NYTimes.com; we expect your comments to follow that example. A few things we won’t tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence and SHOUTING.”

      All viewpoints are welcome on NoN. You are welcome into our “living room,” and we will set a standard there for civil, respectful, and decent behavior.

      Happy Holidays!

  6. Claire Schoen

    @DrewT – Hmmm. What’s the T stand for?

  7. Gypsy

    Much ado about nothing.

  8. Mike Radioshak

    Bob: you also have to be careful of commenters impersonating other commenters with similar names.

  9. Kevin Kane

    How about 3 strikes and you are out? And if Mike Mushak comes back as Mike Radioshak, or Kevin Kane comes back as Kevin Inane I think NON and usual commentors will recognize the writing style. If they try again under an alias, it’s 1 strike and you are out.
    This is not a Rebublican vs. Democrat vs. ______, it’s Decency vs. Decency.

    I mean, wasn’t Donna Kanecantspellherlastname booted from NON?

    Thanks and Merry Christmas!
    Kevin Kane

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