Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
This is not a blog with a vast readership, and so if a single person posts numerous comments in a single thread this actually has the result of commandeering or derailing the thread. Certain threads with many contributors in active ongoing contention are exceptions, and I make exceptions, too, for a few friends of the blog who have been following it for years and whose contributions seem to me substantial supports of the mission of the blog. That's my judgment to make. Anonymous posters will have a hard time developing that kind of reputational capital here, so I have disabled Anonymous posting to encourage folks to publish under their names or at least with narratively stable pseudonyms. Though Anonymoids have sometimes contributed useful comments here in the past their curtailment has become necessary because the comment volume has increased quite a bit lately, and I'm getting dozens of Anonymoid trolls some hours now, not to mention some pretty gross antigay slurs and comical threats and vitriolic screeds about censorship when certain Anonymoids don't get their way. I enjoy serious discussion. And I enjoy not so serious discussion when it is amusing. I do not approve of the censoring of dissent -- one learns from good dissent, and it is good to expose ridiculous dissent to scrutiny to a point. But facilitating discussion requires moderation, online, in classrooms, and face to face: encouraging the quiet, damping down the showboats, maintaining a baseline of respectfulness in a way that is attuned to the usefulness of satire, and so on. Again, this requires lots of judgment calls on my part, some of which may be wrong, but I do encourage newcomers to the blog to exercise good sense. The Moot isn't there for you to publish your own blog in or a wall for you to rub your feces on.