Posting Of The Civility Rule

64a46cc1If you look above, you will see a new link that will permanently show our civility rule on the blog. In light of the recent tension over postings with personal information and insults, I wanted to make the policy available and prominent on the blog. The vast majority of adults do not need to be told to be civil, even when they are cloaked in anonymity. However, for trolls and toddlers, this link will remain as a reminder that this blog strives to offer something different from the usual trash-talking fare that you find on some other sites.

Civility and Decorum Policy:

This blog is committed to the principles of free speech and, as a consequence, we do not ban people simply because we disagree with them. Indeed, we value different perspectives and do not want to add another “echo chamber” to the Internet where we each repeat or amplify certain views. However, the Turley blog was created with a strong commitment to civility, a position that distinguishes us from many other sites. We do not tolerate personal attacks or bullying. It is strictly forbidden to use the site to publish research regarding private information on any poster or guest blogger. There are times when a poster reveals information about themselves as relevant to an issue or their experiences. That is fine and is sometimes offered to broaden or personalize an issue. For example, I am open about my background and any current cases to avoid questions of conflicts or hidden agendas. However, researching people or trying to strip people of anonymity is creepy and will not be allowed.

Frankly, while I have limited time to monitor the site, I will delete abusive comments when I see them or when they are raised to me. If the conduct continues, I will consider banning the person responsible. However, such transgressions should be raised with me by email and not used as an excuse to trash talk or retaliate. I am the only one who can ban someone from the blog and I go to great lengths not to do it or engage in acts that might be viewed as censorship. Yet, we have had a few people who simply want to foul the cyber footpath with personal name-calling, insults, and threatening behavior. If they will not conform to our basic rules (which should not be difficult for any adult person in society), they will have to move on.

We do allow comments as well as anonymity, which some sites have disallowed. It is a curious thing how anonymity will unleash vile and dark impulses in people. Yet, anonymity is part of free speech and, while we have discussed eliminating anonymous comments due to abuses, we are trying to preserve this important element to free speech. It is possible to be anonymous but not obnoxious.

The blog is for civil dialogue on all manner of topics and not the promotion of commercial interests. If you have a product or service for sale, please refrain from including that in the comments section.

Given my family and professional responsibilities, I cannot continually monitor the comments. It is a challenge to post multiple stories early in the morning each day. This is reflected by the typos that sneak into my posts at 5 in the morning while I am trying to pour caffeine into my body. For that reason, this site relies heavily on its regulars to preserve decorum and civility. The failure to delete or respond to a post is not a reflection of any agreement or content-based review. All comments are solely the view of the poster and not the blog, myself, or the guest bloggers. We get thousands of comments and have only limited screening ability for foul language. For that reason, your help is not just welcomed but absolutely necessary in maintaining the character and tenor of this blog.

Like all sites, we attract trolls and juvenile posters who want to tear down the work of others. It is a sad reality of the Internet and the worst element of our species. Don’t feed the trolls. Ignore them. They are trolls and live under cyber bridges for a reason.

We have often been described as a place where people can have passionate but respectful discussions. That is not for everyone. Indeed, one of the leading legal blogs expressly rejected a civility rule as boring and unnecessary. We disagree. If you find it difficult or unfulfilling to discuss issues without personal insults or foul language, please move on. Our Guest Bloggers are asked to avoid any tit-for-tat fight with trolls and critics. Likewise, most of our regulars refuse to engage in such exchanges. Please help us keep this an island of civility and mature discourse on the Internet. Address the issues and not the individuals in our debate. Be passionate but don’t let it get personal.

And thanks again for being part of our blog community.

Jonathan Turley

[Kudos on the photo from our own Charlton Stanley]

40 thoughts on “Posting Of The Civility Rule”

  1. If you folks look closely at the photo there is a small gorilla under the bridge scrutinizing the stream of ideas that go by. Be Careful Out There.

    1. HumpinDog wrote: “If you folks look closely at the photo there is a small gorilla under the bridge scrutinizing the stream of ideas that go by. Be Careful Out There.”

      I thought that was a troll. Maybe they look the same to dogs.

  2. Thank you Turley for accepting dogs like me with a complaining name (albeit in Pig Latin to pass word press) on the blog. I try not to itchBay about other commenters although I may itchBay about other dogs in the dogpac. The other day a dog called someone a “PP” and I thought he referred to the real pee but he meant Pedophile Priest. So, one never knows when one hears letters, acronyms, or Pig Latin, just what it is that some dog or person is trying to say. I have decided that it is not right to argue about commenters or the origin of their specie or opinions but to just comment about the topics and nature of opinions.

  3. Firstly, I and I’m sure everyone who reads and posts here appreciates the opportunity to monitor the world we live in. As insignificant as they may seem, the comments we make represent something much greater. We are paying attention to what goes on around us. At times it may seem that all we can do is complain and that is, of course, the source of the lack of civility, sometimes. I am sure I have been uncivil.

    However, regardless of how insignificant the observations and comments are, they are the basis of our future. The first step in evolving is recognizing the problem(s). Unfortunately we live in a complicated and convoluted world where this recognition leads to despair and anger. In the monster, the answers are to be found. Cutting through the lies and misrepresentations we encounter each day is the only way to safeguard our future. Thank you Mr. Turley.

  4. It’s postings such as these that remind me what a true treasure you are. Even down to the part where you recognize the typos that sneak into your work once in awhile… It’s all just all apart of how you pride yourself on being a consummate professional.

    As you can probably ascertain, despite my struggle with the worst form of bipolar disorder for most of my adult life, my parents provided me with an excellent education. During my periods of stability, I accomplished a great deal. I did all kinds of different things and did them well. I have a kind of natural intelligence and ability to sit down and assess a situation which enabled me to work & manage my bipolar disorder by doing temporary work. I’ve probably told you, but I have a trained singing voice; & sometimes I would take a break just to take the tour with a band.

    Over time, I became accomplished at whatever I did. I miss being able to work, and I would pride myself on honing my writing skills. Attorneys I worked with would line up to give me their work because they knew I was an excellent writer and could fix their work and make them sound smarter than they actually were. Unfortunately, most of them treated this as though it were their due after a while. And I would usually go off eventually. But teaching yourself how to proof thoroughly and well is a very difficult task. You see the words correctly in your mind even when they’re wrong. And would you, obviously, you just lack the time to do it for a second or third time. That is what it takes.

    Recently, I moved into a place that I initially thought I was fortunate to find. It is comfortable and clean but I cannot deal with the abuse. One of the managers here, Rodney, told me I was evil last night when I tried to get some help with my roommate using my washcloth. I was guilty of every kind of cognitive distortion in the book. Well she used it to clean up herself when she’s got her own. We have had it here that stomach flu that’s going around. When she was here before she broke her hip, she would help herself to my things without asking. And then again to deny it to my face. I have worked too hard to become an ethical person, honest in my dealings with other people, to endure abuse. Allow yourself to be treated abusively, and you get more abuse. It’s on me full throttle right now. But my ethics are in and I’m right with God, so I know I’ll land on my feet. Via con Dios.

    On Jan 4, 2014 6:47 AM, “JONATHAN TURLEY” wrote: > > jonathanturley posted: “If you look above, you will see a new link that will permanently show our civility rule on the blog. In light of the recent tension over postings with personal information and insults, I wanted to make the policy available and prominent on the blog. The” >

  5. That anyone has to make such a rule is a sad shame. I am glad he made it though as too many comments seem to be polluted with ugliness lately.

  6. Thanks Jonathan: This reminder should be posted quite often to keep people on their toes and be civil rather than being emotional and start lashing out at others whom they disagree with to what is being discussed.

    Much appreciated.

  7. RWL,
    We have foot of snow on the ground now with 3-8 inches more tonight. Plus, the high on Monday and Tuesday is supposed to be around 8-10 Below zero, without wind chill! Yikes!

  8. I like the new civility rules and if I ever say “woof you” then it might mean something in the nature of the f word but none the less, mostly less, employed with civility. If you think people are bad here then go look at Sentencing blog. That place is rightwing vs leftwing with no birdbody in the middle. If ya know what I mean jellybean.

  9. I am new to this website and new to my home here with the dogpac at the marina and so I have already been given a name the other day here which happens to coincide with this topic today. If I don’t like someone elses vile comment I will just have my Bark show up on here as Bark or growl instead of letting the Dogalogue Machine translate it into human.

  10. This was needed a few months ago!

    Wondering how many ‘trolls and toddlers’ (too funny) will ignore this message?

    Here in St. Louis, MO, we are anticipating the worst Winter Storm in 25 years.

  11. This is an excellent thing to refer to…..even if we disagree we should agree to disagree and move on….. Nothing is gained by continual verbiage…..of discourse…..

    Mike you will be missed….

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