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. This is extremely attention-grabbing, You’re a very knowledgeable digg. I become a member of your supply and also be upwards with regard to looking for excess within your impressive submit. In addition, I’ve got provided your site in my social networks

  2. As the guy who is suing Mitt Romney (and was banned from the orange realm for getting baited by the haters {venerates of the realm at that}) – I’ve adopted a simple protocol to deal with slings and arrows (especially anon).

    Taking to the root of the problem, in dealing with ignorance


  3. Hmmm – apropos was my post (yesterday) upon FB

    Gentle is this day
    When nothing nice can I say
    Thus my lips do wishfully hope and pray
    That total silence bring me something good to say

  4. ** Posting Of The Civility Rule
    Published 1, January 4, 2014 Society **

    I acknowledge seeing your comments here on “Posting of the Civility Rule” & without reading further accept it on it’s face.

    I don’t know all the non-public group dynamics behind the scenes, but this is your website, you are our host & I will do my best to always be respectful here.

    If your guest bloggers, yourself, ever see a post of mine that needs deleted please feel free to do as I know sometimes, I know myself, I’ll make inappropriate post & would pull them/edit them if I could.

    All that said bare in mind I understand enough history of the world & the tyranny of evil govts against their own people which always leads to the breakdown of Civility.

  5. Raff,

    Ouch! Our snow is melting, with our current temperature holding steady at 42 degrees. We had our storm situation upgraded from a Winter Storm Watch to a Winter Storm Warning. We are expecting 7-12 inches of snow, with 15-25 mph wind, gusting to 30-35 mph, and dropping temperatures below zero Sunday night and all day on Monday. At first I was finding it hard to believe the weather team of Fox 2 news, until I went to the grocery store, and saw the long lines and empty shelves (did they move the eggs, bread, and milk?).

    It is a time to be thankful for a roof over my head (a catholic organization has an economy size van, driving around, picking up the homeless and bringing them to the nearby shelters before the storm hits), 2 working vehicles (rumor has it that they will be stopping public transportation in STL on Sunday? Imagine catching a bus to and from work on Monday in Chicago? Minneapolis? STL? Detroit?), and my utilities on (there are hundreds-maybe thousands of people who have either no electric or gas service-some have both services cut off-due to not being able to afford to pay their utilities.

    A time to be thankful………….

  6. We downloaded the photo onto our computer and put the Dogalogue Machine through its passes. The troll is singing a song. It is called Bridge Over Troubled Waters and was written by Simon and Garfunkel.
    The song will ease the pain of those who argued on the blog and will make us all more seaworthy on that stream of life depicted in the photo with the bridge that does not go too far. Here are the lyrics:

    When you’re weary
    Feeling small
    When tears are in your eyes
    I will dry them all

    I’m on your side
    When times get rough
    And friends just can’t be found
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will lay me down
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will lay me down

    When you’re down and out
    When you’re on the street
    When evening falls so hard
    I will comfort you

    I’ll take your part
    When darkness comes
    And pain is all around
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will lay me down
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will lay me down

    Sail on Silver Girl,
    Sail on by
    Your time has come to shine
    All your dreams are on their way

    See how they shine
    If you need a friend
    I’m sailing right behind
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will ease your mind
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will ease your mind.

  7. The photograph at the top of this post is, “The troll what lived under the bridge.” The photo was taken at Terra Studios in northwest Arkansas. The troll is a porcelain sculpture made by one of the artisans.

  8. The thing under the bridge IS a troll. That has implications for the Civility Rule. This is a bridge over troubled waters.

  9. Sometimes folks need to have them written out, esp it seems on the internet.
    It is a good thing to have them posted so trolls, juveniles, and those in the throes of ‘you are totally completely wrong and therefore an ass’ will know what is and is not okay. Thanks.

  10. Thought it was a troll too: more appropriate than a gorilla. Good post & action. Really Needed. I’ve seen bitter relentless attacks due to opinion differences and mutual false information, culminating in half a dozen of your most regular bloggers ganging up with the same eronious data, convinced they are right because they fed from the same pig trough. (oh, & not being civil, not at all…)

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