I used to look forward to seeing what had been said when I got back from fishing or watching the grandkids sports, but now I find myself cringing when I open my browser. This is supposed to be entertaining and intellectually stimulating, and a respectful exchange of ideas between people of differing world views.

But the discussion has turned poisoned and ugly. It started with a couple of posters who could not express an idea without prefacing it with personal insults, but it has proven contagious, and looking back, I see some of my own posts that got excessively personal.

Perhaps I should have nipped it in the bud by placing the original offenders on moderation, but once you start that, it blocks the flow of the discussion, and WordPress does not provide a means for marking an account for moderation without turning off AUTHOR status, and I am reluctant to censor anyone.

So, my choices are limited, I could just tolerate the nastiness, but then why have this forum at all?

I could follow Facebook’s lead and block offending posters for a limited period of time, but it is hard to avoid the appearance of bias. I don’t like that choice, but the alternative is to shut down the forum entirely.

So, fair warning,

It is OK to criticize an idea, but it is not OK to call another poster names.

Different opinions, or differing interpretations of facts are not lies.

Guilt by association and ad hominem argument are not allowed.

If anyone has a better idea of how to address this issue, I’ll be glad to hear it but if we can’t return this forum to civility, I will have to shut it down.

11 thoughts on “Civility

  1. However you decide to resolve this issue, I will offer this observation.

    Most comment sites are just cheerleading for one side or the other. Kerry’s is a good example of that. Woe be to the commenter that offers competing facts or thoughts. “Why are you even here. Find your own site.” Been there, done that.

    The same with media sites. WAPO has mostly liberal commenters with the occasional troll. Townhall, the same.
    NYT and WSJ do police better than most, so contrary opinions are met with civility and are welcomed.

    We have passionate discussions here. Ad hominem is a problem, of course. Unacceptable, probably. But cheerleading is minimal. In my view, cheerleading sites are part of the divide. Much more comfortable than verbal slugfests. But it just confirms the bubble, IMO.

    I am all for less name calling and more substance. I will try to do my part.

    Sarcasm 😇, that’s another story. Better than name calling.

    Well, that’s my 5 cents worth (inflation).

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Uh, trolls that just parachute in with insults like “libtards suck” are not really engaging.

        I have no problems with people who think I am wrong or ignorant or too this or that. Just back it up with some cogent thought, right or not.


        Liked by 1 person

  2. It seems to be a bit cyclical. You have posted about this before, at least three times that I recall. I have attempted to remain civil, but will not stand by and be attacked without firing back.

    I was glad to see you did call yourself out for doing what MOST (including myself) have done. And there are a couple of serial offenders of the general civility here. Human nature is what it is. It’s just some people are less human than others.

    Do what you must. But I admire your resilience in attempting to handle the incivility, civilly.

    My 10 cents. Being Jewish, it was necessary….😇


    1. It doesn’t start well by calling others inhuman instigators (opposing opinions) and laying blame on them instead of accepting responsibility for your own actions. I find that I am attacked all of the time because of my opinion that someone else doesn’t approve of. I am guilty of striking back as well or commenting on toxic egotistical dialogue from a few here but here we are. All we can do is try to tone it down. I’ll do my best.


  3. When the choir director wants a song to be correct, he cannot be shy about removing the bad singer. This creates a tremendous practical and intellectual challenge for the choir director, which may be its own reward to the right master.

    Tidewater Forum is unique among all web sites. The practice here is for users to link to a source, then discuss it. The model elsewhere is based on content creation.

    Not everyone is proficient at content creation. Few may be proficient at discussion. But I would suggest the Forum is special for its deference to the latter.


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