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.