Last week I wrote a post called Fr Brian D’Arcy and his Critics: How Should Christians Talk about each Other? This post was in part motivated by an increasing number of comments on this blog which are either spurious personal attacks, or have little or nothing to do with the substance of the blog post or the subsequent debate.
Sadly, some commentators are continuing to post such comments. In the past week, I have removed some of these comments and seriously considered removing many more. When authors descend to the level of personal attack or indulge in a long post about a different or only vaguely-related topic, it creates a climate in which other readers of the blog find it difficult to have a constructive debate about the topics that are actually under consideration.
In a comment on last week’s Fr Brian D’Arcy and his Critics post, one of those commentators said:
Gladys: I respect your publishing our comments. Many sites don’t and many newspapers won’t.
This makes me ask whether some of these commentators have been banned from other blogs? I doubt that they have been banned because they disagree with the person or people who moderate the blog. If the posts on my blog are indicative, they have lost the privilege of posting comments because they have introduced new, irrelevant topics or resorted to personal attacks.
I think that the only way forward for Christians (and any concerned citizens) is to engage in respectful debate. I want to hear what people with different perspectives than I do have to say. But in future, this blog will be moderated much more stringently. I will remove and edit more posts and, if necessary, block people who consistently violate these ‘house rules.’
(Image sourced on flickr photosharing, by kev/null)