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December 2010
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Comment Moderation Protocols

I ended up yanking about 5 comments today from a variety of folks for breaking the rules, so I thought it might be a good idea to recap my philosophy on comment moderating.

  • Don’t call other commenters nasty names.

Pretty simple, huh?

Why? It’s not that I’m squeamish about the language or haven’t used that language myself to talk about the DEA or someone else in prohibition — rather it’s my experience that once it happens, the whole conversation turns into nothing but a shouting match and nothing interesting is said again.

Also, since this is my blog, I reserve the right to be completely arbitrary and unfair about it. I may yank yours even though someone else said something worse to you. Just like in football, it may be the retaliation that gets the penalty.

Sometimes it’s because I’ve been too busy to read them all, but other times I have my reasons.

For instance, if a prohibitionist or prohibition enabler stops by and calls us nasty names, I’ll probably leave the post up. We don’t get them here often enough and it’s nice to have a chance to argue with them (argue, not call them names). If you respond in kind, it brings you down to that level, cuts off any chance of having a discussion, and allows them to prance away gloating that “those legalizers didn’t even have a response to my argument — they just called me names, because they knew I was right.”

A couple of you found clever backhanded ways to give a dig back, while refuting the arguments. That’s cool.

Final note: a commenter I’ve never seen before left a comment wishing someone a bullet in the head. Comments like that will not only be pulled, but will probably get the commenter banned.

Feel free to disagree — actively, passionately, vocally, and intelligently, but civilly.

Thanks! I’ve got some of the best commenters out there and we have some amazing discussions.

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11 comments to Comment Moderation Protocols

  • Bob Joy

    People are passionate about this issue. Individuals are persecuted because of a plant and are in prison because of a plant. Naturally people get angry. I think their is massive corruption on the part of the DEA and everywhere else on this issue. Politics are never let down. We could grow a plant that produces a substance which without going to the doctor cures many. But the prison state tells us what we should or shouldn’t do use such a substance because big pharma offers better alternatives.
    SO i say fuck them all. Overgrow this thing. Grow it in your closet in your backyard get seeds spread it everywhere. Wisdom will conquer ignorance in every walk of life no matter what you say. We will prevail in this fight for true freedom.

  • Cannabis

    Kind of like the difference between swearing about something and swearing at someone. The problem with drug policy stuff is that the somethings are caused by someone’s policies. It’s not like accidentally hitting your thumb with a hammer. That said, we can learn to be civil with each other.

  • darkcycle

    I would never call someone names; I am under the impression that it is somewhat counterproductive when it comes to changing a person’s mind. I am guilty of snark, though, and have been known to turn a phase back on it’s originator, sometimes in the form of a label. I do use profanity on occasion as it make my computer blush. That being said, I couldn’t tell if any of my comments had been taken down. I’m just glad you left the one which contained the phrase “phyto-phyters”, as I am inordinately proud of that one and would have been hurt had it been considered “over the line” (not to mention, confused as to where that line IS)…..
    Anyway, calling for a bullet in the head is a bit much, to that I will agree. People get hot about this subject, and some people have been hurt very badly indeed by prohibition. We all know where it comes from. But I agree, violence begets violence in an endless cycle. Plus, it’s one topic our antagonists understand and wield so much more ruthlessly and efficiently that us potheads, that it’s not an option for us to use in response. Can you imagine what an uprising of potheads would look like, I have, and it ain’t pretty…..so, yeah, I support that, but warn ’em once huh? Not everybody gets that right away.
    Anyway, sorry if I stepped on your line. This is a civilised society here, and I will henceforth remove the tribal headdress and the bone from my nose before posting.

  • Nobody need apologize. I just wanted to re-state how I handle things here — procedures intended hopefully to stimulate better discussions.

    And snark? Oh, yeah. Nothing wrong with that.

    Also, folks, I completely understand the pull to get violently angry about such a destructive policy. I get upset every single day. That’s one of the reasons I do this blog.

  • Thx Pete....

    ..I try to keep it sane(as crazy as I get at times). You havent pulled any of mine, so I must be keeping it some what real. Your a good policeman Pete, as well as a therapist with your couch and all lol.

  • Common Science

    It was obvious to me when I discovered DrugWarRant last year that the site is run with the highest sense of decorum. The insight obtained from your regular viewers is downright cathartic. Thanks for gleaning through your site for removing comments of use to no one Pete. Those ticks and fleas can start such an itch.

    Here’s an example of the fatal tactical decision of not applying any moderation to a comments section. An author was trying to educate readers in Kentucky on the comparison of contemporary and historical reference to U.S. drug policy regarding marijuana. The comments started to take the lesson further, good links provided, then a couple of pea-brains on both sides whitewashed over everything constructive with belligerent prattle and infantile personal attacks.

    Don’t go through the whole episode unless you are a psychology student, but you can see how to make sure you push people away from your point of view:

    http://www.state-journal.com/news/simple_article/4937973?page=0

  • denmark

    Glad you put this out there Pete. Reminders are good.
    I did miss the action though.

    I too am angry over Prohibition. I am not a criminal because I want to consume cannabis responsibly.

  • Cliff

    “I too am angry over Prohibition. I am not a criminal because I want to consume cannabis responsibly.”

    If you want to make you point stick in the minds of your opponent, do it with dignity and respect for the person you are debating with. You will probably still differ, but it will be harder for your opponent to disparage your character.

  • DdC

    We.re Moving Forward… stage three!

    First they ignore you,
    then they laugh at you,
    then they fight you,
    then you win. ~ Mohandas Gandhi

    Missed it… Was I in it? I’m reasonably sure that I pissed off somebody, I work so carefully at it, it would be a drag to think apathy was all thats left. As far as personal attacks, war is heck. This is a chat compared to GOP and DNC hardcores. Topix has their share of trolls and worriers. It damn sure fucks up a post and that act is witnessed and those standing by can judge why it happened. What reason would someone have for eliminating the debate? Or some forums censor content, copshops do not want truth messing with their product. Ad agencies smearing PDFA gossip, for free. Same ones selling you tide and boner pills.

    Its not hard to tell those who have concerns and questions from those who want to avoid the debate with red herrings, diversion. Lies posted to get reactions and recruits. Trashing post is the same, kills the debate. Professional trolls like maintaining the status weird for the corporatists making humongous bucks on prohibition paraphernalia and keeping natural organic food, fuel, fiber and FARMaceuticals off the market shelves.

    Same corporatism trashing taxes, while tearing up the roads and bridges hauling commodities, not paying their share stashed in some shelter. Many times Calvina, DARE, Straight Inc. getting grants or Califano Jr rehabs getting mandated plea bargain profits, Faith based rehabs writing off their responsibility to society and the infrastructure spreading gossip.

    It’s all part of the agenda to perpetuate the Ganjawar. Or fossil fools or segregation or curtailing whistle-blowers, stigmatizing stoners and the so called counterculture. Using the TV, Radio Magazines and Papers was simple edification, for decades. No one outside could even get air time to advocate and any reporter or journalist was subject to the Publication or Network except on rare occasions. Now the internet has clearly shown the Fascism and Neocons practicing on both sides of the aisle. Feinstein Hatch censorship bills or Clinton, Lungren and Wilson totally disregarding Prop 215. The shock and awe of Wikileaks and what we do just passing info is a clear and present danger to the moneysluts. Good job.

    “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”
    — Frederick Douglass, August 4, 1857

  • denmark

    That’s sound advice Cliff.
    When I was a kid we used to say, “it’s enough to piss off the Good Humor man”. That was the man that drove around in the ice cream truck during the summer, and you didn’t want to piss him off because he might not stop next time.

  • vicky vampire

    Thanks Pete for reminding us to stay civil about this we all here are wholly compassionate and very dedicated to this issue.
    Yes DcC nothing makes my blood boil more than to here ignorant,citizens, and not so ignorant law inforcment, doctors and heath care workers others in field say like your comments see Marijuana is so addictive we have thousands of teens in REHAB over it well you bloody blimey idiots that’s because hell people casual users are plea bargained with two
    choices jail or rehab some don’t even use that much some for strictly medical but then its like for kinds of legalistic reasons the prohibs love the rehab stats to show like you said above in your post Ddc December 10 at 10:13pm they use it to stigmatize stoners and the counterculture.So with tons in rehab it looks like a nation full of addicts when its really not the case at all.