Every conversational site experiences a drop in the quality (and a rise in quantity) of commenting when an election campaign hits. It’s not surprising. Usually the blood is up (though I do wonder in this campaign how far it will get up), and the temptation to play the man rather than the ball is often too much for activists to resist.
I just want to make it clear in these early stages that I’d like to move towards a more hard line, no tolerance approach towards commenters who do not abide by the commenting rules of the site.
And be warned, that rule applies every bit as much to the blogging team as it does to ordinary ‘Joe Public’ commenters. I’m not asking anyone to take a vow of silence in the face of opinions or work they forcefully disagree with.
On the contrary, Slugger has always thrived on contention. Certainly play hard, but aim at the substance of the work and stay well clear of man playing, and whataboutery. These are primary signs of disengagement from debate.
Let me say too that this is as much a top line concern about the quality level of debate, as any important bottom line legal concerns over what people say. Debate here is generally permissive. We presume your intentions are good until you prove otherwise.
You can help us keep everything legal and decent by hitting the ‘offensive’ button where ever you believe there has been a breach of the site rules. Just remember this is a site for discussing politics.
So, please, resist the temptation to flag something just because you find it politically offensive, it has to be a clear case of man playing, or deliberate wandering off the point of the conversation.
Your (on topic) comments on this are welcome below…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty