Attention All StandFirm Commenters: Update to Comment Policy and Further Notes
Over this weekend, there were a number of instances on various threads and by many commenters that were in clear and overt violation of our comment policies, which have been re-posted and recalled for commenters constantly over the past several months. There were numerous and blatant rambling off-topic comments. There were personal insults and name-calling on several threads. Whole threads were side-tracked. Some reasserters made fun of Bishop Robinson’s name. A revisionist chose his “moment in the sun” to insert a random off-topic comment on another thread.
It was a disappointing display for the bloggers to eventually observe with horror. As fate would have it, the Commenatrix was away on vacation—or so she said—walking the moors and doing various drills and such by the moonlight. And Jackie, Greg, Matt, and I were all of us traveling. As we could, some of us scrapped together some time to go in and perform crude surgery on a few threads, issue warnings, and ban one commenter without further warning—when we might have been doing something far more profitable and enjoyable.
In the midst of this, there were cries from commenters for the “StandFirm elves” to come save various threads.
Folks—we don’t have elves. We ourselves are not elves. We do not have time to go in and hack at all the threads, perform major re-constructive surgery on them, and plead for moderation. Even if we did have time, we refuse to do it. And some of us are often gone, traveling, working, sleeping, eating, or even playing—although we aren’t often all out at once.
That is why we will continue simply banning those who are unable to contain themselves and who have offered repeated evidence of that fact on various SF threads . . . because we simply don’t have time to plead, and edit, and delete, and warn interminably. Greg has now updated our technical admin roles and all of us are able to ban inveterate offenders without further warning, though we would prefer that people simply read and heed the comment policy.
The recent kerfluffle over a Recently Banned Commenter [RBC] who-shall-not-be-named—[and I repent of my part in leading that thread further off-track and am heartily sorry for it—and please note that Matt and Greg and Jackie do not know nor have they asked that I say that]—has also led us to some re-evaluation of some of our former freedoms. StandFirm spends a lot of money on servers and bandwidth so that many people can read and comment here. As Greg eloquently explained in the final comment regarding the RBC kerfluffle: “Here was someone who was essentially squatting on our property, getting exposure for his writing that evidently he wasn’t getting at his own blog. . . . The problem is that he was abusing the privilege of commenting - insisting on using over half our threads to do what he should have been doing at his own blog.”
For these reasons we are also adding a new policy to our comment policies, simply called the Blog Bandwidth And Copious Amounts of Dollars That Are Spent Rule on the Limitation of Comments.
When we begin to see strings of comments on different threads in one day—and the next day and the next day and the next day—from one single commenter, amounting to more than 20 comments a day and ending up monopolizing numerous threads, we will step in. Obviously, on extensive threads that are long-running and complex—like the Women’s Ordination threads—that policy will be stretched. But the policy will serve as a loose and general guide for the bloggers to evaluate the quantity of comments by a single commenter over a period of days.
Although the weekend made for some painful reading, wasted time, blogger emails and phone calls while on the road, and early-morning hacking of comments, we are all very thankful for our commenters and the general readership out there. StandFirm is a blessing to us, and we hope that it will be a blessing and encouragement for reasserting Anglicans everywhere [not to mention fellow Christians elsewhere].
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