Tuesday, November 18, 2003

A bit on blog etiquette

I was recently inspired to post a little rant on my blog about etiquette for leaving blog comments. A snippet:
A comment on comments. So here's the thing. I'm all for the open forum allowed by the nifty comments feature. It is so cool and satisfying, this instant gratification stemming from instantaneous debate. But--and this goes to the philosophy behind trying to make any kind of serious, credible argument--what's with the name-calling?

This has nothing to do with having a thick or thin skin. To me, the most effective arguments in any debate are those made respectfully. It is possible--in fact preferable--to get your point across without having to resort to impudence. The moment arguments about a specific issue become personal, rather than sticking to being topical, defenses go up and people stop listening or run away. And this goes for any subject, be it war or religion or sexuality or drugs or whose turn it is to take out the trash.

When challenged, I'm happy to do the digging for literature and links--the raw materials that have helped me form an opinion--to back up my statements. I'll also gladly admit when I've muddled the facts, am off the mark or am dead wrong. But if that challenge is paired with language like "you idiot" or "this is lame" or "you friggin' hellspawn bitch," I'm much more likely to ignore it, just as I would turn my back on that comment in real life and walk away. Why dignify it?
If you want to read the whole thing, come on over.

1 comment:

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