Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Comments Policy

I've had to nuke a little late night nastiness in the past couple of weeks. While (shocker) the offending parties haven't been by again to complain, I think it's time to be clear with a comments policy. I love discussion – good and bad. I have no problem with disagreement. (My traffic goes through the roof when you guys disagree!) But occasionally, I'll get a comment that's just over-the-top nasty. Typically, I just delete it, but I think it's time to formalize a comments policy. Blatant personal attacks (on me or others), profanity laced nastiness or anything that crosses the line of reasonable discussion will be deleted. Think of it this way, if you wouldn't say it to someone's face, don't post it here. Or, as Michael Ruhlman said last year when he posted his own policy:

If you're going to be foul or rude, you'd better be funny or at least elegant. If someone tells me to stick a cauliflower up my ass, and nothing more, then that's something I would delete. If the poster then goes on to discuss low heat cooking of cauliflower over extended periods, I'd be inclined to keep it.

Comments aren't deleted just because they criticize a restaurant or chef I happen to like. However, I do expect you to be more specific than "That chef/restaurant/product SUCKS!" Just know that I intend to keep cleaning up after the rude people who pop in, raid the refrigerator, and leave. It just seems like a few more have been popping in lately, and I want the rest of my guests to enjoy the party.

Here is my draft comments policy. Input from you as readers -- and members of this community -- is welcome. Otherwise, I'll add update the template this afternoon. (Off to a chef's presentation at the International Culinary School.)

Food, wine, and the restaurant business are passionate topics and we invite passionate response. However, it is our policy to delete posts if they contain blatant personal attacks or profanity laced diatribes that offer no substantive addition to the conversation. Think of the readers of this blog as your colleagues and friends. Feel free to offer both positive and negative opinions using the rule that you should only post words you'd say to a person face-to-face, even with cocktails involved.


Bil Browning said...

I feel your pain. Sometimes policing the comments section can be the worst part of blogging.

Here's our policy:

We want to know your opinion on this issue! All comments from unregistered users are held for moderation. While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.

If you would like to let the editorial team know about a possible policy violation, please use the Contact Us link at the top of the page.

braingirl said...

Thanks, Bil -- that's helpful!

cpierce_indy said...

So glad you are doing this. Have been a frequent reader though it's not my style to post a lot. Will tell you though that when I see unmoderated comments trashing a blog, it makes me look else for my online reading fix. Don't have time or patience for the nastiness that Internet anonymity seems to bring out in people.

All that said, keep up your work. I enjoy learning about the new food happenings going on around Indy.