By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Media Nation comments policy

Thank you to everyone who weighed in with thoughts regarding a comments policy for Media Nation. I received some excellent advice. For now, I’ve decided to tighten up on comments just a little bit. It’s easier to start slowly and then ratchet things up if needed.

The only real difference is that I plan to become more pro-active in deleting comments that I think are inappropriate. In the past, the subjectivity inherent in deciding which comments would live and which would die had led me to approve almost everything.

I’m not going to worry about that anymore, even though I’m fully aware that my tolerance level tends to vary from day to day.

I am going to try to keep this as short and easy to follow as possible.

1. The use of real names is strongly encouraged. If you use your real name, first and last, then you will be taken more seriously by everyone here. Real names are not required. But if you choose anonymity, you should ask yourself whether it’s truly necessary (i.e., for work-related reasons) or if, instead, you are using anonymity so that you can express opinions you wouldn’t want to see attached to your name.

2. The purpose of comments is to encourage civil discourse. Personal attacks will not be tolerated. Posts accompanied by hostile or offensive user names or avatars will be deleted. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, then don’t say it here.

3. Comments on this site are unmoderated. Offensive comments are not subject to a pre-approval process, but may be removed after they have been posted. If you believe you have been attacked, rather than responding to the attacker, send a private e-mail to da {dot} kennedy {at} neu {dot} edu. If I agree, I’ll remove the offending comment.

3. Comments on this site are moderated. Comments are posted to a queue, and will not appear on Media Nation until I have approved them. This is the policy I had in place until a couple of years ago, and, on reflection, I think it worked well. If you believe I should not have allowed a comment to be posted, send a private e-mail to da {dot} kennedy {at} neu {dot} edu. I’ve been known to change my mind. (Policy updated on Aug. 13, 2009.)

4. Media Nation shall be held harmless. Under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Internet-based interactive services — including Media Nation — are not responsible for material posted by third-party contributors.

Photo (cc) by Amy Kasameyer and republished here under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.

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  1. cavard

    Nice to see the last point Dan. iBrattleboro learned the hard way two years ago Thankfully the judge threw out the woman's complaint. Still, it's always wise to cover our behinds when blogging.

  2. Steve

    The policy sounds OK to me, especially if that guy in the photo is going to enforce it!Add some red paint and it would look like "American Gothic Reenactment Gone Horribly Wrong".

  3. Peter Porcupine

    DK – Frank and fair to all stations…Yr. Unrepentant Obedient Servant, Etc., etc.

  4. O'Reilly

    "Dr. Tiller was a baby killer." How would that assertion, as posted in a relevant thread, be treated? It's inflammatory and arguable (if a viable fetus can be considered a baby). But is it civil? I would say it is not and that people on one side of a political argument have an obligation to be civil. Your policy while appropriate and suitable runs counter to the standards used by mani stream media like O'Reilly (no relation) and Glenn Beck. As a professor of journalism are you interested in exploring the nature of contemporary MSM news and opinion and whether it is civil or inflammatory as compared to blogs and 'civilian' opinion?

  5. Joy Ford

    Dan I have to tell you I feel so wounded in spirit right now that I might never vote again except for President Obama should he decide to run again and even then I will vote for him and no one else, so strong is my disgust for the Democrats.

    I fail to understand why with a solid majority they were unable to get past their own agendas and essentially cut the President off at the knees. What a disgrace. I did not elect a King, I realize this democracy does not allow that, but if I could have I would have given that much power to the President just so he can wade through the morass and get the people’s business done.

    Instead I have to listen to all the doctors I work with celebrate what they see as the demise of the healthcare reform bill, even as I cancel another patient who even though she has insurance, can’t afford the tremendous deductible for her diagnostic procedure. In his book The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin refers to people who have “made peace with servitude.” It would appear we have been so bamboozled by the 24 hour news cycle and their mission of dissecting every minute, irrelevant and many times inflammatory detail of what passes for news, that we have assumed they must know more that we do and have entrusted them with our most sacred ability, to think for ourselves. I’m just totally disgusted.

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