Comments are an important part of this blog, and I’m sure that many of you read the blog as much for the comments as for the posts. I’m also very proud of the knowledge, intelligence, and writing ability of our commenters. Simon and I write about a wide range of topics, and so it is never a surprise to me to find comments from people who know any particular topic far better than I do. Looking at other economics blogs, I think we have one of the best discussion communities around, with both a large number and a high average quality of comments.
However, there has been a recent increase in the number of comments that can be construed as offensive in one way or another. While most hardened Internet commenters can probably take a personal attack now and then, I’m afraid this will intimidate some people and deter them from joining the discussion. So we are creating some guidelines for comments, which are really nothing more than what you should have learned in kindergarten.
1. No profanity.
2. No attacks or insults aimed at other commenters. Calling a public official an idiot is one thing; calling someone who just wrote a comment an idiot is another.
3. No attacks or insults aimed at entire categories of people based on race, gender, religion, national origin or identity, or something similar.
If I see comments falling into these categories, I will delete them. I am also adding filters on a few words to flag comments for moderation. I expect most of those comments will be approved. For example, if you use the word “moronic,” I just want to check that you are referring to, say, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, not a previous comment.
Thank you for all of your comments. For those of you who do not comment, thank you for reading the blog. It’s no exaggeration to say that Simon and I would not be doing this if it were not for all of you.
By James Kwak