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Thursday, April 12, 2007



'Free speech is enhanced by civility.'

I agree with this sentiment very much. It is disturbing how rapidly discourse in the blogosphere can erupt into what Toby Young used to call 'shouty crackers'.

That said, I have no idea how such a code would be implemented or enforced. For some web-sites, like Television Without Pity, rude commentators are kicked out of the forums for not adhering to a strict code of conduct (ex.: no personal attacks). This was to allow for more civil discussions while saving money (broadband space is dear, you know). Obscene language was permitted, however, as were attacks on the TV shows themselves. Remarks of an insulting or irrelevant nature were generally not tolerated. Personally, I still find myself sticking to those same rules of conduct whenever I comment at blogs or web-sites. But, really, the decision should probably be left to the individual blogger. There is nothing preventing other people from challenging something Andrew Sullivan wrote on his blog in some other medium. There is nothing preventing people from directly sending him their personal thoughts about his writing. Posting the comments would likely invite endless noise from his most fervent detractors (that's putting it nicely) and what would be the point of that?

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