My Esteemed Mr. Crabb,
I sense that you posted this cartoon in response to the dustup in the other room, and wanted to get away for some respite. Mind if I join you here where it’s quiet, and submit an observation on a semi-related topic?
Remember when The Union ceased allowing comments on articles due to complaints of incivility from some of the posters there? Soon after, the Auburn Journal began requiring a Facebook account to post comments, presumably to reduce hostility and make posters more accountable for their writing. A quick look at the log-on rules from other local blogs also support this concept.
Personally, I have not seen evidence here or elsewhere that the tone of conversation is improved when real names are required. What do you think?
When you are dealing with people who can throw insults across space without the fear of getting a knuckle sandwich in return, it makes it hard to enforce civility. I don’t use Facebook and have no intention of forcing anyone to plug in to the Matrix to comment here. I will do my best to moderate the comment stream myself, and I won’t allow anonymous bombthrowers. If it gets too raunchy, I may have to employ sterner punishment. Voodoo dolls come to mind.
Haha! Voodoo dolls! That’s a hilarious visual!
I’m not trying to exert any influence on your moderating style. I think you do a great job. As a newcomer to your blog, I was only refuting the assertion by many people — that using real names when posting will result in more civil discussions. Personally, I am fascinated by the dynamics of (internet) conversation and have always been in awe of the wealth of knowledge of some of the old ‘The Union’ posters, who now reside here and there — none of whom I know either!
It used to be that when you read something outrageous in the newspaper, you had to dig up paper and a pen or typewriter, write out your complaint, make corrections, get an envelope and stamp, and send the thing off. More often than not, in the time elapsed you would calm down some and maybe throw it in the trash. Nowadays it’s possible to respond within seconds of a post. There is no time to cool off.
I’ll be the first to admit I’ve let my anger get the best of me in some of these conversations, but I’m learning to get a handle on it, especially since I have my own forum. The new technology has given us a remarkable tool to communicate ideas and work out differences, if we will only give it a chance. The best way to take the measure of a person is to physically be there. That’s why I try to attend as many political functions as possible.
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