- No insults, of any kind, toward any person. When I started blogging, I allowed latitude for people writing about public figures (e.g., the president or the governor) or myself. That has devolved into a generally low standard for addressing other commenters, and so it won't be allowed anymore. Punctuate an otherwise acceptable comment by calling someone else an "idiot" or a "moron," or talking about their mama, or whatever, and your comment won't be published.
- No wandering off-topic. No more hijacking threads by getting people talking about something else. On the flip side, I intend to post more often so that readers aren't stuck with a stale thread.
- I will not fact-check every comment submitted, as this would be an impossibly time-consuming task. But if I see a comment that I know to be false off the top of my head, I'm not going to publish it.
These guidelines are not exhaustive, and I reserve the right to publish or not publish a comment for other reasons.
But if you're still wondering why I'm doing this -- particularly if you're a frequent commenter who notices you're not getting published nearly as often now -- understand this. This blog belongs first to the AJC, and second to the readers -- all of them. And some of you, through your bickering, name-calling, caustic tone, bullying and generally uncivil participation have made this blog a lesser experience for readers who didn't bother, or wouldn't have dared, to comment here before. I have experimented with this before, by putting comments in moderation on nights and weekends, and most often the result was a more thoughtful, civil discussion.
And before anyone raises this objection: Yes, I completely expect the number of comments on my posts to plummet, at least at first. And yes, I have support from my superiors to do this. I frequently get 300, 400 or more comments on posts, but many of them aren't worth reading. I would rather have two thoughtful comments than 200 spiteful ones. And in time, I expect we'll get many more thoughtful comments here than we're accustomed to seeing.
If you have questions or comments, feel free to send them to me. I'll see them (even if others don't) if you post them here, or you can email me at the link in the upper-right corner.
Thanks for remaining a loyal reader.