Behind the scenes at the Virtual Skepchick Headquarters, your favorite skeptical writers have been engaged in an interesting discussion on how to keep the site awesome while we continue to grow with new readers and new commenters. As many of you know, we had a comment thread last week take a turn for the nasty, resulting in my first having to call for a halt to insults and then having to shut the comments off when that request was ignored.
The reason why we allow comments on posts is that we want to give readers the chance to give us immediate feedback, contribute knowledge and humor, and build an enjoyable community. To continue to foster that kind of environment, we’ve decided to more explicitly spell out what we expect of people we allow to comment here and what will happen to you if you fail to live up to our expectations.
You can find the Code of Conduct here, or by clicking “About” at the top of the page. I’ll sum it up here, though: show basic decency and politeness when posting, or else we will kick you off the blog.
If we see a post that is completely out of line, we reserve the right to delete it and take away that commenter’s ability to post. In most cases, we will give a temporary ban of one week. However, particularly egregious posts may earn someone a permanent ban. There will be no appeal, and any emails begging us for mercy will be deleted unread. We do not have the time or interest in debating our actions.
Because we Skepchicks value free speech, any person banned from the blog is perfectly free to start a blog of his or her own.
If you’re waiting for an example of what kind of comment is deserving of a ban, wait no longer:
I hope that this post clears up some confusion over whether or not we would tolerate that kind of behavior. Future bannings will be announced as posts with no comments allowed. However, I’ve left the comments open on this initial post so that you might ask questions or discuss the policy.