Gentlemanly Conduct

In the last few weeks I’ve noticed a number of new commenters, so now is a good time to revisit this site’s guidelines for commenting.

It will also fulfill a request by Dymphna. Months and months ago she asked me to post the rules for comments used by Mark Steyn’s website, which are similar to ours, and ones that she greatly approved of. I feel guilty that I didn’t do it before she died, but better late than never. Here are the Steyn Rules:

SteynOnline greatly appreciates your comments. We do not, however, publish comments containing: profanity, ad hominem insults, off-topic remarks, overly lengthy responses, commercial or other promotions, ALL-CAPS COMMENTS, incitement to violence or unilluminatingly insulting generalizations about various identity groups. We greatly value comments that are to the point and civilly expressed. Please do not simply put in links. Mark is interested in hearing YOUR comments. A URL is not a comment. Commenters’ email addresses will not be displayed publicly.

These are pretty much the same as my guidelines. The main difference is that I sometimes redact comments that violate the guidelines. If there aren’t too many violations in a single comment, and I’m not pressed for time, I’ll replace the profanity or ad-hominem slights with an acceptable synonym inside [square brackets], or just indicate that a word or phrase (or an even longer section) has been [redacted]. Recommendations that people or groups be tortured, slaughtered, etc. are generally replaced with [intemperate recommendations redacted].

If I don’t have time or am out of sorts, I’ll just delete the comment, which is of course much easier. Repeat offenders — people who just can’t seem to get the hang of the rules, even after having their comments redacted a few times — tend to annoy me, so I just delete such comments.

My habitual shorthand for our guidelines is this: “Gates of Vienna’s rules about comments require that they be civil, temperate, on-topic, and show decorum.”

See also: Guidelines for comments.

7 thoughts on “Gentlemanly Conduct

  1. Sometimes I don’t know what phrases in English sound obscene.
    In the Russian language, for example, there are a lot of definitions for one word – partly decent, partly indecent. But all of them are translated into English as one indecent.

  2. Decorum is all well and fine. It has it’s place, and nobody wants to see the party van pull up to their kerb.
    However; there is a time and a place. Too much decorum in the wrong forum leads to delusion, delusion leads to Neville Chamberlain [epithets].
    There are, sadly, many situations where reason and discussion simply does not work.
    We have all seen that radicals, marxists and their muslim shock troops do not respond to reason. Adherents of Marxist philosophy, Islamic dogma and radical ideology’s do not respond to reasoned, measured discussion or simple logic.
    Neither do African tribal gangs or New Guinea cannibals.
    Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan did not respond to reason. Balkan militia’s are not moved by negotiation or sanction. Any primitive or socialist simply views discussion, or compassion as weakness.
    This is unfortunate, but the simple truth.
    There comes a time when ‘being nice’ is just a chumps game that gets your teeth kicked in.
    Against the enemies Western Democracy, ‘nice’ is a liability, and engagement is fatal weakness.
    There is a time to talk, and a time to ruthlessly crush the savages who would impose their vile dogma’s and drag humanity back to the dark ages and our extinction.
    No cigar for guessing where we are at now.
    It’s time get nasty.

    • @kono
      I agree with you.
      Being nice is only appropriate when we are communicating with logical, decent people.
      But, when we are surrounded by abusive intimidating uncivilized illogical savages or nasty liars, intolerant people who failed to respect decorum and who rather used bad language to attack instead of disagreeing politely with appropriate facts, it would be better to be harsh with the unpleasant truth with them or ignore them if one still can’t talk any sense to them.

      • kono and wpas, I think you’re missing the point; on this site you are dealing with (mostly) logical, decent people, so there’s no call for abuse.

        • Mark H,
          Thank you for your reply.
          I agree this site is quite decent and thankfully, one don’t get abusive replies here unlike other places where bullying, harassment, abusive replies from rude abusive nonwhites, Asians are quite common.

  3. Time and Place, but also to be in command.

    ‘Speak softly— carry a big stick— and you will go far.’

    The other qualities were to act justly toward other nations, never to bluff, to strike only when prepared to strike hard, and the willingness to allow the adversary to save face in defeat.

    Though near the end of that link about the Cuban issue, it also shows that Roosevelt did sometimes feel very riled up.

    Know your self, your strengths & weaknesses, so an enemy can not play you, and then know the enemy well.

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