ArmchairMayor.ca is pleased to confirm a policy of welcoming comments from the public. Quite a number of media have stopped accepting comments due to cyber-bullying.
Kamloops This Week, for example, has stopped publishing comments on its website, though it accepts letters to the editor. In making the announcement a couple of weeks ago, it cited growing nastiness in comments as the reason.
While comments will continue to be encouraged at ArmchairMayor.ca, there will be a condition. Any comment that includes an insult to anyone will be deleted. Words like “idiot” and “stupid” and “moron” are clear giveaways that the discussion has degenerated from useful and respectful opinion into name-calling.
This policy will apply both to the ArmchairMayor.ca website and to the Facebook page. Comments tend to be more civil on the website (for which I’m grateful) than on Facebook but an eye will be kept on both.
Any use of derogatory language aimed at individuals or of unfounded accusations, or of foul language, will result in the entire comment being deleted, even if the rest of the comment offers thoughtful opinions. The ArmchairMayor.ca website and its Facebook page are a personal project done in the furtherance of public debate, and administration is a one-person operation. As such, unfortunately, I simply don’t have the time to edit out the offending parts of comments and then publish the rest.
A repeat of comments that stray from opinions on issues and into personal insults or inappropriate language will result in the commenter being blocked.
Today, by the way, is anti-bullying day, with the focus this year being on cyber-bullying, so it’s a good time to issue this plea for civility. Let’s have a respectful conversation.
— Mel Rothenburger