Personal attacks don’t belong here

072213outtahereEarlier today our staff to pull some comments off this web site.

One went way overboard in attacking another commenter.  His attacks had nothing to do with the issue being discussed.  His comments were insulting and way out of line.

Such actions illustrate much of what I think is wrong with the Internet and what, sadly, have replaced rational debate and discussion on topics on web sites like Capitol Hill Blue.

There’s too much name calling, too much misinformation and too little substance in what some people post here and other web sites.  I can’t control what happens elsewhere but I may need to curtail it here.

I’ve said it before and it bears repeating:  The only person that any commenter on this web site can attack is me.  Others are off limits.  We’re here to discuss issues, not hurl attacks on others who took the time to comment on an issue.  It is one thing to disagree.  Unleashing vitriolic personal attacks are something else and is not allowed here.

I don’t like racism and bigotry.  Too much of both have been appearing here lately. Too often, those who practice such claim loudly that their intolerance does not exist and then lace their comments with such.

I also draw the line at those who make false claims about our site or substitute partisanship for truth.

It seems some have the feeling that rules don’t apply to them.

They’re wrong.

We enjoy debate on issues and we welcome differing opinions on the many topics that are the subject of articles published each and every day on Capitol Hill Blue.

Unfortunately, some feel that “debate” must be limited to only singular, and agreeable, points of view and differing opinions bring a license to issue personal attacks on those who offer other and opposing points of view

That doesn’t fly here.

Never has.

Never will.

So let’s keep it clean and civil.

OK?

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© 2013 Capitol Hill Blue

9 Responses to "Personal attacks don’t belong here"

  1. Bill Cravener  July 22, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Unfortunately, some feel that “debate” must be limited to only singular, and agreeable, points of view and disagreement with differing opinions is a license to issue personal attacks on those who offer other and different points of view

    That doesn’t fly here.

    Doug that statement is what differentiates you from most all other news sites that allow public comments and you should be very proud of that fact.

    I’ll be the first to admit that my point of view is different then most others who post regularly here on your news site but I do not hide who that point of view comes from. Doesn’t that fact in itself give more weight to the opinion of a commenter?

    If a poster does not like my opinion on a subject that is fine with me but you do not have the right to attack me personally while hiding behind anonymity. That is the act of a coward in my book. I can take most any disagreement about one of my opinions but if a poster wants to throw me to the wolves because my opinion doesn’t agree with their own at least be up front about who you really are.

    My real name is William F Cravener and the whole world knows it. I live in Sharon Pennsylvania so if you want to meet me personally I can be found in the phone book. And by the way, I have no fear that the world knows that fact!

  2. Evan Hillman  July 22, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    I come from a family that didn’t communicate. Of course, during childhood that was my version of normal so I didn’t question it. Later, in college and the work world, I learned how inadequate my skills were and worked long and hard to improve.

    As I attempted to learn good communication skills through observation, I also became aware of some bad communication skills.

    One skill that I learned to be very helpful was to look past a person’s choice of words to try to understand what they are trying to communicate.

    A trait I observed to be very destructive is to focus on a person’s grammar, spelling, misattributed quotes (assuming the source isn’t an important part of what is being communicated), and etc. along those lines.

    In reading responses to Doug’s commentaries, I observe far too many posts that focus on occasional less that perfect choices of words or at times analogies that could be better. a recent example is the Nazi vs. KGB discussion. Yes, the KGB was a better analogy, but I feel I still understood what he was trying to say when the comparison was to Nazi methods.

    My impression is that Doug welcomes hearing opinions that are different than his own. Provided, of course, that the opinions are related to the topic at hand.

    My choice of bringing in the KGB/Nazi thing may be an example of a point that does in fact alter the meaning of what Doug meant. I actually don’t know. But I do know that all of the responses that are unrelated to his intended meaning cause me to discount the value of many of the responses, which is a shame, since many good ideas do in fact appear in the responses.

    I admire Doug for his willingness to say what he means, critics be damned, even if (especially if?) his viewpoint is different than mine. I’m not sure I could do that for as long as he has without giving up.

  3. Hal Brown  July 23, 2013 at 6:30 am

    Since I’m the one who brought up the Nazi comparison, I want to respond with a quote that explains my opinion. The emphasis is mine.

    How many times have you heard a politician or a talking head compare someone to Adolph Hitler or the Nazis?

    The answer has to be: too many.

    The truth is our elected officials and public servants – even when we think they are completely wrong – are not planning to murder millions of people as the Nazis did in the Holocaust. Making such comparisons not only diminishes the atrocities committed by Hitler’s regime, but prevents us from having civil and constructive debates about current issues. from The Common Good website

    You and I understood what Doug was trying to say. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I find such comparisons insensitive.

  4. Doug Thompson  July 23, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Thanks Hal for the quote. My use of the Gestapo comparison was wrong. Bill pointed it out to me in a previous column and I changed it. Unfortunately, because I still suffer lingering memory problems from last November’s brain injury, I repeated the mistake in a later column. When both Hal and Bill pointed that out, I again changed the reference.

    It was my mistake and, as Hal points out, such comparisons are insensitive. I apologize for repeating the mistake and the editors here have been instructed to be on the lookout in case I do it again.

    • Bill Cravener  July 23, 2013 at 9:51 am

      Doug, as you and I discussed via personal emails I was completely off base and unaware of the severity of your injuries. It’s the nature of the beast and sometimes we say things we later regret. But fear not, you continually prove the fact you are a better man then me. :)

  5. Hal Brown  July 23, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Another point that perhaps Evan misses is that there’s a big difference between what you wrote and what readers write in their comments. You are held to a far higher standard.

    I agree we shouldn’t be petty and hypercritical about grammar and spelling in what we say about fellow posters in the comments section.

    I just read this article in Huffington Post: “Cornel West: ‘Barack Obama Is A Global George Zimmerman’”.

    Dr. West called President Obama “a Global George Zimmerman,” comparing the collateral killing of innocent children through the military’s use of drone strikes, to Zimmerman’s killing of the unarmed minor, Trayvon Martin.

    “We know anybody who tries to rationalize the killing of innocent people is a criminal. George Zimmerman is a criminal. But, President Obama is a global George Zimmerman because he tries to rationalize the killing of innocent children, 221 so far, in the name of self-defense… Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen. So when he comes to talk about the killing of an innocent person, you say, well wait a minute, what kind of moral authority are you bringing?”

    While we get the gist of his comparison he is still using a hyperbolic comparison for effect.

  6. Keith  July 23, 2013 at 11:23 am

    There is a vast difference between disagreeing and being disagreeable. And I read far less of the latter here than on other so-called “political” Web sites.

    In fact, I believe Doug’s well-informed and well spoken comments (as well as the vast majority of folks posting here) seem to come from a far more educated and informed following than what I’ve found on many of the others.

    Which is also why I feel far less trepidation posting my (often controversial) comments here rather than elsewhere. For the most part, I know my comments will be read by folks who approach such issues with an open mind. And those who may disagree with my comments usually support their positions with facts rather than raw emotion.

    I think it’s this “open mindedness” trait that the vast majority of us posting here seem to share that makes this forum one of the best around.

    So, I vote that we NOT let the boorish actions of a few ignorant malcontents spoil what is clearly a fantastically thought-provoking forum for the rest of us to share our ideas.

  7. griff6r  July 23, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    So what we’re left with is a sad example of the
    Mutual Admiration Society.

    Doug feels he needs to “control” what other people are allowed to read in his comments section because, like the government he constantly purports to be out-of-control in its own censorship and intimidation, the plebs are not smart enough or savvy enough to discern these things for themselves.

    Who are you to deem any information “accurate,” when you yourself have published inaccurate information repeatedly.

    Propaganda? Yet you will publish stories from the official propaganda outlets and call them news. Just because they are from mainatream sources makes them neither accurate nor news.

    Therefore, the “information” you’re allowed to read on these pages will henceforth be

  8. Mark Thomason  July 23, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Good for you.

    I use a number of websites to read and post comments. The content of the comments strongly reflects the moderation and policy of the forum. Posters seem to go as far as they can get away with going, but most know how far that is. They test, but mostly they know.

    A site can be ruined if it lets trolls run wild. It damages the site, and it seems to be very hard for them to repair once the damage is done. Trolls keep pushing, and others just go away. Reading of the comments falls off, to judge by the recommendations to them, until it seems that nobody reads trolling but other trolls.

    I can’t see why a site would host that. Unquestionably, some do.

Comments are closed.