Civility is all the rage these days.
First Billy Dennis over at the newly-christened “Peoria Pundits” had to institute a civility policy (twice) because of escalating flame wars not only in the comments sections, but in the posts themselves. It was like “Lord of the Flies” for a while there.
Now, I see over at the Bloomington Pantagraph that they’ve had to do the same thing, except they may be a bit more aggressive than Billy:
So, beginning today, our screeners will not allow users to be rude, take pot shots at others or call names in comments posted on our site. Hopefully, this will change the tone of the conversation and keep people focused on a discussion of the issues and not calling each other “idiots” because they have misspelled a word or two.
They can afford to be more aggressive — they have screeners. They’ve gotten over 230 comments to their plea for civility saying polite and courteous things like, “Pantagraph, thank you so much for protecting my fragile emotions.” And, “Your [sic] just going to to take the fun out of the comments, that’s all. Guess I will head back to cnn.com….” See how well their new policy is working?
So far, I’ve only had a couple of instances where I had to ask commenters on The Peoria Chronicle to be civil (knock on wood). They’ve always complied; furthermore, most of my readers have been civil without having to be told, and for that, I thank you. I hope I never have to institute a civility policy, but I suppose it’s inevitable.
We’ll just enjoy our little utopia while we can.