elephant’s new D****bag-free Comments policy.

Via elephant journal
on Aug 6, 2010
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Source: instagr.am via Kit.~

Our comment policy: rude comments will be deleted. Critical but constructive comments are more than welcome—respectful debate and conversation with those we may not agree is a part of our mission.

Update: Please: no comment.This policy is not new, no longer. For the 1st 1.5 years of elephant’s online existence I took pride in never deleting a single comment. For the last few years, as we’ve grown, we’ve sadly grown up and now regularly delete meanie comments. But our mission remains the same—exactly the same: to nurture a culture where compliments and criticism are equally respectful and genuine.  ~ ed.


Be Nice, or We’ll Kill You.

Internet Comment Phenom: Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Mean Person.

or ?

Recent (nice) comments from a single blog post:

“I love you Elephant J! You guys bring the crazy anger out of everyone haha =) ♥ “”Holy crazy stick, i gotta say elephant seems to bring the crazy out like no other.
‘don’t talk about bad things cause then you bring attention to them. hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. wahhhh’ Seriously people the point of this article is to develop discussion around a practice that everyone here finds less than ideal. yelling at elephant for bringing this up is silly and creates an environment of silence where others are afraid to speak up.””Really, no where else on the internet can you see such a display of like-minded people getting so uptight and offended with each other. Spiritual adherents getting all caught up in illusion, ego, and needing to be right. Constant source of amusement for me, thanks!”


From now on, due to (regretful) complaints by some readers and writers, elephant will happily delete any comment that is rude, employs mean-spirited fbombs…that sort of thing.

If you see a comment you find objectionable, not in view but in expression, email us and we’ll review it promptly. Mean comments get deleted.

I find this change in policy regrettable, personally. Up to now, over the course of two years, we’ve deleted maybe one or two comments ever (our comment system, Intense Debate, does reject overlong comments from time to time). Why? I’ve aspired to host a forum that is open to all opinions and passions. For that’s our mission: to extend “the mindful life” to those who didn’t know they gave a care. And we can’t do that very well by playing thought police within our little choir.But now, thanks to a few f*****g d*****bags, that open policy is ruined for all us.I want to make one thing very clear: this change in ele’s comments policy is not because I, or our authors, have hurt feelings and are curled up in the fetal position on the second floor of my home wearing two-week-old boxers feeling sorry for myself. In fact, I’ve welcomed harsh comments on my blogs for years: I learn a lot and become a better person because many of you are f**k**g ***holes.One thing will never change: elephant welcomes dialogue, and respectful, thoughtful disagreement—however passionate. Indeed, it’s what we’re for.Overall, our traction with our readership has been inspiring. We have twice as many Facebook Friends and Twitter Followers as many media outlets 10 or even 100 times our size. Our readership on elephantjournal.com itself is arcing at a 45 degree angle. Life is good.And so, we (politely) ask that our readers, and ourselves, to be as measured in our anonymous online debates as we would be in person, if we were friends with different opinions.This comment policy, in a more sophisticated way, has been in place for years at sites like Huffington Post, and Treehugger—which actually used to require readers to click a button that says “submit my respectful, thoughtful comment.” I love that.So, as a sort of goodbye to the Land of Unnecessarily Rude Comments, enjoy Mr. D’s more-respectful-than-many comments on our Facebook Page.~#
Steve D Posting this after yesterday’s exchange [see comments on Feminist Hack of Maxim] is potent evidence of your cluelessness. Complain, complain.#
Jennifer Jones Hunt: Steve… Are you threatened by the article or by the picture?#
Tanna Riggs: I clicked, couldn’t help myself :)#
Steve D: Waylon says no one complains [when he posts photos of males in media] so I thought I would contradict him. I think it’s clueless because Waylon engages in cheap attention getting image trafficking, then acts as though his audience is repressed and puritanical.I find this posturing hypocritical and disingenuous. Threatening? Who are you kidding? Elephant is incapable of it. It’s too needy of ‘friends.’


Tish K. P: Women get to click on this one, because men haven’t been exploited enough ; ) I’ll take the guy on the left :D#
Jennifer Jones Hunt:
Images are used to represent, prove points or possibly even get people thinking. Unless, of course, the audience views themselves as repressed and puritanical, in which case they would allow themselves to be threatened by an image. So then,… Waylon’s not the one at fault for you feeling threatened…#
Tish K. Park
A person doesn’t have to be repressed and puritanical to have mixed emotions or disapprove of the quality and/or quantity of the images or articles are shown. They can really like the images ; )I read the links that elephant journal put, regarding their viewpoint, I understand, and I’m not against their viewpoint.Just as with anything (food, activities, etc.), balance and fun is important, like eating healthy, but having times for indulgences. Images, like anything else do affect people, positively and negatively.As responsible human beings, we know that garbage in, garbage out. I have nothing against sex, nakedness, etc. Give me a little garbage sometimes ; )But overdo a certain type of image, and I might be missing out on something else that’s important, interesting, or fun too, that would also keep my perspective in balance.#
Jennifer Jones Hunt
Tish – I’m certainly not saying that one must be repressed or puritanical to be threatened by an image. As with any form of art, we all have our unique appreciation of aestethetics. I’m simply using the words that Steve used when accusing Waylon of using cheap attention grabbers… Again, subjective. The point I’m making is that since these images are subject to personal preference, it’s not the person who creates or uses the art who is at ‘fault’ for others’ reactions.#
Tish K. Park I agreed with that. I guess I should have said that. Sorry.#
Jennifer Jones Hunt No worries, dear. I certainly agree with you that diversity is always a good option!#
elephantjournal.com Wow, respectful dialogue! With thanks to both of you for showing how to disagree (and agree) without being disagreeable. Something we men have to work on—we prefer “posturing.”#
Stephen, respectfully, I’d remind you that we often (me, my many writers) disagree with our readers. This, perhaps, is an example of that. Our many posts on veganism, mindful-meat-eating, slow food are perhaps another example of that—many o…f our readers furiously disagree with us when we post on any one of those subjects.We are here not to have “friends,” as you say, but to provide a vital forum for respectful dialogue on how to better create an enlightened society. In more simple terms, how to live a good life that’s good for others and our planet. I hope you’ll join us: write something!Instead of complaining from the outside, complain from the inside! Insult me all you like, and do so from within elephant. Or write on whatever you’re passionate about.#
Anna Kristina hahaaaa these guys are hilarious!


About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive.


65 Responses to “elephant’s new D****bag-free Comments policy.”

  1. […] supportive and otherwise, are welcome. Name-calling and such will be deleted. Here’s our official, long-standing “Mean Comments Suck” comment policy. ~ […]

  2. […] thoughtful, mindful, in-depth criticism turns thoughtful, mindful, loving people on. ~ Robert Sturman, Lindsey Block, Waylon “All the Bad Parts above are my Fault” […]

  3. DaveTelf says:

    This is an elaborately fascinating document.

  4. @tom_zorro says:

    I thought that was compliment …

  5. […] Our goal is to grow, but only in the sense of reaching beyond our core or choir and to those who don’t already agree with us. Respectful, constructive dialogue is vital to society—and, over the last 10 years, it’s a muscle that’s atrophied, both in the halls of Congress, and online. […]

  6. elephantjournal says:

    Sorry about the formatting, folks, it somehow got verrrry messed up on July 10, but we don't have a prior copy.

  7. Vik Zutshi says:

    From what I've gathered, articles on EJ which have 'fuck', 'ass', 'bitch' etc in their titles usually get the highest readership. Which encourages bloggers to pander to the lowest common denominator for maximum eyeballs. If the editors wish to get rid of brain-dead commenters, they need to first inject a high brow editorial sensibility into EJ.

  8. cathy says:

    I am glad people are thinking about this. I made a comment on facebook re an article which per the author´s words after the fact was written to be ´silly´so everyone would know her as she intended to write regularly fo rEJ. I didnt appreciate the manipulation. I tried to tak to that person about being dispassionate regarding potential hurt to others from an extreme yoga, her modality and her uncaring came through pretty loudly. I wrote BEWARE,, if that needed to be deleted I need to know so I can decide if its worth it to comment or not. It does take time and thought, but I am hapopy to be ´talked to´or simply not comment. This, then, removes interaction and interest.

  9. Lisa says:


  10. Stage Diving Yogi says:

    YogiOne – are you serious? If you are that sensitive to someone writing or even saying ‘yoga sucks’ I am not sure you should be online reading or really even leaving your home. I respectfully think maybe you should seek some sort of therapy or maybe try yoga it is very good for helping create a thicker skin.

  11. […] It seems to me that here at elephant journal, we could use the same kind of bravery when we write and respond to others. […]

  12. […] trolling is a disservice to criticism. When I insult, I objectify the other and turn them into something […]

  13. […] and new, in and out folks—but someone needed to say something and invite a constructive dialogue (douchey comments will be deleted). The many inaccuracies and faults in the above “problems” and “solutions” […]