3.3
August 6, 2010

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

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!”

UP TO NOW ELEPHANT’S BEEN LIKE A PERMISSIVE PARENT WHO’S SAID “CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?” NOW, I’VE GOT TO JUST SAY: “HEY, INAPPROPRIATE, YOU CAN’T PUNCH THAT LITTLE GIRL IN THE FACE.”

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.’

NOW, ENJOY HOW TWO WOMEN (COINCIDENTAL? I THINK NOT) DISAGREE RESPECTFULLY, AND COME TO SOME COMMON GROUND:

#
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.”#
elephantjournal.com
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!

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