The Middle Way: elephant journal’s Comment Policy.

Via elephant journal
on Oct 13, 2013
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anonymous comments

Read our Comment Policy: “Mean Comments Suck.”

There is so much anger in elephant readers, as I’ve seen in several posts tonight (or rather the resulting comments, most of which have been about the titles or images). I guess that fire and passion is preferable to the “like” culture I see on celebrity fan pages, or media (can’t call them journalism” pages that are all about smoothie recipes or humor.

But…anger is painful and unhelpful in illuminating minds and hearts. We can and must be respectful in our dialogue, and criticism. Folks make mistakes. We do not and should not desire orthodoxy, self-righteousness in our community so much as we should desire to protect all views and diverse experiences, even those we regard as wrong, oppressive and exploitative.

We can bring awareness to all only through love, never through anger. Let’s all re-resolve to communicate our criticism with respect, even appreciation. If we can’t, we’ll have to delete your comment and ban you from this page, which is our loss. ~ Waylon Lewis

hominem attack comment


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9 Responses to “The Middle Way: elephant journal’s Comment Policy.”

  1. Has it ever occurred to anyone that the ability to take criticism, as the Buddha supposedly did, is part of practice?

    Deleting a comment, and blocking, is not taking criticism, it’s avoidance, so people can live in a fantasy bubble, not be questioned, always be right.

    The issues with this are numerous, non constructive, and enabling.

    This is just something to consider.

  2. Jaime says:

    I think they were referring to the people that can’t seem to control themselves and are habitual for leaving nasty negative comments on everything. Getting enraged over articles that are opinion based is ridiculous and shouldn’t have to be tolerated, and I would delete them too.

  3. sarah t says:

    I absolutely agree! My comment that got me blocked on the Fb was a simple criticism of how EJ would respond to people snarkily rather than accepting criticism (or ignoring it all together which would be more professional). Harmful language or angry mean messages getting deleted makes sense but constructive comments getting deleted is irritating and petty.

  4. Padma Kadag says:

    Interestingly enough if we were to apply your "mindful" comment pyramid to those who write articles, which are commented upon, then the articles themselves might be written with more authority and authenticity. Rather you would set a higher standard for those who comment than the actual article….funny.

  5. elephantjournal says:

    Anonymous Neon,

    Thank you. Agree. Generally. It's a great and valid point you make, that you would see discussed above in our comment policy, at length, if you'd like to read it before commenting… 😉

    Actually, the Buddha talked about the Middle Way. And he talked about Mindful Speech. We welcome criticism of our authors and articles, but not ad hominem/personal attacks.

  6. elephantjournal says:

    Apologies. We get a lot of harsh comments, and I was worn thin yesterday (if this happened yesterday). Comments are probably the most degraded (not yours, but some of them) part of our jobs. If you feel you were blocked in error, just email us and we'll unblock you, with thanks. editorial @

  7. elephantjournal says:

    Agree with your point. Generally. Articles and authors need to be respectful, and we pass on many articles, and edit many, to help them get to that point.

    Specific articles you're referring to that should not have been posted?

  8. elephantjournal says:

    Thank you. We didn't delete a comment for 1.5 years, when we first went online…it's a big part of our mission, to foster a place where folks who disagree can debate. But…the internet is not a great place for dialogue, too often. So we've had to find a middle way.

  9. Padma Kadag says:

    I would always refrain from suggesting that an article not be posted. Free speech and all of that…particulary if it fits your demographic. Most of the articles are respecting individuals.My comments have always been more about "buddhists" writing about "buddhism" as if they are teachers of buddhism. I find that 99% of the time there is a fly in their ointment when they write about buddhism. Or it is written in an unauthentic manner as do many of the writers who make money off of buddhism. So readers come away with impressions about buddhism which do not ring true. The writings of the masters…Dudjom, Trungpa, all of the Khyentse's, Dza Patrul, Mipham, and the list goes on, may not ring true because of the directness of their enlightened minds.