Monday, January 16, 2006

Moderating Comments

Dear all,

I am very reluctant to moderate comments, not least because I would hope that people could be sufficiently responsible to consider the impact of their words on others, and, given that many of us are home educators who most often need the skills of independent, responsible thought, that we could demonstrate a capacity for self moderation and fine judgment!

However, it could be that people may be put off commenting if they feel that their comments are most likely to be misunderstood or overly harshly critiqued. So this here stands as notice that I will require people to try to consider the likely impact of their words upon others, to try to find ways of expressing themselves which will not alienate others, and which will instead actually further the debate and offer opportunities to learn.

Generally speaking:

*ad hominem comments will be removed.
*comments where there has been no attempt to understand the other person's point may be removed.
*comments that are likely to inflame by being overly strongly worded are likely to be removed.

On the positive side:
*Please make every attempt to understand what the other person is trying to say.
*Attempt to improve on their argument before you critique it.
*Critique the best point they make, rather than the weakest for this will genuinely further debate and genuinely test whether an argument holds water.
*Throw as many critiques as you can at your own comment before you post it. Does your comment seem truth-seeking? Does it genuinely appear to match the data available? Does it contain a good explanation? Is it self-contradictory? Is it apparently logical? Does it fit with other good theories that you hold? Is it likely to help someone improve their ideas, or is it more likely to irritate or alienated?

Of course, these last are high standards, and I couldn't possibly claim that I have managed this quite a lot of the time. Whilst it is worth making the attempt, failure in these regards will happen and will most likely not require removal from comments...

All in all: Happy Commenting.

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