Contrary to what some might think, commenting at CC is a privilege, not a right. And we actively enforce our commenting policy, which is clearly stated in our “Welcome to CC” page, accessible from the top menu bar. Unfortunately, all too many don’t seem to have read it, or be willing to follow it. And just like with a driver’s license, after so many points, or one very egregious violation, one’s CC Commenting license will be revoked; as happened last night to one repeat offender who finally stepped way over the line.
I’ve barely tolerated suzulight’s almost invariably negative (and often factually inaccurate) comments for years here, and written to him a number of times telling him to tone it down. But I’ve learned from experience that my warnings rarely work, and invariably repeat offenders cross the line, like a moth to the flame. He left this comment at the Parking post last night:
I have no love or use for cyclists. They are all morons, think they own the road (at least here in Portland) and are simply too stupid to realize the human animal invented the automobile for a REASON. Run them all over.
This comment is hardly borderline. Advocating the murder of all bicyclists is pretty cut and dried. I suppose he could argue that advocating murder is not in the Commenting Policy. But calling them all morons is. As well as his idiotic comment that humans invented the car for a reason: to run over bicyclists, presumably.
suzulight has now lost his CC license, and I rather hope he loses his driver’s license too. Frankly, I’m rather relieved, as I long since tired of his negative rants/innuendos. And he joins a growing list of others that have taken involuntary CC commenting “vacations”.
Frankly, the whole job of reading all comments and moderating them has become a major chore (headache, actually), but I simply can’t abide stupid, negative, disparaging comments. I know that many of our commenters equate the number of comments to the success or popularity of their posts, but it’s mostly not the case. Yes, the number of comments here at CC may not consistently be as high as some other sites, but we will not allow our commenting to be degraded by negativity and stupidity.
There are days I feel like pulling the plug, one way or another. But whenever I’m discouraged, inevitably something really good happens at CC, or I get an email like this one, just this morning, regarding obnoxious commenters:
I can imagine the constant struggle you must endure between your love of old cars and the workaday need to keep the site going. But your efforts are appreciated more than you perhaps know by folks you hear from only occasionally…or not at all. Other than some news and sports sites, yours is probably the only site I visit almost every day.
BTW, morons are everywhere, so abandoning CC won’t get you away from them as I know you know. Not much of an enticement to keep going…but hey, it’s something.
The reality is this, and I have to keep reminding myself this: there’s a whole lot of CC readers who never or rarely comment. And somewhat unfortunately, they’re invariably the kind of readers I’d like to get more comments from! OK; I don’t want to pressure anyone, but it’s really heartening to hear from them (you) from time to time. And to hear less from those that just want to spread their mental pollution or feel the need to externalize every fleeting thought, no matter how banal or repetitive.
Thank you Mathew for your email today, and thank all of you commenters who keep it intelligent, interesting and civil. And let this be a warning to those that don’t. It’s a privilege, not a right.