Comment civility

Comment civility
: People: I will not tolerate personal attacks on each other (or me), nor the seven dirty words (because I don’t want this site blocked) and I most certainly will not tolerate bigoted hate speech. When I see any of those things, I am taking to killing all comments I see by that person and not wasting time seeing which comments are OK and which are not. So behave or get out. Period. These comments are open so that we can have a civil, mature, productive, and pleasant exchange of ideas and views. We can disagree. We can disagree strongly. But no one should act like an ass. This is my house. Be nice or be gone. Note that I will also kill comments that I think are just too dumb or off-topic to live. See the Rules of Engagement at right.

  • Jeremy

    Yet bigoted hate speech and dirty words are fine from Howard Stern?

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    He doesn’t use the seven dirty words to which I refer. And he does allow bigots to expose themselves as the fools and idiots they are. I chose, instead, to kick them out of my house. Different rules. These are my rules.
    Further note that I can be heard using many of the seven dirty words; I have no objection to them and think that whether out of prudery or PCishness, outlawing words is just stupid. But as I said in the post, I don’t want this site blocked because of the use of those words and so I will kill them and the comments that bring them. Very simple rule. I’ve said it before. But some people have trouble following it.

  • http://www.photodude.com/ Reid

    Jeff, I don’t blame you a bit for killing comments that don’t fit the standards of your site, and I don’t blame you for worrying that it might get the site blocked.
    I am, however, amazed that you don’t see the parallels here, at least in terms of “free speech” and “rights.” Clear Channel has a right to “kill all comments and the commenter” that they feel don’t fit the standards of the communities they serve (i.e., you can get away with a lot more in Manhattan than in Salt Lake City), and they have a right to be worried about being “blocked.” In a Big FCC Bottom Line Kind Of Way.
    It’s their house, albeit rented from the public, and thus overseen by the FCC. Subject to heavy fines or license suspension. As it has always been.
    Free speech has always had limits. They are often contextual. You can’t yell “Fire” in a crowded thater. You can’t use the 7 dirty words on Buzzmachine. And you can’t engage in continually vulgar and outrageous behavior on the public airwaves.
    It’s always been that way. And Howard knows it, because he’s got a 12 year long rap sheet of FCC fines totalling in the millions of dollars. He’s no more a victim of the FCC than the banned cussing commenter is a victim of you.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Reid: The difference is clear and simple: The government isn’t pressuring me to kill comments and which comments to kill. My objection in the Stern/Clear Channel case is entirely related to government taking a role in what can and can’t be said in this country by whom.
    In this blog, I am emperor, and so I decide which comments (and commenters) live and die.

  • kkl

    Aren’t you glad you don’t have forums, Jeff? Moderating them would be a full time job!

  • Charlie (Colorado)

    Uh, you’re dancing on the head of a pretty small pin, there, Jeff. Clear Channel is pretty much deciding on which commenters live or die on their own imperial airwaves. And while I don’t beleive the government should be making any decisions about content, I’d need to see some evidence before I believe that Clear Channel — which doesn’t own the show — was being specifically pressured about Howard Stern — when Viacom owns both the Stern show and CBS.
    Sorry about all the punctuation and italics — I’m too sleepy to figure out how to phrase it so the emphasis comes naturally.

  • billg

    Hello-o. This blog belong to Jeff Jarvis, not to the folks who post comments. If he doesn’t like what you say, he’s got every right to keep you out.
    For Stern fans, that’s rather like Howard refusing to book a guest because he just doesn’t like the guy. It’s his show; his rules. Ditto here.
    If you think this is a free speech thing, bear in mind that the Consitution guarantees free speech, not free publication.

  • http://www.photodude.com/ Reid

    The difference is clear and simple: The government isn’t pressuring me to kill comments and which comments to kill.”
    Aren’t they? Isn’t it the government that insists schools and libraries that offer access to the Internet use some type of filtering software?
    And isn’t it those filtering programs that you fear will block your site if you don’t control the content? Specific words and topics must be deleted. Sounds like a form of “government pressure” to me. You want your site to remain accessible in venues like schools, libraries, etc., and the government has insisted sites viewed in those places have to meet certain content standards.
    Thus, the filtering software. That you fear will cause your site to be blocked.

  • http://www.photodude.com/ Reid

    …bear in mind that the Consitution guarantees free speech, not free publication
    Or a radio show on which to broadcast your free speech. If Howard was completely removed from radio, that would make him … just like you and me. Same forums available, same freedom to be heard.
    Just nobody paying you for it.

  • other Reid

    Use of one of the seven words is basically an admission of defeat and adds nothing to any discussion so, I have no problem with banning that. But, a well crafted put-down is, to me, an art form that shouldn’t be censored.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Other: Well-crafted, fine. Bludgeoning, not.

  • ajf

    Is hypocrite one of the seven words? Is it permissible to simply call someone a hypocrite?

  • http://overtaken.blogmosis.com Matt

    The people criticizing Jeff on this are being ridiculous. Have you not heard the saying, “My house, my rules”?
    Not only is there an amendment protecting free speech, there’s also one protecting private property (except in the 9th Circuit).
    If you have an unbearable need to swear, go comment on Atrios or Oliver Willis.

  • Charlie (Colorado)

    Matt, I don’t think you’re following at least some of the comments. I just went on at length on a comment above, but the core question in my mind isn’t whether Jeff is right to choose whet his rules are (it is, clearly); the question is why it’s then wrong for Clear Channel to make the same choice?
    And again, I think that Jeff’s right to choose what he’ll publish; Clear Channel is right to choose what they’re going to pay to broadcast; and that the FCC ought not to be able to establish any content rules on broadcasts they aren’t paying for.

  • HA

    Jeff,
    Wow, what a hippocrite. And that excuse about filtering software is about as lame as it gets. I promise you I can get mercilessly “uncivil” without resorting to the seven dirty words. Especially when I spot a sitting duck.
    Your ideas about “civility” are inevitably linked to your own political positions. If I called Pat Robertson a hateful, ignorant fool, I’m sure that would pass muster. If I called you or one of your commenters a hateful, ignorant fool, I suspect I’d get banned.
    Your speech code exposes all your quacking about Howard Stern and free speech for what it really is – empty posturing. Like most lefties, you really don’t believe in free speech. You’ll drone endlessly in support of Howard Stern’s filth, but never make a peep about the chilling speech codes proliferating on college campuses which are a clear and present danger to individual liberty on a massive scale.
    I don’t find ideological ghettos interesting. Your blog has been getting a lot less interesting. I think I’ll make it my personal goal to get banned from your blog by pushing the envelope of your speech code. Maybe you should just go ahead and ban me now. Just to be safe.

  • Franky

    ooooh that was a quake-inducing post above.
    How can you not see the difference between calling a third person (in this case Pat Robertson) a “hateful fool” expressing your opinion, and labelling an opponent a “hateful fool” in a debate thereby immediately bringing any sensible interchange of ideas to an end and beginning yet another round of swapping insults over the internet?
    The difference between this blog and the Clear Channel case is a very simple one: Jeff chooses the content of his own site. Clear Channel was trying to shut up one of their commentators because of the government (they thought they could gain favor with congress by getting rid of Stern). Of course, the relationship between Clear Channels directors and Bush is only more troubling in this case.

  • HA

    Franky,
    How can you not see the difference between calling a third person (in this case Pat Robertson) a “hateful fool” expressing your opinion, and labelling an opponent a “hateful fool”
    So what you are saying is that it is perfectly OK to insult someone behind their back, but it is uncivil to do it directly where they have a chance to respond?
    As for the “troubling” relationship between Bushitler and the Clear Channel board – have no fear. The evil designs of Bush and his minions will be thwarted by the righteous. Jeff’s crusade to make the world safe for Howard Stern and Janet Jackson will emerge triumphant.

  • g

    “These comments are open so that we can have a civil, mature, productive, and pleasant exchange of ideas and views”
    But apparently not an honest or representative one.
    Once you start censoring you’ve stripped your forum of its integrity.
    Your right to edit your blog? Unquestionable.
    Its affect on the information value of it? A subtraction.
    You’re basically just putting rose colored glasses on, by doing this. And that may be fine for you, but as an occasional visitor, I don’t want to look at your comments through your glasses. So you don’t have to ask me to leave, at this point — I wouldn’t come back if you offered money…
    Bye!

  • http://www.hfienberg.com/kesher/ Yehudit

    If most of the commenters above get banned for making stupid analogies the comments on this blog will get more interesting again.

  • Trump

    People: I will not tolerate personal attacks on each other (or me), nor the seven dirty words (because I don’t want this site blocked) and I most certainly will not tolerate bigoted hate speech. When I see any of those things, I am taking to killing all comments I see by that person and not wasting time seeing which comments are OK and which are not. So behave or get out. Period. These comments are open so that we can have a civil, mature, productive, and pleasant exchange of ideas and views. We can disagree. We can disagree strongly. But no one should act like an ass. This is my house. Be nice or be gone. Note that I will also kill comments that I think are just too dumb or off-topic to live. See the Rules of Engagement at right.
    YOU’RE VIOLATING MY FREE SPEECH…