I hate that I feel compelled to write this, but enough folks have raised their concerns through comments and emails, and I believe it's in the best interests of the blog to address some behavior in the comment sections on our blog.
I've hoped that the blog would police itself, that there would be a healthy exchange of ideas, even when opinions varied. But, at times that seems to have been overstepped by some folks.
Yesterday, one reader wrote to me and said: "There is a difference between a reasonable or amusing difference of opinion, and deliberately, indiscriminately and consistently giving offense, and when we do see that behaviour it needs to be stopped. This could poison the blog."
That's what I fear as well.
The comments today have gotten worse; some make me a little sick. I worry that the blog will become a place where reasonable academics (who? joking...) won't want to come, and that would be a shame.
Even though we've only been around since the end of June, it's already become a popular spot.
Of course not so popular if your point of view varies from a few readers who have turned to personal attacks and inappropriate messages in order to exercise their perceived rights to tell it like it is.
I am on record since the beginning as not wanting to have to moderate the page, but the support I've felt from many folks suggests to me that perhaps it's okay if I mention my concerns and see what the rest of the folks who read and write at CM think.
Please use the comments below to voice your thoughts. Should you need to be pointed to the worst of the offensive comments (and I can't imagine you won't find them easily on your own), let me know.