comments
by Michael dEstries
Categories: Internet.

Over the course of the last four years, we’ve been pretty lax when it comes to comments. The topics that we write about on Ecorazzi can sometimes be charged with emotion, but for the most part, you all have been pretty good about keeping things civil. Unfortunately, there have been moments when our belief in not micro-managing discussions has caused offense to people on the receiving end of malicious attacks. It’s generally been our policy to remove those comments when requested — but things have reached a point where that approach no longer works for us.

Starting today, you’re going to see comments much more heavily moderated than in the past. Just as a writer or administrator can approve your account, they can also ban it — which will leave your previous comments on the site, but not allow you to make new ones. Most of the time, we’ll leave a warning in the form of a response to your post. Frequent causes for whipping out the banhammer, however, include the following:

Personal Attacks

Debates are a large part of what happens underneath a post — disagreements are frequent and contribute greatly to fleshing out both sides of an issue. There’s no reason, however, to go after someone with such harsh rebuttal that you inflict emotional distress. We’re not saying you should switch to using slights from Shakespeare, but including in an argument something along the lines of “You f-cking idiot, you know nothing..” is not constructive and will not be tolerated. Make your point without being rude.

Derogatory Comments

Nazi-comparisons, ethnic slurs, inflammatory remarks, etc. will not be tolerated. If you want to swear about something, fine — but the context will be moderated (ie, “That’s shit is awesome” = acceptable, “She is a piece of shit.” = not so much)

Trolling

There are some people whose sole mission it is to bait people into angry responses or to take a debate on a topic to the extreme. Sometimes, these are innocent, but if we notice a pattern, you’re gone.

Impersonation

We’ve sometimes found people attempting to impersonate another commenter. If this happens, you’ll be banned immediately.

Off-Topic Discussions

Please keep discussions related to the topic at hand. Responding to a post about Prince Charles and his organic garden with “Whalers suck!” is unnecessary and will be deleted.

Questions? Comments?

I’ve most likely left out a few things — or made you confused about others. Please ask politely and I may be able to provide you with some answers regarding the above. As always, we value our commenting community and in enforcing these rules, we hope to make it an even more enjoyable (and tolerable) scene to participate in.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • David

    I admit there are times I have wandered into dangerous territory, but I for one appluad the stepping up of moderation. And I realize that this involves an additional time and effort commitment by you and your staff.

    I believe overall this will improve the site. But with this major change may I suggest a three-strikes type rule? At least for the first week or so. Old habits are hard to break and understanding the nuances of what is and isn’t allowed will be a learning curve for the posters and the moderators.

    • http://www.ecorazzi.com Michael d'Estries

      David,

      We plan on being very tolerant while people get used to these new rules. Thanks for the comment.

  • Michael Raymer

    Thank you for finally adopting a policy that I was always wondering why it wasn’t in place. If my recent posts have had anything to do with this, well good. I’m not going to apologize because I simply got tired of seeing the “other side” getting away with what they do. If it’s any consolation, I have been checking my email more frequently than usual, to see if there was something from Ecorazzi calling me to task.

    May I suggest that a poster be required to register with a fixed name? After the distasteful event earlier this year, involving a stolen name/identity, which I had to take upon myself to investigate and rectify, I think it would be a sound move (but hey, I got a new Facebook friend out of the whole ordeal).

    May I also suggest that a given posters “content” also be examined? I am more than happy to debate with those that disagree. But, I think that it’s obvious that there is a percentage of people who come here not to debate, but to distort. They do not discuss, they incite. They use fabrications instead of facts and that is beneath this site. Honestly, can there be a place on the internet where one is actually required to tell the truth? I’m not rallying for a “Thought Police” at all. But one should be required to back up their assertions with more than “I know you are but what am I?”

    Thanx again. I wish this policy had been instituted earlier, but I will have no problems following the guidelines above in the future.

    • georgina0912

      My name has been “stolen” as well, but also i have been called an assortment of names that i would never say to anyone…because i never curse…in any language.

      I am certainly glad that Ecorazzi staff will be monitoring conversations more closely.

    • Kimitake Hiraoka

      Bravo Michael, I think this is a positive step.

      In the spirit of cleansing and renewal, I would like to nominate Mr Michael Raymer for banishment. While grounds for banishment include his incoherent outbursts and history of personal and inappropriate attacks, I suggest that his most heinous offense to date is atricious attempt to suck up to Ecorazzi management posted above. It almost moved me to regurgitate my lunch.

      I think a lifetime ban would seem an appropriate punishment.

      • Michael Raymer

        Ah Kimmy, it’s nice to see you continuing to piss in the kitchen sink of your host. I admire you sticking to your obnoxious beliefs and trollish ways. I do not wish to be banished from Ecorazzi but if I am, I will be secure in the knowledge that for all your loutishness and hysteria, I merely have to wait for the next season of Whale Wars to see your wussy-heroes get nautically groin kicked by the dedicated people of SSCS. Yes, for all the crying, whining and whimpering from you and your side, Sea Shepherd will continue to reveal the cowardice and incompetence of the murderous fools you idolize. And incomprehensible diatribes and buffoonery will be all the response that we will ever have from you. You are as inconsequential as you are obnoxious. But, thank you for once again proving me right. Yes, my third paragraph above was about you. And here you are, backing me up like a true Olympian. I would call you one-of-a-kind but, alas, people like you are all too common. You are too common. And predictable, as we see. No,no need to reply. Everyone already know what you are going to say.

      • Kimitake Hiraoka

        I see that said offender has yet to be banished. Were I to deign to read through his latest interjection, I am confident that it would serve only to reinforce my case for immediate explusion.

        After all, there are ladies present. The delightful Miss Georgina, for one, is unaccustomed to his churlish and vulgar ways and I do worry that her delicate nature is offended by his regular boorish displays.

        Therefore, I respectfully retender my motion to have Mr Raymer’s Ecorazzi priviledges revoked forthwith.

      • Michael Raymer

        “There are some people whose sole mission it is to bait people into angry responses or to take a debate on a topic to the extreme. Sometimes, these are innocent, but if we notice a pattern, you’re gone.”

        Keep digging that hole, Kimmy. I’ll be happy to fill it in after you wind up in it.

      • http://www.ecorazzi.com Michael d’Estries

        Kimitake and Michael:

        Gentlemen, please. This is a clean slate. While I doubt little the conviction both of you carry for your viewpoints, I’m asking for restraint in attacking each other.

        Kimitake, that was pure baiting. You could have just stopped after your first sentence, but decided to push the response into the territory I’ve outlined above.

        Michael, instead of responding immediately, please email me next time. You took the bait.

        A warning to both.

      • Whoever…

        Kimitake Hiraoka, August 30, 2010 at 7:59 pm on “Green Race Car Driver Leilani Munter Visits Japan To Protest Dolphin Slaughter”

        Oh goodie, another of your leggy bimbos heading our way to tell us how to do things.

        NO COMMENTS!!!

  • Michael Raymer

    And since I have you here, those Snickers ads are really twigging me out. I swear, a casual look at the one with the lady at the beach looks like she’s holding a cross, gazing towards heaven. Except the cross is a candy bar. Yikes. And the zombie puncher looks just like Al Franken. Double yikes.

    • David

      Someone else noticed Al Franken too.

      I think the lady at the beach may be Chelsea Handler.

  • http://www.stichtingmilieunet.nl/andersbekekenblog Erik van Erne, Milieunet

    Good policy and keep up the good work.

    By the way: connect with Facebook and commet gives an error: name and e-mail required. Little bit strange

    • http://www.ecorazzi.com Michael d'Estries

      Erik,

      I believe I have corrected the Facebook login issue. Thanks for the heads-up.

  • don miguelo

    Thank. The. Sweet. Heavens. Seriously.

    (also I find it hard to read 1 word skyscrapers way off to the right side in dark writing, but maybe that’s asking for too much?)

    • http://www.ecorazzi.com Michael d'Estries

      Don,

      I’m not seeing what you’re referencing. Shoot me a screen grab at michael@ecorazzi.com and I’ll try and fix the issue.

      Thanks.

  • Cho cho ma

    I think this is a really good step. However I dont think any steps should be taken beyond the ones mentioned in the future.

    • Kimitake Hiraoka

      Haha Cho Cho, come off it! Look at you playing the innocent and concerned citizen there. Your hands are as dirty as any of them!

      Not that I’m complaining. If I read your posts I’m sure I’d appreciate them for their entertainment value.

      • Cho cho ma

        I would insult you, but that would violate the new rules.

        I never said I was innocent, I just said I was happy with the new rules.

  • Stephanie

    Thank you! I have to say I used to be more active on this site and now I don’t even READ comments anymore, I just skim the articles. I look forward to being able to do this again.

  • Whoever…

    Finally!

    I for one have, several times (too many), taken the bait of certain people who only come here not to debate but to provoke others and incite them to participate in violent and insulting debates.

    One’s patience has limits and Ecorazzi has lost most of its fun because of those who are excellent at provoking others – just to immediately afterwards accuse them of lacking the ability to debate or present ‘real’ facts.
    I believe we all know who they are… all one has to do is to read the comments made on the posts regarding whaling and SS!

    I just hope this won’t ‘protect’ trolls against veg*ans/environmetalists instead of otherwise…