Jr. Mom notes that this comment from JG on deletion policy merits careful consideration.

This is not an easy thing, and policing internet comments is notoriously like herding cats, I realize that. I honestly appreciate that you’re willing to even try, that Prez Swart sees this as important. But the basic foundation of such a thing is clear policies and procedures that allow for trust in the process of moderation. In my experience, such clear process in fact usually leads to more self-policing and policing in a more productive way by fellow commenter.

Ken said: “But the need for immediacy, the cry for immediate responses and solutions, is very dangerous; and I might say, part of a dynamic, a patterned response….but anyone who thinks their comment on EphBlog, must be published NOW!, and feels it necessary to turn that into a “world’s about to end” argument, complete with dishes thrown and other forms of… abuse… needs to rethink what they’re doing.”

While I do see the “dangerous” patterns that develop in emotional comments, on Ephblog comments have in fact always been immediately posted – we’ve never done the delayed moderation – so to assume people should just on their own come up with the idea that suddenly there will be moderation strikes me as wishful thinking to the level of absurdity. Conversation is an immediate thing versus letter writing or articles back and forth. That is free speech, in its messy form, though we can obviously seek to raise the level.

Finally, if we want to give warnings, I’d suggest the Board develop a standard text because when a fellow participant in a thread chastises someone it comes off as exceedingly patronizing. I don’t think moderation can be done by a single person, and there are several of us who have admin authority and duties could be split. But I think having clearer standards of when comments are parked elsewhere, clearer communication that comments aren’t truly deleted but parked elsewhere pending review/discussion, and clearer communication when things are deleted of who did it and why, this will all go better for all of us.

Indeed. Read the whole thing, and the comment from Ken that she was replying to.

Creating a vibrant on-line community where Ephs of widely divergent views might come together for open-minded, civil discussion and debate is hard. What suggestions do you have for improving EphBlog?

UPDATE: I tried to move many of the most relevant comments from Speak Up to this thread. (If any admin thinks that I missed some, feel free to fix it.) I have also updated the above links. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments. Also: the FAQ on comment editing and our previous discussion. And, false modesty aside, this is one of my finer rants. (But, really, only click on that link if you like rants.)

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