Generally, the comment section here is a genteel place. Most of the commenters “know” each other (internet sense) or at least visit many of the same blogs, sites and social networking services. My general philosophy is one of free speech and welcoming contrasting viewpoints, including those that disagree with my own, because the expertise and questions that the readers bring to bear make ZP worth reading.
As a result, I moderate with a very light hand and 99.9 % of the time, the only comments deleted by me are spam ( though some get delayed due to the spam filter until I approve them). Yesterday, there were signs that the tone here was changing and I have had several complaints offline, so I would like to nip things in the bud.
ZP won’t be nearly as enjoyable if foodfights begin breaking out in the comments section and it would be better if we remember to exercise enough restraint to keep discussion civil. We’re all out of grade school, are reasonably experienced at life and have an acceptable command of English – criticism can be frank and blunt, but let’s try to keep our attacks to other people’s arguments and not the people making them.
If someone has difficulty, I will step in and remind them and show them the door if they persist. Charles Cameron and Scott Shipman will determine what is out of line in terms of comments on their own postings and I will remove comments or commenters as they request.