Wednesday, June 16, 2004

A line in the sand

I don't like controversy. I don't like aggressive debate. I do like discussion, and I do like constructive engagement with another whose opinions might challenge your own, and lead to the ability to better see from another person's point of view. Above all, I like respect.

The incident on the previous post which may have lead to the end of the very valuable contributions to discussions here of Bob Tidmarsh has unsettled me. I want this blog to be a place where respectful dialogue can take place, and also where people feel free to express themselves. People are generally extrememly respectful of this, and I am comfortable with the vast majority of comments here. The comment that caused the offence was by some random right-wing silly chap, who suggested I moved to North Korea, and his language was not strong enough for me to moderate by the standards I set for this space, which after all I am ultimately responsible for.

I'm no fan of swearing - in all my posts, you'll only find one which I've written with swearing in it, and that comes with a warning and is an exerpt from my screenplay, which contains lots of swearing because that is the only way I can be true to the characters.

I have bucketloads of respect for anyone's right to set their only personal taste and decency boundries, and I know that people have boundries both stricter and a great deal more lenient than my own, but in this space, in the vast majority of cases, I have to have final say on what is allowed.

Ultimately this means that if people are insulting each other on my comments threads I will soon step in, but generally speaking I will leave insults directed at me alone (unless they contain what is described by television announcers as very strong language!). I hope that people will continue, as they have generally done, to respect the fundamental rules here, which like many internet forums are basically to try and think about how the recipient of your remark will feel before you post it! In fact ladies and gentlemen, I'd advise that in your everyday life...

There's no better learning to be gained than that which you gain by trying to put yourself in someone else's shoes. Metaphorically of course. All you can learn by doing it literally is how your shoe size compares to others. And how people feel about other people trying on their shoes...