Troll policy

There is a very fruitful and nuanced discussion climate at this blog, sometimes spanning hundreds of comments on complex niche topics like legal interpretations of the European Convention on Human Rights in a wiretapping scenario. I place a very high value on that kind of open and honest discussion.

Unfortunately, I have also learned that there are individuals who are motivated by sabotaging the discussions and grabbing all attention for themselves by provoking other guests here or by provoking me. While this kind of indiviudal fits badly into my ideal image of the human philosopher hungry for the exchange of ideas, part of the charm with humanity is that all people are different, and motivated by different things and aspects of life. Nothing is wrong or right, there is just natural variation.

However, this is my blog and my server. I invite people to be guests here in order to discuss ideas, concepts and aspects of information policy. That’s the topic of the party. When people are guests on my server, I expect people to behave like guests in my house. I am entertaining a fruitful exchange of ideas with large amounts of hospitality in return. However, I also expect guests to honor that hospitality.

People who are rude to other guests at the party, or to me personally, will have this fact pointed out to them and asked to be friendly, once. If they continue to violate my hospitality, I will show them the way out so they will not ruin the party and discussion for all the other guests.

About a dozen people out of several thousand contributors to discussions here have unfortunately had to be shown the way out. In the process, their comments have sometimes had to be edited in full or in part to remove outright libel. I think that is sad and unfortunate.

This does not mean that disagreement is bad. Quite to the contrary! Countering an opinion with reports saying the opposite stimulates discussion and the fostering of a sustainable, sensible information policy. But disagreeing rudely is another matter. The keyword is “rudely”, not “disagreeing”.

Welcome to the party. Enjoy the discussions. Be friendly, gain new understanding of complex topics, and have fun.