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Proviso Probe

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

ADMIN, new guidelines for comments

Last week we had local elections. This has caused me to reflect on both Proviso Probe and Proviso the community.

I am going to make a major change to Proviso Probe. Proviso Probe will no longer accept comments that are disrespectful to members of the Proviso community, including people who post on Proviso Probe.

I'm not sure I can describe all the ways comments can be disrespectful, but here's a partial list.
1.No talk of people's sex lives, unless there is direct connection with professional duties
2.Do discuss people's bodies
3.Don't discuss medical conditions, including mental health issues, except in cases where mental health is central to the story (e.g. Westchester case and Hubert Thompson)
4.Do not engage in name calling and insults
5.Do not attribute motivations you can't know

Does this mean Proviso Probe isn't going to allow criticism of public figures? Discuss what people do, not who they are.

Why am I making this change? I suspect that the negativity of our political discourse is doing a certain amount of harm. People and factions say ugly stuff about each other and it makes it difficult to work together in the future.

Also, I suspect the incivility hurts reformers more than it hurts people in politics to make a buck. When the discourse sinks to a bunch of name calling and allegations about porn, pedophiles and perversions the people who oppose reform can avoid the issues of substance by turning the discourse into a mudslinging contest.

As for the Proviso community, part of me would like to see the various governing bodies put the elections behind them and have the factions work together.

But part of me thinks that it would be inappropriate to give people a pass for doing stuff that is unethical or illegal. I'm wrestling with this so the line between allowable comments and not allowable may shift.

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  • I've rejected a bunch of comments. Here are the reasons:

    Characterizing the other side's politics as “dirty”
    Refering to the other side's statements as “BS”
    Calling someone “corrupt”
    Describing a community as “looking like crap” or “the ghetto”
    Describing people as “standing in the way of progress”
    Slurs based on ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation
    Generally gloating over other's suffering
    Likening members of the communiy to prostitutes
    Making goofy analogies to Nazis and other notorious foreign regimes
    Claiming to restate another poster's point while changing the meaning
    Name calling

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 1:41 PM, April 24, 2007  

  • good change, i think

    By Anonymous Nancy, at 3:32 PM, April 24, 2007  

  • Kudos to you for the new policy. I for one applaud.

    By Anonymous 1st Ave Walker, at 3:38 PM, April 24, 2007  

  • English teacher sez: Carl, do you really mean "Do discuss people's bodies"??? Just wondering.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:19 PM, April 24, 2007  

  • Ditto

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:21 PM, April 24, 2007  

  • Great idea !

    Mudslinging, rumor mongering, and unprovable innuendos diminish the credibility of whatever verifiable information actually makes it to the site.

    And if ProvisoProbe (like ProvisoInsider) is not
    credible -- what's the point ?

    By Blogger chris miller, at 5:38 PM, April 24, 2007  

  • So does this mean you will no longer be calling Calderone corrupt?

    By Anonymous qantas, at 9:32 PM, April 24, 2007  

  • qantas, I just did a search of Proviso Probe using the keyword "corrupt".

    Going back over a year, Calderone isn't even in any of the entries where I discuss corruption.

    If Calderone's alarm company get contracts that have the appearance of conflict of interest that's news.

    I'm going to do my best to pick my words to be as neutral as possible.

    But this new policy isn't going to reduce the number of facts. It's just going to remove the unnecessary meanness of the discourse.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 9:43 AM, April 25, 2007  

  • BTW, I'm mostly rejecting comments that claim to know the motives of other people.

    Commenting negatively on other people's motives seems unduly negative. But commenting positively on public figure's motives opens the door to other attacking the motives of public figures.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 9:45 AM, April 25, 2007  

  • "If Calderone's alarm company get contracts that have the appearance of conflict of interest that's news."

    What's the qualification for "conflict of interest" ?

    Unless you show that certain customers (like D. 209) are paying well above the going rate for services rendered -- you're just making one more ugly innuendo. (unless it's a conflict of interest for him to do
    business with any public institution in Proviso or any business in Forest Park)

    By Blogger chris miller, at 10:23 AM, April 25, 2007  

  • I hope that you stick with this commitment. I'll give reading this blog a few more weeks to see what happens. Although the others have been reduced to the same antics, the Probe has become my least favorite of the two (3?) blogs.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:49 PM, April 25, 2007  

  • By the way, PROOF of conflict of interest is news. Rumors are just childish.

    By Anonymous qantas, at 2:37 PM, April 26, 2007  

  • I applaud you on your decision to change the tone and content. You do provide a valuable service that enables people to express an educated and relatively factual commentary on their perceptions. Stooping to the lower levels of dirty politics only serves to put you and your commentary on the same level as those we dislike. You are to be commended for having the insight to know what is most appropriate for you and this blog. You have shown that it takes a very secure, intelligent and insightful person to be able to make such a change without fear from the political or community front. You have taken the proper stand!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:56 PM, April 26, 2007  

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