Corrente

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Administrivia

To fail to get an account, follow these directions:

A. Be a spammer and somehow make it past the filters.

To lose your account once you have one, follow these directions:

1. Be a spammer.

2. Be a troll.

3. Continue to contaminate the discourse by using manufactured legacy party talking points, especially right wing talking points, after repeated warnings.

4. Continue to contaminate the discourse by failing to back up claims with evidence or links -- or refusing to back down on the claim -- after repeated requests.

5. Continue to contaminate the discourse by using "any stick to beat a dog"-style argumentation (see below), after repeated warnings.

6. The administrator will consider suicide requests: That is, how to handle accounts who insult the administrator, which is suicidal behavior on any board. Some blogs ban right away. The question having been personalized, this blog considers the personal oeuvre of the account. In some cases, the suicide request is granted. In other cases, it is not.

And there's "Cancel my fucking account." Such requests are always granted. At the adminsitrator's discretion, considering the personal oeuvre of the account, all traces of the user's name may be removed from the site, so content written by the user may no longer accessible under the user's name, and may appear to have been written by the default account.

* * *

More on "any stick to beat a dog."

This idea may be subtle, but it's important. It's easy to fall into the trap -- and as a former debater, I've done so many, many times -- of believing that "my argument is me," and seeking to win an argument at all costs, say by sinking to the ad hominem after losing on the merits, or shifting ground to a new argument after losing the old one, and not admitting the loss or the shift. There's a whole literature devoted to forms of sophistry. I get enough of that from the access bloggers, and I don't need any more of it here.

None of this is personal, or about civility. (In fact, I don't even know how to moderate for civility; the most deadly insults can be delivered in a thoroughly civil manner). All of this is about honing and sharpening the discourse. Do note the use of the word "repeated." There are some blogs that ban accounts instantly. There are other blogs -- the Crack Den, for example -- where there are no accounts at all, and anything goes. If this turns out not to be the blog for you, there are plenty of others.

UPDATE 7. Comment subject lines:

Please call out a people by name in comment subject lines only when the content of the comment is positive (and not negative or even neutral The goal is to make people happy when they see their name). I know that, before I instituted this rule, I'd always get a stab of anxiety when I saw my name in Recent Comments. That wasn't pleasant, and I suspect others felt the same way. Also, we want to make sure that the focus in arguments is on the argument, and not on the person making the argument.

UPDATE 8. Cross-posting:

Cross-posting is permitted, and for some writers, encouraged, but (a) the post must be current (within a day or two), (b) a link to the original source, if not Corrente, must be given and noted as such, (c) these policies must be observed in the post; the policies of the originating site are not grandfathered in to a cross-post, and (d) the post must be complete, and not a teaser. Links back to your own personal blog are always fine, as long as the post or comment in which the link occurs can stand on its own. That is, I'd rather the link called attention to the general excellence of the poster's oeuvre, rather than being a transparent way of garnering hits.)

UPDATE 9. Denials: For the record, we have no duty to give anyone an account, and nobody has the right or should have the expectation that their account will be maintained.

UPDATE 10. Advertising: There's an old-school, Chinese wall of separation between advertising and editorial at Corrente. People should go ahead and continue to post exactly what they want to post, regardless of any advertising in the sidebar (subject to the other moderation policies, of course). In addition, advertising is not endorsement, whether of products or candidates.

UPDATE 11. Violence Experience should tell the left that the one to advocate violence is always the cop, or an agent provocateur. So, to lose your account immediately, advocate violence. NOTE: Violence is distinct from civil disobedience, by definition non-violent.

UPDATE 12. Triggers Corrente is not a "trigger-free" blog. However, if contributors wish to alert readers to potentially triggering material, they may do so by placing:

[Trigger warning for _____ ]

at the very top of the post, and then filling in the blank with the appropriate trigger(s).

NOTE 1 Spammers and trolls are well known from UseNet days, so points (1) and (2) need no further discussion. (3), (4), and (5) are all designed to be verifiable, more or less mechanically, and hence fairly, by an admin (and not necessarily me). (3) is verifiable, since we know manufactured right wing talking points by heart (at least if we come anywhere near the teebee). (4) is verifiable, since the lack of a link, or evidence, is easy to check. (5) is verifiable, because rhetoric has a set of well-known and named techniques. Unfortunately, lying and bullshit are not grounds for losing an account, since lying and bullshit are part of the human condition, and in any case truth does not exist in the abstract, but only in a process of continuous discovery. However, points (3)-(5) do provide techniques for detecting and eliminating most bullshit and lies. I hope.

NOTE 2 For an alternative approach to moderation -- and one which, it must be admitted, is not without its appeal -- see here. And see Barry Ritholtz for what Yves regards as the web standard for moderation policy. And see Unknown News on "no nuts".

NOTE 3 I closed comments on this post; issues can be discussed as raised in individual posts though please, please let's keep the meta to a minimum.

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