Thanks for taking the time to read the commenting policy. Sometimes debates can get really heated and it’s easy to let ourselves go at our computers. In order to have healthy and vigorous debate, we ask you to remember a few things.
1) There is another person on the end of the keyboard so remember to address the content and ideas and not the commenter. For instance, as one of our commenters, Nemo, so aptly put it:
Saying that a comment is racist is much different from saying a person is. It’s the difference between saying “You failed the test” and “You’re stupid.” The reality might be “You studied the wrong material and failed the test, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn.” It might also be “You threw the book out the window and stuck your fingers in your ears,” but I’d rather be optimistic.
2) You may be offended. Even if the comment is addressed to your content and idea, you may feel like you are being personally attacked. You aren’t. Your comment is. You might even feel offended. That’s okay. Vigorous debate sometimes means feelings are hurt and offenses are taken. It doesn’t make the other person bad or wrong. Nor should you feel bad for being offended. That’s human! But remember, they are addressing the comment and not you. You are not your comment; you are more than a comment.
3) If you think someone has violated the comment code and attacked you personally, definitely email jane about it. But the best response isn’t another personal attack. The best response is to address the comment contents and ideas and move on. Jane will address it.
4) If the comment violates the comment policy by personally attacking the commenter, Jane will use her moderating abilities. We use this plugin and a violation will be “buried” and the remainder of the comment will stand.
Spoiler (moderated comment): Show
5) Remember that the commenters aren’t your friends and family and no one can hear your voice inflections and see your facial expressions. It may take more than one comment to make your meaning clear or to understand someone else’s meaning, so please try to be patient with each other if you don’t come to an immediate understanding.
6) As always, if you have a question, email jane at dearauthor.com.
All these things will help us to have civil but important debates.