Open Thread Mondays: To Curse Or Not To Curse

Last week we got some great feedback that helped us form a policy for removing posts. What we decided on is as follows:

Sheepshead Bites shall not remove any posts from its archives at the request of a source, business partner, or subject if the material in that post is deemed factual. In the cases that information is not accurate, a correction will be made with a disclaimer noting the update. If inaccuracies are judged by Sheepshead Bites’ editors to cause the article’s subject continuing damages, the posts will be changed AND a new post will be added to draw attention to the facts at hand. Finally, if for some reason not covered here, we deem it necessary to remove a post in its entirety, a stub will be left at that address noting the change and offering any explanation available.

That’s a promise to you, our readers, and we appreciate your help in drawing it up.

Since it went so well, we thought we’d hit you up for thoughts on another section of policy: comments.

So far Sheepshead Bites’ comments section has been self policing. You, the users, have done a good job of determining for yourself what’s permissible, and even help keep those who stray out of bounds back into line. It’s actually been pretty impressive, and we’ve done almost nothing to guide your hand.

But there have been times where we’ve disagreed. By “we” I mean those of us running the site. For example, Ray and I have huge disagreements about cursing in the comments. I happen to think swearing is an acceptable means of expression. Ray disagrees, and thinks it’s opening the door for flame-wars and incivility, and may also turn off many readers. In the same vein, I don’t mind leaving up some of the ruder criticisms of our work, even if they are sometimes hurtful. Ray thinks I ought to remove them if they, say, call us idiots for a perceived error. One point where we both agree is that hate speech is entirely intolerable. Thankfully I’ve only ever removed one comment that fell under that category.

So… what are your thoughts? How do you think we should handle rude or foul-mouthed commenters?

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