The editors of Thinking Anglicans (Simon S, Peter and Simon K) have recently discussed the question of comments on TA, and we are agreed that we should encourage ‘good commenting’. With that in mind, I am republishing a post I made in June 2007 …
We have noticed an increasing tendency by some commenters to make ad hominem or derogatory comments about other people — sometimes about other commenters and perhaps more often about people in the news.
We want discussions here to be conducted in a spirit of Christian charity and we are going to take a strong line on this. We will not approve comments that include ad hominem remarks. Comments on someone else should concentrate on their words or deeds. People should be accorded their proper names and/or titles, not a pretend or derogatory name or sarcastic title preferred by the commenter. Please note that this applies to people on all sides of discussions.
Secondly, we reiterate a plea we made a year ago: ‘please consider seriously using your own name, rather than a pseudonym. While we do not, at this time, intend to make this a requirement, we do wish to strongly encourage the use of real names.’
We hope that if commenters were to respond in this spirit then discussions would be better, the level of debate would be higher, and we would be doing a little more to bring about the kingdom of God.