I rarely delete comments on this blog,1 but one of the things that is most likely to cause me to do so is someone telling another commenter (or me) to shut up.
Now obviously such comments are not always phrased that way. Sometimes they say “I do no think what you are saying is productive” or “I do not think you are adding anything to this conversation”. But the unspoken “so you should shut up” is there.
Don’t do that.
If you disagree with what a person is saying then say so. But don’t tell anyone they don’t have the right to hold their opinions. Don’t tell them that saying their piece is detrimental to conversation. Don’t tell them to shut up. Because your doing so is what’s detrimental to conversation.
I keep an eagle eye on commentary here. I don’t always agree with what’s being said but if I think someone is being flamey or a troll or rude to other commenters I add my own commentary. If it’s truly egregious I nuke their comment.
So, yes, if you tell me or my commenters to shut I will tell you to shut up. Ironic, I know, but there it is.
- Truly rarely. I only remember deleting one this year. If your comment disappears, as sometimes happens—especially lately with the veritable storm of comments and hits I’ve been getting—assume there was a snafu and mail me. I can usually fish it out of the spam filters. [↩]