I’m sorry, but can I just take a minute out to remind readers?

I welcome debate on this site, but I want high-quality debate. If somebody doesn’t agree with a particular point of view, they can say why they don’t agree, they can maybe put forward their own view. These pages are all permanent, all publicly searchable, so by doing that, anyone who happens along later can see the debate and can decide for themselves who (if anyone) they agree with. Good debate.

The first time I blocked someone, it was because they used racist language. I won’t allow that. And this is my site, so my word goes. I blocked the user, and also developed a page to put on the site, outlining what I thought was and wasn’t acceptable. I was incredulous that it even needed to be said, because we all know how to behave, right? Apparently not.

Yesterday, I had a comment along the lines “… this shows you know nothing about…”. In other words, “because your view is different to mine, you are completely ignorant.Your view doesn’t count”.

I’m sorry, but that is a belittling, bullying comment. It doesn’t mean they know nothing. it means they see things from a different viewpoint. They have different priorities, maybe, but that is what debate is all about. But even if there is differing opinion, if the debate is happening on my site, I require mutual respect. So, that user, too, has been blocked – I don’t want bullies here.

That approach is also counter-productive, since at the click of a button, I moderated out the entire comment thread. So all the effort they took to crafting their insult in the first place, and it is straight away consigned to the trashcan where nobody will see it.

Please, everybody, think before you write.


  1. I definitely agree, and it’s your blog. Your question, “We all know how to behave, right?” reminds me of an anecdote I once read:
    A little boy asked his mother, “If a British baby is born in China, will he speak English or Chinese?” His question was cute, but the obvious answer is, “The child will learn to speak whatever his parents speak.”
    Sadly, some people speak — and argue –the way their parent spoke and argued, and their grandparents spoke and argued. It worked for the old folks, right? Or they copy a TV character who’s tough and aggressive. It may take years to learn that what works on TV doesn’t work in reality.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jeez you must be up terribly late!

      On the substance, I disagree. If someone (anyone) is going to jump into a post, then I think they have a responsibility to make sure they can communicate properly, at the very least in a manner that will not cause offense. That could be a language barrier, an age barrier, whatever, Might the reader cut them some slack? Of course. Should the reader cut them some slack? No, I don’t see anything incumbent on them.

      See? You and I can disagree without offending each other, can’t we? I figure there must be 20 years between us (although I’m also preparing to be slapped 🤣)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A shame that there’s a need for a post like this. I think you did a good job of describing the fair approach. Different views are fine when they’re stated with respect. When the outraged people write belittling comments, it’s not about dialogue. It’s about shouting your position and insulting others who don’t agree.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. You took the best course of action considering the situation, Pete. In my opinion. You wrote, “I was incredulous that it even needed to be said, because we all know how to behave, right?” Well now and then it does need to be said because many folks (in my opinion) are not taught manners any longer or the idea of what manners are has changed radically. And some folks refuse to grow up. Good for you for standing up for mature behavior on your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

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