Sam Meier Zack, you can email Chris Altchek about it: firstname.lastname@example.org. I filled in for him as moderator yesterday and I ran my banning decisions by him. Otherwise I stand by my actions. Re: Hagler and Kraykowski, again, please email Chris and we can discuss it amongst the editorial staff.
Sam Meier Andrew, Our terms of service are laid out here:http://www.policymic.com/info/comments This is not a platform for totally free speech. If you are looking for that, you will not find it here. We reserve the right to moderate comments according to our policies, and we will do so. If you have complaints, please lodge them with Chris Altchek: email@example.com. Otherwise, all your questions are answered in the link above.
Sam Meier See: my response below. Ultimately, editors are the arbiters of our system, as we act as moderators. We will make the decisions that we see fit. You accept these terms of service by signing up for an account. Just as a comparison, here's what Gawker has to say on the topic: http://gawker.com/this-is-why-you-are-blocked-512867748?utm_campaign=socialflow_gawker_twitter&utm_source=gawker_twitter&utm_medium=socialflow Our commenting moderation is a LOT less restrictive than this. It is a lot less restrictive than HuffPo's, the NYTs, Buzzfeed's, etc. If you have further questions, I would ask you to please email Chris Altchek, as I do not have time to continue responding to comments when I have writers to manage and articles to edit.
Sam Meier I'm leaving the gender point aside, for the moment, to talk about the system. You can accumulate Mics and level up to Pundit with frequent low-quality comments, because aggressive comments from a particular political perspective garner Mics from those who agree with them, regardless of quality. This happens on all sorts of comments. Value to the community is not just measured by Mics; it is measured by actually writing, having constructive debates, etc. One offensive comment will not get you banned. Repeated offensive comments will. Again, please read through our comments policy. You will find that it is based on common principles throughout the web. In fact, we have a much more open policy than most sites, with less oversight than most
Sam Meier Again -- it helps editors if you can flag these comments to us. Otherwise, we only see them when writers alert us to them! It's an imperfect system; I'm aware, and we depend on you to alert us to these kinds of issues. Chris, can you please send me some comments to Chris Altchek for his review? Then we can take appropriate action. Thank you.
Sam Meier Lupita, many commenters are banned -- women are not particularly singled out. And I am aware re: being in a patriarchal system. As someone who has often been described (by several PM commenters) as an 'uppity woman' herself, I am aware of the issues you raise. The issue here is whether or not we will tolerate aggressive personal attacks on writers in our comments section.The answer is that we will not. Again, I refer you to our policies, which apply unilaterally: http://www.policymic.com/info/comments If you disagree with the policies, you can take it up with Chris Altchek, who is the person in charge of these policies. Until then, they are our policies and it is my job to enforce them. There is nothing further for me to discuss here.
Sam Meier The last time I intervened in comments, I was asked by several people on this thread, including Deborah Saull, to announce whose comments I had flagged as inappropriate. I can refrain in future, if that is deemed more appropriate. I will consult with Chris Altchek for future decisions. Re: restoring comments, I am not going to do that, nor is it necessary for me to do so. Editors are the arbiters of comments; we make decisions as we see fit. This is laid out clearly in our comments policies. I made this decision in conjunction with Chris Altchek and a number of other editors. If you would like to speak to someone about it, you can address your questions to him.
Sam Meier Bad comments are deleted, but if a particular commenter repeatedly makes bad, aggressive comments which are harmful to the community, they are removed and the user banned. Again, please see the guidelines: http://www.policymic.com/info/comments Since I (a woman) have been doing most of the moderation on the thread, I don't think you can describe this system as patriarchal. In fact, the system is based on an aggregation of comments rules from other sites that multiple editors (male and female) put together. For instance, we share some rules with HuffPo: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/p/frequently-asked-question.html#moderation I hope this clears up some confusion.
Sam Meier Lupita, as I noted, repeated personal attacks are not permitted on PM, as they degrade the level of discourse on PolicyMic. Our aim is to provide constructive, civic debate, not necessarily 'rough and tumble discourse' (though civic debate can certainly be heated). Insulting writers or other commenters is not appropriate on PolicyMic. If you have seen other comments that violate these guidelines, please alert me or Chris Altchek. Please refer to the commenting guidelines with any questions, or feel free to email Chris.
Sam Meier Editor's note: Donna Boutiller's consistent personal attacks on multiple writers violate our comments policy (http://www.policymic.com/info/comments). After multiple warnings from the editors, her account has been disabled. Please note that our standards have been updated to reflect our new approach to moderation, as Chris Altchek indicated last week: http://www.policymic.com/articles/2091/your-feedback-features-content-and-community?fb_action_ids=10100835562677491&fb_action_types=policymicapp%3Acomment&fb_source=ticker&action_object_map=%7B%2210100835562677491%22%3A10150829699359961%7D&action_type_map=%7B%2210100835562677491%22%3A%22policymicapp%3Acomment%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D
Sam Meier We currently don't have a good way of distinguishing op-eds from other political commentary, that's true. I'd argue that a lot of what goes under 'politics' on the site is largely opinion in any case; our hard news coverage is limited. I'll think of ways to more clearly demarcate it as such.
Sam Meier Kathleen, I wasn't addressing you specifically in my comment. I was addressing those who attacked the author personally. Re: op ed article, PolicyMic publishes a lot of op ed articles. That's nothing out of the ordinary. We also publish personal essays. If you disagree with the author's opinion, fine, but it's still a piece that we deem publishable, and hardly out of the ordinary with our content model.
Sam Meier To all below: Keep the comments respectful. Many verged on (or quite simply were) personal attacks or name-calling. Such comments will not be tolerated; repeat offenders will be asked to leave the PM community. If you have questions, please refer to the updated commenting principles: http://www.policymic.com/info/comments
Sam Meier "Lauren, it seems you are suffering an intense bout of white guilt." This is unsolicited psychoanalysis of the author, rather than a response to the argument. Please keep your comments focused on the article. If you believe that claims are exaggerated, state as much. There is a difference between attacking an author and criticizing what they are saying. I hope this clarifies the questions below. Otherwise, it is not appropriate and will not be tolerated in future.
Sam Meier Working on creating new standards re: what you can say and not say and enforcing them. Thanks for bringing it up, Janna. In this case, and many others, ugly personal attacks beget ugly personal attacks, and PM will figure out how to address them.
Sam Meier I do speak for myself. Fair enough re: expertise on a topic. However, as far as I know, besides you, none of the other commenters to whom I directed my comment above *do* have the extensive experience which you do. And I have no way of knowing what expertise you do have, since my information about you is as limited is yours if of me. I have made no claims about Saudi Arabia; all I have noted is that this is a very complicated issue. I think we are in agreement.
Sam Meier Mic-ed this on accident. Janna, this is not a productive comment, and debating about what PM is or isn't does not address the article. If you have a complaint about PM, address it to the editors.
Sam Meier Ok, to all below: None of you are experts, you are all extrapolating on data which attempts to document a very complex crime. Take a second to calm down, and remember that all debate is meant to be constructive. Most of the comments below are not. Please think before you comment.