Quick Housekeeping Note
[A Quick Warning: Although this is an Off The Cuff post, it isn’t all that short. If you wanted a two-liner, you would certainly be excused for turning back now.]
In the interest of transparency, I wanted to let the community know — all official-like and everything — that we have banned two regular commenters. Or to be more precise, we have have banned one and yet again re-executed the ban of the other.
The commenter known as A Compromised Immune System (ACIS), as most long-time readers surely already knew, was our oft-returning sock-puppet who most people refer to as MA despite the fact that he/she was banned many times prior under different pseudonyms.
In addition, I have banned the commenter (mostly) known as ScarletNumber.
While I was happy to wave goodbye (again) to the sock puppet, I confess some reluctance to banning ScarletNumber. Over the past year and a half, we have tried numerous suspensions of commenting privileges with ScarletNumber when a combination of two things occurred — one, when one of the editors or moderators asked him to curb a certain behavior; and two, when he refused to do so. He was given another suspension earlier this week and continued to comment under different names; this morning we let him know if he continued to do this we would turn the suspension into a permanent ban. After he was notified he continued to comment several more times, each time to say — for all intents and purpose — “Fish You, I’ll comment when I feel like it.” And so I dropped what those in the biz like to call the ban hammer, but what I tend to think of as a sad reminder that even at a site that strives to welcome all kinds of differing voices into a community not everyone can fit.
I don’t know that Erik ever kept track of how many bans we had prior to my time here, but since I’ve arrived I think we’ve had a total of three. (Assuming, of course, that you count all of the sock-puppet’s various incarnations as one person. Which I do.) It’s a tough balance to achieve, and each time we do we know we’ll irritate as many people for the ban as we do when we decide to let someone slide and stick around. I’d say that such is the case on the Wild West of the Intertubes, but the truth is it’s a pretty universal constant in any community.
Both at the League and now at OT, when faced with the Ban/Don’t Ban dilemma we have always tried to err on the side of the Welcome Mat — and we will continue to do so as long as I am the EIC. A benefit to this philosophy is that we have a thriving community of people of different political, religious and cultural views. But the other side of that sword is that sometimes the people we agree to give one more chance sometimes make the experience of commenting here less fun for others. If you’re one of those who has had a less fun experience here because we don’t throw around the ban hammer more easily, know that I am not blind to this. For whatever infinitesimal degree that it means Jack Fish, I’m sorry about that.
Anwho, if anyone has a problem with the bans (other than — and I can’t stress this part enough — the people who have been banned) feel free to contact me.
Thanks again, all of you, for everything you do here.