Monday, January 26, 2015

The 4th Rule

There is a reason why there is a fourth rule in the comments section. That rule states, "If I get the tiniest, infinitesimal whiff of an insult, either to me or anyone else, then you're gone."

There are some who will say that this rule is hypocritical.  They will say that because I freely insult people who comment on this blog, it is unfair or unjust that I will not allow those people to insult me. They will say that I should look into the mirror before I condemn others.  All these things they will say in order to make me feel ashamed.

I do not.

Let me be clear.  This rule is not hypocritical.  There is no deception here.  I am clearly stating, I have rights on this blog that other people do not.

This blog is not a democracy.  This blog is a venue for my thoughts, my philosophy, my ideals and the efforts that I make to produce the best possible game that I can for my players.  This blog exists because I write in it, I maintain it, I keep it going from day to day and I invent ALL the content that encourages people to come here in order to be entertained.

You, person who will say this or that about what is right or wrong about my blog, are permitted to contribute only if I decide that your contribution is of value to me or my readers.  This means that if I do not consider your contribution valuable, then your contribution is ZERO.

Think otherwise and you are deluded about your rights and privileges.

Why is it this way?

Because in the halcyon days when I permitted anyone to comment on this blog and say what they will, this blog was innundated with trolls.  Trolls who co-opted and derailed the content within for their purposes and their philosophies, in order to get a free ride on work that I did in order to promote themselves.  In time, I grew sick of this.  In time, I decided to begin moderating comments.

THEN, because I was largely tolerant in my moderating this blog, a series of very clever trolls managed to get under my skin, drawing me into flame wars that caused the content and arguments in posts I wrote to be tainted, coloured and ultimately ruined.  The nicer, more respectful I was of commentors, the greater a target they made of me.  In time, I grew sick of this also.  So I became a total draconian asshole about the comments that I allowed.

This has GREATLY increased the quality of the comments section of this blog, though it has moderately resulted in fewer comments.  Occasionally, there are long periods without comments. I am learning to adjust to these periods and to recognize that they occur not because people are not enjoying the blog, but because people feel uncomfortable with giving me excessive praise.

Being in the public eye and being a target in the online D&D community, I have learned something about people and trolls.  Very often, they are difficult to tell apart.  Occasionally, no doubt, I have mistaken someone for a troll who was not.

But there is a point to be considered.  People who seem like trolls are ALSO people who are not taking the necessary care to act very deliberately otherwise.  In managing a blog where hateful comments are made regularly, I have learned a cardinal rule: "If it looks like a troll and acts like a troll, and makes obsessive responses defending itself like a troll, then it IS a troll, even if it is not."

This is the Internet.  Here the rule is, you're a troll until you prove otherwise.  If you don't like that, Fuck You, you're a troll.  If you feel this is unfair, Fuck You, you're a troll.  If you think that you are being mistreated and that you deserve better, and you think I should bend over backwards to make you happy and your life easier, Fuck You, you're a troll.

I hope this helps clear up any misunderstandings about this blog.  I appreciate your patience in listening to and coming to grips with the way content is managed and displayed on this web page.  I trust that you will learn from this experience and allow it to aid you in understanding how the internet works and how strangers, like myself, really feel about your value.  I encourage you to grow from this understanding, in order that you may someday recognize that until you give people a reason to think about you otherwise, you don't count.  You are disposable.

Thank you.

1 comment:

Doug said...

I've had a couple comments that never made it through scrutiny. Although disconcerting at first, I understood how your rules were enforced. And since you review the comments anyways, I figure you did manage to read them at one point, even if it was to decide "Nope, violates Rule X."

And you've learned a rule that I've just discovered: Treat disrespect and misrule with kid gloves, and you'll only get more of it.

I'm happy to sit and read, learning from someone with more experience than I. When I "feel" that I disagree, I need to stop and figure out why it is I disagree. Because that gray matter between my ears demands that I use it.

So, keep up the good work. I'll be here reading and working.