Posting may be slow this week, since I should really be spending more free time volunteering, plus I have work.
In the meanwhile, I have a question for Alas’ readers, and in particular for feminist readers and long-time readers. How can the comments at “Alas” be improved?
I enjoy a partisan debate more than most people – but only when both participants are willing to at least pretend to be civil and mutually respectful. That’s been very lacking on the “Alas” comments lately, especially in the ongoing abortion discussions.
I’d like most of the discussion at “Alas” to be intelligent, respectful, and spirited – but not full of barely-hidden contempt for opposing views. Although there are frequently good comments here, I haven’t been very satisfied with the discussions here lately. It seems to me that “Alas” is becoming less civil over time.
Am I the only one who is unsatisfied?
Do folks have any ideas about how comments here should be moderated?
Frankly, I don’t think most of the “opposition” posters here are very high quality. But I don’t think that high-quality opposition posters would be tempted to post here, since they’d only be flamed to death by my allies.
(I do apologize to our current crop of “opposition” posters for the above paragraph; I know it may be hurtful for you to read, and I regret that. However, there’s no way to discuss the problem I perceive without bringing this up.)
Is there any way I can get higher-quality opposition posting here? If the only way I could do that is to strictly moderate the pro-gay, feminist and pro-choice posts to make sure that this became a “safe space” for intelligent disagreement, would that piss off my allies?
(When I’m talking about moderation of comments, I’m speaking only for the comments on my own posts. Bean and Lucia and any future co-posters are free to moderate the comments on their own posts however they like, of course.)
Consider this an open thread for discussion of the comments, and also for any suggestions you have about “Alas” in general.