Not that it needs to be said, but anyone who wasn’t joking when they voted for either of the first two options on yesterday’s poll need not comment here. There are a plethora of unmoderated blogs/forums that will allow the discussion to sink to whatever lows the comments bring them to, but this isn’t one of them. Our staff has worked extremely hard over the last year to ensure that this blog remains a place where people are free to examine this case without the fear of being personally attacked. Sometimes that means we have to delete many comments and direct discussion away from certain topics that tend to lead to the chaos.
To be absolutely clear, you are free to discuss any subject you’d like, even the ones that have brought on the intense arguments in the past. Our concern has never been with any particular topic, but with the manner in which the discussion takes place. Personal attacks, circular reasoning, and repetitive arguments do not help foster constructive, truth-seeking dialogue. Instead, they serve to back people into defensive corners and crowd out potentially useful commentary.
Controversy is a healthy part of a lively discussion and we welcome that. But we will not tolerate comments or discussions that make this blog read like the transcript of a Jerry Springer show.
Online posting may offer the benefit of relative anonymity, but that is no reason to write something under the protection of a username that you wouldn’t say to a person standing in front of you. This case has been going for nearly a year now, without the resolution and without the answers for which many of you have been waiting. Nerves are fraying and, in many respects, that’s understandable, even expected. When an argument over a particular aspect of this case begins, keep the bigger picture in mind and remember why you all became interested and involved in this case in the first place.
And if that fails to ease the tension, it is always respectable to simply agree to disagree.