On Commenting: Let’s All Just Be Cool

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Belligerent videos aside, we love our commenters. You make us laugh, you make us think, and on more than one occasion, you’ve made us frantically ask each other, “Shit, why didn’t we come up with that?”  Even the negative comments we get are mostly clean hits, and we enable anonymous commenting specifically so that our readers will feel free to say whatever they want. However, some of the comments our writers have received lately have crossed the line, and it’s time to address the issue.

We just hired a crop of new writers, and we ask them to express themselves freely in their posts, but that’s hard to do when they’re weathering hurtful personal attacks made not against their writing, but against their characters. Our comment policy is outlined clearly at the top of the page, and we moderate all ad hominem attacks against Thrill writers or other members of the Kenyon community. Still, removing offensive posts doesn’t erase their effect, so we’re making a direct request:

Before you hit “Send” on a comment, ask yourself — “How would I feel if someone spray-painted this on my car?”

We love snark, and we welcome criticism (that’s how we learn), but we can’t improve if our staff is too intimidated by the threat of below-the-belt personal attacks to push the envelope and produce their best work.

Regardless of how you may feel about any given post or the Thrill as a whole, it takes courage to offer up your writing to the whims of the Internet, and that alone deserves some respect.

Okay, lecture over. Go back to enjoying our hard-hitting investigative journalism and sophisticated cultural commentary.

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