Note to new readers: Read the posting rules before your first comment

October 11, 2021 • 8:40 am

For some reason my post about the firing of the Art Institute of Chicago’s docents for lack of ethnic diversity found a huge audience on the Internet. The likely source was Twitter, which prompted over 40,000 views. I didn’t bother to track it down, but I’m giving you yesterday’s viewing figures because many people tried to make comments, and many of these violated the Roolz. Such is the ire and divisiveness that discussion about race prompts. (See below.)

I don’t know how to get new readers to read the posting “Roolz”, which are here and also on the left sidebar, but failure to read them is the only explanation I can give for so many violations of protocol in attempted comments. There were lots of rants about reverse racism (too ranty to post); insults to either all readers, some commenters, or myself; completely illiterate comments; and generally rude tirades.  Someone even snidely and gratuitously insulted Dr. Martin Luther King.

Comments that were too extreme were put in the trash, and I had to ban one or two people. So once again I ask you, if you’re new here, to have a look at “Da Roolz“, the Chicago pronunciation for “The Rules.” You will find that we favor polite discourse here and disdain rudeness, insults, and so on.

People have said that I’m a hypocrite because, as a free-speech advocate, I should just allow anybody to say anything on my website. If you think that, you misunderstand “free speech”. I wouldn’t allow anybody to be rude in my home, and so it is on this site.

By all means, if you have a bone to pick with me or another reader, please concentrate on the issues and ideas, and leave aside the insults. If you must insist on being nasty or harsh, there are plenty of other websites that love that kind of stuff.

Thank you!

—The Management


13 thoughts on “Note to new readers: Read the posting rules before your first comment

  1. The reaction you received to the docent post is reflective of a society crumbling. It is becoming more difficult for people to restrain their expressions of utter contempt for those they disagree with. America today is divided between various groups that have totally different visions as to what the country should be like. We may have reached the point where reconciliation is impossible. If so, the American experiment in democracy may be coming to an end, but we don’t know what will emerge from the ashes. The only thing we can be sure is that the country and the world will be worse off.

    1. I read that US hasn’t been much of a democracy in the last century from a massive analysis by The Economist (IIRC). The world didn’t crumble and fall – US isn’t that important.

      But the definition is that there is voting as a minimum, and US have that.

      Dunno about the social media changes. What are the statistics and what do they mean? Most societies continue to improve – say, I just read that state murders (“death penalty”) is at a historical minimum – so the social media isn’t powerful enough a nuisance either.

  2. I enjoy that feline “I approve of this post” picture, which I think I’ve seen on this site before!

    It reminds me of a picture and caption / subheadline in one of the CSJ collections of goof, either “Red Tape Hold Up New Bridge” or “Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim”. The story I’m remembering was about a woman elected to City Council somewhere and the first woman to serve on it.

    There was a posed picture of her standing on a front lawn, with presumably her husband, and her relaxed pose included her hand elevated to rest holding the crossbar on an ornamental lamppost. The caption was “first woman to hold this post.”

  3. I must admit that in the beginning I found ‘Da Roolz” a bit harsh. Later I noticed that they were exactly the reason why this site remains a pleasure to continue visiting., one of the very few sites I know.
    Some sites even completely closed their comment section (eg. Politico)..
    I am not as deep as Historian above, I think the reason for the rudeness is the anonymity of social media, the lack of seeing the reaction , and indeed a lack of something like ‘Da Roolz’.
    If I ever start a website I’ll ask Jerry’s permission to unashamedly adopt them.

  4. A suggestion:
    Where it says “LEAVE A REPLY” could you add some large, bolded (maybe even Red) text above or below it that says something like **IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST COMMENT POST PLEASE READ “DA ROOLZ” IN THE LEFT SIDEBAR.** Even better would be if you could add it as an html link they could click on.

    1. Probably not a bad idea— I don’t think people understand that a website *can* be moderated, and the roolz here benefit all.

  5. Regardless of the roolz I am delighted that so many were made aware of this heinous matter. I hope the information was spread exponentially.
    For years I have taken the train for a day trip to Chicago to visit the art museum. I now feel deprived of one of my favorite treats..

  6. I don’t know how to get new readers to read the posting “Roolz”…

    I wonder if you can get some text to show up between ‘Leave a Reply ‘ and the comment box. That way, upon clicking ‘Reply’, the user would see something like ‘Please observe the Roolz when commenting’ with a hyperlink on ‘Roolz’. Because it applies to everyone, you don’t have to detect new users. If you can detect new users, you can have a more informative piece about the Roolz.

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