Comments policy

Just to shut Allan up and inform everyone else, here is a further elucidation of the new comments policy. Perhaps it should be called a “guideline,” for, pace MetaFilter, when you label something a rule you’ll inevitably find a reasonable exception.

The deal is you can be as nasty as you want in the comments section – or as nice. You just can’t pick on identifiable people personally. That applies to all identifiable persons, including Tod Maffin. Take this as assurance that he isn’t getting special treatment.

A personal attack stings the victim and makes them ruminate over it in the back of their mind all day. It makes the victim afraid to rejoin the online community, but also compelled to frequently check back in the hope that somehow the damage might have been undone. The attack is permanently archived, but even if it weren’t, it was there once and the victim read it and was hurt by it. That’s what personal attacks do: They hurt. They aren’t allowed in the comments.

I absolutely am not going to write an example of an allowable criticism and a forbidden one. I’ll know it when I see it. It really is up to me to decide what is or is not a personal attack. It isn’t up to you. There is no court of appeal, and my decision is final. You can try accusing me of hypocrisy, but that horse won’t hunt, since the household of a straightedge vegan is hardly a repository of hypocrisy. These are judgement calls and I refuse to apologize for erring on the side of protecting people if that’s what I end up doing.

I have been delegated authority to write and edit this blog, and by G-d I’m going to wield that authority. Quit acting all surprised. I’ve been at this longer than you have, and you should not be taken aback if I get ardently Shirkyist on your ass if need be. You have one stated limit on what you can write in the comments section. By any rational standard this is a minor infringement on your Charter rights to freedom of expression. You have ample outside opportunity to harass, humiliate, and defame people. Allan especially is replete with such opportunities.

Additionally, Ouimet’s existing comments policy (viz “I reserve the right to remove anything that really bothers someone”) remains in force. The new policy is a subset of that one.


  1. Fake Ouimet
    Posted July 29, 2008 at 9:11 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Eric: Yes, I am. A post is not a comment.

    Also: I had Tofurkey tonight. Does that make me 2 for 2?

  2. Eric S. Smith
    Posted July 29, 2008 at 12:45 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    …the household of a straightedge vegan is hardly a repository of hypocrisy.

    Joe, because he denies himself non-vegan sausage, is thus allowed to pick on Laurie Brown personally, but she may not reply in kind.

    I thought virtue was its own reward.

  3. Megan
    Posted July 28, 2008 at 6:40 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Hey Tod,

    Most readers understand that. Keep commenting, and keep using your name. :)

    Megan Holsapple

  4. Tod Maffin
    Posted July 26, 2008 at 8:00 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece


    For the record…

    I have nothing to do with this blog.

    I never have.

    “Ouimet” started it during the 2005 lockout, wrote thought-provoking and provocative material, and she’s now handed the pen over to Joe who I’m certain will do just the same! I’m looking forward to reading it.

    But that’s it. I’m just a reader, like you. I don’t post articles here and I comment rather infrequently.

    Like a few people here, I sign my real name to my comments because I think it’s the right thing to do in a community where you’re trying to build a dialogue.

    Perhaps I should re-think that.


  5. Fake Ouimet
    Posted July 24, 2008 at 12:13 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Now to give a more substantive response to the doyenne of Front Page Challenge.

    • I’ve documented what happened with Peggy Zulauf et al. elsewhere. At some point, they have to come to me. But! There will be one or more sets of questions for attribution sent her way shortly, all in the context of not boring everyone‘s ass off, naturally.

    • My dear friends at Nouveaux médias griped that I didn’t send them a strippergram when they relaunched CBC News with decent code. Well, that was the minimum expected of them. It’s the minimum we expect from competent developers these days. Of course, outsourcing a blog to a Flash house for $20K, which I recently criticized, warranted the criticism.

    • There was a time, in fact quite a recent time, when I wanted to work inside Fort Dork. That time has passed.

    If you are attempting to insinuate that I have some kind of conflict of interest or grudge, I don’t. And this is not an outreach mission to give disenfranchised Corpse inmates a place to vent. Again: Don’t expect me to go in looking for contributions when some degree of personal initiative on their part is in order. I’m pretty easy to contact and it was stated up front that leads and guest posts were welcome.

    You are, of course, minimizing my rather substantial contribution, written, consistent with my background, in the tradition of actual journalism. While this is your right, I again remind you that there is no guarantee of “Goods satisfactory or money refunded.”

    You had all the time in the world to start up your own non-Ouimet Tea Makers and you didn’t. I did. So I know who’s actually doing something here.

  6. Fake Ouimet
    Posted July 24, 2008 at 12:04 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Betty Kennedy (best psudonym of the year): I’m doing what I can. Also? Our first full week isn’t over yet.

    So, you know, your contribution is appreciated.

    I resent being called “all-male,” if only because I try so hard to be thus and, sadly, fail. And I don’t eat sausage.

  7. Betty Kennedy
    Posted July 24, 2008 at 11:12 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Tod, Allan and, dare I say even Fake Ouimie are alienating the TeaMakers faithful with this boring, all male pissing match.

    One of the original and most vital functions of this blog was to dish up highly specific internal dirt from the bowels of not just the TBC, but all the other plants, too. Insider shit that really shone lights into dark corners and sent the cockroaches running. Or just shit that made you think about the operation and its zany, sad, disappointing, hilarious, sneaky idiosyncracies.

    What we have now is a dedicated soap box for various ‘one degree of separation’ elements of the dialogue about CBC. Well intentioned comments on how behind New Media might be or why don’t we put our podcasts on blathr or blubbr or whatever the hell digital flavour of the month is important to bloggers/podcasters/self made digi-heroes right now.


    We want shit about the real estate, or the legacy of Clode Galipeau, or weird-ass decisions from the new Stursburgified CBC radio!

    Fake Ouimie, where are your rock solid confidantes from the inside, funneling oldskool TeaMakers facts’n’fiction to you? Your many friends from TV captioning gonna help out? All your beloved pals from New Media who you’ve so lovingly lauded over the years?

    Since the takeover, this blog pretty much sucks. A pedantic sausage party gabfest between the usual suspects. Don’t get me wrong, your good intentions are appreciated. It’s better overall to have this blog than to have nothing. Yet the delivery is kinda socially inept and alienating to a large number of TeaMakers faithful.

    You boys should make a spinoff blog about how much you would like to work at CBC. And how many great and sweeping changes you’ll be able to implement once you get in here.

    The various broadcast products need critique, granted. What if there was a lockout going on right now, though? This would ironically be the last place to get info of any value, except for maybe some twickr, frickr, brbrbr links provided by Maffin.

    Joe, you could do some laps around the building with the captioning people — if you’re not afraid of getting girl cooties.

  8. Anonymous
    Posted July 23, 2008 at 3:24 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I recognize and support your authority FO, and I like the role you are establishing. Tea Makers has always been a fascinating experiment, and what you bring is really the next step in trying to understand governance of an anarchic community like this. Allan’s role is also welcome, and his challenge of your authority is really for the greater good. Fonts too are welcome, mostly because none of us understand them, but that is probably true of much of what you know. So by all means, please share. The more open you are the more legitimate your authority will be. So far so good.

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