Partial enforcement of the ad-hominen rule

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  • #93481 Reply

      – “I have been most disappointed by the degree of personal insult flying around the comments thread in recent weeks. In general, there is no need at all to address other commenters in your remarks. You can address their arguments, but that is different. Avoid referring to the person of other commenters, whether by name or by any other means of identification.

      – Address the argument, not the person. To do otherwise will be an immediate warning flag for deletion. Any reference to any commenter which is not courteous will lead to the comment being immediately deleted. This is an expansion of the way we will enforce the “fair play” rule below.
      – [ … ]
      – Fair Play. Play the ball, not the man. Address arguments, not people. Do not impugn the motives of others, including me. No taunting.”

      Yet at the top of the sub-thread I linked to:

      “Thanks, Clark. I have gradually given up arguing with AGW enthusiasts, and climate change pushers of any kind. Indeed, I am drifting away from arguing about anything except with people who seem amenable to reason. Life is too short.

      – Dr Swift hit the nail on the head: “Reasoning will never make a Man correct an ill Opinion, which by Reasoning he never acquired”.

      OK, the commenter did not impugn motive, but their entire reply played the man not the ball. Then we have this:

      – “The word “denialists” tells me all I need to know about the reception I would receive on that thread.”

      Again, a baseless claim that those calling for debate are unreasonable.

      This has been a source of vexation to me for years. On the 9/11 thread, a commenter was repeatedly, consistently permitted to claim that I was incompetent in physics, as their standard get-out from reasoning by the principles of physics. Another was permitted to say I should be “taken out and shot”, and a third permitted to call this a “joke”. On the other hand, my comments were deleted when I got upset about these tactics.

      I suspect that moderators tend to notice direct insults but not implied or disguised insults, or insults directed at a class of people which “just happens” to include the commenter being replied to. Maybe moderators consider claims that a commenter is unreasonable or not competent to be beneath the threshold of insult, but they play the man not the ball nonetheless. These are unfair argument techniques that additionally smear the opposition, and will embolden others who hold similar fallacies, reinforcing them. I think greater vigilance and more careful consideration of language is called for.

      #93483 Reply

        We also have this:

        – “That’s got to be the weakest argument I have ever heard for submitting to be lectured… You still haven’t put forward any reason why I should submit to a lecture…”

        Note the assumption that the intention is to lecture, not debate. Is this not imputation of motive? Note also the tag-teaming, and the refusal to take it to the forums. I’d like to defend myself, “I want us to debate evidence, not lecture you”, but I’m hobbled by my own respect for the off-topic rule.

        If an influence campaign wished to drive a wedge between the anti-war movement with its vast numbers, and the environmental movement with its far fewer but very committed activists willing to engage in civil disobedience, it couldn’t do any better within the rules of this site.

        #93584 Reply

          Ok, this is doubtless as worthwhile as sending a complaint to the BBC.

          My comment was deleted in its entirety, replaced with a Mod comment that started with:

          [ Mod: Sorry, glenn_nl, but you’ll have to moderate your tone to contribute to these debates…. Patronising the opposition is out of order; […]

          Ok, let’s see what is considered acceptable, so I can learn by example…

          DG: “Either withdraw that LIE immediately or forever stand proven that you are a LYING PIECE OF EXCREMENT.”

          That’s ok.

          DG: “See? That’s how it’s done, halfwit – with wit.”

          Absolutely fine!

          DG: “… stop being childish.”


          Now if I prefaced a response to that with “I’m not pulling punches”, or stated that I was “extremely angry”, would that have been OK then? Seems to work for DG just fine!

          And for the record, I did not call anyone stupid. I said the comment was stupid. If a Mod is going to delete comments and put up a criticism instead, kindly get details like that right.

          • This reply was modified 6 months, 4 weeks ago by degmod.
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          • This reply was modified 6 months, 4 weeks ago by degmod.
          #93597 Reply

            For the record, this is the reply from ‘glenn_nl’ that was suspended along with advice to moderate the tone:

            “@DG: Calm down dear!

            If you say something as profoundly daft as _repeatedly_ demanding, “Why aren’t I dead? So why aren’t I dead then? Why? Hmm? Hmm?” – then it seems pretty obvious you’re a Covid denialist, because little else would explain such a silly question.

            Now since you apparently have other reasons for saying something as – if you’ll forgive me – stupid as that, I am sure we’re all going to be fascinated to read it.

            But you can stop jumping up and down at the rather obvious conclusions people make when they hear nonsense, no matter who makes it, and regardless of how splendid they claim their qualifications might be.”

            It exhibits several of the characteristics that were judged to be most problematic in previous episodes. It is clearly incompatible with the “no taunting” clause in Craig’s moderation rules for commenters – and more pertinently, the recently announced forum moderation policy to avoid provocative remarks in order to prevent debates from degenerating into the kind of heated slanging matches that have caused so much offence, disengagement, blocking, sockpuppetry, and refusal to participate – not to mention the complaints that moderators have been too strict on one side of the debate while being too lenient on the other (although, as evidenced by the OP in this Blog Support thread, such complaints were made in both directions).

            That OP question about “partial enforcement of the ad hominem rule” will be answered after the current increase of activity on the Covid-19 thread has abated. A new guide for participants in the discussion forums, which augments the moderation rules for commenters with special guidance for engaging constructively in forum debates, is under development. It should tie up a few loose ends that have been left trailing over recent weeks. In the meantime, patience and temperance from all participants would be greatly appreciated.

            #93659 Reply

              Moderation team, thanks, and Happy New Year!*

              I have a suggestion. When publishing the updated rules, please put a prominent link to them, and likewise for the comment threads under Craig’s posts! It’s Kafkaesque that the commenting rules are buried away in two obscure historical posts, with no link to them until someone breaks the rules!

              *(I suppose, but personally I’m placing more and more significance on the solstice, because it’s actually something physical rather than just one of the many conventions of a self-destructive and dying social order.)

              #93660 Reply

                Glenn_nl, I can see some possible motivations for what appears from your perspective to be slanted moderation. You are almost certain to post in the forums, whereas many other commenters seem to have a strong aversion to doing so. If one of these others turns up at the forums, well at least they got here eventually! Maybe it’s best not to put them off by deleting their post even if it was shouty or intemperate. After all, we don’t want them to return to off-topic asides under Craig’s posts.

                You are also almost certain to rephrase and repost if your post gets deleted, whereas newcomers’ responses are unpredictable. This changes, of course, once they’ve established a conversation, and also if they just persist in being offensive.

                Lots of different things need to be balanced against each other, and there is no perfect set of rules.

                #93661 Reply


                  “That OP question about “partial enforcement of the ad hominem rule” will be answered after the current increase of activity on the Covid-19 thread has abated.”

                  I don’t really mind if you don’t answer; now that you’ve replied, I know that you’ve read it. I just wanted to alert moderators’ that ad hominem can consist of “you can’t do physics” or “climate alarmists won’t be reasonable” etc, just as much as “you must be an evil agent of the establishment”.

                  #93662 Reply

                    And moderators, I got a bit exercised about what I perceived as bias, but I’ve got over it and I don’t need an answer about that either 🙂

                    #93663 Reply

                      C: “I don’t really mind if you don’t answer […]”

                      I don’t mind either, please don’t bother wasting time producing a reply on my account.

                      I would just note that we’re all adults here, and – while a slanging match is never particularly productive – having to treat every discussion with a delicacy like this is some Vicar’s tea party seems a bit much.

                      But thanks for showing (“for the record”) that I was not, as accused, calling someone stupid. Something stupid had been said, and I freely admit to having said a lot of stupid things myself. Being called out on them is not calling another person stupid.

                      Also, for the record, my admonition about discussing things with mods also rankled a bit. With no context, it looks like I was arguing with a decision, whereas my ‘offence’ was a simple apology to mods for reposting. It looked like my comment had failed to get through, so I reposted – only seeing a few seconds later, my original post re-appear in the form of a reproach. So I apologised.

                      That apology might have been better received with a quiet deletion once the mod read it, but no – another good opportunity for a context-free telling off in public would have been wasted. And we can’t have that!

                      I take Clark’s point about not wanting to discourage posters on the forums. Some posters, anyway.

                      #93699 Reply

                        > please don’t bother wasting time producing a reply on my account.

                        Thank you for your patience and concern, glenn_nl. You made a complaint on 28 Dec @ 4:37pm – as an addendum to Clark’s enquiry – which elicited an explanation from me (28 Dec @ 8:14pm) outlining the reason for removing your comment. As you then complained about a lack of context, and some aspects of this situation are relevant to other instances of moderation, let’s examine the wider context in more detail, after first clearing away a misunderstanding.

                        + + + + + + + + + +
                        The latter prong of your complaint concerned the misattribution, in a mod message, of the word “stupid” to a person rather than an idea, in a criticism of your retort to DunGroanin. The timings are crucial here. Your comment was posted on 28 Dec @ 3:50pm, and it was replaced by a mod message 18 minutes later, at 4:08pm. At 4:37pm, you pointed out that you had actually applied the word “stupid” to DunGroanin’s remark, and not to Dungroanin himself – which is a valid and helpful point to make, so the error was duly corrected. The internal timestamp on the strikeout tag shows a revision was applied at 5:12pm: <del datetime=”2023-12-28T17:12:24+00:00″>. Accordingly, the misattribution was visible for just over an hour in total, and was corrected promptly following the notification.

                        Moderation entails monitoring and responding to comments and forum replies in real time, and the forum is usually checked sporadically due to the relatively low frequency of submissions. Some situations – such as rapidly erupting flame wars – call for swift intervention to prevent escalation. Glossing over incidental details with relatively little bearing on the moderation decision is liable to happen unintentionally, and most commenters welcome the timely corrections. In this case, your complaint was judged to be valid, because a reader could have misunderstood the extent of your insulting remarks: so the error was corrected promptly. Nevertheless, the judgement to suspend your reply was unaffected. As the momentary error was demonstrably inconsequential, in practice it merely serves as a distraction from the reason for intervening, and will accordingly be treated as such.
                        + + + + + + + + + +

                        The justification given earlier for replacing your reply with a mod message didn’t address the other aspect of your grievance: that you were unfairly discriminated against, as you perceived that DunGroanin was allowed to insult you whereas your subsequent retaliation was removed.

                        You’ve now presented your subjective interpretation of the episode, including some characteristically sarcastic remarks (e.g. “Vicar’s tea party”; “another good opportunity for a context-free telling off would have been wasted. And we can’t have that!”), while simultaneously imploring the moderator not to respond. With all due respect, the Blog Support forum doesn’t quite work that way; moderators retain the right – if not the duty – to respond to enquiries (and, indeed, to sarcasm), regardless of any personal advice proffered by the commenter concerned.

                        In view of your complaint that you were treated unfairly in the Covid thread and that the so-called “admonition” – a standard boilerplate instruction to use the Blog Support forum for any correspondence with mods – was “context-free”, let’s take some time to add more context, with the aim of clarifying the rationale for all interested parties.

                        + + + + +
                        Clark generously ventured a possible reason for DunGroanin being treated differently: i.e. that a blunt deletion might discourage his participation, given that he had expressed his perception of a hostile atmosphere in the discussion forum. That is certainly a pertinent observation, but there’s more to it. The most telling point is that the “halfwit” taunt you cited from DunGroanin clearly preceded the reminder that new guidelines would be applied to the forum discussions by 33 minutes, whereas your retort was added 92 mins after it. Accordingly, your insinuation that those guidelines were not applied equally, and that DunGroanin somehow evaded them, is rather glib; Dungroanin’s disruptive approach to the debate had prompted the moderation reminder, whereas your subsequent contribution was in defiance of it. In its proper context, the contrast is stark. Moreover, DunGroanin explicitly acknowledged the policy change (28 Dec @ 3:50pm) but you opted to challenge it directly, both in that thread and in this one. Therefore the insinuation that the episode amounts to unfair discrimination against you is arguably (to borrow quite a scathing term) “stupid”.

                        + + + + + + + + + +
                        Going farther back to view the episode in a wider context, there are strong parallels in the way both of you were treated. When DunGroanin raised the issue of Covid-19 in the BTL comments section, he was subject to two moderator interventions – as clearly noted in the mod annotation inserted into his first post re-engaging with the forum (#93507, 26 Dec @ 6:07pm):

                        [ Mod: To be clear, DunGroanin, Clark did not “have you censored”. He advised, quite correctly, that the Covid issue was off topic in an article thread and that any comments in response should be posted in the discussion forum. That was the correct protocol. What you did, however, was post a follow-up in reply – contrary both to his advice and to commenting rules.

                        A moderator then suspended your reply for being off topic and advised you to post it in the discussion forum. Instead you posted a quibble with moderation, which was addressed to the moderators and therefore also off topic in an article thread.

                        If there’s something you still don’t understand about the moderation decisions, please post your question in the Blog Support forum. ]

                        Your complaints concern similar interventions being applied to you: i.e. one of your comments was removed for being inappropriate; and when you posted a follow-up addressed to the moderator, it was suspended and replaced by a notice that dialogue with moderators was off topic and should only be posted in the Blog Support forum. In this wider context, the parallels are clear to see.

                        + + + + + + + + + +
                        After that initial annotation, DunGroanin re-engaged with two replies containing some CAPITALISATION (@ 13:35 & 13:45), the latter also featuring the “halfwit” exchange to which you alluded above. A moderation notice was posted swiftly in response (@ 14:18), warning against a continuation of the disrespectful tone. It’s worth quoting that notice in full:


                        28 Dec 2023 at 14:18

                        Welcome to the discussion forum, DunGroanin, and thanks for engaging with the questions and criticisms. Nonetheless, your responses contain several barbed remarks that might be understandable in the circumstances, due the intemperate nature of previous debates, but could prompt equally derisory responses.

                        As mentioned in the comments section, the forum debates will be monitored more closely than before, due to complaints that were previously raised relating to personal abuse, bullying and bias. The ‘Fair Play’ rule in the moderation rules for commenters will be applied more strictly:

                        Fair Play

                        Play the ball, not the man. Address arguments, not people. Do not impugn the motives of others…. No taunting.

                        Address the argument, not the person. To do otherwise will be an immediate warning flag for deletion. Any reference to any commenter which is not courteous will lead to the comment being immediately deleted.

                        Accordingly, all participants are required to keep the tone of debate respectful. That means replies that don’t meet the courtesy criterion – for example, if they contain personal abuse, unwarranted accusations, fallacious ad hominems, mockery, or sarcasm – will be suspended and replaced with a moderator’s notification.

                        Hopefully from this point onwards the discussions will be more constructive.”

                        As you can see, fair warning was given to keep the tone respectful. Note the future tense (“will be applied”, “from this point on … “). It was addressed to DunGroanin, in reply to his contribution containing the “halfwit” remark – which hardly counts as him being permitted to insult others, as you insinuated earlier in this thread (and with a sarcastic gibe in your suspended “apology”, as we’ll see). The conditions were clearly and unambiguously phrased to apply to everyone. Kindly re-read that penultimate paragraph closely (“Accordingly, all participants are required to keep the tone of debate respectful….”), taking particular note of the action prescribed for replies that don’t meet the courtesy criterion. It confirms that the moderation action subsequently taken against your reply was well signposted in advance.

                        Following an unrelated interjection from ‘will moon’, DunGroanin then posted a lengthy response (approaching 1,500 words) to Clark’s questions higher up the thread, which had obviously taken him quite a while to draft. Its timestamp was less than an hour after the mod notice was posted, so it’s fair to assume he composed it before reading the notice: it obviously wasn’t a response to that intervention. His immediate, much briefer, follow-up reply explicitly acknowledged the moderation notice, proffering an emotional tit-for-tat justification for the caustic tone he had used earlier. His reply wasn’t rude or sarcastic, and it didn’t breach the moderation guidance.

                        However, your next contribution to the conversation – which forms the main subject of this complaint (and is quoted in full above) – clearly did breach that guidance. It also contravened the existing “No taunting” clause in the moderation rules for commenters. So I hid the text of your reply and replaced it with an annotation in bold:

                        [ Mod: Sorry, glenn_nl, but you’ll have to moderate your tone to contribute to these debates. We won’t go down the same path towards mutual mud-slinging again. Patronising the opposition is out of order; so is exaggerating their responses (e.g. “stop jumping up and down”), calling them their rhetorical questions “stupid”, and making sarcastic remarks. Accordingly, very little of your reply would clear the bar.
                        Kindly have a rethink and try to adopt a more cordial attitude. ]

                        You may have perceived that as an unduly harsh ticking-off, but let’s break it down into its component sentences, which served various functions: (1) an apology for the inconvenience; (2) a reference to the hazard we’re trying to avoid with the new guidelines; (3) the identification of problematic content in your text; (4) an indication of the extent of the revision required; (5) polite advice about how it should be redrafted.

                        The notice is phrased constructively. But context is important in interpretation too, and in this case you may have inferred some reputational damage to your ‘brand identity’. To be fair, both Clark (above) and DunGroanin (26 Dec, 6:07pm) seemed to be irked for broadly similar reasons.

                        The moderation notice was publicly visible because forum replies can’t be suspended (‘unapproved’) for private communication in the way that BTL comments can (at least for commenters who have session cookies enabled). A forum reply is either visible to all or to none – and of course there would be no point in posting a message that’s visible to none. The standard moderation practice in the forum is to initially address the person concerned while phrasing the advisory content to apply to everyone. In this case, the notice reiterated the type of content that is being proscribed in the forum in order to keep the correspondence civil. As Clark intuited, it also served the dual purpose of signalling to DunGroanin – who until that point had been the sole target of the public moderation notices – that the rules were being applied fairly and such tit-for-tat strategies (subsequently invoked by you, above, in justification of your retaliatory strike) would not be accepted from any participant.

                        > Also, for the record, my admonition about discussing things with mods also rankled a bit. With no context, it looks like I was arguing with a decision,

                        The advice that correspondence with moderators should only be posted in the Blog Support forum is a standard boilerplate notice typically issued several times a month. A very similar notice had already been issued BTL to DunGroanin, on 26 Dec @ 5:58pm (to wit, “comments about moderation are also off topic and should be posted in the Blog Support forum”). There is no personalised content and the only reference to a possible cause is “correspondence with moderators”. Anyone who stretched beyond that statement to conclude something more specific would be strictly exceeding the author’s liability.

                        > whereas my ‘offence’ was a simple apology to mods for reposting. It looked like my comment had failed to get through, so I reposted – only seeing a few seconds later, my original post re-appear in the form of a reproach. So I apologised.

                        That “simple apology” was merely hidden and not deleted. This is what it said:


                        28 Dec 2023 at 4:12pm

                        Mod: Apologies, I though my post had gone astray and reposted.

                        I now realise that someone can shout and swear at me, and that’s ok, I should just take it like a saint. Understood.

                        It would be mistaken to assume that blatant sarcasm can be shielded from criticism by a veneer of plausible deniability. The sarcastic tone is obvious, and is not appreciated in this example or indeed more generally. It’s an ongoing problem with forum debates and more effort must be made to counter it.

                        Certain forum threads in recent years have proved to be very problematic for moderation, to the extent of generating official complaints. Sentiment analysis of those exchanges found that sarcasm and parody were key predictors of acrimonious squabbling. They played a primary role in the allegations of bullying, not to mention the accusations of moderation bias. Those complaints were partially upheld after review. Nonetheless, the risk factors still exist and are still prominent in certain forum exchanges. A potential resolution to an ongoing conflict of interest was proposed internally last year but has not yet been enacted.
                        + + + + + + + + + +

                        Recently we’ve seen some welcome examples of commenters acknowledging moderation notices in a mature and sensible manner. But some contributors who get moderated sense they’re being unfairly singled out, despite clear evidence to the contrary, and their reactions occasionally display less maturity. (Some of them go on to direct a tirade of abuse at moderators, or launch sockpuppet attacks in retaliation, and then suddenly fall silent. It doesn’t necessarily mean they chose to “flounce off” petulantly; they may instead have triggered a formal ban for multiple and persistent breaches of commenting rules and etiquette.)

                        In late 2022, after the GDPR regulations were invoked in a heated dispute, the mod response emphasised that no complainant is in a good position to make comparative evaluations, as they can’t observe the full range of anyone else’s interactions with moderators (due to the essentially private nature of BTL communication). The point has been reiterated several times since then. However, it’s less apt in the discussion forum, where the moderation correspondence is necessarily public. Nonetheless, participants who witness other people being moderated still complain about being unfairly singled out when it happens to them. It’s especially puzzling when they’ve just observed the same moderation attitude being taken towards people on the opposing side of the same debate; but it happens, repeatedly.

                        The advice for all participants to be respectful – which is phrased in general terms specifically to avoid triggering that type of egocentric misconstrual – seems to have little impact in mitigating the sense of indignation that arises from being moderated publicly. The emotional nature of the ensuing complaints is especially evident in the sarcastic gibes that are occasionally bundled in. It appears to be quite common for people to feel indignation at being criticised by moderators – particularly when it happens in a forum that can potentially be read by the general public (albeit exceedingly sparsely, in actuality). The complaints might not be logically valid; nevertheless in an important sense they’re sincere in their expression of the emotional state of indignation, conveying some degree of psychological (or psychosomatic) discomfort. That unpleasant outcome should be averted or minimised where possible.

                        The Blog Support forum allows more time for considered responses, but even here we recently witnessed such a rapid escalation of grievances that a firebreak had to be introduced by putting the aggrieved complainants on the pre-mod list. Delays in responding are valuable: they afford more time to survey the situation, assemble evidence and redraft responses; but importantly they also allow the immediate sense of indignation or frustration to be processed in the context of relevant facts, a process which inevitably takes time, and it’s wiser to express the associated thoughts that occur after it rather than prior to it.

                        The old adage “Act in haste, repent at leisure” applies to all parties. The evidence accrued in these forums over recent years has amply demonstrated a very pressing need to take the heat out of these exchanges by reducing potentially inflammatory content. That doesn’t entail morphing into a “Vicars’ tea party”, but it does mean that Craig’s insistence on respectful debate must be enforced when some people’s remarks are reasonably perceived as unduly insulting.

                        That approach might not be favoured by everyone. But when there are widespread complaints of hostile interactions stifling free debate, moderators need to moderate. Commenters who prefer a pugilistic approach to settling differences of opinion can either find a more courteous way to engage with their opponents or relocate to another arena where such verbal jousting is less problematic.

                        It’s impossible to enforce respect, of course, but it’s entirely possible to silence expressions of disrespect, such as insults and taunts employing sarcasm or parody. There are very few occasions when sarcasm or parody are essential to convey meaning. They usually signify a mocking attitude, which is normally fine towards public representatives and between consenting adults, but not towards interlocutors in these forum debates. Accordingly, respondents should be mindful that sarcastic remarks (including rhetorical questions based on stereotyping or parodying opponents’ views), will render an entire reply eligible for deletion, without notice or further explanation. At this stage, it’s a polite request, but if the phenomenon doesn’t abate then a set of escalating sanctions may be applied to the individuals concerned.

                        There are still Blog Support enquiries pending, so it may be some time before a new set of guidelines is posted here. Replies that are not urgent or constructive may have to be suspended in the meantime. Discussions can of course proceed in the main forum, provided they accord with the principles outlined here.

                        #93719 Reply

                          mods@cm_org, 18:02

                          “Moderation entails monitoring and responding to comments and forum replies in real time, […] Some situations – such as rapidly erupting flame wars – call for swift intervention to prevent escalation.”

                          Indeed; it can get very hectic. I remember it only too well!

                          #93775 Reply

                            That’s a hugely expansive and generous response, far more than I deserved for my whinge, I have to admit. But I don’t want [email protected] to feel bad about making a response that I was earnestly begging them not to make. Far from “imploring the moderator not to respond”, I was simply saying don’t bother on my account.

                            (The definition of ‘implore’ is to “beg someone earnestly or desperately to do [or not do] something” – which strikes me as a little stronger than “don’t bother on my account”)

                            I wouldn’t have quibbled about this ‘imploring’, but [email protected] appear to be particularly keen on details, and I am sure there wouldn’t have been any attempt to mislead or misrepresent anything at all, so I am happy to clear up an obvious misunderstanding.

                            Now – another possible misunderstanding is that [email protected] – with a tremendous eye for detail, content, timestamps and all that good stuff – behaves far more meticulously than a lackadaisical punter like myself, who actually isn’t that bothered about their “brand identity” either, by the way.

                            Someone like myself read a belligerent note, and immediately replied to it, instead of taking the (apparently expected) hour or so to read every subsequent word, and note every timestamp since – besides estimating the length of time each post must have taken, weighing that against the timestamp of the post to gauge when that writing commenced, and putting myself in the position of the poster to think what they must have known at the time. And so on and so forth.

                            I completely forgot about the sarcastic note along with my explanation/ apology for re-posting it. So sorry about that. Again, it was a reaction to the apparently selective application of moderation, without doing the hour or so of due diligence required.

                            May I humbly suggest that – for the benefit of low attention, lazy posters like myself – any moderation advice be placed on the post that requires it, and not further down (while allowing the offensive messaging to stand).

                            Obviously, I require no response to this note, but that should not be read as a grovelling, beseeching plea not to do so. Nor should it be taken as some obsession with having the last word – I am very happy to give that privilege to another.

                            So may I close with thanking [email protected] for such a comprehensive response, and I trust that it was made for the joy of it, rather than out of a sense of obligation. Best wishes for the new year, and thank you for your work at this site.

                            • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by degmod.
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