The incident a little of a month ago now where commentor, Glycocalyx, published the private details of a another commentor, JC, was despicable. People commenting on this site occasionally meet on social occasions or pass on their details via me to other commentors, for a variety of reasons, and they should feel some confidence when doing so, or when responding, that those private details will not be made public at some future time.
As I’ve already made clear on the comments page, such conduct will not only immediately incur the deletion of the offending comments (incl. comments that repeat the offending material), but the commentor will also be banned. I will also remind people that doxing is illegal, not merely uncourteous and against the policy of New Cat.
New Cat, like the old Cat, is meant to be a place where people can discuss matters of politics and culture from a right perspective, without necessarily agreeing, and doing so in a friendly though robust manner, being both charitable and pointed as appropriate. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, some of the acrimony that accumulated on the old Cat has made its way here and, in some respects, intensified. I would like to see that reversed. The occasional needling of commentors is perfectly fine, but persistent needling over time of non-trolls is entirely different and should be avoided.
One of the most welcome things to have occurred over the last few months is Lizzie’s return, and that has in no small part been successful because of conduct of her acquaintances, so to say. I’d like to see this replicated where applicable. This was at least the case until the previous weekend when I had began drafting this post. I’d like to return to the détente that existed before that weekend, and I’m sure many other Cats do as well. This is a relatively large forum with several commentors so it is not surprising that there are differences, not only of opinion, but of temper; consequently, people should comport themselves just as they do in other social situations and accommodate the diversity of personalities they encounter in public. How I specifically respond in future to any such pile-on I’m still thinking on, however, my disposition at present is to judge my earlier reluctance to intervene a mistake.
Lastly, my position re trolls is to ban them, but to be charitable in determining whether one is in fact a troll. C.L., in the last few days, over at his place, banned the commentor Prospero for reasons that what I think are essentially justified. Although trolls can on occasion provide some much needed commentary from a different standpoint, attention needs to be paid to what they typically provide to the forum and whether their contributions on the whole are in good faith or largely designed simply to provoke.