By on May 5, 2012

You may have noticed: We moderate here much less than we used to. We count on the urbane behavior of our commenters. Usually, that works. In the few cases when it does not, we usually don’t edit or delete comments. We issue a warning when the line is crossed.

That warning is no idle chatter. When we say that “ Commenters who cannot adhere to these principles will be removed from the party and will not be invited back,” then they will be removed and not be invited back if the unurbane behavior continues.

Commenting at TTAC works like around a dinner table. Be friendly, be welcoming, don’t be offensive. Discuss issues, but don’t attack the other person. You can discuss the issues all day long as long as it is in a civilized way. When you signed on to TTAC, you agreed to some basic rules.

One of these rules says: “No flaming the website, its authors or fellow commentators.”

Like many rules, this rule is not always enforced with the same fervor. But when it is, it is.

This discussion overstepped the line right from the start. And it got worse. I will not regurgitate the discussion. Also, I do not want it to be regurgitated.

I issued a warning on May 3rd, 2012 at 1:41 pm, and I expected the warning to be heeded. There were a few commenters who ignored the warning. These commenters have been removed and cannot come back. Note that the bannings were issued strictly for ignoring the warning after it was issued.

In order to avoid a reoccurrence of this unfortunate episode, I recommend a civilized discussion style. If you can’t say it without attacking the other person, don’t say it at all. If a warning is issued, it already has gone way too far, and the warning must be heeded without exceptions.

A discussion of this long-standing policy is not desired.


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23 Comments on “Announcing The Untimely Departure Of VanillaDude, Tallnikita, Nefdawg, Obruni, And Dingram01...”

  • avatar

    Bertel – well said.

    CJ please take note of the following “Be friendly, be welcoming, don’t be offensive. Discuss issues, but don’t attack the other person.”

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    I come to TTAC because of the mostly hilarious, sometimes offensive, but almost always witty and amusing posts.

    If I want a politically correct and staid auto website, I go to Consumer Reports.

  • avatar

    So how about that new Hyundai Azera?
    (laughs nervously)

  • avatar

    I hadn’t read the article until now, but I think you got exactly what you should have expected for publishing it. I think you could stand to raise your editorial standards a notch or two.

    • 0 avatar

      Never knew there’s so many thin-skinned Americans. Here in Europe we talk about our neighbors without PC BS and that review was OK by the Euro standards, it was written jokingly.
      Btw. I hope You read all of it because the beginning wasn’t really what the rest of it was.
      I also hope TTAC will not lower itself to soft pink foam level of airline magazines by going PC or starting to tone down the posts.

      • 0 avatar

        Thin-skinned means different things to different people. I’m fine with people saying whatever they want to. They should be just as fine with people reacting to their ideas. Censorship is thin-skinned. Censure-ship is not.

    • 0 avatar

      Good point. The repetitive attack on Sarah Palin published here by BS almost simultaneously with this call for civility is indicative of…nothing we’re permitted to notice.

  • avatar

    Most sites just delete the offender without any notation as to why. Glad you posted why. Thanks

  • avatar

    I’ve been a lurker on this site for awhile, but after reading about what happened, the corrective action taken by TTAC, and this announcement, I’ve decided to join.

  • avatar

    I just read the comments mentioned in the Citroen DS5 Hybrid4 article for the first time. I’m glad I passed by the review and the comments when it was current.

    Anytime someone weighs in with rhetoric that stereotypes or portrays another person as a goose stepper, the discussion has taken a turn for the worst. In this case the guilt trip was unnecessary when commenting on a car review.

    By the way, I think the car itself is a mess of styling cues and needlessly mechanically complex, just so it can be called a hybrid.

  • avatar

    I actually missed that review.

    I went back & read the first paragraph & thought to myself “Someone who hates the French, diesels & hybrids and claims that up front is probably going to review a French diesel & hybrid.”

    That sure doesn’t sound like a review that should be coming from a site that is named “The truth about cars.”

    I also read some of the comments & thought they were pretty bad as well.

    I come to ttac to read “Objective” (as possible) reviews & intelligent discussion. That article seemed to have neither from either the writer or the commenters…

  • avatar
    Oren Weizman

    Let us blame the french my brothers !

  • avatar

    The Citroen review thread was all kinds of fail. Nevermind if never cross the the uncrossable line, but

    – It’s just plain rude to the author
    – It’s just plain rude to a newcomer
    – It’s just plain rude to threadjack for so long without so much as a regard for what you were there in the first place.

    I for one am tired of having to wade through all of the pomposity and bullying on the net. TTAC has been a mature alternative to 12-year olds comparing their penis sizes on Autoblog, I’d like to keep it that way.

    • 0 avatar

      When the most childish comment that you can find on a site is “Fail-Wheel Drive”, than it has a pretty decent selection of members.

      In that review I just assumed that the reviewer was just exaggerating his frustrations with France, the thing is that we live in sensitive times, free speech isn’t what it used to be.

  • avatar

    And that’s why I like cars.

  • avatar

    As a fellow journalist and editor, I agree with Bertel that standards must be upheld and a warning should suffice. It does need to be said, though, that a writer of any nationality who begins a car review with “I hate (insert name of country writer’s native land invaded and occupied within the last century)” is being provocative in the extreme (as opposed to Jack Baruth, who makes provocation an act of wonder and delight). Especially when the bulk of the readership of the publication had fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers who risked and in many cases lost their lives to end that occupation.

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