House Rules

This blog is like my house, and it’s time to set the House Rules.

house rules, here comes the fun

here comes the fun

You’re invited to visit. I hope you come by often and bring friends with you. We throw a mini party here with every post. All guests are welcomed to comment, regardless of their viewpoints.

Last week, some comments on my first syndicated BlogHer post got a little rowdy. The BlogHer community manager chose to delete several of them because they violated the BlogHer community guidelines.

In the meantime, I held all comments in moderation on everyday epistle to prevent a similar fiasco here.

While this protected my site from trolls, in a way it also punished legitimate readers who faithfully and respectfully express their views here. Those readers will be happy to know I’ve lifted the stricter comment approvals.

But I still want this to be a safe place to agree to disagree.

Following BlogHer’s example and friends’ suggestions, I’ve written community guidelines for this site. They’re available in the top menu under House Rules.

Ten things you should know:

1. There will be a diverse group of guests in my house.
All sorts of people read this blog. I want everyone to feel free to respectfully comment if they choose to dialogue.

2. There will be discussion about many different topics, including some you may consider controversial.
This is my place to write what matters to me without editor or client changes. God and country are important to me; those topics will appear in the mix of posts.

3. Sometimes there will be disagreement.
It’s unrealistic to believe we’ll all agree about everything. This isn’t Parrot Island. We have to engage in civil discourse concerning matters of disagreement if we ever hope to reach solutions for the challenges we face. Go ahead and state your case, just mind your manners as well.

4. There will be civility and grace.
If you can’t play nice and respect the intrinsic value of the humans involved, you need to go elsewhere.

house rules, do not block

do not block

5. There will be no profanity.
This is a blog, not a bar. Think of another word to use or expect your comment to be deleted.

6. There will be no bullying.
That means no personal attacks, mudslinging, name-calling, direct threats, implied threats, stalking, harassing, posting of personal information that doesn’t belong to you or has nothing to do with the topic being discussed, libel, defamation, blatant misrepresentation of another person or group, violations of privacy, or links to profane or pornographic material.

7. There will be no spam whatsoever.

8. I determine what is unacceptable here, and I’m not limited by the House Rules.
As the sole owner, content creator, and community manager of this blog, I reserve the right to change the House Rules and to remove unacceptable comments at any time and without notice.

9. A word to trolls.
If you are a troll, you may comment if you abide by the House Rules. Otherwise, your comment will be deleted. And if you send me hateful tweets, I will block you so I do not receive your messages.

house rules, olive & kickin

olive & kickin, as seen in Asheville, NC

10. Don’t like the rules?
Find another site with different rules.

Some of you may think this is harsh, self-aggrandizing overkill. Does a small, personal blog really need community guidelines?

I wish you were right. But last week’s experience prompted Momma Bear to law down the law.

This is my house. I will not allow it to be destroyed by abusive comments or overrun by trolls. Play by the rules or exit the party.

But let all who take refuge in You be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread Your protection over them,
that those who love Your name may rejoice in You. Psalm 5:11 NIV

The only Overkill here is by Men at Work from 1983, a very good year.

Have you ever been afraid to express your opinion?
What impact did that experience have on you?

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8 Comments

Filed under America, blogging, writing & reading

8 Responses to House Rules

  1. Well said, especially 10.

    However, I have a small heartache on #7 – not even the canned kind that you can put in eggs, quesadillas, and all kinds of awesome foods? SPAM quesadillas are my comfort food weakness :p Just joking. I know what you meant, but I can’t help being 1) a foodie and 2) a Hungarian, since we tend to thrive on bad word puns. :D

  2. I have a page on my blog about “heat flies here” and RARELY have to point it out but when I do, it saves me from too much negative energy, which trolls or others can bring out. Bet this helps you down the road as well.

    • Aimee @ everydayepistle.com

      What a great title, “heat flies here!” So creative.
      Wish I didn’t have to spell out how to engage in civil discourse, but that’s just the way it is. Thanks for your encouragement, JP!

  3. Can you please send your HOUSE Rules to Congress (both houses) and the President???? And your wish for a President’s peace in your blog was WONDERFUL! Our nation must learn that whatever our opinion is that (1)-it isn’t always right and (2)-others have a right to their opinion. Playing fair and acting like civilized people would be marvelous.

    • I agree, Beverly. I’ll be happy to forward the House Rules to Congress and the White House along with a suggestion they give peace a chance, thought I don’t know if they’ll pay me any attention lol. Thanks for reading and commenting :)