Saturday, July 30, 2011
Civility and the Blog Wars
I dislike Blog Wars. They are divisive and kill any kind of productive conversation. I don't knowingly start them and I hate to be in the middle of them. I usually just drop out and stop reading. This week's Blog War left me feeling torn. When two different bloggers have followers that defend them, the danger is that civility goes out the door. Name calling, judgement of people (as opposed to judgement of ideas), and even threats can ensue.
When you write a blog, you put your ideas out for the world to consider, agree or disagree with, or even judge. If you are writing a public blog, not are you only writing to get your ideas out there, you are implicitly inviting others to agree or disagree with all or part of those ideas. If what you want to do is preach to those people who already think like you, a private blog may be a better idea.
That said, there is NEVER any reason to physically threaten anyone, no matter how you feel about their opinions and how they express them. Bloggers can't control what their followers say and do. I know I can't. I will also say right up front that I have commented in defense of bloggers who I felt were being taken out of context more than once in the last few months. I am not disrespectful and I threaten no one. And honestly, the people I know who regularly read my blog would never attack or threaten real life harm to someone over ideas.
When blogging stops being about ideas and starts being taken/written personally, it loses its' benefits and ,for me anyway, its appeal. Civility is extremely underrated these days.