Today in the moderation queue I found what might have been the first thoroughly insensitive comment posted on this blog. Reading it, I faced a dilemma familiar to many leftist bloggers: Do I respect the principle of freedom of speech, or do I respect the oppressed people who stand to be hurt by the insensitive comment? Because I did not yet have a comment policy in place, I felt considerable weight could be given to the idea that I owed it to the poster to publish the comment. But in the end I let the golden rule be my guide: Because I would not have wanted to be the target of certain language that the commenter directed at another commenter, I trashed the comment.
While that solved the problem at hand (albeit in a less than ideal manner), it demonstrated the need for a change. I believe that all commenters, even the most insensitive, deserve the opportunity to have some idea of what content I will reject before they put time into composing their comments. With that in mind I created a policy, which will from now on be accessible in the bar that runs across the top of the blog. (The policy includes the already implemented policy on triggers, mostly unchanged.) My goal is to create a policy that acknowledges power imbalances and is fair to everyone. I would appreciate feedback, including constructive criticism.