A Call to Ban

I woke this morning to find Kotaku at a crossroads, one peopled with a mob. It seems there's a decision to be made: Do we want Kotaku to be represented by the chatter of a thousand voices, people trying to be heard over one another, many not stopping to think before they talk. Or do we want to cull the crowd, reduce the noise so our many intelligent readers can still be heard over the roar and those who speak take the time to think, to read before doing so.

It's disheartening to think that it has come to this, that unless we're talking about the relatively safe topics of consoles and their direct by-products there can't be intelligent discourse on Kotaku. And I don't understand how we've arrived here.

Commenting on this site has a short and interesting history. It wasn't allowed for more than a year and when it did come, after much pleading on my part, it came in the form of an invitation. You were invited to come into the site. This wasn't because we didn't want dissenters on the site, it was because we didn't want trolls here, inside with us. Because whether you believe me or not, commenters are as much a part of making Kotaku, what it is, as it's writers are, perhaps even more a part of that process.

Over time we opened the door more, allowing anyone to apply to be a commenter, something that I hoped would bring a wealth of new and interesting opinion into the site. But what it seems to have done is created not a chorus of thought and reason, but a mob mentality, a desire to post first, to speak loudest and to rarely read through the entire article or think about the topic at hand. It's created a cacophony of stupidity that drowns out our many well-reasoned readers and dilutes there intelligent discourse.

Race is a big issue. It's an issue that's right up there with religion and politics. People get angry, I get that, and of course you have the right to get angry. But what you don't have the right to do is to turn off your brain and turn up your mouth.

If you disagree with someone then disagree, but don't resort to calling names, don't use caps, don't generalise. Dissent with smart, thoughtful comments, create a dialog or go somewhere else, because frankly, you're embarrassing me.


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