Daily Archives: August 4, 2013

The “I Fully Expect Abuse” Gambit

Noting this here as an addition to comment moderation policy:

If during the writing of a comment here, you add the line of “Now, I know what I am saying is going to get me abused,” or some close version of the same, I consider your comment immediate fair game for deletion. Why?

1. Because you are signaling that your comment will prompt other commenters, acting rationally on the basis of what you’ve written, to heap abuse on you, in which case you’re probably trolling, in which case I should delete your comment to avoid the inevitable derail;

and/or

2. Because you are signaling that you do not believe other commenters here are capable of rational discourse, in which case I’ll delete your comment to protect you from the onslaught of terrible people being terrible to you terribly, because of course as a gracious host I cannot allow such a horrible thing as abuse of a guest to happen. That would be wrong.

Now, there is an alternate version of events in which the reason that you put in such a line is as a cheap rhetorical ploy to suggest that your comment posits the only logical version of the discussion, and that any alternate view of events or rebuttal to your argument is mere abuse, as an attempt to put other commenters on the defensive and/or to give yourself permission not to take other people or their responses to your comment seriously. But I see no possible way that someone who would comment here would stoop to such abject silliness. So I will, properly, disregard this as a possibility.

On a related note, if you choose to write some version of “I expect this comment to be deleted” in your comment, I’ll take that as a sign that you would be in some manner disappointed if I did not delete your comment, as opposed to, say, merely employing the phrase as a magical talisman against the comment being deleted. And I, as a gracious host, would hate to disappoint you.

No, no. You don’t have to thank me, as your host, for such kind and tender thoughtfulness. I am merely acting as you, my guest, deserve.