Your (Kind, Constructive) Comments Are Desired!

CNL2 now publishes comments on each and every post, if they are deemed to be kind and constructive.

We strive to be a community hub — among the 18,000 souls of the San Juans archipelago — and among the one million U.S. and Canadian citizens of the 48th Parallel west of the Cascades. The kind of community hub we strive to be is one marked by kindness and constructive engagement.

We fully understand this policy won’t please everyone. All speech passes through one or more filters; even people who call themselves “free speech absolutists” tend to filter comments they deem out of bounds. And even in America, some types of the most incendiary, irresponsible speech are illegal, subject to civil or criminal charges. Therefore, all “free speech” is qualified.

We also understand that the mere exclusion of speech we deem to be inconsistent with our mission may be met with dismay. We get that. And we don’t mean to frustrate anyone. We are simply curating a specific experience for readers who self-select into this experience. The experience we strive to foster is rooted in kindness, and constructive dialogue striving to reduce divisions among us, instead of widening them.

We learned a lot about public comments on a website during the first CNL in rural Missouri (2008 to 2013). Here’s what we learned, which informs the policies of CNL2, as well:

  • All comments must be “owned” by the commenter — linked to the commenter’s real name. We found that anonymous or masked identities gave license to extreme commentary, sometimes crossing into what would be libel and slander (but for the ridiculous protection against libel and slander granted to online publishers by the U.S. Government). When a person has to think twice about what they are writing because their real name is attached to it, accountability is increased. And that’s a good thing.
  • CNL2 strives to foster and facilitate a tone of positivity and kindness on our website and in our television and radio content.
  • To enforce CNL2’s policies for both commenter accountability (accurate self-identification) and kind, constructive tone, CNL2 will hold EVERY comment in a queue for review before publishing on these pages. We will strive to publish comments as promptly as possible.

And when we do choose not to publish a submitted comment, we will — whenever time permits — reply to the email address supplied by the commenter, to see if there is a gentler way to express the comment. When we have the time to do so.

With that, please comment!


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