One thing I noticed this campaign season is the lack of civility in political conversation, mostly as it is carried out on the web, but in person as well.
We have lost some sort of governing mechanism that allows us to make our points in a reasonable and rational manner without taking the other person out by any means possible. Further, we seem to have lost the ability to debate without debasement and pursue every semantical slip with reckless abandonment of good manners.
To quote my favorite politician, we have lost the ability to “disagree without being disagreeable.”
Over on Huffington Post an off-hand comment about being about to block a certain poster’s stupid remarks made me think about a great addition to the social networking paradigm on all the blogs – Self-Censored Comments.
No one has to imagine seeing the same idiotic drivel from the same idiotic screen-names with no recourse. We all know who these clowns are. The high-jack threads. They take the conversation into the gutter.
Imagine if you could simply choose not to see that person’s comments at all. Ever. They go to your personal Black List and you can enjoy having conversation with those who share at least a sense of civility if not a sense of purpose.
I bet within a couple of weeks, the Trolls and Malcontents would simply be shouting into the ether, wondering why nobody was listening or responding. As quick as they change names, the rest of us get sick of reading it and opt-out.
This seems the easiest solution to moderating our own spaces for maximum productivity. We waste an awful lot of time responding to twits. Why? Because most of us are way too optimistic and think that this one piece of information should be able to finally break through. It doesn’t, but we keep trying.
Self-censored comments would allow each of us to find a tone and tenor that speaks to our better natures and leaves the haters screaming silently in a windowless room while the adults talk about solutions.