Sunday, August 26, 2007


Though Triablogue has Rules of Engagement that are often violated, we've only rarely banned individuals who violate those rules. The members of the staff have unanimously agreed that three individuals who have violated those rules to an unusual extent should be banned. Though interactions with any individual can be beneficial in some sense, we've decided that the negatives far outweigh the positives in these three cases. We think that the forum will be significantly improved if these three individuals (Orthodox, Jon Curry, and Touchstone) aren't present.

All three have exhibited some of the same characteristics:

- A lengthy pattern of bad behavior, not just one or two instances.

- Inordinate reliance on Google searches, the use of Wikipedia, and other such methods of research.

- Refusal to accept correction, even after having been corrected explicitly by multiple people on multiple occasions on issues where their error was easy to notice.

- A high degree of disrespect for their hosts and the primary audience of the blog.

We believe that we made the right decision when we banned Steve J earlier this year, for example, and we think that the banning of these three individuals will similarly improve the forum. This is not the beginning of an all out ban on those with whom we disagree. This is confined to these individuals. Triablogue is an apologetics ministry. One would not walk into one's neighbor's house or a local church and behave as these have done here, and they will not be allowed to continue that behavior now.

We would also like to draw everyone's attention to the Rules of Engagement, which have been duly clarified due to these individuals' behavior and to concerns raised by others as follows.

3. Dialogue is a two-way street. If someone comments on what we say, we reserve the right to respond.

By the same token, we reserve the right to use harsh, judgmental language where appropriate. Invective is context-dependent. The Bible employs harsh, judgmental language for apostates, false teachers, and other enemies of the faith. The Bible is full of taunt-songs.

Remember that, in Scripture, most false teachers are professing believers. So merely calling yourself a Christian doesn’t immunize you from judgmental language where appropriate. It is our Christian duty to analogize from Biblical cases to contemporary cases.

4. By the same token, we reserve the right not to respond. You don’t pay the bills around here. We choose where to put our time.

Some trolls recycle the same stock objections no matter how often we’ve refuted them. This is dishonest. And it represents an abuse of the combox.

Some trolls make no effort to be consistent in their objections. This is dishonest. And it represents an abuse of the combox. In both cases, there comes a point of diminishing returns.

Some trolls are like skunk bears. Skunk bears have a natural repellent, secreted from their anal glands, which they spray on food to keep other animals away.

Some trolls don’t comment on a post because they have anything reasonable to say. Instead, their only motive is to stink up the post in hopes of driving other readers away. This is an abuse of the combox.

This is not the court of appeals, so comments here have been closed. Likewise, commenting on this action in another thread will not be tolerated- and this applies as much to those who agree as it does to those who disagree.

We’re not going to explain ourselves beyond the above. This is how it works: you get to exercise your discretion, then we get to exercise our discretion, and if your behavior rises to this level, we will take what actions we must for the benefit of the Body of Christ and our general readership.

We thank our readers for their patience and forbearance, and we hope to be able now to move on in our work for them and for Christ. We are currently contemplating a new project that will help in that regard. We request your prayers as we do that.

- The Triablogue Staff