When Morrison County was established in 1856, the first appointed office was that of Sheriff. When Little Falls officially became a village in 1879, the first ordinance established the position of Marshall. Law enforcement and putting someone in charge of miscreants was critical to establishing a civilized society.
Such is the case with Ask Little Falls.
As soon as an avenue for discussion is opened, particularly in an online setting, trolls see it as an invitation to wreak havoc. We have enough trouble with disrespectful communication in Little Falls. We don’t need it here. As the founder of Ask Little Falls, I won’t allow it.
I’m appointing myself Marshall and will monitor comments carefully. Comments that smack of trollishness will not be published; they will be deleted.
A few guidelines for keeping Ask Little Falls troll-free:
1. No ad hominem attacks. That means no name-calling or attacking a person directly for a comment he has made. Attack the argument or point instead.
2. No libel. If you make an accusation of wrong-doing, back it up with a credible source.
3. Godwin’s Law rules. Godwin’s Law states that the longer and more heated an online argument gets, the more likely someone is to resort to bringing Adolph Hitler and Nazis into the discussion. Once that happens, the argument is over and the person who mentioned Hitler or Nazis loses. If you mention Hitler or Nazis in your comment, it will be deleted. No matter what, you lose.
4. No banishment. I’ve seen this a number of times related to local and national issues. Someone in a discussion gets his undies in a bunch over someone else’s complaints and resorts to saying, “If you don’t like it, just leave the city/state/country.” That’s a lazy form of argument, very five-year-old kid, and highly impractical. If you’re tempted to say something like this, how would you like it if someone said it to you? Don’t do it. I’ll help by deleting comments that tell people to leave.
5. No threats of violence or death. I can’t believe I actually have to list this as a rule, but I’ve seen it in online discussions. Here’s the deal. Making threats is illegal. If you do it, I won’t publish your comment. Instead, I’ll turn it, and the technological footprints you leave with the threat, over to local law enforcement for investigation. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
Other forms of trolling will be examined on a case-by-case basis.
If you want to be a troll, start your own blog.
If you want to have an honest discussion about the City of Little Falls, Minnesota, please join in.
Let’s play nice, folks.
– Mary Warner