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A Not So Brief Word About the Going Concern Comment Section

Perhaps some of you have noticed that Mommy has had to put a couple of you in time out recently due to off topic, completely out of line and/or totally useless comments. I see how some of you could be upset by this considering we've been pretty lenient up until now but it's gotten completely out of hand and we're not having it.

We've always expected quality comments out of you and have pretty much settled for the best you've got which sometimes isn't much. Still, the comment section is a vibrant, vital part of our dysfunctional little community and with you guys constantly pulling your dicks out and being jerks to each other, you're only scaring away the older folks with good advice to give the youngsters, the ladies who don't need to hear about your balls on articles about careers and the constantly-bullied former nerds (read: most of you) who have flashbacks every time some keyboard ninja goes on a personal attack.

So, here's the deal. Knock it off or we'll close the comment section completely. I'm not joking. If you can't behave like the adults you're supposed to be, we've got no choice.

This isn't about Going Concern being some bastion of professionalism (we never set out to be that and will never aspire to such, obviously), it's about you guys respecting the avenue you have here enough not to act like 14 year old jackasses all the time. A dick joke here or there is allowed but an entire thread full of them is just overkill and, frankly, not funny. Don't you have better jokes than that? You want to act like children? Go to 4chan; make gay slurs to the other 10 year olds on XBox Live; go talk that trash to a bunch of thugs hanging out on the corner. But for the love of all that's sacred and holy, stop doing it here.

Anonymity is not an excuse to act like jerks to each other.

Just because you can drop F-bombs doesn't mean you are entitled to pound out an Andrew Dice Clay-worthy rant in the comments either. We get it, you're suppressed and thrilled to have found a place where you can be as filthy and candid as you like. You all know how I feel about profanity but if 10 out of 20 of your words are the F-word, you're not being clever, you're being obnoxious.

Effective immediately, the following can get you put in time out until you can learn to make useful comments. Note this has always been the case, it's just that neither Colin nor I have had the time to enforce it thoroughly (though we do delete comments that fall into these categories from time to time) and now that it's out of control, we have no choice:

Racial slurs Listen, we're not stupid, we know what you meant. It's inappropriate and lame.

Off topic, overtly sexist comments This is not the place to live out your fantasy of banging interns and no one buys it anyway so just don't. Go write some letters to Penthouse if you need to work off some steam.

Comments that add absolutely no value To clarify, LOL, hello, test or any manner of useless comment will automatically get nuked.

Personal attacks Colin and I have thick skins thanks to years of putting up with your crap and getting looked down upon by real members of the profession but that doesn't mean we enjoy getting attacked and I'm pretty sure no one else here does either. Criticisms are – as always – completely allowed but don't be rude about it. Respect the fact that we let you hide behind nicknames. If you can't keep it civil, we'll start requiring every commenter to use their real name to leave a comment. I don't want that and know you guys don't, it would turn the comment section into a ghost town.

General obnoxiousness What does this mean? Hijacking threads with your own personal agenda, excessive trolling, dropping as many F-bombs as possible (if I can restrict myself to two – three per 1000 words, so can you), being a jerk… you get the point. Some trolling is still allowed (it's what makes the comment section great), please just keep it in moderation and – more importantly – funny. If you can do neither, you're not a very good troll anyway.

If it doesn't turn around, here are our options in order from most severe to least:

Shut down comments completely No one wants this but it's come to this. There goes comp season.

Require verified email addresses and real names for comments See above: re ghost town. And you thought you were worried about being outed for reading this site before? It would certainly cut down on the personal attacks if trolls had to sign their names to comments.

Moderate all comments before they are posted No one around here has time to do that and we shouldn't have to but I'm prepared to take one for the team if I have to. This means you'll have to wait until I awake from my blackout to approve your comments, which could mean days. By then, everyone will have forgotten why your joke was funny. Which doesn't matter because it probably wasn't funny anyway.

Because I know you guys, I realize you're immediately going to try to test if I'm serious or not by leaving a bunch of shitty, useless comments on this very post. As I threatened above, I'll go ahead and shut the whole show down leaving you nothing but reading material for the entire week if I have to, which means you forfeit your right to trash – er, kindly criticize – the freelancer candidates in the second round.

Once upon a time, the comment section was a fun place but it's devolved into a petty, childish elementary school playground. You all can do so much better than that. Step it up, people, I'm serious.