Flamers at NowPublic.Org

I just received an email announcement from NowPublic, the Vancouver citizen journalism startup. The message was about NowPublic’s new flaming policy:

And why, you may ask, do we take our time finding Flamers is and weeding them out, instead of just ignoring them? Well, flaming doesn’t just hurt the individual being flamed—it hurts the entire community. Flamers tend to end conversations by entering them; they create a hostile, circuitous environment where real discourse is quashed in favour of insults and abuse. We won’t stand for it.

It’s plainly written, and if not for its verbosity (it’s 2200 words and suitably located in the ‘fine_print’ directory), it would be an outstanding example of anti-flame guidelines. I guess they’re covering their bases. I’d be curious to hear more about the reasons behind the new policy, given my recent interest in debate within online communities.

The reason I’m writing this post is that, without any apparent irony, the email concluded thusly:

Please don’t hesitate to email flamers@nowpublic.com if you have any questions.

NowPublic editorial staff

Am I the only one who finds that a little funny?


  1. But flamewars are awesome for hits (also, anyone who thinks they end a conversation is someone who chooses not to engage with them; I prefer to escalate). Sure, it cannot be said to elevate a debate, but generally we’re not exactly conducting blogosphere reenactments of Plato’s Symposium in the first place. They can be entertaining.

  2. Kaitlin: Thanks for dropping by. I don’t really have anything to add, but I’ll let you know if I do.

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