Nick Rawlings, editor of Road Safety News, has issued a stark warning to the handful of readers who are monopolising discussion threads on this newsfeed: moderate the number of comments you post, and the tone within them, or face being excluded from the process.
Nick Rawlings said: “There is a handful of people who, quite frankly, are monopolising discussion threads. Their entrenched and well publicised views, and the speed with which they post to news items, is stifling debate; other newsfeed readers are telling us that if they see certain names they simply don’t get involved in that thread, or even read it.
“In the past I’ve requested privately to these people that they post less frequently and focus on topics in which they have some expertise or specific interest. For the avoidance of any doubt, I’m now making this request publicly.
“I’m also advising readers that we will not be posting comments that go against the spirit and tone of this newsfeed. In the past we’ve spent quite a bit of time moderating posts when they stray beyond our house rules, and explaining to the authors why we have done so, but because of the time and effort involved in doing this is no longer feasible.
“From here onwards we will simply not publish posts if we are hearing too much from any one individual, or if a regular contributor transgresses the house rules.
“We are all for healthy debate and are not trying to exclude the views of those who challenge the road safety profession, far from it, but the current situation is reducing and narrowing discussion, which is the opposite of our aims.
“We will also not publish posts that include personal attacks or unsubstantiated claims, or which use provocative language and/or a tone intended to escalate the temperature of discussion threads.
“The primary audience for this newsfeed is road safety professionals and allied disciplines who work to reduce casualties and collisions. While we are delighted that others take an interest in the subject and wish to contribute to the debate, they need to do so in a courteous and appropriate manner.
“The saying ‘less is more’ comes to mind in terms of the number of posts people make. I do hope all regular readers will take this message on board and that our newsfeed will remain a thought-provoking but less combative forum going forward.”