A key objective of Agniveer site was to present a platform for logical and matured discussions on topics that influence our activities and mindsets the most. We have obtained significant success in this area and hence the comments section of the site in itself has become a storehouse of valuable information and analyses that is not easily found elsewhere in the cyberspace. However, there have also been cases of several visitors using this opportunity for mud-slinging and abusive comments. When one looks at such comments, one cannot help conclude that as a society, perhaps we have not matured enough to deal with differing views in a responsible and objective manner. We seem to be bugged by ‘I am good, you are villain, I shall abuse villain’ syndrome. There is nothing wrong in assertively defending one’s beliefs and ideology. There is nothing wrong in countering the opposing viewpoints. But when these views-counterviews stoop to level of filthy abuses and hate speech, then it is obvious that we have drifted apart from our original mission of “Accepting Truth, rejecting falsehood” and “Tolerance for all”. It then means that we are not viewing entire humanity as one single family.
We are proponents of free speech and hence rarely moderate comments. But we surely do not want abusive comments to turn off the more matured visitors to the site. We may allow abuses hurled at Agniveer but would definitely not want abusive ridiculing comments made on others. We thus appeal to all visitors to show your might through logic and facts instead of abusive remarks. For most of us, our beliefs are like our own babies. We would defend them to death and would be irritated by slightest questioning of them. We are overprotective of our beliefs like we protect our babies. Only matured people are able to dissociate themselves and their ego from their beliefs and are able to evaluate them logically. Agniveer was wrong in its assessment that most netizens discussing such serious topics have reached this maturity. And thus we appeal to all to observe some sensitivity while dealing with differing views. You may have cornered someone with evidences and facts to admit that his or her viewpoint was fallacious or having inherent contradictions. But still they would persist to defend their babies. We would request you to provide some space to the person so that he does not feel humiliated or defensive. Even Manu Smriti states that we should never ridicule or insult the defeated and instead make friends with them and try to win their hearts. After all despite everything, they are still our own family! Logic combined with a little compassion may do the trick instead of dry arguments. 🙂
To ensure that we facilitate this spirit of compassionate friendly debates, as well as keep abusive hatred away and at the same time not restrict freedom of expression, we have thought of a few steps:
a. We have already activated Facebook comments on the site. To comment through this, you must be logged in to your Facebook account in the browser.
Benefits – You can like the posts sing the Like button. You can share your comment on your Facebook profile as well using the option provided. And when someone replies to your comment on Facebook, the comment would appear on Agniveer.com site as well! This would promise a more engaging discussion across a wider audience.
b. In a phased manner, we are planning to implement the renowned Disqus commenting system on the site.
1. With Disqus, you would have to be logged to either Facebook, Twitter, Google, Disqus, OpenId or Yahoo to comment. You can also comment as a Guest but then you would have to add your name and email every time you make a comment. This would ensure that comments are made a bit more responsibly. However your account passwords will not be stored on site and would be complete secure.
2. With social integration, you can share your and others’ comments on Facebook, Twitter etc.
3. You can rate the comments made by others.
4. You can reply to comments directly by email as well.
5. The commenting system would become real-time and as and when someone makes a comment on the post you commented on, you would get an update immediately. So it would act like a chat.
6. There would be better spam control and security.
You can review more features at http://disqus.com
We would like to have your feedback on these before we move ahead so that we have adequately evaluated all pros and cons.
When we finally migrate to Disqus, there may be disruption in commenting service temporarily. But Facebook Comments would still work. After all existing comments have been imported and synced, in case we face some unresolvable technical glitch in implementation of Disqus, we would roll back to native commenting system in worst case. We shall ensure that we do not lose existing comments.
So kindly share your views on this. And regardless of technological aids, we would urge you all to exercise enhanced maturity and compassion in comments. Lets focus on winning hearts rather than only arguments. Lets be one family! And jointly seek wisdom!