The reason we have Town Square.
Original post made by Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jun 6, 2011
Provided discussions remain polite and respectful to others involved, and do nothing bordering on libel or hurtful to any individuals mentioned in a particular news item, I can't see the wisdom of closing a discussion between thoughtful individuals obeying all the rules. If a person flags a particular discussion, do they automatically get their way to close an interesting discussion which they don't happen to like? If two or three people are getting their point across and the majority of other readers have lost interest in that discussion, what harm does it do to those who are respectfully discussing the deeper aspects of a topic. Isn't that the way intelligent people become better informed of others' point of view and perhaps even change their position on a difficult subject?
If the only reasons for having a Town Square Forum is to make superficial comments which are never allowed to get below the surface, then we are really nothing more than a heckling crowd of onlookers. If, on the other hand, we can enter into meaningful discussion with complete strangers in a safe setting, we are actually serving ourselves well and it could even be argued, educating ourselves in a unique manner.
If one individual, or even a too cautious editor, can effectively prevent a thoughtful dialog from continuing, then, in my opinion, it is similar to the child who brought a ball to the playground who doesn't like the game the other kids want to play, so takes the ball home to stop anyone having any fun.
If we can't have meaningful discussion, obeying the rules of good online and yes anonymous behavior, then I wonder exactly why Town Square was initiated in the first place.
Thank you for the opportunity of allowing us to say our piece.