I have a problem. My commenters are mean to each other and it's making me look bad. They insult and pick fights with their ideological enemies, ignore evidence and counter-arguments, and insist on inflicting their morality (or lack of morality) on others. It's embarrassing me in front of my family. I tell them to ignore all criticism like I do, but the situation is just getting worse. What do I do?
You set the tone for your own blog. If you don't like your commenters' behavior, stop insulting and picking fights with your ideological enemies, ignoring evidence and counter-arguments, and inflicting your lack of morality on others.
Or you can continue to ignore all criticism and endure the social disapproval, which is the inevitable consequence of your own actions.
ADDED: Ha! McArdle adds her rules of blogging behavior. My favorite:
If you're wrong, admit it at once. No one will fault you for being mistaken. Everyone will hate you for refusing to admit it. Andrew Sullivan et al. didn't go after Tapped because they got the numbers wrong, but because they refused to admit the possibility that the numbers were wrong, and wrote snotty posts about anyone who suggested they should check again.
No, wait! This is my favorite!:
If you have to fudge numbers and blur distinctions in order to make a case for your ideas, why do you believe them? If you don't understand the science or math behind an issue, why are you arguing with people who understand it better? Do you hope to convince them with the vast inertial weight of your ignorance? Or are you hoping to get them so frustrated by the difficulty of explaining climatology to someone who dropped out of freshman physics that they spontaneously combust? [unfortunately, this does not work -- ed.] Or do you just enjoy looking like a total idiot in public?