Last Sunday’s reader story caused quite a stir. While most readers were supportive of Mandy and her decision, some were not. Many folks raised valid concerns over her guest post, its relevancy at GRS, and my editing of it. I’ve taken those concerns to heart and will consider them in the future.

However, a small handful of commenters went too far. A few people took it upon themselves to make assumptions about Mandy and her marriage, and to leave rude comments. As I’ve made very clear in the past (and at the bottom of every reader story), rude comments on reader stories will not be tolerated. I delete them out of hand, and I feel no remorse for doing so.

There are certain things I don’t allow at GRS. You can criticize me and my guest posters all you want, but I’m not going to let you do it in a nasty manner, and I’m not going to let you spread misinformation and hysteria at Get Rich Slowly. If you leave a comment and it doesn’t appear, it’s not because I’m trying to squelch your opinion. Either the comment is stuck in the spam filter (in which case I’ll rescue it when I notice it), or you’ve crossed the line from constructive criticism to personal attack.

How do you tell the difference? Here are a couple of examples. This comment is critical, but it’s constructive. It’s perfectly fine:

This is a really poor story to post on Get Rich Slowly. There are so many financial holes, things apparently left out, and personal justifications and excuses by the writer that I can’t take a single thing from this to apply to my life.

[...]

Again, I don’t know what the purpose was in this post other than to show that a full financial analysis should be done to justify a divorce. Sorry to say it, JD, but poor choice of posts. I understand your motive in the Reader Story weekly posts, but they are not consistent with your blog and maybe should be dropped.

In this case, the commenter isn’t being emotional, and he’s not attacking anyone. He states his argument and provides constructive feedback. This is a Good Thing, and demonstrates that even people who disagree can have a polite discussion.

This comment, on the other hand, is way out of line, and will never see the light of day at Get Rich Slowly (well, except as an example of what not to do):

He’s probably better off without this callous bitch. Too bad she has children.

Last week, I deleted several such comments, which made a couple of folks angry. Tough beans. These deletions should have come as no surprise since I’ve provided ample warning that this sort of thing is unacceptable on reader stories. (And you know what? I’d really rather not see these sorts of comments on other posts, either. If you want to give this kind of feedback, send me a private e-mail instead of posting it in public.)

Here at Get Rich Slowly, my goal is to foster smart and civil conversations about money — even when we disagree with each other. If that sounds good to you, then please hang around. If this bothers you, then maybe we’re not a good fit. There are other sites you can read if you want to get your hate on.

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