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Scott Neal, February 14, 2013 | Scott Neal
There is a larger societal discussion going on in America today about public civility. The argument generally seems to circle not around the concept of civility, but more around what it means to be uncivil or rude or a bully. There are times when the discussion of civility, which I believe is important, sometimes supercedes the discussion of the public policy issue that was the point of the discussion in the first place.
I think that most people would agree that the use of profanity in a public policy discussion, especially when it is directed against another participant in that discussion, is uncivil. But what about sarcasm, humor and low level snarkyness. Would most people agree that those communications styles are uncivil? I don’t know.
We’re addressing this issue right now at the staff level over a couple of discussion threads going on at our Speak Up, Edina public engagement tool on our website. Check it out. I’d be interested in some feedback on this issue in this space. You don’t have to use examples in your feedback. Just tell me what you think of the general level of civility there.