Thursday, November 6, 2008

New Rules

I'm certain my blogging accomplishes nothing more than allowing me a way to vent. To the extent that some of my posts generate interesting comments, it's a bonus. But when I get a stream of anonymous comments from people who neither wish to address my thoughts directly, nor have the courtesy to identify themselves in such a way that I can tell one from the other (anonymous is okay if that's the way you want to sign in: how about an initial or something at the end?), whose main method of discourse is either insulting or amounts to nothing more cogent than "I know you are but what am I," I've sometimes exercised my right as a blogger to toss comments. Some, of course, see that as wanting only agreement. Surprise: they miss the point once again. I enjoy thoughtful discourse; when people disagree respectfully and in ways that propel the discussion forward, I love it.

Might I be a hypocrite? Guess so. Do I rant sometimes in less than respectful ways? Hell, yeah. But, I'd argue, it's fact-based. Plus, it's my damn blog!

So here's the deal: I'm switching to comment moderation. This is supposed to be enjoyable, after all. Comments that don't fit loosely with the above will not see the light of day. On the other hand, I'll do away with the need to fill in a mystery word. I welcome argument. But my tolerance for insult and pointless retort has reached its limit. If comment moderation seems not to be working out for some reason, I reserve the right to change my mind.


Patrick said...

I have the same problem periodically on the law school blog that I run. About twice per year I delete a comment and then a rash of people call me a fascist or a nazi or an un-American suppressor of free speech.


As you pointed out, it's your damn blog. It's also worth noting that unlike (most) of your commenters, it is your name that is associated with the quality and the contents the comments. I'm sure that somewhere in your social circle, someone has said to a friend, "Have you seen Sid's blog? The one about politics?"

Maybe you are too old and cantankerous to care. But I doubt it.

On our blog, I have thought about disabling anonymous comments, but the truth is that the anonymous comments are often the gems that make my day. So, my solution has been to delete the worst of the worst as they come in, because my sense is that people find something satisfying about seeing their comment posted immediately. It's been a workable compromise for me, though your milage may vary . . .

dodge said...

Don't blame you, Sid. And I don't just want to read stuff I always agree with. I really enjoy some of your debates with folks here but the dumbasses are a waste of your time. (and mine -- I come here for intelligent and well-written opinion) If I want to roll my eyes I'll head over to Fox News. Or You Tube.

Canadian For Obama/Biden

Kristi said...


Not that I have tons of readers, but I use Word Press (self hosted) and it offers spam protection. Spam and anonymous comments are automatically locked up until I can approve them. Some others get caught up, but it's not a problem to OK them.

Last night we happened to catch 'The Green Mile' on some cable channel. I was in and out of the room, doing laundry, etc. and I happened to see a scene with the character 'Percy Wetmore'.

Then, I thought of your annoying commenter and all the 'anonymous' commenters. Who are equally as annoying (and magically, have the same verbiage and writing style).

Percy Wetmore wound up in a straight jacket.

Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sid,

Just a quick post to say cheers for all the fantastic and insightful bloggings during the past few months. There were times that I was worried that you would stroke out on us, and times when I was worried that I would pop a saccular myself, and I'm not even an American (stone the crows, strewth mate). But I can now feel at least a little hopeful about the future. Has been a great few days. I stitched my first actual living breathing human being, performed my first DRE, and watched the voice of reason win over once more in the USA

God (or Allah, or Buddha or maybe Loki) bless you, and the rest of your mob.

ERRN4U said...

Thank goodness. I was hoping you would do this. All the hateful attacks were getting to me, and it's not even my blog.

mibsphil said...

Good for you! I love your blog, and I enjoy the variety of comments. But there are, indeed, some people who are not only insulting and rude, but cowardly as well. It's your party, and you can invite who you want!

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