Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On comments

I have a few liberal friends who delete comments from thier sites if they don't like them or if they espouse a different point of view. That's their business, but I think it's ridiculous. I believe in the first amendment all the time, including when I don't like what people are saying.

I've deleted three comments over the life of this blog. One was libelous (towards someone other than myself) and the other two included hate language. I just don't tolerate that sort of thing and it also is against Blogger's terms and conditions.

A couple of days ago, I wrote a post about anonymity on the Internet. I used the example of the KKK it illustrate the sort of anonymity I find contemptible. It was a good usage and I stand by it. I never accused anyone of being a member of the KKK. So if you're one of the commenters saying I did, KNOCK IT OFF.

That said, the image of the KKK is now lurking in the comment section and understandably evoking anger. As always, I encourage free speech, bawdy humor, heated and polite disagreements and all the other things the comment section affords. But please, everyone behave like the witty, interesting, smart people you are.

In one week, Barack Obama will step into the Oval Office. It's time to celebrate the victory that represents over hate and bigotry. It's time to stand tall.


Anonymous said...

Stir the pot. WJM

deangc said...

I will note that commenting on people's blogs is not a 1st amendment issue. The people who bellow loudly about free speech generally don't understand this.

eviljwinter said...

Always remember, when you comment on a person's blog, you're are voluntarily putting yourself at the blogger's mercy. They are under no obligation whatsoever to give you a platform for your own views if they so choose.

In otherwords, the comment section is the blogger's lawn, and if said blogger so desires to kick you off of it, you go. End of discussion.

During the campaign, a couple of blowhards jumped on my blog when I supported Issue 5 (to regulate payday loans.) I would have been happy to let one or two comments stand, but when I started seeing a pattern, I did an IP search.

It was a payday loan company. Hey, if I don't let Barack Obama have his say on my blog (let alone Sarah Palin), nobody else running a campaign gets a free pass.

The response was "What about freedom?" (Followed by some windy, pretentious post about some 18th century philosopher who, in all likelihood, would have kicked these morons off his blog if he had one. God bless Wordpress's spam filter!)

My response: "It's a big Internet. No law, no morality even, obligates me to give you my corner of it."

You have a right to free speech.

But you don't have the right to demand someone give you the platform.

In other words, bloggers are not the government. It's THEIR free speech. Don't like the content? Go get your own blog.

ajooja said...

I believe in freedom of speech too but I'm not at a point in my life where I will allow "hate speech" in my home or private life.

Rather than allow such things on my blog, I just hit delete and forget about it like it was spam for the latest weightloss/penis extension pill.

If I allowed such comments, I'd have to respond. I'd have to spend time and effort putting my thoughts together to battle electonically against such ignorance.

Thing is, no matter what I'd say, it's not going to change their minds. It's not going to really make me feel better about myself either.

I battled idiot right-wingers on my hometown newspaper forum for about two years, and I can't fathom doing it again. It's just not in me anymore. (Especially now that I'm taking my little pill.) :)

I commend you for fighting the good fight but I couldn't do it myself. I just don't have it in me.

Diane Vogel Ferri said...

Amen, Erin - well said.

Mone said...

Thats funny, I sometimes say KKK to a special person, but that means KISS KISS KISS :)

Happy New Year Erin!