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August 10, 2009

Comments

Since I also read your other blog, I followed that conversation and think you were very fair in how you handled it. In reality what those commenters don't realize (or do and like the people at the town halls intend) is what they actually damage is what they claim to love-- freedom of speech, but freedom of speech where it's reasoned and relevant. People who insult or disparage, who threaten are the ones who put freedom of speech at risk. When comments don't relate or when they are meaningless, then they make others give up reading there at all. Your blog will still be read but comments will lose their value. It's really to protect comments that a host of a blog has to consider how to make it work. It is very much like a home for ideas and words.

The argument you got from them (if they really are more than one) about freedom of speech made no sense to me but a lot of what you were getting from several of those posters there (especially the one you referred to here) didn't make sense either.

Still it's always a hard call and whenever I have comment moderation in place, I don't really like it. It's more work for me too, but I keep it when I get crazies coming around. The last time it was triggered by someone coming in and not really threatening me but insulting all men who think like I do politically. Did that have logic? Trolls don't have to have logic. They come in off searches and are looking for every place they can find to ruin and throw out enough stuff to block any reasonable discussion-- consider it yelling in town hall meetings.

In my case, whenever I begin to see those kind of comments, I delete them; and if there are enough, put on the moderation for awhile. I always okay dissents from my viewpoint. For me, putting up moderation for awhile at least lost the nutcase fringe. When they knew nobody would read their 'clever' insults, they quit posting it.

When dissent is reasoned, it benefits the comment section. When it isn't, it's not helpful to the blog host or the readers.

The beauty of the internet is that you find a vast quantity of information and opinions. The ugliness of it is that it allows for total anonymity and gives some folks the notion that they freedom of expression is to violently attack others with their rants.

It sounds like you handled it very well.

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