Tuesday, November 06, 2007

More 'No Comments' Follies

Bloggers own their blogs and are absolutely within their rights to exercise controls from the minor to draconian, up to and including barring comments altogether. I used to moderate my comments section because blogger had a fairly severe comment spam problem. When they dealt with that issue and the comments about penis enlargement pills awaiting my approval dried up, I took off moderation and now my comments field is wide open - although I of course reserve the right to remove actively illegal or libelous material. That's my choice, other bloggers have the right to choose other approaches.

However the other side of that is that the nature of those blog's controls are fair game for comment on the blogs of others. When Green Party blogger PolitiqueVert repeatedly used her blog to fire cheap shots at the NDP without offering any forum to respond, Eugene exercised his right to point out how gutless that was at his place. Other blogs show a similar MO, such as Liberal blogger Impolitical, who frequently attacks the NDP but is apparently afraid to allow any response.

In the same category but perhaps even more problematic, there are blogs that allow comments, but only if they agree with them. Lib blogger Woman at Mile 0, who I've linked to in the past, for example. I responded to her post attacking Jack Layton and the NDP's position that the Senate should be abolished with this comment at 11:57 AM MST- it would have been the first comment to her original post:

The essentially undemocratic and elitist nature of the Senate should be a progressive issue - the fact that it’s elitist, undemocratic nature has been and continues to be an advantage to the Liberal Party doesn’t change that. All of the environmental issues you mention have been tirelessly pursued by the NDP through minority conservative and minority and majority Liberal governments - all of which have treated them with neglect either benign or malign.

Suggesting that it’s now the NDP who is distracting attention from them is ahistorical and disingenuous.

As of 4 PM MST one comment agreeing with her original post and posted after mine, has been approved and posted. Mine remains in moderation limbo.

This, while her sneeringly dismissive comments on the same subject elsewhere are duly posted with no interception.

It is absolutely her right to decline to post comments on her blog that disagree with her.

And absolutely my right to point out that she is doing so.

UPDATE: Unless of course, her Wordpress blog automatically holds all first time posters for moderation, which would make my self righteous rant fairly ill-advised...


eugene plawiuk said...

Damn right. If a blogger insists on blogging their 'opinion' in a partisan fashion, which usually means smearing those they oppose, then their refusal to allow comments should be exposed for what it is. Censorship.

I don't care if bloggers have no comment policies, except if they say something that actually calls for a comment, that they literally demand a response for, which they do by the comments they make. Then the no comment policy indicates to me they are throwing down the gauntlet but running away to hide in their castle.

Thus your exposing Woman at Mile 0 as I did with Politique Vert is justified. After all it is our comment in response to their challenge and we allow them the right to respond which they have failed to offer others.

All is fair in love, war and blogging.

Steve V said...

What about deleting comments from Conservative trolls? I will admit to doing that a few times, if the comment is merely meant to incite, devoid of any argument. I have also done that if a particular annoying right-wing loonie decides to camp out on my blog for a few days. A couple deletions and they move on, because their only purpose to distract from healthy agreement or disagreement as the case may be. I've deleted some comments from people like "old school" because frankly I would never engage that person in my normal life, why should I endure the thickness on my blog.

Is that censorship? I allow many Cons to post comments, it's not about disagreement, but I also don't want a post derailed by some kook, with a moronic agenda.

Cliff said...

Open to debate. I prefer to let them post and short of unbearable, repetitive mindless abusive ranting will continue to. I've managed to avoid being targeted by any of the more obnoxious trolls so I concede it's easy for me to take an absolutist position.

One thing I would never do is refuse to allow a comment merely because it disagreed with me or I disagreed with it.

Steve V said...

"One thing I would never do is refuse to allow a comment merely because it disagreed with me or I disagreed with it."

Obviously I don't do that, but the "mindless ranting" gets culled from time to time. I look at this way, if someone comes to my house and spews a bunch of offensive nonsense, then they can leave. They're free to express themselves, but I'm free to put my hands over my ears :)

Cliff said...

The one thing that really gets up my nose is anonymous comments. I don't need a full name and address, but if a comment is completely anonymous or comes from a blogger identity created that afternoon with no blog to go with it - I'll let it stand but I will mock that commenter mercilessly for not having the courage to stand behind their opinions.

I've never been pushed to the point of barring comments or a commenter - except once when it was an anonymous personal attack and that was someone - pretty good idea who - bringing extraneous personal issues to my blog.

It would take a lot. Even the most obnoxious right wing blathering would still seem to me to qualify as fair comment - I am running a political blog after all.

And Steve I know you wouldn't bar a comment simply because it disagreed with you - no matter how obnoxiously - you've never blocked any of mine after all. ; )

Steve V said...


Woman at Mile 0 said...

Kay I work until 5:00 pm every day and just arrived home. The first time someone comments on my blog it is moderated until I review it. That is the way wordpress sets it up. This was your first comment wasn't it?

Cliff said...

Fair enough, if that's the case. I saw someone else get approved after my post wasn't and it seemed like some ideological filtration was taking place.

If I've gotten things wrong I apologize unreservedly.

Woman at Mile 0 said...

And no I don't blog at work and I don't check/moderate comments there. Kindly remember I moved my blog in July to a new url and have had to re approve anyone who commented on my first blog at the word press domain address. And like Steve....it has to be a long nonsensical speel said over and over and usually that means a monotonous tory troll I will moderate. I have held two comments since my blog started at the new address in July.

Woman at Mile 0 said...

Thank you for acknowledging the mistake Rusty Idols. I still read your blog all the time anyways...even though your a Dipper : ))

eugene plawiuk said...

Steve I have removed offensive posts and left the tag up showing I did so as well I usually will comment on why I did so, like the use of name calling.

If a post is offensive then I will challenge the person posting.

And sometimes I just leave the comments stand, uncommented on.

Woman at Mile 0 said...

Since I started blogging I have removed a few comments that call for violence against others.

stephen elliott-buckley said...

I used to moderate comments to keep out the garbage. I have never blocked a comment because I disagree with it or because it is critical. That's the whole point of blogging. That hasn't stopped people from accusing me of possible censorship.

I'm glad that the word verification exists now. Whew.

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