No comment: Prof. Bainbridge has the right perspective on comments.
I hope you don’t get rid of comments. I am new to blogging and appreciate the opportunity to interact. I wouldn’t take it for granted like some people (trolls).
Editing and/or deleting comments is a bit lame, but is OK as long as it’s made very, very clear to the readers that what they are reading is not representative of the opinions of the commenters.
The worst offender by far is Brad DeLong who habitually deletes or edits comments which take an opposing view, even if it is much more mildly stated than that actual article to which they are responding.
Again, lame but OK. What is not OK is misleading readers into thinking that none of the commenters actually take an opposing view. It should be up there in a big red font, telling people that opposing comments are removed.
A while back, I and others pointed out that DailyKos was taking his info from aljazeerah.info, which is not the al Jazeera but is instead based in Georgia, USA. As a result, I was banned. Sure, I’ve got lotsa IPs, but, who cares?
Bainbridge and others have a right not to have comments, but it kinda makes his site less useful; it makes it one-way and not two-way as someone might say. It’d be nice to point out the flaws in Bainbridge’s arguments in support of the Bush/Fox amnesty right on his site. Instead, I have had to create two posts and do trackbacks.
Some good points by Prof. B. Over at our blog, we’ve gone from antagonistic toward comments, to comments agnostic, to pro-comments. But we still actively police our comments. (Our comments policy reads: “We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason.”) In practice, we never delete comments because other people disagree with us. (Heck, we all disagree with each other, so that wouldn’t make much sense, would it?) But it’s not inconceivable that someone might post something so far from reasonable that we might consider it offensive and nix it. (Have you ever noticed that the most agressive anti-censorship warriors are those who have no blog of their own? I have.)
You wrote a while back about how blogs should aspire to be homes in nice neighborhoods, and trollish or offensive comments, by analogy, would be like a houseguest spraying graffiti on your walls.
You get a lot of complaints about censorship here, but I think you show a healthy amount of restraint. Although I mostly disagree with you about Stern (and hey–it looks like some other people do to), I appreciate that you allow the debate to be played out in your comments. That, even though you are occasionally made the whipping boy to the unruly mob.
Keep up the good work.
No he doesn’t. Defeats the whole purpose of blogs. I’m at least 50% less likely to visit a blog w/o comments, excepting Instapundit which would be a troll magnet like no other. It’s aggravating to have a reaction to a post and not be able to comment. I guess that means we’re spoiled by the interactivity.
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