Wednesday, June 15, 2016
The Hesperado policy on comments for Dummies 101
A few times over the months, some dim bulbs from the CJM sub-community at Jihad Watch comments have come to my blog and complained in various comments sections of various articles about how some commenter is posting comments they find offensive (the main offense being articulations of anti-semitic conspiracy theory by certain regular commenters my blog has attracted).
These dim bulbs who have complained perhaps come from a culture that does not value free speech, and so they expect a blog owner to step in and censor the thoughts of the people who happen to drift into this public space here. Since all the ones who have complained that way come from Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch community of comments, and since they are Spencer sycophants, they apparently think Spencer's philosophy of comments is written on stone tablets sent down from on high from God Himself. Now, Spencer does allow a lot of freedom; and that's good. But he could allow more freedom; and that's bad. I've always found it odd when people can't see that a comments thread attached to the underside of a blog essay or article is a separate adjunct. It's a precious public space where, in my view, the utmost freedom possible should be allowed (with only extreme exceptions, such as death threats, publishing other people's private information, or egregious spamming).
And, more importantly, it should be clear to anyone with minimum sense that, unless the blog owner explicitly states that the commenters are his publishing minions or that he agrees with them, public comments are just a random influx of people from the wider world of the World Wide Web drifting in and taking the opportunity to register their two cents. And all these two cents adding up to heaps of small change (and sometimes adding up to enough to buy a nice Italian dinner and a bottle of wine, but often just hills of beans) remain a pool of public opinion separate from the official position of the blogger who owns the blog featuring the blog essay or article they are commenting on.
That said, if any reader wants to know my views on some matter, and wonders if I happen to agree with the view of any given comment they happen to see in one of my comments sections, they can undertake that amazingly novel pursuit of .... wow, actually asking me! (Either post a comment, or email me. Duh!)
Beyond that, the blog owner can make a formal statement, if he thinks there exist out there in the Blogosphere bulbs dim enough to worry about whether the public comments of a blog are somehow reflecting the blog itself and its owner's views, explicitly stating his policy. All these years, I've felt that unnecessary -- and still do, frankly. I'm just writing this "policy" because it's fun to dash off little missives like this. But I also do mean every word of it.
So here's The Hesperado's comments policy:
1. My comments sections are free public spaces, where free means real freedom (as opposed to Orwellian "freedom" subtly restricted through passive-aggressive fascism). You can write anything you want -- but not death threats against others, publishing personal information of others, or egregious spamming (which I will define as generously as possible; an example would be repeating gibberish in several comments in a row).
(Note: If people have noticed, in a recent comments thread here, I have even allowed the rudely abusive comments of that obtuse and Anger-Management-challenged blunderbuss from the Jihad Watch comments community, "joe blow" (aka "Philip Jihadski") to remain standing, without censorship or deletion, even though he's attacking me in childishly uncouth terms like a retard with his tongue hanging out.)
2. When someone violates the minimal caveats in #1, I will delete the comment. However, I don't monitor my comments 24/7, and several days may go by before I notice the violators (I say this only for any dim bulbs from the Jihad Watch comments community who may have a hissy fit if they see a violation not being taken down in a time short enough to satisfy their childish impatience).
3. Otherwise, have another sip of coffee and enjoy my blog. And that's an order. :)