Tag Archives: bloggers

Blogiquette 101: When is it OK to delete blog comments?

To delete or not to delete?

That is the fucking question.

My boyfriend has accused me (only half-seriously, I think [I hope…]) of deleting comments on my blog pieces if they are comments written by individuals who simply disagree with me.

Not so.

Thing is, my blog is my baby, and for anyone to just come along and shit and piss upon it — well, again, my blog is my baby, and I’m a fiercely protective mother.

I’m fine if someone disagrees with me. However, I want him or her to put some time and thought into his or her disagreement, as I put some time and thought into my blog piece. I don’t like drive-bys. Drive-by comments on my blog pieces are vulnerable to deletion.

In addition to drive-bys, I hate wingnut trolls who just want to pick a fight instead of have anything like a meaningful discussion. I’ve had more than my share of those.

One wingnut recently started off being somewhat civil when he left a comment, but when it became apparent after a few exchanges that I wasn’t going to convert to his side — the dark side — as a result of what he must have thought was his brilliant fucking rhetoric, it got ugly, with him calling me a “faggot.” (Because those right-wingers are so nice. They have God and Jesus on their side, after all.)

Delete, delete, delete. And he’s banned. Hate speech, directed at me or at someone else, I delete.

Delete, delete, delete.

That’s the only thing to do to an ugly string of exchanges with a wingnut whose only intent is to be destructive, as evidenced by the fact that your comment exchanges no longer have much, if anything, to do with the blog piece that you’re supposed to be discussing.

One old wingnut troll recently left an unsolicited comment on one of my pieces. He disagreed with me. Fine. At least he was sticking to the subject.

But then he and I exchanged several comments until it became clear that it was only destructive, and I told him point-blank at one point in our e-fight that I wasn’t going to keep going around and around with him.

Still he kept leaving malicious comments, which I deleted. I’d told him that I was done with the pointless exchanges. But I left his earlier comments intact, deleting only the later, more ugly and destructive ones.

Later, I decided to leave a thought-out, point-by-point comment on one of his pieces (of shit) — which he promptly deleted.

That is the kind of wrongful deletion that my boyfriend wrongly accused me of. This assbite deleted my comment out of spite, not because my comment wasn’t pertinent to what he’d written. (And, of course, my comment blew him out of the water and made him look like the fucktard that he is. So of course he deleted it. Cockroaches loathe the light.)

It was fine for him to leave an unsolicited comment on my blog, but when I went to his blog for the first time to leave a comment, he deleted it. Winguts can dish it out but they can’t take it. They’re all talk and they cut and run.

After I saw that the old wingnut wouldn’t let me post a comment on his blog after he’d posted on mine, I went back and deleted most of his comments, as they had contributed little to nothing to the discussion. However, because I’m much more of a man than he’ll ever be, I at least left his original comment intact.

However, because he deleted my very first comment from his blog, he’s forevermore banned from posting a comment to mine. Ever. Again. 

This wingnut is old, and so thankfully it shouldn’t be too long before the Universe deletes him.

Anyway, these are my own personal rules of thumb for comments on blogs, mine and others’:

  • You are entitled to only one or two, maybe three comments on any one blog piece, as long as you stick to the subject at hand and don’t use abusive speech or hate speech. The blog’s owner doesn’t have to take your abuse or let it become all about you.
  • If your comment isn’t as thoughtful as the blog piece is, don’t expect your comment to be left standing. Especially if your comment is just a drive-by — especially especially if it’s just a slam or a slur — don’t expect it to stand. (And yes, I prefer even a doting fan to add meaningfully to the discussion, not to just tell me that he or she liked my piece. Surely there was something that I could have said in my piece but didn’t, and so I like the comments section to expand the discussion.)
  • If you get into a drawn-out cat fight with the blogger and the blogger later deletes the ugly chain of comments between the two of you, it’s probably because the ugly chain of back-and-forth backbiting comments grossly detracts from the blogger’s original intent, which was, hopefully, meaningful dialogue, not an opportunity for you to virtually vandalize his blog’s comments section with your venom and bile.
  • If you pitch a fit when others delete your comments that constitute only graffiti that deserves to be removed, but you delete even well-written comments that are germane to the subject at hand, like this old fucking hypocrite does, then you suck and you should go to hell and die, like he should.
  • Just because the blogger is engaging you in his or her comments section does not mean that you are entitled to personal information about the blogger, like this creepy codger thinks he is. You are entitled to discuss only the subject at hand, Dr. Lecter.

Those are the guidelines that come to mind.

You’re free to comment.

Subject to deletion, of course.

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I’m NOT your ho, Mista President

obama-pimp.jpg image by kslaughter_01

A good e-friend of mine of several years asked me in an e-mail yesterday if I’m going to blog in support of President Barack Obama’s health care plan, as Obama has asked bloggers to do.

Um, no, I told my friend.

First of all, I don’t even know what Obama’s health plan is — and I’m not alone. I would need to learn a lot more before I could strongly support or oppose that plan, and that Obama apparently is trying to ram his plan through Congress before September raises a red flag for me. 

Secondly, though, even if I did know what his health plan is, my bachelor of science in journalism instilled in me a strong preclusion from allowing any public official to direct me to write this or write that (or not to write this or that) for his or her political benefit.

When I was earning my print journalism degree, we journalism students used to mock the public relations students (mostly behind their backs) — PR are the first two letters of “prostitute,” after all. We journalism students saw ourselves as guardians of the truth*, and we young idealists were willing to accept the low salary of newspaper journalists. We saw the PR students, who could make a lot more money in PR than they could in journalism, as sellouts willing to mangle the truth for their corporate overlords for cold, hard cash.

My idealism isn’t completely dead even some 20-odd years later, so: Obama won’t be pimping me.

Yes, I’m a blogger, not a journalist in the strict sense of the word.

But blogs have lost all value to democracy and to the free marketplace of ideas when they cease to be independent and critical and start to take marching orders from government officials.

Obama doesn’t get it. Or, more frighteningly, maybe he does.

I get it that political blogs really got their start with the Howard Dean campaign. I was there blogging when that started, in late 2002 and in 2003. The Dean campaign and the Dean campaign’s support throughout the blogosphere (well, I supported John Kerry all along, seeing him as much more likely to defeat George W. Bush in 2004) were a reaction against the damage that the unelected Bush regime had done to the nation, especially its launch of the illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War in March 2003.

But somewhere along the line, the purpose of left-of-center political blogging got lost. Left-of-center political blogs started out being critical of the unelected Bush regime. Now, many if not most LOC political blogs have become mouthpieces for the Obama administration, which rather simply inherited the infrastructure (especially the Internet infrastructure) and the good will of the former Deaniacs.

Blogs are useful only if they can be critical of public officials and of the government when it’s necessary.

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it,” said Mark Twain.

At least where his health care proposal is concerned, I’m not sure whether Obama deserves my support, and he’s not getting it just because he has asked for it — in fact, he’s not getting it especially because he has asked for it and because he has put a tight deadline on it.

P.S. I’ve seen enough to make me skeptical of Obama’s health care proposal, in case you think I’m just being difficult.

P.P.S. My boyfriend thinks that this piece is racist. Meh. I didn’t create the concept of the pimp and the ho, but I am just using that pre-existing cultural material to make my point, which is that I’m pissed off at Obama for trying to pimp me out. My problem with Obama is not that he’s (half-)black; my problem with him is that he shamelessly is trying to pimp me and other bloggers out. 

*Of course, most newspapers are owned by corporations and so there is no true free speech at most newspapers — what newspapers are left, anyway — but that’s another blog post…

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