Fix the pumps

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I'm a weenie

After a fiasco in the comments to this post a couple of months ago, I got a lot more selective in my moderation of comments. Some people were writing some really scurrilous dirt, and I cut it off. I realized that I am under no obligation to give individuals a forum to sling personal insults or to make vague accusations with nothing to back them up. Also, I am not interested in injecting politics into what I write. In fact, I'm not interested in injecting anything personal into what I write. Finally, I'm interested in comments that are written well, without lots of SCREAMING or exclamation points.

Despite all this, and the fact that "Comment moderation has been enabled" is written on every comment screen attached to every post (and has been since I started blogging last September), some people persist in the belief they have an absolute right to see everything they write published on someone else's website. That's not how the real world works.

I should make clear that I don't discriminate against anyone in particular when moderating comments. In reality, unless a commenter identifies themself in the body of the comment, I really have no idea who they are. Most people do not attach their names to their comments in the body of the text; a few who have webpages fill in the webpage field. That's fine. There's no obligation to identify oneself when criticizing another person, though I believe it is the polite thing to do if one is interested in dialogue. From a practical standpoint, it also helps to distinguish oneself from all the other comments which have "Anonymous" as their author.

To those of you whose comments I've deleted, I'm sorry. If you feel it impugns my credibility not to publish everything that comes across my desk, you are entitled to that view. I read every comment and judge it on its own merits before I pass it through to the great, wide world.

However, as I said in the comments to that March post, this is my sandbox. Like every other blogger, I reserve the right to publish whatever I like. You are free to agree or disagree. I view the comments fields as more of a "Letter to the editor" forum (call me a Luddite for still reading newspapers). Newspaper editors do not publish every letter they receive, nor do I publish every comment I receive. That's what comment moderation is about, and it shouldn't really be a surprise. I've had moderation turned on from my very first post. There are more than enough other forums on the internet where people can complain about anything under the sun with impunity. Heck, starting a blog literally takes five minutes.

If anyone has a deep problem with what I'm writing, and wants to really engage in a rational discourse, they're free to email me. My address is in my profile, which is linked at the upper right of this page. Due to a mistake on my part, for a very long time, my address wasn't there, but I've since fixed that oversight.

In an exception to my policy of not posting stuff that's personally insulting, loaded with politics, and not at all on topic, below you will find the latest comment I received. According to the timestamp, it came at 8:55 this morning. It's attached to my post about the flowmeters. It is typical of stuff I've avoided posting, though I'm sure someone will have archived all their comments and will post them somewhere to show what a horrible person I am. Judge for yourself whether this is on topic and germane to a rational discussion. There was no name attached.
MATT -

You are such a little weenie. I just came back to your blog and you deleted all of my critical comments.

You don't really want to post the peer-reviewed REALITY here do you?

I can't stand the Bush mobsters, but I REALLY despise dishonest engineers like you that post their own opinion, declare it to be absolutely gospel science, and then remove/dimiss all respondent commentary!

YOU are as bad as the BUSH PEOPLE!!

2 Comments:

  • Matt, You are doing the right thing.

    I refuse to allow the denizens of Wingnuttia to use my Blog as a salve to their vanity.

    By Anonymous GentillyGirl, at May 30, 2007 3:21 PM  

  • Matt, what you're doing is incredibnly valuable and we thank you for it. Disregard the twits.

    By Blogger Mark, at May 31, 2007 6:56 AM  

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