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two unconnected thoughts

March 8, 2010

Crap, what was my second thought?

First thought: I just emailed a blogger thanking him for having safe comments. As in, the comments I read on a post didn’t make me want to puke. And that’s rare enough, especially outside of social-justice blogs, that I felt the need to email the blogger and thank him. (btw I highly recommend that post: the post itself is good, and the discussion in the comments gives me hope that many the majority of people aren’t total douchebags. I actually found the comments to be one-sided to the point that I was off put by how liberal they are…)
Anyway, what do you think of comment policies? Where do you stand on the continuum between “free speech is good” and “safe spaces are important”? (warning, incoming ramble) I’m a fan of a pretty strict policy. I can’t bring myself to read (and therefor participate) when the comments are allowed to get to angry or insulting. I read blogs usually as a break from work, and I just can’t get myself that worked up and expect to get right back to work. On the other hand, I do realize that moderation that is too strict will stifle debate. I do find it silly to read people whining about censorship, or that their right to free speech is being infringed. You have a right to speech uncensored by the government, but not necessarily in my space. If you want to say something and you’re getting banned on a particular blog, go start your own. That’s free speech. Also, it’s absurd to say that no moderation leads to an inclusive debate; it leads to a debate between loud thick-skinned people. If that’s who you want to discuss with, then more power to you. But don’t forget that there are people (hi!) who don’t or can’t do that. That there are people for whom certain discussions are too personal for them to discuss it publicly, or when they feel unsafe. And that there are people who just don’t want to deal with the shouting match so many blog threads become. Personally, it’s not worth raising my blood pressure, so I don’t read comments on unmoderated blogs. And on the off chance that my blog ever gets popular enough (it’s so weird not to type “my lj”) to start such discussions, you can bet that I’ll be pretty strict. This is my space; get your own if you want to be a jerk.

Huh, that ended up surprisingly firm, considering I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say. Also, I’ve forgotten my second though…so I guess the title of this post is a lie.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. alica permalink
    March 8, 2010 7:18 pm

    I think my take on good moderation is similar to yours. Expressing different opinions is one thing, and a good thing I believe, but when it gets hateful it contributes nothing good. Shouting matches never end well for either side and just lead to a lot of ill-feelings. And there’s always the few Trolls who don’t care about the issue at all and just want to make trouble whatever way they can. If people can stay civil, keep their posts. If they want to be barbarians and come in with spiked clubs waving, nope.

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