As my longtime readers know, I haven’t really had a formal comment policy here at “Hoofin to You”, because it’s not commenter-driven site. For nine years coming up in May, with the exception of some long time while I was really busy in Japan, the blog has mostly been my own comments. And I have my modest readership, which I appreciate.
Well, in the last week, I got, like, a lot of comments. These really aren’t comments about my post. These are comments about the topic of child abduction to Japan (child kidnapping), and the two main groups that have an internet presence, and the certain amount of ill-feeling that has developed between the main players.
I spent some time trying to figure out which parties were kind-of way off the line. Or over the line, or whatever happens to the line. Then, I got thinking that all were. Then, thinking more, I came to the conclusion that, no, none were.
The problem is, I like to keep a clean blog, and any of the zingers that come out are my own zingers, at the targets that, most bloggers will tell you, deserve the zing.
I have a trouble figuring out, when it’s other people, which zings are the deserved zings, and what really are gratuitous cheap shots.
I know Debito, who ran a pretty remarkable daily comment board in addition to his blog, got a lot of grief for trying to moderate the comment board. People would get pissed off, because they wanted to see their, you know, masterpiece, just as they had submitted it. You know, even small editing can change the meaning or nuance of the comment.
You sit there, as host, and you think, my, I have to be real careful about each comment. But they are coming to me like essays. They are obviously coming from time zones across the world, and I have an approval block on things because I don’t want to be selling you Viagra via some spammer. Or life-like Rolex watches.
I delete out gutter language. But then, it comes to these things where the people are trying to shade-of-gray mischaracterize the other people, or they’ve got a four-year internet fight going and this is round #612. Well, I don’t need this shit, but, obviously, the matters that they are fighting about are very important to them—and to a lot of people really, when you think about it.
So what I have taken to do is starting to cross out the parts of the comments that I don’t particularly like.
Like this. I may just delete them outright. But I am trying to find some way that there can be discussion without people feeling like I am screwing them for coming to this board, when I am happy to host reasonable and even zealous argument. But not a lot [of] shit.
I full well know that you can just go post someplace else, for nothing. So I try not to have, like, prick rules. But I know that some people are going to say, hey you struck text on me but here is something the other guy said, and you didn’t. So if I don’t cross it out, it’s like an endorsement. No, no. It just means I only have so many hours in a day. I will have to go back through 170 comments and figure out what I think is really just cheap shots by the warring parties.
I still haven’t figured out what to do with snide insinuations. It is a work in progress . . .