My comment policy.

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 . . .

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3 comments

  1. Paul Toland · January 3, 2012

    Hoofin,
    I’m really sorry it had to come this for you. Quite a few other organizations (Debito, Bring Abducted Children Home, Bring Sean Home Foundation, etc.) have already faced what you are facing and had to make the difficult choice to moderate the forums we run, because of two or three rogue individuals, who for some reason choose to attack others, and therefore cause a giant distraction from the work we really need to do to move the issue forward and provide the support needed to the parents victimized by this terrible tragedy. Once these individuals are [“]moderated[“], as they have been on Debito, BAC Home and BSHF), they move on to another forum with their attacks, and your forum is simply the latest one to experience this. At this point, you can either 1) moderate them, which will unfortunately result in you becoming the newest victim of their attacks, or 2) do nothing and let these attackers turn your blog into a “Tepido” type of blog, filled with attacks on others. [Hoofin’s further note: or 3) make use of the strikeout function for the stuff that maybe didn’t have to be in the original comment to begin with.] The choice is yours. I plan to sign off from Hoofin for the next month or so. I’ll check back sometime in February to see how things are going. Until then, I wish you the best. Sincerely, Paul Toland

  2. Patrick Braden · January 19, 2012

    Sorry about my absence for the last couple of weeks Hoofin….we at Global Future actually do a lot of REAL work on re-uniting abducted children and their families. That always takes a higher priority and takes away from the lower priorities like having time to join the ranks posting on blogs. Just take a look at Dr Garcia’s daughter, and the two children in New Jersey we brought home in 2010. The proof is in the evidence….that’s 3 children legally returned thru our own process…(although there are several others who were returned or re-united and their families and ourselves count them on our scoreboard too…but they were resolved before the process escalated to those higher levels)
    Toland’s posting appears somewhat sincere on it’s surface, but I think you are beginning to get the real picture now Hoofin. Everyone who is not paying attention, gets a cookie (“hey, I like your blog…” ) and gets to join and will be welcomed into the cocoon of victim-hood with them. (Whether you know it or not, you will also be referenced as a supporter too). That’s the way this whole story broke open… -was Toland listed a whole bunch of people as potential witnesses in his Maryland case, without telling (most ….or maybe all of them).

    I an humored at being call a “rogue individual” by Toland ….especially considering his facts….but hey, maybe I’ll grow the whole beard out and buy a motorcycle. If I may, let me interpret some of it for you here;
    1) “rogue individuals who choose to attack others” is his spin on; (people who are committed to evidence-based work on behalf of their children and actually deny “spin” and BS in that work)

    2) his use of the word “attack” is his spin on (our exposure of the factual details of these specific parent and child separations) (if we hold up the court documents, or transcripts, or record of evidence based actions to show that someone is lying, we are labeled “attackers” and they become “victims” )

    3) “giant distraction from the work we really need to do to move the issue forward” (as if he even knows) This one is particularly telling Hoofin if you are paying very close attention and think about the psychology. You should consider what may sound like a wild idea for a moment…. that is…EVERYTHING Toland has done over the last 7 or 8 years has been AGAINST moving the issue forward and actually re-uniting with our children. It may seem way-out, but the proof is in the actions and their results. You have to stay on point….When they try to smother you in some verbose, suave, or plausibly deniable BS. Dont confuse the multi-layered BS with real work, and real results… It even goes further actually, convincing other parents to act in the opposite manner of their own children’s best interests.
    That old internet game of 2nd Life is passe’ now.
    Anyway…….

    The sad news is that there are not any really effective ways of verifying what you “read” on the internet. People who have a fraud to perpetuate, and people who want to hide from the light of the truth, have an easy opportunity to do so on the internet. You know…they can re-invent themselves with any set of facts or spun story that they want in a “second life” ….but its only on the internet. Their real life and actions that have been documented by courts, and depositions, and decisions they clearly made previously….unfortunately cant be changed….so they have to “spin” the story about them. Then when the sterilizing light of the truth creeps in…they have to work feverishly harder and avoid discussing those pesky facts. If they can only smother the facts with enough layers of BS …all inter-linked together, it makes it hard for people who only “read” on the internet, to know the truth.
    Obviously you seem to be coming to a conclusion that things don’t add up right …..Go back and read those Washington case papers…the Japanese case papers, and then add all of that to what he really does. Then compare all of that, to what he says.

    • hoofin · January 19, 2012

      As I said weeks ago, Patrick, I read this as two online factions in the Left Behind Parent community. One is more militant/radicalized in its strategies. The other feels those approaches are unproductive.

      Each got to make its case here, and I did my duty hosting it.

      Debate has to go someplace else now.

      Thanks for your update and good luck!

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