A Philosopher's Blog

Deleting Principles

Posted in Ethics, Philosophy, Reasoning/Logic, Technology by Michael LaBossiere on September 24, 2010
Police
Blog Police (Image via Wikipedia)

Despite the post name, this is not about getting rid of your principles (although that could be handy for folks considering a career in politics). Rather, it is about when it is acceptable to delete comments from a blog post.

To start off, let me get the easy ones out of the way. As I argued in an earlier post, deleting spam and web droppings seems perfectly acceptable. No blog has an obligation to serve as free advertising for spammers and web droppings have as much right to remain as bird droppings.  Now on to matters a bit more controversial.

In general, there seem to be two main areas on which to assess whether a comment should remain or be banished by deletion. These are, obviously enough, tone/style and content.

In regards to tone/style, those that are excessively negative tend to provide a basis on which to delete in a principled way. Examples of negative tone/style include being needlessly hateful, needlessly condescending, or needlessly hostile. As others have noted, being negative (or, to be more technical, an ass) out of proportion to the provocation seem to provide grounds for considering deletion.

Not surprisingly, drawing a line that will allow consistent deletion can be a challenge. Despite this challenge, a consistent principle seems to be rather desirable. After all, as in law and ethics, the rules should be consistent and non-arbitrary. That way people know, in advance, what sort of behavior is acceptable and what is not. From a practical standpoint, this also helps avoid conflict over such matters and this is generally a good thing for a blog. After all, the idea of having a blog is to attract readers and active participants rather than drive them away.

Blog moderators will vary in what is considered tolerable in regards to tone/style. Those that prefer a rougher approach will tolerate more negative tones and styles. Those who wish to have a nicer environment or prefer a blog that seems more professional in character will no doubt tolerate less.

As a general principle, it does seem reasonable to expect civil behavior. Since there is already a well established set of principles in this area, it makes good sense to assume (unless otherwise noted) that these general principles apply on a blog. For example, being hateful, using needless vulgarities and being excessively condescending all violate the intuitive standards of civility.

However, to the degree that these are a matter of etiquette there is a great deal of flexibility. After all, what counts as rude or negative  is often a matter of context.  For example, some people are quite comfortable with the casual use of “obscene” words and see them as part of everyday vocabulary. So, while it seems reasonable to accept the general principle that  excessively negative comments should be deleted, what counts as excessively negative will need to be defined by the blog moderator, preferably by working with the community of the blog.

On my own blog, I follow the “common sense” rules of civility: don’t be needlessly hateful, keep the obscenity in check, avoid being excessively condescending, and show the degree of respect that one would like to receive in return. Since I lack Victorian sensibilities and have been hardened by years of online gaming, I tend to be fairly tolerant of some rough talk-provided that there is some merit to the comments. This provides a nice transition to the matter of content.

Deleting on the basis of content is perhaps the most controversial (with some notable exceptions like spam). In some cases, it will seem quite acceptable to delete comments. For example, comments that entirely lacking in relevance but are full of racist, sexist or other hateful remarks are excellent candidates for deletion. Not surprisingly, many blogs have rules against such comments (as well as against comments that can cause legal trouble, such as threats and libelous claims).

In these cases as well as less extreme cases, a reasonable principle seems to be to weigh the positive value of a comment (its merit measured in terms of what it adds to the discussion) against the negative aspects of the comment. These negative aspects can include both style/tone and content. For example, a comment might be relevant to a post and raise a legitimate criticism of said post, but it might be presented in a condescending tone and might also contain insulting content.

As is to be expected, if the positive value of the comment is determined to be outweighed by its negative aspects, then deletion would seem to be justified. This can be justified by the obvious fact that the person making the comment could have written the comment without the negative aspects and thus made her point without all the negative tone/style or content. There is, after all, generally no need to be an ass and no one has a right to expect that such needless “assing” will be tolerated.

On  my own blog I am inclined to tolerate a fair amount of negative content or style/tone, provided that it is offset by an even greater amount of positive content. Rather than deleting such comments, it seems that a better approach is to at least make an attempt to persuade the person to be less negative and thus contribute more to the discussion.

Some blogs take the approach of deleting comments that disagree with the slant, agenda or goal of the blog. For example, a liberal blog moderator might delete any criticisms that are conservative in nature even if the comments are well reasoned and civil.

While blog moderators have the right to do this, this does not seem like an appropriate approach to such comments. Of course, my view is based on the assumption that an open discussion that allows criticism is both valuable and desirable. Other folks, obviously enough, see “discussion” as a tool for advancing a specific agenda or view and thus have no tolerance for any opposing views or criticism. That, I believe, is the wrong way to run a blog on both moral and critical thinking grounds. I’ll leave my reasons here for the discussion that is likely to follow.

In the case of a philosophy blog, this sort of approach would seem to grossly violate the traditional spirit of philosophy. As such, on my own blog I never delete comments because they are critical of my views, arguments, or beliefs.

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123 Responses

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  1. T. J. Babson said, on September 24, 2010 at 7:09 am

    In fact, you could describe this blog as an anechoic chamber.

  2. Wtp said, on September 24, 2010 at 9:56 am

    I agree on all of the extreme situations.  And as I stated on your original post on this subject, I fully respect the property  rights (and the efforts) of those running the blog.  However, does not the blog owe it to its own integrity to try to avoid slippery-slope scenarios?  Personally I would prefer not to have comments that stray significantly from the subject at hand, but I would view the deletion of those comments to be far more damaging to a blog’s reputation.  But that’s just me.  However, as you state, in the context of Philosophy, such an action is even more suspect.
     
    For example consider a blog post, say an image of an enraged Muslim with a sign stating “Kill the Juice”, and say a commenter to postulate that such was typical of Muslims while ever so politely quoting specific “studies” to back up his claims.  Would that comment be more acceptable than say a condescending remark to another commenter who was making the polite and meticulously worded claim that all religions are exactly the same?

    And to my comment on your other post on this subject, sometimes decorum becomes an excuse to avoid dealing with the point being made.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 24, 2010 at 11:47 am

      I’d not be inclined to delete either comment.

      • WTP said, on September 25, 2010 at 2:19 pm

        Thanks for the reply, and much appreciated, buut…that wasn’t the question I asked. Care to comment on “Would that comment be more acceptable” or does that stray off topic from to delete or not delete?

  3. The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife said, on September 24, 2010 at 10:56 am

    I would welcome comments that disagree with my blog; however, I don’t think my blog is too controversial. Good points!

  4. educlaytion said, on September 24, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I don’t remember ever deleting comments, and I’ve had some wild ones. I just use the edit button when appropriate to clean up some language. you can still tell what they wanted to say.

  5. johnhauge said, on September 24, 2010 at 11:44 am

    i’ve deleted comments in another place. i don’t recall deleting any ‘real’ comments. i’ve kept some spam comments here because they actually had a link to my blog in them. yes, shameless. it’s my blog and you have your blog. do what you want.

  6. dennisfinocchiaro said, on September 24, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Great post, totally agree. Unless someone’s ex or an angry friend is putting up rude comments (the only thing I think you missed) then I think that can be deleted too.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 24, 2010 at 1:36 pm

      I hadn’t thought of the ex-factor. :)

      • Patrick Sperry said, on September 26, 2010 at 10:18 am

        That has been a primary reason for deleting comments at my blog. A regular commenter’s ex started trashing him and I thought that was inappropriate.

  7. Peripatetic Man said, on September 24, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    crumbs the blog police are the politicians themselves in the little country where i live!

  8. michaeleriksson said, on September 24, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Thank you for a very thoughtful entry.

    I have written a few texts on the topic of comment deletion myself, and where I see the major problem is the many blogs that have extremely strict and arbitrary rules. As you correctly write some “have no tolerance for any opposing views or criticism”. Other cases that I have repeatedly seen is the use of too strict criterias for what is “on topic” . Some feel that a comment that is too long can be summarily deleted. Some even presume to edit the comments to give a misleading impression of the commenters opinions…

    For my part, I encourage every moderator to err on the side of being too generous, for reasons of ethics, opinion building, debate, and dialectic.

    (Those interested can find my entries through http://michaeleriksson.wordpress.com/?s=censorship )

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 24, 2010 at 1:39 pm

      Editing comments certainly raises another concern. In my own case, I’d be more inclined to just delete a comment rather than edit it. Changing what people have actually written while leaving their name (or handle) on it would seem to be dishonest. Editing at the request of the person making the comment (“say, would you mind changing ‘their’ to ‘there’?”) would be fine, though.

  9. Greg Camp said, on September 24, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    I haven’t yet had to deal with obscene or offensive comments on my weblog, but my policy is to allow anyone to write anything, following the argument of Justice Brandeis that the best answer to bad speech is more speech. If someone makes an objectionable comment to one of my articles, I’ll simply write a response.

    Besides, the words that a person writes tells the world about the nature of the person who wrote them, so how much comment would I have to give?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 24, 2010 at 1:40 pm

      Good point. “The truth points to itself. So does the jerk.”

      • caelynreynolds said, on September 25, 2010 at 12:41 am

        That’s a very good point. I’ve pondered how to handle comments on blogs, news articles, etc. (Note: My blog really isn’t controversial, and I haven’t had a particular problem there, specifically.) I’ve wondered exactly what to do with the comments that are rude, condescending, and the kind of argumentative where the arguer clearly didn’t read the blog or comment they are debating (read: insulting). If someone does post something irrational, irrelevant, or unnecessarily scathing, that points to the author of the comment, not the author of the blog. That said, I still agree that if it crossed a line into my thinking of “overwhelmingly awful,” I wouldn’t allow it on my blog, simply out of respect to my readership.

        I enjoyed the blog and the discussion. Thank you for the notion.

    • Ian Webster said, on September 26, 2010 at 11:42 am

      Well put. I allowed a couple of very negative (“this person’s going straight to hell”) comments for that very reason. First it showed that not everyone agreed with me, but they also spoke more about the writer than about me.
      I like Michael’s “The truth points to itself. So does the jerk.” Nice.

  10. Anna and Her Biro said, on September 24, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Really interesting. I think that we, or especially I, write to stir emotion and opinion. So sometimes people will agree or nicely disagree. I had some softly disagreeing comments today which I really appreciate – however if someone was harsh, really harsh I could think about deletion perhaps. Unless I also had a positive comment… and then that would be different.

    http://www.meandmybiro.wordpress.com

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 24, 2010 at 1:42 pm

      That is reasonable. A person’s blog is somewhat like her front porch. While it is nice to have people stop by and visit, it is up to you who gets to stay and sit a spell. Or who gets to meet the (digital deletion) dog.

  11. Will said, on September 24, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Principle and the blogging platforms that people use are interesting subjects to think about as you/I put ideas out on to the web.

    WordPress.com is different to WordPress.org. Both are different to blogger.com. I guess it really depends on the way people intend to get credit.

    WordPress.com doesn’t allow for profit from advertising as far as I can see. I guess this could limit the way many people use it. This could have an effect on the way principles are used.

    Does contact even breach fair advertising? I couldn’t tell you.

    Comments can be spammed out or deleted. Being in a position to be selective is a privileged one, I would say, as people normally make use of sites by driving traffic through it.

  12. Bmj2k said, on September 24, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    I just this week wrote about deleting or not deleting comments on my blog. Negative comments with substance I reply to and publish, even if it is nasty. There is nothing wrong with dissent. “You suck” type comments with no substance get deleted simply because they serve no purpose.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 24, 2010 at 6:28 pm

      Agreed. If only Rain-X made a Blog-X that would prevent comments like that from sticking.

  13. coganhiggins said, on September 24, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    I think another interesting point about uncivilized negative responses is the opportunity they present to the blogger. An opportunity to show the true spirit of the blogger with an appropriate civilized response, but those reeeeeallly rough comments should just get trashed.

    • The Gates of Lodore said, on September 24, 2010 at 2:32 pm

      I sometimes think the same way. But the problem is, this is the internet complete with a fair number of anonymous trolls. The uncivilized negative comments get dismissed as a troll, and you get labeled a fool for responding to the troll. The troll does not care whether he/she is ridiculed; in fact that is the response they want.

      • DaPoet said, on September 25, 2010 at 10:54 am

        It’s not so much the heart and mind of a troll, whose obnoxious comment one is responding too, that one want’s to influence. But those few reasonable hearts and minds who wander in out of the cold and are willing to listen to both sides of an argument as well as know the difference between debating and being just plain rude and obnoxious.

        Reasonable individuals debate and learn to grow by listening to the opinions of others who disagree with them while tyrants simply delete at the push of a button…

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 25, 2010 at 11:20 am

          A good point. One reason I am reluctant to delete a comment is that I do not want to get into that habit. I suspect that it becomes easier to start deleting once a person starts. Also, I want my blog to be an open forum. I’ve had comments of my own deleted on other blogs when I expressed a civil and well argued dissent with the post. While the blog owner has that right, it makes it clear that the person is not interested in open discussion but merely preserving an agenda.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 24, 2010 at 6:29 pm

      A good point. How a person responds to negative comments reveals a great deal about the person’s character. I generally try to be nice and this often has positive results. But, sometimes it opens the doors to madness. :)

  14. She.Is.Just.A.Rat said, on September 24, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Hmm…I recall posting comments on a blog and they were never published. There were critical of the post, but not insulting. I suppose that blogger didn’t wish to have any dissenting viewpoints marring their newly Freshly Pressed status. Ultimately though, my comments are on someone else’s blog, and so if they do not wish to make them visible, it’s their decision. Interesting topic to discuss…thanks for sharing your thoughts…

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 24, 2010 at 6:32 pm

      It could be. When one gets that Fresh Press, a person might want to keep that Fresh Pressed positive feeling going as long as possible. In my case, I’m fine with civil criticism. As I see it, if someone cannot take criticism, then it might be best not to have a public blog. Or opinions. :)

  15. thejamminjabber said, on September 24, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    I generally approve most comments. Considering the tone/content of my blog, I don’t like to censor. Even if it is offensive or I don’t agree with it. Comes with the territory. The only time I ever didn’t approve someone’s comment’s was when some dude was spamming me with racist videos. It wasn’t even because of the content. He was just damn annoying.

  16. The Gates of Lodore said, on September 24, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Excellent topic. I don’t get too many comments (or too many readers), but I have had to face this situation myself. My general rules are in agreement with your more thorough discussion. 1) Any comment with the primary purpose of selling something, or promoting another site without consideration of MY content is deleted. 2) Anything that is a personal or slanderous attack upon myself or another commenter is deleted. I certainly welcome alternative viewpoints, but the “you are an idiot” comments contribute nothing. I feel like I am doing the commenter a favor by not letting their cause look foolish or uncivilized. 3) I have zero tolerance for off topic comments that have absolutely nothing to do with the post. 4) and of course anything obscene gets deleted, as I want my blog to look professional.

  17. lbwong said, on September 24, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Great post! Unless its spam, I do post responses. Perhap, once I get three years in with blogging, I might a different opinion ;-) For me, as long as we respect one another as writers/bloggers (let alone individuals with our own opinions) responses should be posted. Congrats on Freshly Pressed! LB

  18. lbwong said, on September 24, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    P.S. Wow–you dont have the comment moderation set! One word: “fearless” :-)

    • kernunos said, on September 24, 2010 at 6:13 pm

      He does put up with many off topic posts.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 25, 2010 at 11:32 am

      All part of being a philosopher. :)

    • WTP said, on September 25, 2010 at 3:02 pm

      I think comment moderation is a slightly different topic. To me, a site with a high volume of commenters (say averaging 50+ posts per topic per day) benefits more from moderation than not moderating. Moderating, when done well, enables the site to refine/smelt the valuable input from the crude/ore of 100 or so comments. Of course this is a job itself and only economically viable for a site that generates sufficient revenue. And also requires someone with limited bias. Good luck with either of those prospects.

  19. T said, on September 24, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Good post! My blog is full of racy language some times. I write it to entertain. And this policy attracts a lot of readers who just post the occasional “Hahaha” to posts full of profanity sometimes. I even get the occasional “I like this” just so they can get a comment in to plug their own blog. I also have to approve every comment. As bloggers we have to regulate our blogs. Who else would do it?

  20. Andy said, on September 24, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    In my professional experience, people tend to talk way too much and listen very little. We, myself included, tend to read others viewpoints while thinking of our own. Turning that portion off is good.

    Personally, I don’t encourage comments on most of my articles. I keep that function turned off. Simply because I wish for people to read and ponder. The blog I maintain is pretty generic and universal in content. I write so that the reader can understand that the subject is not me; however, the reader. So, it is applicable to such an approach.

    Truthfully, I encourage people to write me responses by email. If someone does, this usually means they have read and re-read enough to give some time and think about the content. Perhaps, that makes any exchange more worth while.

    • michaeleriksson said, on September 25, 2010 at 7:10 am

      To a part you are right. However, three counter-observations:

      1. I have spent much time reading various discussions on various topics, including the talk pages on Wikipedia. I have found that it is often the back-and-forth, the contrast between different ideas and opinions, arguments and counter-arguments that best help me build a better understanding of the topic.

      This does require a receptive reader and it does require reasoning and knowledgeable debaters; however, when it works, it works extremely well—far better than a one-man pulpit.

      2. It is often the case that writing about something requires the author to take a closer look, re-examine his own premises, etc. Indeed, I have had a number of cases where I had written a comment roughly the length of this one, realized that I had my arguments or facts wrong or had misunderstood the original author—and chose to not submit the comment. (Note that the time spent writing was not wasted: The additional insight was more important than just publishing a comment.) Indeed, even a faulty comment can be beneficial, because it gives the original author an opportunity to point out a misunderstanding, present additional arguments, clarify ambiguities in text, etc. Without the faulty comment, in contrast, there is a fair chance that the reader would have kept his misconceptions.

      Yes, this too will not work with everyone, but, again, when it works…

      3. We should, as bloggers, have the humility to recognize that we have something to learn from our commenters. Disabling comments increases the risk (emails notwithstanding) that we miss what they have to teach.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 25, 2010 at 11:16 am

        I think that the back-and-forth is great and one of the best aspects of blogging. I never delete comments simply because they argue against my view or criticize my arguments or positions.

        I also agree that flawed comments can contribute. One of my professors used to say “you are probably wrong, but in an interesting way.” I always liked that.

        I wouldn’t disable comments-that would, as I see it, defeat the main point of blogging.

  21. eurybe08 said, on September 24, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Good Post! Though there are different views and opinion on this matter, it is normal since it is a sensitive topic.

  22. kernunos said, on September 24, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Good posts everyone and come back often.

  23. Mysteriousmystic said, on September 24, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Well, you have to accept the fact that for every point you have, there will always be another rebuttal to it. Some people have harsher tones whereas some, more subtle. But you must keep in mind that it is these differing opinions and tones that are the main source of controversy and in the case of a blog, the main source of debate. Other than that, a line does have to be drawn and I think this is possible on the basis of language (harsh language)

  24. Mcb46 said, on September 24, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Tricky. There does need to be a line as mysteriousmystic pointed out. But, I am a HUGE fan of sarcasm. Unfortunately, sarcasm is really hard to do via comment or sending out a text and it mostly gets misconstrued. I found that out the hard way. Everyone has their opinion of YOUR opinion I guess. Funny how that works.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 25, 2010 at 11:03 am

      I’m fine with sarcasm; but people sometimes think that being hateful counts as being sarcastic. As you point out, humor (especially sarcasm) can be a bit of a risk-you can never be quite sure whether you’ll get a laugh, a frown, or a punch.

  25. Heather said, on September 24, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    I somehow ended up in a blog discussion with hateful comments bouncing back and forth. Honestly? I think some people enjoy tension and the attention it brings.

    I even tried to get the comments to stop coming into my emails–but, no go.

    I am a whole lot wiser, now, and much more careful about leaving comments.

    Enjoyed this post.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 25, 2010 at 11:05 am

      Some people do seem to be “inspired” by hateful comments which is why it is often not the best idea to try to correct such folks by trying to engage them. Of course, just ignoring them doesn’t always work well.

  26. zakton said, on September 24, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    For a newbie in blogging, this post serves as good guidelines. At this stage, unfortunately, I have not had anybody commenting on my blog. :)

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 25, 2010 at 11:06 am

      It is just a matter of time. When I started blogging my posts were comment free and the number of visits made me feel like I was the MSNBC of blogs. :)

  27. itsadriennebiotch said, on September 24, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    I will not delete comments on my page. In fact I would congratulate someone if they had the guts to do it…then rip them apart.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 25, 2010 at 11:09 am

      That is an option. A blog can, perhaps, be seen as a type of sport. Some people like the order and relative civility of a track meet while others might go more for the contact sports such as boxing.

  28. Spoiled Eggs said, on September 25, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Hey there! I enjoyed your blog post so much! It really “spoke” to me. Those out there who post negative comments are always annoying, but I kind of thought of it from a different perspective.

    Instead of typing all of the text here…I decided to review your post on my blog. I really hope that is OK.

    Please check it out here – http://spoiledeggs.wordpress.com/ – if you are interested.

    (I’m a newer user to WordPress and to the community, I really enjoy the concept of blogging and sharing my ideas, while commenting on others work!)

    Thank you.
    -Ray

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 25, 2010 at 11:12 am

      Welcome to the land of blog. I hope that you don’t have to deal with too many negative comments.

  29. Baby Gates said, on September 25, 2010 at 1:54 am

    I agree with kernunos.

    kernunos said, on September 24, 2010 at 6:07 pm
    00 iRate This

    Delete this post…post haste! I find it highly irrational, off topic and just plain offensive!!!!!!!! ;P

    I also like and agree with all that you wrote I think it will be a good guide for my site because I use commentluv.

  30. chinese new years said, on September 25, 2010 at 4:44 am

    Hey there! I enjoyed your blog post so much! It really “spoke” to me. Those out there who post negative comments are always annoying, but I kind of thought of it from a different perspective.

  31. Bakbakee said, on September 25, 2010 at 11:49 am

    The thing is everybody’s talking about what they’d like to keep. Some even saying, they have no problems with spam.
    I have no problems with criticism. In the form of comments or a blog post.
    “Bad publicity or good publicity is PUBLICITY”
    And I’m clinging on to all the feedback I get.
    Anyway,
    About usage of swear words, sexist, racist, comments:
    I”ll entertain all of it, to simply comment back and to put them in their place :D
    Nice post!
    Congrats!

    http://bakbakee.wordpress.com

  32. kelemta said, on September 25, 2010 at 11:50 am

    A well-thought-out approach to developing deletion principles. Thankyou for posting this, as I think it is easy to deal with comment deletion on a case-by-case basis even though a principled method should be fairer, more popular and better understood. If moderators consider their policy in advance (but remain open to considering changes on a case-by-case basis) then discussions on blogs can be a freer, safer, friendlier and more productive place for all commenters!

  33. nmontague said, on September 25, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Seems like a reasonable attempt to address the issue. Of course, everyone will have different principles depending on what they are trying to accomplish with their blog.

  34. Michael said, on September 25, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    When I first came across the concept of a troll I immediately thought it has the potential to be used in much the same way as the concept of the terrorist can be used – to legitimise shutting up people who are saying something we don’t like. If someone comments on a blog post (or news item, youtube video, whatever) that someone else who posted a comment is a troll, that’s just a way of making it possible to shut the second person out of the discussion completely without considering what they are trying to say.

    So I guess my problem with principles is that they aim to create fixed rules but can only ever loosely fit with “real life”, which is always more complicated. “Needlessly hostile”, for example, doesn’t fix or stabilise anything, it doesn’t create black-and-white situations. For this reason I find the topic interesting but a bit pointless.

    -An anthropologist.

  35. lc said, on September 25, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    As a music blogger I find that 99% of blog comments are basically graffiti. You have the fans, and then you have the haters. Neither contribute anything meaningful to the discussion. But I leave pretty much all of it up there because deleting it is like painting over graffiti – the more you try to get rid of it, the more you encourage it. You can delete this if you want :)

  36. BigLittleWolf said, on September 25, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    I tend to think of blog moderating as managing the chaos around my kitchen table. A combination of teens and their friends, adults (who dare to set foot in my less than conventional household), and those whose voices I might enjoy in discussion as we share an impromptu meal.

    “Rough language” as you call it doesn’t bother me, hateful language or content is not acceptable (in my house or on my site), but disagreement with my perspective or that of others who contribute is part of a vibrant, participatory, and one hopes – growing community. It’s part of what many of us are doing here.

  37. sayitinasong said, on September 25, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I would only ever delete offensive comments- and by offensive I do not mean somebody disagreeing with me- but personal attacks etc. Spam- I always delete… who wants some nonesensical ads filling up your pages…

  38. Millie Montag said, on September 25, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    I would love to have a comment. If I got a single comment of any kind I would cherish it. At the moment I only have two comments on my blog – both are from my mother.

    Hey, why not give all of your unwanted comments to the needy? (Me.)

  39. Rod J said, on September 25, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Maybe we should allow people to show the world what they really are: Stupid, moron, racist, chauvinist, whatever. They show it there in black and white and only you can delete the proof, and you wont for the fun of it. :-)

  40. sshaver said, on September 26, 2010 at 12:14 am

    Years ago I and others had to watch the Howard Dean blog (he more or less invented it, politically) be crippled by one unkind and overly confident commenter. Ever since then, I’ve been in favor of dropping any comments that aren’t civil.

  41. nintendolegend said, on September 26, 2010 at 12:43 am

    Very interesting, and I love delving into how subjective this can get — it is an issue that comes up occasionally in my professional life, and I appreciate reading some organized thought on it. Thanks for sharing.

  42. Ron LeJeune said, on September 26, 2010 at 5:05 am

    Very interesting post…as another said I am just a noob. I would love to get some comments to see what all the fuss is about though lol. Subscribed to this blog though to see more of your interesting ideas. Keep up the great work and grats on freshly pressed.

  43. [...] Read Post [...]

  44. enleuk said, on September 26, 2010 at 6:02 am

    I allow all comments automatically. I allow all kinds of opinions/context. I allow all kinds of tone/style. I allow troll comments.

    I don’t see any universal moral or philosophical reason to undermine the freedom of speech. In my view, the freedom of speech and thought and opinion, regardless of what those opinions are, is so important that any moderation is a path to fascism, misunderstanding, hatred and war.

    The reason for censorship may be well-argued (like in this post of yours) and for arguably “good” reasons, like promoting a nurturing environment and constructive debate. But no matter why, any censorship will lead to problems. And there’s one simple reason.

    We can see why in the blog post. Although it’s detailed and long, the slippery slope is unavoidable because there’s no universal rationality behind censorship. It will always be a matter of subjective line-drawing through grey-areas. Something that would make any philosopher cringe.

    Just try to define what a curse-word is. You yourself used a body-part in your blog post. Other body-parts might not be ok to type. Some wouldn’t like the word you used. I think curse-words are religious and bodily taboos both sprung from the fear of death. We deny our flesh and embrace divinity because we don’t just want to cease to exist when the body decomposes. Therefore we’ve developed religions and a view of the body that it is disgusting and celebrate the divine nature of our being, the soul, which is pure. If you’re an atheist like me, there’s no sense to the idea of curse-words.

    And about tone. We just had an election in Sweden and people say they don’t want this or that person to be the prime minister because although they might have good arguments, they don’t like how they’re being presented. How irrational is it not to disregard the political content in favour of an individuals charisma and charm when it comes to managing a nationstate that wields the power of military, law, police, taxes and so on.

    I don’t know if you agree with me, but I felt that even though the blog post was detailed there are no universal principles mentioned that could back up your stand-point.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 26, 2010 at 10:35 am

      While I am for the freedom of speech (and even more for freedom of thought-which people should exercise more), there are limits on this freedom. One obvious limit is that this freedom is bordered by the rights and freedoms of others. For example, a person’s freedom of expression does not give her the right to slander others or put people at needless risk (such as the classic example of yelling “fire” in a crowded theater). As another example, my right to run my blog as I see fit is not trumped by a spammers “right” of free expression or a person’s “right” to put obscene, racist and sexist hate on my blog (no more than a tagger has a right to spray such things on my house, truck or my pants). Mill in his work On Liberty presents an excellent argument for liberty and its limits. I can really do no better than him, so I’ll refer you to his work.

      Actually, the slippery slope is easy to avoid. All that is required is a reasonable set of principles that are consistently followed. Just because I delete spam and would delete valueless comments consisting entirely of racist, sexist and obscene terms does not mean that I (or anyone else) must slide down the slippery slope. While there is a risk that deletion can be taken to far, so say it must be all or nothing is a false dilemma.

      What is obscene can be tricky to define. However, this same problem arises in life outside the blog. As a general rule, I try to only write the way I would talk in a professional context. Likewise, each blog can have its own style and allow what the owner and community regard as acceptable. While there are gray areas, we are pretty good at knowing what is socially okay based on who we are hanging out with. For example, most folks know what is suitable for a professional setting and what is okay when drinking with their friends.

      Actually, there are many universal principles that would back up my view. For example, I could build up a strong philosophical case based on the notion of rights (using Mill as a base), I could use a virtue theory approach based on the notion of the mean (being angry to the right degree, etc. as per Aristotle). I could also make a case based on the notion of respecting others and the principles of basic civility.

      • enleuk said, on September 26, 2010 at 1:46 pm

        I’ve read On Liberty and although I agree with a lot of it, I am not a Mill fan. I’m an anarchist, so where Mill wants state-control to mend the holes in his argumentation, is where I disagree in favour of total freedom (as long as you’re not going against someone else’s will, then a compromise is needed that is acceptable to all subjective subjects).

        The majority of humans believe in a supreme deity, how then can we take anything humans say seriously? I don’t think sexist, racist or any other opinion or word, including yelling fire, can be universally considered wrong. Not a priori and not if it means compromising the freedom of thought. Kant said only act in a way that would be universally correct. The “principles” of common etiquette you mention are worthless. The grey areas are way too subjective and relative for my taste.

        Feel free to be Socratic, I like it :)

        We wouldn’t know that is was not wrong to disallow any opinions either. So if we don’t know whether or not to allow all opinions, then we have to make a choice. And considering we don’t know the truth, I choose to allow all opinions over taking away the freedom of thought.

  45. enleuk said, on September 26, 2010 at 6:24 am

    I forgot one thing

    Nobody knows the truth. Therefore it’s wrong to disallow any opinions at all. You should debate to reach constructive insights instead of making subjective assumptions about what is right and wrong.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 26, 2010 at 10:21 am

      Not to be too Socratic, if no one knows the truth, then you would not know that it is wrong to disallow any opinions at all. :)

  46. Amy Eighttrack said, on September 26, 2010 at 6:40 am

    Great post! I find it helpful, intellectually engaging and facilitating of true dialogue – a so painfully needed part of life and growth.

    • Amy Eighttrack said, on October 2, 2010 at 6:37 am

      dialogue – so necessary today – in politics – internationally and otherwise

  47. trickygirl said, on September 26, 2010 at 7:51 am

    A really interesting post.

    I have a set of very basic guidelines for those who wish to comment on my blog (no sexism, racism, homophobia etc) because I want it to be a safe space for discussion for anyone who wishes to get involved.

    However, apart from spam, I have never had to delete a comment. I certainly wouldn’t delete comments that disagree with my viewpoint in a post – often these can spark an interesting debate, and have been known to make me re-think my opinion on an issue.

  48. David said, on September 26, 2010 at 7:54 am

    I think that there is another factor that needs to be brought into the mix, and that is one made up of capriciousness, tiredness, irrationality, karma, power, and distraction.

    In other words, I don’t always think that hard about keeping or deleting comments – sometimes I just feel like deleting them.

    A problem for me is sheer size of some of the spam posts that sit in my moderation queue waiting to be deleted.

    It does not happen on my WP.com blog but on my WP.org blogs I regularly get comments that are several hundred words long and full of links.

    That tends to make look less amenably at some of the short but marginal comments.

  49. notjustagranny said, on September 26, 2010 at 8:26 am

    mmm, interesting article. I err on the side of deleting if necessary and not, if the comment has any relevance to the article posted. I am happy to accept another point of view and if they disagree with what I have written then thats fine…their point of view. I enjoy other folks comments and even if they are contentious I welcome the opportunity to reply. But I definitely do delete the comment if I can see it is a spam or trash issue. I recently started a blog about London and for some reason it attracts dozens of spam and trashy comments…and I spend at least 15 minutes a day deleting them (rather annoying waste of my precious time).
    I guess it’s the same as publishing a newspaper and folks write in with their agreement or disagreement. The difference with a blog is that is it personal to the writer and newspaper articles get written by people who are paid to do so.
    Regards
    Cindy
    @notjustagranny

  50. ryoko861 said, on September 26, 2010 at 9:17 am

    I agree, there is a certain diplomatic approach when it comes to commenting on blogs. I invite negativity because we all don’t agree on all subjects. I’m open minded and can appreciate your opinion. To lash out on your keyboard in a hateful and cynical manner is just not called for. Therefore, I will not hesitate to click “delete” or in WordPress terms “unapprove”. Spam is always “unapprove”.

    As for terms, I have a page “Thoughts of Blogging” that sort of let’s everyone know where I stand and what behavior is expected. It all boils down to “let’s agree to disagree but be mature about it”.

  51. marco busqueda said, on September 26, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    professionnal and philosophy ?

  52. thomaschalfant said, on September 26, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    I delete absolutely any comment that I feel like deleting, and I allow absolutely any comment I feel like allowing, and I don’t feel even slightly, remotely, even a tiny little bit inclined to justify or defend it anytime in any way.

    Conversely, I don’t feel that anyone is in any way obligated to post any of my comments to their blogs (including this one). In the same way that you can walk up to me in a bar and start talking to me but I don’t have to listen, and vice versa.

    • michaeleriksson said, on September 26, 2010 at 2:22 pm

      @thomaschalfant

      I give my take on this comment (among other things) in my latest blog entry

      • thomaschalfant said, on September 26, 2010 at 5:40 pm

        Um, well, that’s a perfectly good take.

        As I mentioned, it wouldn’t occur to me to debate the topic. If you think my attitude is problematic, then that’s what you think, but I’m still not inclined to defend it.

        People who don’t like my blogging attitude should feel free to read something else. Plenty O’ Blogs out there.

        • WTP said, on September 26, 2010 at 6:38 pm

          As the owner of your property, you of course are correct and have every right to push back on anyone who feels otherwise. Keep in mind, however, that relative to the kind of blogs generally in discussion here, your blog makes no claim to speak for anyone or any concept beyond your creative writing efforts (I think I got the right take, only perused it long enough to get what I think is the general idea). Were you running a blog that was searching for some sort of answers to a philosophical or scientific endeavor, the criticism would be valid. You would still be within your rights to run your blog your way. But your right to make a claim to be speaking in the context of some broader concept or ideology would be objectionable by those who feel some relationship or see themselves as a party to that concept or ideology.

  53. themadjewess said, on September 26, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Rate you blog R like I did mine.
    W.P. put out an announcement that the first ammentdment is for ALL.

    They need to live up to it now.

  54. [...] leave a comment » A very interesting discussion on this topic has arisen on another bloge. [...]

  55. mmgoodsongs said, on September 26, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    This is a great topic. It has been a non issue for me because my blog really isn’t controversial in any way. I think people like to see what they say in print (15 minutes and all) and will say anything to get it. I suppose commenting, deleting, editing really comes down to what you want to put out into the world. Does it serve anyone, make you think or open up a much needed dialogue? It all comes down to personal choice.

  56. zengjiayou said, on September 26, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    welcome to our website === w w w ( ccshopping ) – u s === ..The new update, a large hot ..
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  57. Andreas Moser said, on September 26, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    Freedom of speech or debate doesn’t mean that you or me needs to provide the forum for it. If somebody disagrees with us and we don’t want his comments on our blog, that is no infringement of freedom of speech at all.
    He or she can set up his/her own blog, publish a newspaper or distribute leaflets. – After all, freedom of speeach also doesn’t mean that somebody can come to your or my apartment or house and hold his or her speech.

    I have so far only deleted two posts (from the same person) because they were anti-Semitic and the other one revisionist about the history of World War 2. That’s going too far on my turf.

    Andreas
    http://www.andreasmoser.wordpress.com

  58. The Mental Secretary said, on September 26, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    My blog is too fledgling to have garnered any negative commentary. I’m actually excited for the day that it does. But I think that at least in this community, comments are a lot tamer because the commenters usually have their own blogs to uphold. I have spent my fair share of time on YouTube where anonymous critics run rampant, so I feel up to the task. I’m proud that I’ve never flamed anyone online. Though, I have defended flamed videos/musicians that I like. I find that a clever retort quickly stops any flow of insults.

    I would only ever censor spam, totally unrelated comments, or overbearingly offensive material. I do think that even the most negative related comments can have some constructive value. People are often helpful at spotting things about yourself that you were unaware of.

  59. matiash2009 said, on September 26, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    ab kawhe aweu iaeuiua uairuiaeur+jafkl eja e

  60. chamblee54 said, on September 26, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    I was steered to this facility by Freshly pressed.
    You use the Journalist 1.3 theme, the same as on my blog . It gives you access to a larger part of the page than most themes. I like those 720 pixel columns, and like to have lots of pictures there.
    As for deleting comments, that is the blog owner’s right. You do lose some of the diversity that makes for good conversation, but that is what some people want.
    At my facility, I doubt if I get 91 comments a year. I am jealous.

  61. Mitch Leuraner said, on September 26, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    I’ve always believed that anyone who expresses their thoughts in a public forum (online or otherwise) is obligated to accept the reactions of that public, provided that the comments are also made publicly.

    You post your thoughts, I post my thoughts, the public reads both and decides for itself.

  62. Nerdy Girl On A Mission said, on September 26, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    One thing that I believe needs to be considered is whether or not a commenter who is being inflammatory actually has the conviction to link to their own blog/twitter/facebook/whatever. Anonymous comments should be judged differently than those left by people who aren’t afraid to let people know what they think.

    In my personal opinion, it’s okay to delete comments from someone who isn’t willing to allow people to come to *their* site and leave responses in kind. And if they are too cowardly to let their friends, coworkers, spouse, kids, pastor, etc. know what sort of nasty comments they make on the internet, it seems a little arrogant for them to expect a blog owner to play along with their sad little fantasy of who they are. I don’t see any moral conflict in expecting commenters to behave as they would in face-to-face daily life encounters.

    I think it’s also perfectly okay to delete subsequent comments if a commenter says something along the lines of, “I’m never posting here again!” Nothing wrong with making someone keep a promise. This goes for any variation of, “I don’t like what you have to say so I’m taking my toys and going home!”

    • michaeleriksson said, on September 28, 2010 at 9:40 am

      @Nerdy Girl On A Mission

      You overlook several issues (possibly because you assume too unambiguous scenarios):

      o Not everyone has an own blog or website. A name should be more than enough. Yes, I too like the opportunity to find out more about a commenter, but in the end it is his arguments that are the more important.

      o Some people actually do need anonymity to protect their own safety. This may not be the case with your blog, but it does happen. Further, while a commenter may be anonymous towards the Internet it does not follow that he keeps his spouse out of loop.

      o A very sizeable part of the comments that I have seen criticized for being e.g. inflammatory were, in fact, not. Instead they merely disagreed with the moderator in some form or shape. Accusations of inaccaptable racism, misogynism, or homophobia tend to be misapplied disproportionally often—as if broaching a valid opinion that differs from the politically correct norm would be “hate speech”. (Note to be confused with actual hate speech in this areas.) Some feminist blogs appear to consider everything a man says on their blogs (irrespective of content) to be of gravest offensiveness. Correspondingly, making judgements based on e.g. how inflammatory a comment is, is very dangerous.

      As for your last paragraph: Be careful to differ between an actual promise and a statement made in affection.

  63. Slamdunk said, on September 26, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Good topic. I try to keep things as open as possible for discussion. Hateful comments directed at other commenters will go, but for the most part everything else is fair games.

  64. Ryan McGivern said, on September 26, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Well said. As for myself, I think that every writer has no obligation to allow any comment that makes them feel uncomfortable or disregards the ‘culture’ of the blog. For example, if one’s writings keep a ‘family friendly’ tone, one shouldn’t feel obliged to keep a comment that could disturb that. I am just thinking of the ‘intended audience’ (which may be children, family members, or academics). Personally, I agree with you that there can be some civil negotiation where even the most trollish imp can give great comments if given some polite requests for courtesy. It is a dicey issue though–each writer must face their stance on censorship and how open they are to critique, new ideas, and cultures. Kudos, Ry

  65. slaughter house said, on September 27, 2010 at 2:40 am

    I agree with your philosophy. I love blogs about philosophy and thinking.
    I have been reading nietzsche and schopenhauer and forming my own philosophy.

    here is a very very nice passage for those who are interested

    http://tenmillionslaves.blogspot.com/2010/09/on-happinessideas-love-schopenhauer-is.html

  66. Mark Jordahl said, on September 27, 2010 at 3:09 am

    The comments section is all about debate, and the tone of your blog will set the tone of the comments (usually). If you have a raw blog, be prepared for raw comments.

  67. PhingPhing said, on September 27, 2010 at 3:31 am

    Wonderful ! This is a great story and good for my experience.The additional insight was more important than just publishing a comment.) Indeed, even a faulty comment can be beneficial, because it gives the original author an opportunity to point out a misunderstanding, present additional arguments, clarify ambiguities in text, etc.

  68. Martin said, on September 27, 2010 at 3:46 am

    Rather, it is about when it is acceptable to delete comments from a blog post.

    Well, it isn’t.To me, anyway.Unless it’s a link to something illegal, or spam, or someone obviously crazy.Tone doesn’t change the message, and if you can’t separate the two, as a blogger you should probably disable comments.
    I agree with the “culture of the blog” thing though, if yours is such that you are concerned with tone, then by all means, go ahead and delete comments, it’s your lawn.Personally, I encourage debate and discourse, no matter what the tone, as long as it’s not repetitive, trolling, or not adding anything useful to a discussion.Blogs where comments are moderated and/or deleted I just tend to ignore.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 27, 2010 at 7:13 pm

      Tone seems to change the message. Consider, if you will, how tone can be used to indicate sarcasm rather than a compliment.

  69. suebarnett said, on September 27, 2010 at 4:11 am

    Hi Michael, I saw this through Freshly Pressed, and was provoked enough by something in your post to read through all the comments to see if anyone else had picked up on it, possibly thus making my comment redundant. They haven’t, but it has been interesting and pleasantly distracting reading, on the whole.

    I have a blog which I have been running since May. I decided I needed some privacy, in spite of the fact that I knew i wouldn’t get it even by changing its status to private because I am being stalked on the internet and in other ways by authorities and the media. Since I changed the status of my blog this has become even more apparent. Somehow their tears and distress make me feel it is cruel to call them ‘stalkers’, but legaly that is what they are.

    That wasn’t what I wanted to say though, but in response to another comment about people leaving comments without giving access to their own blogs.

    I partly use my blog to try and fight the stalking, and it is often obviously distressed, and full of stuff which you say you would delete if it were submitted in comment form. I am beginning to calm down though, since I stopped exposing myself to similar stuff in other people’s blogs and comments.

    But I am, understandably, particularly sensitive, maybe even hypersensitive, at the moment, and I couldn’t help feeling slugged by your employment of the feminine pronoun for someone whose activity you might disapprove of, or want to correct, or set boundaries for. It also came out in one of your comments.

    You said that anything hateful or patronising/condescending (I’m just going for the sense) should be deleted, yet I find that for you as a man to employ the feminine pronoun for such a negative context might tick those boxes. I don’t know if it still is, but I think it was once fashionable to employ the feminine pronoun where traditionally the male pronoun would have been used, but I think that for you as a man to use it in this context runs counter to the intention. Some of my stalkers follow me around doing this kind of thing all the time.

    This has ended up as a longer comment than I first intended, because all i wanted to ask at first was why you felt the need to employ the feminine pronoun and associate it with this discussion of material of questionable status. At this particular time I found it personally upsetting and negatively distracting. It was the rubbish comments that restored my equilibrium!

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 27, 2010 at 7:12 pm

      Ironically, I switch between using “he” and “she” fairly randomly mainly to avoid even appearing sexist. If you read through my posts and my published works, you will see that I consistently argue against sexism and for equality. To infer that I am being hateful and to compare me to your stalkers based on this seems rather unjust (and also rather hasty).

      Now, if I was the sort of person who consistently used “she”/”her” rather than “he”/”his” in negative contexts or otherwise showed clear signs of some sort of misogyny, then you might be justified in taking me to task. However, this is not the case.

  70. roger9527 said, on September 27, 2010 at 6:00 am

    Police and life, there are many conflicts really

  71. Eric said, on September 27, 2010 at 7:18 am

    Philosophy is dead. Get on with it.

  72. suebarnett said, on September 27, 2010 at 7:31 am

    And here come the dismissals. What lovely, thoughtful, intelligent, kind and caring people. The consolations of philosophy! :-)

  73. Rob said, on September 27, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Nice post

  74. urbannight said, on September 27, 2010 at 10:35 am

    I’m willing to approve a comment that disagrees with me if it is done so in a polite manner. When people say I am ignorant because I express a view that differs from what they believe I feel no guilt in deleting it. Save that kind of name calling for Yahoo comments. If people fail to read everything and assume that if I am against something then I must be for it’s opposite. This does not always hold true. I have no problem looking at two groups who are arguing and looking at both arguments and then deciding they both ought to hit over the head with a cast iron skillet. I will delete that as well if I clearly stated that if I’m while I’m anti-whatever I am not pro-the alternative. If I didn’t not make it clear I would clarify that.

  75. kanny said, on September 27, 2010 at 11:05 am

    you are all wierd

  76. danieldamianm said, on September 27, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Let me summarize for you… When should a comment be deleted from my blog? Well, when I damn feel like deleting it. Period.

    I don’t know whether to be impressed or severely de-pressed by the unwarranted, unrequired and unecessary, seemingly moral? obligation to the public some bloggers seem to have- as if maybe bucking for a Pulitzer? in references to content singularly created, edited, and published by themselves, and largely for – themselves. If you found an audience- that’s nice, but really, when did you lose the perspective that that audience, if any, tuned in to you because of you, being you, for you.

    And if that’s the case… why should you give a flying fart what anyone thinks about keeping or deleting a comment?

    Your blog is yours. Do what the hell you feel like doing with it. The blog ethics police arent going to come a knockin’.

    Think of Larry Flint.

    Do you think he has any problem editing his letters to the editor section?

    I certainly don’t.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 27, 2010 at 7:01 pm

      I try not to think of Larry Flint. :)

    • michaeleriksson said, on September 28, 2010 at 9:45 am

      I would on the contrary say that those with the more generous policy have the more nuanced view and the deeper understanding of blogging. In particular, I consider the whole “you, you, you” idea to be destructive and narrow-minded.

      To quote from the post I link to earlier:

      A comment on a blog is not (generally) a statement made to another person, but to the public. It is, in particular, not something that must be directed at the blog author—often the target is the readers of the blog. By restricting the opportunity others have to express their opinions on the matter, the public suffers. A better analogy would be a speech in a public place: The speaker has his say (the blog entry), invites the world to voice its opinions (the comments)—and when someone has an opinion that is unsuitable, poorly expressed, or similar, a “The world, but not you!” comes from the mouth of the speaker. (Other reasons why this attitude is problematic is discussed through-out this article series.)

      As a general rule of life: That one has the formal right to do something does not automatically mean that one has an ethical right to do so—let alone should do so. A blogger should feel free to consider himself an aboslute ruler; however, he should make sure to be a benevolent dictator—not an arbitrary tyrant.

      See also my earlier statements in reply to Andy.

  77. nicolevaleralaw said, on September 30, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Yesterday I was featured on Freshly Pressed and so your post is especially relevant to me – Before Freshly Pressed there were very few people reading my blog so I never had to deal with it. Virtual obscurity sometimes has its advantages. There were a few comments I didn’t agree with and it was tempting to hit “delete” but I refrained from doing so. I think that will be my official policy from now on – if I’m lucky enough to get any more readers who want to comment, haha. Great post!

  78. sarahnsh said, on September 30, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    I’ve only deleted spam stuff that I’ve gotten, which I jump on and delete 1, 2, 3. When it comes to ‘real’ comments though I haven’t deleted any.

  79. Filozof said, on October 8, 2010 at 5:52 am

    Thank you for sharing this valuable

  80. Sangat said, on October 20, 2010 at 3:02 pm

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