Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Comment on Comments

I have stated several times how proud I have been of my readers. In the four and a half years I have run this blog I have only had to delete one comment which was both obscene and insulting. But recently that has changed. In the last few days I have had to delete hundreds of comments all, I suspect, from the same person. Frankly it is not worth the trouble to get into what prompted this, but suffice it to say that he was infuriated that I found his comments on a post to be not suitable for this blog. As someone once said, hey, it's my microphone, I don't have to share it unless I choose to.

This is a not uncommon problem on the Internet, of course. The political/legal/lifestyle blogger Ann Althouse was plagued by nasty commentators to the point where for a while she closed the comments entirely. I am not quite ready to do that, but as of today, all comments will be moderated. We will see if that solves the problem. If it does not, then there are several other more severe measures I can take.

What is so odd about this is the whole kerfuffle came from a blog post that wasn't even objectionable to anyone. But one commentator left some comments that referred to another and then they started a fight between themselves. As this was entirely irrelevant to the post, I ended up deleting all those comments. This really infuriated one gentleman who has been doing everything he possibly can to annoy me ever since.

This blog has seen disputes and debates before and every single one of them, even when it involved politics, has been courteous and civilized. But there are some denizens of the Internet who have strange attitudes and, it seems, lots of time to indulge them. They are not welcome here.

Now let's have a suitable piece of music. How about the Mars movement from Holst's The Planets:


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about this. I hope you don't need to close the comments section. One thing I've always loved about this site is that it welcomes strong, differing views while preserving a climate of high civility and high information contents.

Certain blogging platforms will allow you to block designated URLs. Of course, determined trolls will usually find a way around it...

Rickard Dahl said...

It's really sad behavior on his (the troll's part). He even tried doxing you, which is probably the lowest of the lowest behaviors on the internet (acting nasty in words on the internet is one thing but trying to expose someone's identity to ruin their livelihood etc. is another).

Bryan Townsend said...

The nice thing is that 99.9999% of my commentators are very courteous and contribute enormously to the blog. But I will moderate comments for the present.

Anonymous said...

The really shocking thing, is that the "gentleman" is getting thumbs up's on his social media, in which he lays out his "discoveries" (actually more like misinterpretations, illegitimate persuasion and paranoia).

Bryan Townsend said...

I'm afraid that I have to insist that there be no more discussion of this issue and no more personal attacks.