April 13, 2021

Is It Wrong to Censor Comments?

speech bubbleIf anyone’s listened to Rush Limbaugh or any other radio talk show host, it isn’t long before they either state or you realize that there is a vetting process in order to get on their program.  In some cases you have to be on topic, and the shows have call screeners to help keep those that would derail the show from even getting to talk to the host.

The same principle applies to blogs, though I only recently agreed with this principle.  Until recently, I had believed that as long as you were somewhat on topic and were not swearing that you had a right to talk on my site.

However, this isn’t how Virtuous Blonde looked at it.  I’ve asked her from time to time about comments and she suggested I delete a few that were not spam, but were not something that I should have on my blog.

These past few weeks I stopped thinking of my blog as a open forum, but more like coming over to my house.  Hence the new comment policy.  If you were to come over to my house and belittle my God and call me names, I’d ask you politely to leave.  Same thing with this blog– I don’t have a problem talking about a difference of ideas as long as it is civil and constructive.

I know that there are some that would disagree with me.  However, how can I build up a community of people where you all feel safe to comment and communicate if I let others in whose sole purpose is to belittle what we believe and to constantly be on the attack.

This also goes for referrals, trackbacks and other links.  Ads are a little harder to control, because some of them are based on content.  If you see something inappropriate, contact me and tell me the URL so I can get it removed.

It’s all a question of “who should be here”– and will they behave themselves.   It’s also a question of trust in the content that I will bring and its appropriateness.

What kinds of comment policies do you have on your blog?

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9 thoughts on “Is It Wrong to Censor Comments?

  1. I treat my comments in the “coming over to my house” fashion. I also will not approve a new comment on a LONG ago post. There have been *very* few comments that I have needed to decline….maybe eight at most. And discussions with those who may disagree with me have always been nit only interesting, but also full of kindness & understanding- such a delight to take part in. :o) Also, I do have several teenage young ladies who read my blog, and I would not approve a comment that I would feel inappropriate or unacceptable for them to see, both out of respect to them and their parents. There is so much garbage in the world and I would prefer my blog (and home!) not be a place where people need to see ugliness.

    In a perfect world an open forum policy might be possible, but sadly I just do not see how this can be, particularly online where it seems it is often forgotten that there is another living person on the other side of the screen.

  2. I could not agree with you more!

    As you may be aware, I’ve been dealing with some ‘troll drama’ on my blog for a week or two. One of these trolls had a coniption fit because I deleted his foul mouthed comment.

    He changed his tone (and language) completely when I explained to him that while I believe in free speech, I have no obligation whatsoever to give someone I find offensive a platform.

    I explained to him that any comments he published on my blog were only there because I was gracious enough to allow them there. I concluded by telling him, “My house – My rules, deal with it.”

    We actually went on to have a reasonable discussion.

    Immediately after that incident I posted a comment policy so there wouldn’t be any confusion in the future.

    Oops! Sorry I went on so long.

  3. This is a great policy to have, imo, and wonderful reasons to have it. Have the recent events at my blog at all influenced you? 😉 At any rate, I appreciate you wanting this to be a community atmosphere. Of course, disagreements are welcome, as long as they remain civil and respectful!

    It’s ridiculous that there are people out there who seem to be willing to devote hours of time to “patrolling” (is that where the “troll” part comes in?) the web for topics that they can zone in on and attack. And I mean hours. The one time my blog has been under attack, the person who wanted to find fault pretty much read my entire blog (over a years’ worth of posts!) and commented all over the place. It wasn’t all bad, but I think she was buttering me up to get more dirt, or something. Who knows. But as a result, I’m definitely not against putting certain questionables into the moderation queue!

  4. ….I’m wondering Min does this include the comments I have made. I’m pretty sure that we have never agreed on anything.

  5. Nope, it’s not retroactive. And disagreements are fine– though we may not have agreed we’ve both been civil and I’d like to think that at the end of most of our conversations we’ve at least understood each other and have treated each other with respect. Differences of opinion are fine, and cause us to think. It’s when it goes from that to actually calling people names, belittling one another, or just being antagonistic that I have a problem.

  6. I have never censored a comment on my blog, and I never will. I don’t sympathize at all with those who do. I find it interesting that those with “comment polices” most always end up being those who reside among the conservative right. Mere coincidence, or something much more sinister??

    If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen.

  7. Even the Pro-Blogging guys say that it’s good to have a Comments Policy. Perhaps you have some setting that keeps spam from ending up on your blog– that, in effect, is one manner of comment policy in that you’re not going to allow spam bots to comment. Another form is if someone came and just started to take things out of context, off thread, etc. Perhaps the reason that more conservative blogs have comment policies is that we like to be transparent about how we will deal with people and appreciate the rule of law. It’s probably also got something to do with the fact that it’s rare (at least that I’ve found) for a person on the right to go out trolling for someone of the opposing view. You’ve said before that you realize that you and I are going to rarely– if ever– agree, but you come back. For me, if I find something like that I’m not that inclined to return.

  8. That’s like saying I don’t agree with the President, so I’m going to stop voting/speaking out against his assinine policies. Not gonna happen.

    I’m not ever going to sway your opinion, but that can’t necessarily be said for all who visit/stumble upon your blog 🙂

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