I thank those of you who took the time to respond to my request regarding how I handle the comments section. There were many comments of “fine as is,” and I appreciate these. Overall this is my view as well, but obviously not entirely.
I offer my thoughts to some of your other responses:
JaimeInTexas September 21, 2017 at 10:21 AM
I think that it is your circus; you chose the monkeys and acts.
I do appreciate this, yet I also appreciate that there is a community here – a community that I enjoy. I have mentioned before: the best comment section to which I have been a party was in the early days of The Daily Bell. The dialogue was intelligent and robust. This began to change as Anthony Wile began to flop around on the purpose / focus of the site – even stopping all comments for a time, etc.
But perhaps the worst, for me, was how the same repetitive – and often abusive – feedbacker was allowed to continue in his manner while others were edited, or had comments blocked, etc. (I think there was a personal relationship between Anthony and this individual.)
So I am cautious about all of this, because I enjoy the community. Therefore, I asked for feedback from the community on this issue.
Matt@Occidentalism.org September 21, 2017 at 6:48 AM
Prohibit "anonymous", let those with a name through without moderation unless a specific individual abuses that privilege.
I have thought about this in the past. I have so far decided against it. On the occasion where an anonymous feedbacker is repetitively obnoxious, I tend to just ignore the comment (once I skim it for abusive / vulgar language).
Nick Badalamenti September 21, 2017 at 12:03 PM
You have to credit discussions for being honest and civil even if some were repelled by said honesty/ideas.
I agree. What bothered me the most was that it was assumed by (or concerning to) someone that knew me pretty well that I held those same ideas. It still bothers me – what did or didn’t I write or say to make this so? In a subsequent email to me, he wanted to know if I favored a white America, or words to this effect. What do others who don’t know me as well think?
You as a person, do have a tendency to think the best of people's intentions/positions when it's not clear if that's the case…
In the earliest days of BM, I was much more aggressive; I would believe the worst interpretation of a written statement and run with it. I learned quickly that this was a dumb idea. It is so difficult to truly convey meaning on complex subjects via the written word; it is so easy to assume we all interpret what we read in the same way.
So today I really try to take the best from the feedback, at least until the clarifying dialogue has gone back and forth enough to give me comfort – but I don’t always do this well…so when I am told that I messed up, I will often apologize.
This person you respect highly, obviously had a tremendous impact on you….
Yes, for the reason cited in my response to your first point, above. If someone who knows me this well believes (or isn’t sure about) such a thing, what will others believe?
…the question is this: Is the owner of the blog happy with the outcome? (Not anyone else, including me)
I was, until the aforementioned belief / concern. I was unhappy with this more than I was happy with the outcome of the dialogue.
Anonymous September 21, 2017 at 10:12 AM (identified at the bottom of the comment as “SD”)
However, the individuals also found it 'concerning' that Mel Gibson and his Dad might really be Jews. The only thing concerning about this is that someone is actually concerned. Forgive me for making the ready inference about what (and who) these individuals really hate. Now THIS is morally, and intellectually disgusting. These sorts of posts should be moderated imo.
I don’t recall these specific comments, but I will take your word for it.
As my later comments make clear, I find such comments equally disgusting. But I lose something, I believe, if I “moderate” these – although this is where I am headed. I would welcome, frankly, others in the group to speak up in the dialogue – that might help prevent such episodes in the future.
JaimeInTexas September 21, 2017 at 10:21 AM
You could "white list" certain commenters with a long history of respectful posts.
I have pretty much done that.
Jeff LeVesque September 21, 2017 at 10:39 AM
I think that the following additions to your singular prohibition would be reasonable.
1 off topic
2 refusal to answer a direct question
3 no more than three links to Gary North articles per comment. ;)
As much as I am tempted by your items 1 & 2 given that they both describe Dmitry A. Chernikov (as the most recent example), I think I will not incorporate these at this time.
For item 1, sometimes the “off-topic” item is a link or reference to something I appreciate; for item 2, I end up just ignoring the person – as I did with Dmitry when he wrote three or four more screeds after I told him I was done with him and as I am doing now with his link to his post where I suspect (because I won’t waste my time reading it) he takes all of his misperceptions and biases about me and concludes I am an idiot.
That someone would spend so much energy on a topic where he clearly does not want to engage or understand I find so humorous that I would lose some joy if I cut him off.
For item 3…that’s a thought!
I think the recent changes in how you respond to some comments is already achieving what you are setting out to do here.
I am thinking that this is necessary – as I have referenced a couple of times above, when someone who knows me better than do most of the readers here is confused by my words or actions, it tells me that I have to be a little more direct.
When it comes to controversial topics, I think – after letting the dialogue run for a while – I will be clearer and more direct in my comments. This is my one big takeaway from both this episode and your feedback.