Monday, June 19, 2006

Anonymous said...

Regular readers soon realize that the most interesting bits of this blog are provided by the readers via the comments section. Since my purpose is to discover and encourage connections within our community, I want to make it as easy as possible for folks to share their own news and opinions. So, I encourage all comments to be posted, both attributed and anonymous.

Some readers have privately taken me to task for allowing anonymous comments, but I believe there is a long tradition of unattributed political discourse in America.

When you post your comment, you are asked to either supply a name or you can post anonymously. The Blogger software doesn't know who you really are, so any name you provide is accepted. The Blogger software also allows me to delete any comment. This all leads us to an important issue. To wit; should I ever censor reader comments? And if so, what is my policy for censoring? This policy problem is like red meat for a lifetime bureaucrat like me to think about.

I decided to only censor a comment if I judge it to be in poor taste or an ad hominem attack. If I decide to censor a comment, I will always remove the entire comment. I will never selectively edit a comment.

Moreover, I have set a higher bar for attributed comments. In other words, an anonymous comment may cross my line sooner than somebody willing to publicly stand behind their words.
I have only removed one comment in all of the 47 posts that have been published on this blog. It was an anonymous comment to one of the candidate interviews posted during the Laurel election season. I decided that it met my threshold of an inappropriate ad hominem attack and I removed it within a few minutes of its posting.

That's my policy. I would appreciate your thoughts.



Jim McCeney said...

Your standards seem reasonable and fair to me. Any self respecting newspaper would do the same.

Rick Wilson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rick Wilson said...

Thanks for the feedback Jim.

I find it interesting that modern newspapers will not publish anonymous letters to the editor. But they will allow their reporters to quote anonymous sources.

Anonymous said...

I prefer anonymous, I would rather leave less public writing strewn around to be googled in future. If I was attributed, it would jsut be a made-up username anyhow - this is more honest than inventing myself.

Your standards seem to be based on that rare quality - common sense.