Between 2009 and 2017, I blogged for the Albany Times Union. They had a very strict policy with regard to blog comments and blog commenters. All blog comments had to be approved, whether we agreed with the comments or didn’t agree with the comments. The only times blog comments could be rejected was if they contained doxxing information (a person’s phone number or address or identifiable information), or if the post contained some form of expletive or barnyard language. But other than that, if the commenter disagreed with the blogger, then the blogger had to swallow his/her pride and let the comment stand.
I did hear of a few instances where TU bloggers got in trouble regarding their approaches to comments – one blogger received a suspension because he edited comments from people who disagreed with him (his edits included removing all the vowels from comments that he disapproved of). Another blogger simply deleted any comment that she didn’t like, or that she didn’t feel matched up with her view on things – with the result being her blog looking to the general public like the only comments were from those who agreed with her. A third blogger was caught making up phony comments that reinforced her original topic, and posted them as “sock-puppets” to make people believe that she was right all the time. Yeesh.
The drawback to this, of course, is that there’s always someone who has to chatter up the blogs with topics that don’t even remotely match up to the blog post, or that they’re completely focused on their own agenda. Or they’re trying to sell something in the comments section, and hoping to use your blog’s popularity for some free advertising.
I had to deal with one of THOSE guys during my TU tenure; at the time, I was experimenting with 3D lenticular printing, and I had hoped to find a company that could print my materials without it costing me a king’s ransom. Some clown commented on the blog and criticized my entire approach to 3D photography, while at the same time making damn sure that his lenticular printing company had a direct, clickable link in his comment. And what made it worse was that the TU then came down on ME, claiming that this guy was using THEIR platform for free advertising, and why wasn’t the TU receiving a cut of the stealth advertising, and why was I allowing that to happen?
I left the TU in 2017, and in the past four years, I’ve operated my own blog. And with that, I’ve been the person in charge of comment maintenance and approval. Regarding comments and such, I’m a pretty easy-going person. I’ll let dissenting opinions appear in the comments section. It encourages discussion.
However, there are some things I will not approve. Doxxing information is still off-limits. And cursing like a longshoreman, just for the sake of attacking, is another no-no. And if you’ve been verbally abusive to me in the past, you don’t even get to comment – your comments are banned completely from my page.
And if you’re using such language in your blogs, language that encompasses words like “libtard” or “faggot,” well…
I’m writing this post because one of my recent blog posts was attacked by a commenter who, for lack of better terminology, has developed a bubbled-up case of monitor courage. Our blogger (who, for purposes of this post, I shall call Louie) has used that perceived anonymity of the computer screen to give them carte blanche to be as racist and as homophobic and as vulgar as possible, and then cry censorship and “cancel culture” because their vitriol isn’t posted as quickly as they would prefer.
Anyway, here is a link to the original blog post. It was the post about hammer throw Olympian Gwen Berry at the Olympic trials.
And here are some of the comments I refused to approve.
I should note that although these comments all came from what appear to be different identities, I was able to immediately determine that they all came from the same person, especially when they all came within 15 minutes of each other.
“You’re a piece of shit. Oh wait I can’t say that. That might hurt your feelings and you’ll contact the site administrator to get my post taken down. Just to show how much of a little bitch you are.”
“Chuck Miller hides behind the site administrator. God forbid anyone have a negative opinion on his stupid ass.”
“This site is run by a bunch of liberal scumbags. Who want free everything. Can’t say anything without them not apoving any negative comments towards the retarded Biden supporters.”
“Hey Chuck. Get a life you’re nothing but a liberal piece of shit. All you do is judge others and force them to think the same way as you and that stroke victim of a president who stole the election plagiarized his way through college. You probably did the same things. All you libtards are the same. Claim you support lower class citizens. Claim you support people yet you still categorize people by the color of their skin. Were all humans. All part of the human race doesn’t matter what color people are yet you still do the bullshit describe someone by the color of their skin. What a real piece of shit you are. Go fuck yourself.”
“You’re a racist liberal piece of shit. All you do is run your mouth thinking you’re solving the world’s problems. But you just sit there collect money and act like you are above everyone else. The fact that you’re a white apologist makes me laugh. Slavery has been going on ever since the dawn of ancient man. Do you actually think America is a horrible country. Because I can name at least five that are worse. But you’re too comfortable like the rich liberal prick you are to leave. To state that slavery is still going on in North Korea and you act as it’s still being done in America. Let me guess you also support the do as I say not as I do bullshit. You only believe in the first amendment only if you agree with what is said. Like to erase history pretend like it never happened. Yet have you heard if the rape of nangkin what all those Japanese did to the chinese. Or how about the Russians enslaving and completely dicking over the soviet union satellite states. That’s all ok but it wasn’t ok for American slavery. How about when the turks enslaved the greeks was that ok? Was it ok for the native Americans to get shafted too? Was it ok for the Nazis to murder six million plus people? All you do is focus on what America did wrong when other nations did worse things. By the way mother fucker om protected under the first amendment I dont give a shit what your little woke movement says. Oh and you probably agree that the Cuban people should still be enslaved by their shitty government. You also probably think that it’s ok that innocent people in Burma are getting murdered in the streets. Explain to me why you’re so stupid and can’t see the actual problems around the world. If anyone is still treating minorities like shit it’s you and liberal friends. I hope you have a nice rest of your day you liberal scumbag. Probably living in a nice home eating good meals not giving a shit about kids who are actually starving.“
Let’s get a few things straight, Louie. Right off the bat, I am the site administrator. I do not hide behind myself. That would be very difficult to accomplish.
Next up. If you have a problem with what I write in this blog – sorry, not sorry. My freedom of speech is JUST AS GOOD as yours. Oh, and Louie, I should note that as the administrator of the blog, I saw that you posted your attacks over and over, and that you used different names. Heck, at least twice you called yourself “Chuck Miller.” Really, Louie? Really?
You don’t like what I write? Go somewhere else. Nobody’s twisting your arm behind your back to read my blog. And the minute your posts start blathering on about your perceived opinion about the 2020 Presidential election (Biden won, Trump lost, QED), and peppering your spew with opinionated invective like “libtard” and the like, then you’ve already lost whatever flimsy argument you ever had.
Oh, and a few corrections for you, Louie. It’s not Burma any more, it’s Myanmar. It’s the rape of Nanking, not “nangkin.” Oh yeah, and if we’re going to be succinct about this, “motherfucker” is one word, not two.
As I said before, I’m open to civil discussion and civil discourse. You don’t have to agree with what I say, and that’s fine. But keep the profanities and vulgarities and the other unnecessary -ities out of your comments, ‘kay?
Thank you for attending my TEDx talk. 😀