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Ian Lind • Online daily from Kaaawa, Hawaii

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Fair warning: Moderation

February 14th, 2013 · 15 Comments · Blogs, Media, Politics

Yes, it’s true.

I do occasionally moderate your comments.

I don’t have any hard and fast rules to refer you to. If anyone is really into rule making, perhaps you can suggest a workable set of rules.

Sometimes I delete things that strike me as potentially libelous or, more typically, are just unnecessarily nasty.

In a few cases, I will simply edit and approve the edited comment. Other times I just delete in total.

On still other occasions, someone will comment several times on the same issue using different pseudonyms. I do try to cut those off.

My main goal is to reward serious and substantive exchanges of views, while limiting those who just want to “talk stink.”

If you use a valid email address, I will often try to contact you prior to editing or deleting a comment. But I don’t have any qualms about deleting anonymous comments that aren’t constructive.

And, by the way, insults about the blogger by anonymous commenters are a quick way to find future comments blocked.

As I say, fair warning.

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15 Comments so far ↓

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  • Hugh Clark

    Nothing you articulate offends me.

    You must protect yourself from potential libel. You should aim to be fair, not racist or bigoted.

    I share alarm about commentary submitted by “cowards” employing made-up names. (I know my hero Ben Franklin did that and received a good beating from his older printer brother upon discovery.)

    I don’t mind tough opinions or sarcasm, if here is underlying truth.

    It is your log to manage.

  • charles

    Your blog, your rules.

    Eminently reasonable, in my opinion.

  • Ilima

    What @chalres said. Makes sense to me.

  • Bart Dame

    Not only is it “your right” to do so, I think it is a service to your readers. If I am at a meeting, discussing issues of the day, and someone gets rude, or–to be fair–if an escalating, polarizing dynamic takes hold which disrupts the discussion, I would hope whoever is running the meeting will intervene. Or at a party. Or in a bar.

    There is a dark side to debate which will all have to guard against. Some peoplebecome hooked on it and it undermines civil discussion and, not accidentally, democracy.

    So I appreciate any help you can provide to keep things civil and on-track.

  • cwd

    I agree with your decisons & actions, Ian.

    Over the past several years here in Hawai`i – since the Super Ferry times – the hostility and negativity on a number of environmental, cultural, and social issues make it difficult to attend public hearings & meetings. I’ve been to several of them over the past two years which have included being spit upon, physically attacked, and having a half-empty bottle of water thrown at board members, staffers and members of the public who hold different opinions from some of the people in the audience. One staffer had to request police support to get to his car after one meeting.

    In my opinion, what has caused this shift in behavior is the huge increase in blogs and other on-line communications along with really contentious decisions by entities such as the Land Use Commission, Public Utilities Commission and county planning commissions & mayors.

    Another shift in behavior has been caused by the increasing number of deaths & retirement of folks who grew up here prior to statehood.

  • Richard Gozinya

    Obviously your blog / your rules. The downside of this approach is that it tends to homogenize the comments.

  • Lopaka43

    I greatly appreciate the civil tone on your blog and appreciate your efforts to keep it that way.

    • Natalie

      Ditto. Okay, that was too short (oddly enough, not allowed), so let me add that I appreciate your efforts, Ian.

  • CiCi

    Oh no – the bubble is burst! All this time I thought you just had the most polite commenters in the blogosphere.

    ;)

  • Black Kettle

    It’s your blog and you can delete if you want to….delete if you want to and it’s happened to me!! sounds like an old 60′s song. Anyway, the couple of times my comment was “awaiting moderation” and then deleted made me go back to see what I could have written that you didn’t like. Every time I could see what it was that you likely didn’t like so I learned for future comments! No problem!

  • Tiffany

    Thanks for the food for thought.

    So sorry about your mom, Ian.

  • Jerry

    No problems with it. I say that, knowing that probably more than one of mine got tossed.

    As for Mr. Clark, I would dispute that anonymity is “cowardice.” There can be many reasons for wanting anonymity. Everyone can take steps to ensure privacy, if they so desire. Nor is anonymity usually a cloak for insidious or dark intentions. CWD aptly described the attitude that can be found in meetings, etc. It is the tenor of our times. Some persons may not be “free” to express themselves openly for any number of reasons.

    I am sure that Ian would not argue that an anonymous gift, such as he described receiving, was some sort of cowardly act. Some things are also related to social or cultural concerns.

    On the other end, let us not forget that some people will run for a camera lens for put their name out continually. I am not necessarily referring to anyone who, by virtue of the work they do, are frequently in the public arena.

    Anyway, register my disagreement that anonymity automatically means cowardice. It can mean many things, and some of the greatest cowards are quite loud and narcissistic.

  • Jerry

    I forgot to add that I believe Ian, foremost of many others, would agree that journalism in general and investigative reporting in particular, would be dead on arrival without respect and protection of the anonymity of many of their sources. Many have gone to jail to protect their sources. This, being just another example of the desire for privacy and/or anonymity being perfectly appropriate in many circumstances.

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