Monday, April 09, 2007

"You're Running A Blog Not A Democracy"

Take 'em out back and shoot 'em... Anonymous Trolls (ATs) on blogs, that is. The blogosphere is all a'twitter (lower case twitter, not upper case Twitter) about a call for greater civility in the blogosphere: codes of ethical conduct , rules, regs, ethics badges, pledges, notices of of honor codes one chooses to abide by -- or not. That sorta thing.

Jeez, I go off the grid for four days and the conversation changes... not one iota. Might just stay off longer next time.

I agree that ATs are the worst of the worst slime who live under rocks. They annoy me to no end too, but I can't say I've had a terrible problem with ATs. Only once were they an issue anyways, when I foolishly left Anonymous Commenting up on the SGR right after Neal Boortz had blabbed (and blogged) about this very blog while on-air. Even then, I just deleted the stream of really vile comments. Didn't have any kinda ethical or moral dilemma about doing so, either. As the great Rusty T says, "You're running a blog, not a democracy."

So I can't really get all fired-up over masturbatory debates about should anonymous commenters be allowed or not, not to the degree of this NYT article today at least. Then again, I'm hardly as popular as BlogHer, so I don't attract their kinda attention, good or bad. (And if you do read this blog, you'd likely come to the conclusion that I tack to the "no such thing as bad press " end of the PR spectrum.)

For the record, I do not allow annonymous comments here. That's merely a coward's MO, and hardly worth protecting, in my book. Also, the registration process is so daunting on Blogspot, that most ATs lose interest at the thought of having to register and use a nom de plume just to cuss me out. (I laughed my butt-off though when someone was such an AT, and thus too cowardly to leave a post on my blog, that they instead left an anonymous post about me on someone else's blog! Now that's slime so low no microbe could even get under.)

Anyways... here's the NYT article again. It features gals from, a site I once tried to post what I thought was a fairly reasonable (I didn't even use profanity!) comment, but of course I got slapped on the hand and lectured to about "rules" on personal attacks when I decided to speak my piece about the (dubious) professional choices of a certain BlogHer blogger. (She once worked for Edelman PR.) Women really are annoying with all their nicey-nice rules and such. And that was, naturally enough, the last time I visited BlogHer.

Then again, no one really likes being called a "stupid illiterate cunt" and things of that nature for too long. And women are often targeted for particularly vitriolic comments in the blogosphere. Still, I kinda like the creativity displayed by a certain Atlanta-based, male photographer who commented here (anonymously, of course, other than noting his profession 'cause I guess he felt it/he was special) that I wrote like a "drunken five-year old."

If I ever met-up with that dude, I'd let him buy me a drink just so I could toss it in his face. Just like a boozing kid, eh? But no, I didn't delete the "drunken five-year old" comment. It's on some post somewhere in here for all the world to judge -- both me and the commenteer.

Frankly, if some of these pro-guidelines folks had come of age before the blogosphere with, say, David T. Lindsay as one's snark guru, as I did, they'd know perfectly well how to wield and weed the vitriol -- in just the perfect places, for maximum impact. Or for at least some damn flavor. And Lordy Mercy how most blogs need not so much a lot of rules and regs, but instead just a whole lot more old-fashioned... style and flavor.

The plan is proceeding as, uh, planned... Mahhhh-ster. (My advice? Always do the accent.)


Amber said...

Well, my view at least, is it's not at all about "nicey-nice" (and if anyone wants to enforce "niceness" on women bloggers it's, yep, men bloggers) - rather it's about not confusing free speech with shitting on someone's living room floor.

Davis Freeberg said...

I always thought that a blog was supposed to be a site that reflected your own personal ethics and yet here we are listening to a bunch of wanna be celebrities tell us what we should and should not allow on our own site. If you don't want anonymous comments, that's up to you as a writer. If you want to delete perfectly good comments, that's up to you to. People come to your blog because of the culture that you've created, not because you adopt certain rules that get you a shiny badge that says that you are part of the clique.

Personally, I've left anonymous comments on and I am glad that I have. I've had to delete a lot of crap, but it's also made insiders feel comfortable posting insights about things I've written. As a result, some of my comment streams are more interesting then the articles themselves.

possum said...

I bet them bitches at BlogHer would delete the phrase "stupid illiterate cunt" in a heartbeat. But they've thrown the gauntlet.

Timmy said...

Style and flavor -- Three cheers to class and compassion, which you certainly have. I'll put my name to it.

Rusty said...

I didn't notice until I read this post that you have an "assfucking" tag. Awesome. Thanks for the shout.

Amber said...

I bet them bitches at BlogHer would delete the phrase "stupid illiterate cunt" in a heartbeat.

Really, anybody with half a brain would delete the phrase "stupid illiterate cunt." Oh wait did I type that out loud?

Also I second Rusty on the praise of the assfucking tag. You should use that more often.

Sara said...

I think the Assfucking tag is a little shoutout to old Wonkette, who was a frequent user of the Assfucking tag during the Jessica Cutler/Washingtonienne drama.

(Nobody knows what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But if you are bored, go search the Wonkette archives for Jessica Cutler, and start from the beginning and read the whole shebang. Best line from Ms. Cutler: "A man who tries to fuck you in the ass while you are sober does not love you.")

newmediajim said...

methinks some of the folk engaging in the code of ethics discussion are merely trying to increase their Technorati ranking. I would never stoop to that. I just tag all of my posts "Twitter" I've also taken to randomly tagging many of my posts "Michael Rosenblum" for no other reasaon than for my site to appear on Google page 1 with his. Uh oh, did i post this anonymously?