I do not like censorship, whether it be in books, newspapers, or online. I’d like to believe that most people have the good sense to exercise common courtesy when posting comments on my blogs, and I give folks a lot of latitude in what they say.

However, there comes a time when I must draw the line. Yesterday I had to ban a poster from the Bad Nick Blog because he was taking things way too far. I have allowed him to rant pretty heavily, even to the point where he made a couple of personal attacks on me. I’ve been called a lot worse, believe me.  His comments have been drawing a lot of response from other readers, and I like to see a lively exchange of ideas and opinions.

However, yesterday he posted a comment that was flat out obscene and blatantly racial. I removed it, and then sent him an e-mail telling him he had to tone it down and stay within the bounds of decency. His response was to immediately post an even more vulgar commentary that encouraged such things as killing homosexuals, persons of color, and a lot of profanity.

The way this blog is set up, the first time somebody posts a comment, it does not appear until after I, as moderator, approve it. This is done to filter out the many spam comments I get each week. Once somebody’s first comment has been approved, their e-mail address is stored, and future posts by that person do not require moderation and show up immediately. Because I have a life and am not chained to my computer 24/7 (even though it feels that way sometimes), this allows comments to be posted in real time, rather than being held in limbo until I can log on and approve them.

The other alternative is to set the blog up so that all comments have to be approved each and every time somebody makes one. This would really slow down the process, and I feel that it would be unfair to the rest of you, who act like adults. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of living in a world where the good majority has to suffer because of the actions of the small minority of lunatics and jerks.

Our society may say that we have to play nice and do what it takes to accommodate the worst among us, but in my little sandbox, things don’t work that way. Everybody is welcome to come here and say whatever they feel, disagree until the cows come home, and if you want to call me names, that’s alright too. I’ve have two ex-wives and two ex-mothers-in-law, so you’re not walking on virgin ground.

We don’t have to agree all of the time. What a boring world that would be! If you think I’m wrong about something, get it off your chest. If you have a different opinion than others here, I encourage you to state it respectfully. That’s what this blog is all about.

However, when somebody, either through a twisted psych or just plain meanness, goes too far and wants to turn this blog into a soapbox to preach violence and hatred, I’ll kick their butt to the curb fast and never look back.

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22 Comments on Bad Nick Plays Censor

  1. Ann P. says:

    Bless you, Nick. I’m so relieved to know we can read your always interesting blog without having to deal with the irrational rants of a vicious lunatic. That kind of anger and hatred often leaves me speechless in shock , so I appreciate that you have done the sensible thing and articulated the situation so well. Carry on, Bad Nick, you’re really a good guy.

  2. concerned in Texas says:

    Nick,

    Thank you for blocking this disturbed person. In my opinion he is a ticking time bomb. That’s why I am not using my real name because I don’t want to become the target of this guys hate mongering.

  3. MichaelG says:

    I wish I knew how to keep blogs civilized without constant pruning. It would make it easier to run the things! Many bloggers just refuse all comments to keep from having to handle all the spam and trolls.

    It also doesn’t really scale up. If your blog gets really popular, you have hundreds of comments coming in. There’s no way one person can read all of that and have time for anything else.

  4. Jim says:

    Hey Nick,

    Good to hear that you cleaned the S**t out of your sandbox. Keep up the good work.

  5. Ann Geraghty says:

    It sounds like a sound decision, Nick. I scrolled thru (quickly) and moved on to a rational sounding entry. Sometimes I forget there are really some severely mentally disturbed individuals out there, and one of them might be parked next to my RV as I travel this country. Thanks for removing the irritation.

  6. Martin says:

    Guess this is why I voted against a Bad Nicks Blog when you originally asked if you should write one. The internet is a great tool but it sure brings out the home grown nuts. I enjoy your dissertations but really tire of the sometime ignorant responses that it produces. Oh well just like TV I can always hit the return key and go to another Blog. But I believe my curiosity will rule!

    Regards Martin

  7. Kevin says:

    Kudos for removing and banning him. I read his comment yesterday and it kept popping up in my mind throughout the day. What a waste of my time and thought processes.

    He was so far out there that I wondered for a few moments if it was Bad Nick playing with his audience but he was so obscene that I decided that could not be the case.

    Thanks for your moderation, Nick.

    — Kevin

  8. Connie Braidh says:

    Nick, I am glad you removed the ability of this individual to post on the blog. There is a need for rules no matter what the situation. I do not see this as censorship. I do see this as following the rules. If you don’t follow the rules of the blog, you will be removed. On most blogs, it is OK to express your opinion. It is not OK to attack another person in a derogatory way, use obscenities or hurl racist remarks or worse. It is up to the blog moderator to control the situation. If a person gets out of hand then it destroys the blog usefulness and readers stop reading the blog. Your readers are diverse and have varying opinions. I hope we can all be civil to one another and express differences of opinion in ways which are not attacking.
    I hope you continue the Bad Nick Blog. I don’t always agree with you and I don’t always post but I do enjoy reading the blog. It always helps me understand my position when I read the opinions of others. And maybe just maybe I might even change my mind on a issue once in a awhile.
    Have a wonderful day, enjoy it because it won’t come ever again!!!! Connie B.

  9. We’re sure with you on this decision, Nick. We didn’t get the “opportunity” to read this idiot, I guess, but we have read some pretty fierce rants from your commenters. So often another reader will come back and excoriate the offender (hey — I don’t get to use that word very often!), and that’s fun. Keep up your posts, and good for you for taking the right action with this one guy.

  10. Bill Auld says:

    Concerned in Texas, maybe I need to take off my name on the back of our motorhome. It also glows in the dark, so I could be in big trouble. Don, Don where ever you are I am sorry.

  11. Bob says:

    I really like that you keep peoples opinions open on here and it also shows how different we all think. This blog spot is great and touches on so many contraversial topics and things that make you go “UM?,never thought of it that way”. If readers don’t like or want to participate then hit the power button or if they sat down on a computer that was already on and your page then i suggest to get up off your kiester and find something else to do. Have fun and always wear a helmet Nick! 😉

  12. Cal Hall says:

    Nick. You did the right thing. That rant had gone way beyond reasonable discourse. I’m not sure why we humans cannot have differing opinions and at the same time sit down at the end of the day and share a beer but then I guess that’s just human nature. Anyway keep up the good work. I think you say a lot of things that make people think and that’s a good thing wether I agree or not.

  13. Scott V says:

    While I understand why you took this step, I do fear it is the first step down the slippery slope. Does that open the door to delete posts because they disagree with your position, or banning posters because they disagree? I hope not.

  14. Nick Russell says:

    Scott,
    As I said in the opening line of today’s post, I do not like censorship. I especially don’t like being forced into the role of the one who plays censor. This was what I considered an extreme case, and I had to take extreme measures. Hopefully it won’t ever happen again.

  15. Bill Auld says:

    When one has been out in the cow pasture to long eating dung beetles and then starts to regurgitate their vile language, you should draw a line in the sand before it gets out of hand.

  16. Dave C. says:

    Well done Nick.

  17. Dave B. says:

    There isn’t too much that would offend me anymore and I wish I could have read the comment that was offensive. I’m torn between censorship and free speech on something like this. Being an adult I would have liked to see it and realize what a wacko this guy must have been. Then, on the other hand, this guy should not have been allowed to spread his sick thoughts. I trust Nick and believe he knew what was best in this case. He runs the blog and he has the right to do what is best. Thanks Nick.

  18. Paul Stough says:

    Nick,

    I dont see you as a censor, though that is certainly your right as it is your blog, but I see you as a good moderator. Every discussion has to have limits if it is to serve any purpose at all. Certainly, it sounds as though Don exceeded your very liberal limits. I am glad you are not a conservative when it comes to setting limits on what you allow in the responses to your blog posts.

    However, I dont see Don as a lone twisted individual, though he may be more twisted than most, but instead I see him as a part of a growing number of people in this country who view Democrats, Liberals, and other minorities in this country the same way the Nazis viewed the Jews and other minorities in Germany. It is pretty clear to me that Don and others like him see Democrats, Liberals and other minorities as less human than themselves and those who agree with politically.

    It is my observation that people such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and a few others are using the same techniques of dehumanizing those they dont like the same way Joseph Goebbels and the Nazis used to get the average German to hate Jews and other minorities.

    I have read numerous posts in a number of places espousing the same hatred as Don, and I have heard countless people on talk radio say many of the same things as Don, so once again I dont see him as an isolated case.

    After the 2004 election on a talk radio show several callers talked about sending “all the Democrats and Liberals to California”. This was mentioned after the host talked about California going for the Democrat candidate in the 2004 election. Then another caller suggested that “after all the Democrats and Liberals are sent to California, we should drop a few nuclear bombs on them”. My first thought was; isnt that similar to what the Nazis did to the Jews and other minorities, except the Nazis used concentration camps and ovens to carry out their death and destruction of those people who they saw as less human than themselves?

    So let’s not write Don off as a lone disturbed individual, but let’s be aware of the building hatred of Democrats, Liberals and other minorities in this country.

    Paul

  19. Bill Auld says:

    Paul, your last post is jaded to one side. The coin has two sides and there is enough off the wall rhetoric coming from the liberals and conservatives. You are always going to have extreme hate groups on both side of the spectrum. One group will be more vocal depending which party is in power at the time. Not to long ago I heard some liberals wanting our president to die of unnatural causes.

  20. Erin says:

    HOORAY for you! There’s a difference between censorship and standards; thank you for having and enforcing standards.

  21. BarbaraB says:

    First, I echo what Erin and so many others have said. Nick, thank you for keeping this a place where people can have open discussion with differing points of view.

    Second, Paul Stough, you refer to “Democrats, Liberals, and other minorities” several times. When did Democrats and Liberals become a minority? Do you think if you say it enough, that the government will recognize them as such and give them special rights? :) Will we be able to look forward to Affirmative Action for Liberals and Democrats? LOL I am not trying to start a fight, it just struck me as humorous.

    Bad Barbie

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