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.