I know blogging about blogging is naff as fuck, even if some of my favourite blogs have been doing it a lot recently, but online diaries seem to have metamorphosed, like some future youth, hepped up on growth hormones and stem cell research into these ugly, snide beasts that propagate personal opinion and myth like they are eternal truths.
Why is everyone a political blogger now? Where have all the personal diaries gone? Why do so many hide behind daft names? Why do I care?
Anyway, I thought if esteemed bloggers who are in the 30 best bloggers in the UK at the moment are doing it, then why can't I?
My rhetorical question is: do bloggers have responsibility for what is said in their comments?
The answer for me is an unequivocal yes and the reason I'm asking is that on quite a few blogs I frequent and one in particular, the comments are getting out of hand. Blogger has given us plenty of tools by which to maintain and control comments to stop this; not that I am a fan of moderation at all (as this slows the dialogue and exchange of ideas) but on a basic level, you can delete offensive stuff or, you can close comments all together on a post to stop it descending into an endless tit-for-tat.
At Blurred Clarity, if anyone here uses hate speech in their comments, like racist terms, homophobia, gender bashing, then after a warning, the comment will be gone. I can't let bigotry stand, even in my tiny, tiny part of the Internet. It is a matter of principle.
Some bloggers let offensive comments stand because they support that view but don't want to be caught saying it and can hide under the free speech, anti-censorship stance. Some bloggers let offensive comments stand because they are of the 'give them enough rope to hang themselves' stance, which is all well and good but if the comments go unchallenged it just looks like you condone them. Finally, some bloggers let the offensive comments stand because, no matter what they are faced with, they cannot bring themselves to censor an opinion; which is honourable but makes you a target for exploitation.
I find the best way to kill out of control commenting is to, once all avenues of discussion have been exhausted, to either delete the comments or close the thread.
And I say this as someone who has overstepped the mark in commenting many times before but, as a blogger, you have a responsibility to make sure the comments on your blog are moderated in one form or the other, without repressing people's right to contribute.