Sunday, February 10, 2008

Moderately anonymous

There seems to be a Great Schism on two subjects: Anonymity and Comment Moderation. Just for fun, I'd like to get some feedback.

Is this the party to whom I'm speaking?

Personally, I'd like everyone identified, all of the time. Which is absolutely hypocritical, because I've posted anonymously more times than I could count. Usually it's because I'm trying to stir the pot and don't want to call down never-ending wrath for one comment or one-liner. The forest for the trees, don't you know. I try to write nothing I wouldn't say to a person's face, so of course I'm the exception to my rule.

Now, particularly in a small town or on a small island, some people have to worry about bad juju for their friends and family, even if they're not concerned about themselves. For instance, I once lost a good customer because of an offhand comment about Bush the juvenile. I don't even remember the remark; it was pretty mild. I sure remember the reaction. A shame really, I was also one of his customers and spent at least as much as I made off of him. Who wins when we play those games? But that's a tangent.

The nefariously anonymous don't take much comment.

Mainly, I like a consistent posting identity because it adds to my mental picture of the person. We're all different; nobody fits into neat little ideological or social boxes. I might totally agree with you about one subject but think you're as loony as Huckabee discussing evolution about another. Actually, he's a good example. There I go, but I'd say it to his face.

A lot of people post anonymously with a cute name, but don't have a Blogger id. Fair enough, if you're consistent. But, fair warning. I watched one forum nearly self-destruct with made-up posts using another person's handle.

Everything in moderation, including moderation

Have I deleted comments? Oh, yeah. Once. Almost anyone but the culprit would have done the same thing. I can imagine any number of reasons to do it again. I've deleted myself quite a few times.

Spam is another matter. There's a run-on cut-and-paste job on one of my old posts that reads like a sentence in a Kerouac novel. It's gone as soon as I finish reading it. Heh. Another I've seen word-for-word on other sites. Just another pamphlet, but how does this person expect to be taken seriously? I'm tempted to hit the button. Ultra long posts and multiple posting used as a weapon just spoil it for everyone.

But basically I believe these things run their course. If anyone gets too far out of line, one or two reasonable voices will be heard.

And I JUST...DON'T...LIKE reading that my comment will appear sometime in the future after it's been digested. That's too much like being put on hold. I like my gratification immediate.

Note to Brad: Word Verification has been turned off. That drug testing mot wasn't aimed at you.


lil_hammerhead said...

It's my position, that if you post, and you have a comment section.. you shouldn't skew the conversation by censoring.

A statement in the comment section of another blog goes.. "This is a blog about my thoughts. I didn't set it up to have a conversation."

Hogwash. If you have a comment section, and you allow folks to debate issues you've brought up.. you can't then say, well I remove certain comments because this isn't a "conversation". Well you can, and it is certainly done, but all this does is negate the validity of the comments that are there. It is a conversation.. it is just a designed conversation.

If you have a comment section, you are facilitating a "conversation".

Another blogger likes to point out how the messenger is more important than their ideas.. and uses Ambrose Bennett as an example. Again I say.. Hogwash. Ambroses' ideas aren't any less important because they're derived from Ambrose. I might not like Ambrose.. but I can piece through his ideas and make determinations on them.

Most of this though is pointless. The only real reason for any kind of censorship is to facilitate opinions that are the same as your own.

All you need to do is scope out the sites of the two bloggers I referred to here to see this. They allow accolades from the anonymous.. but they don't allow any rigorous challenge.

Jeff said...
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Jeff said...

Are all the unpublished novels in the world censored? Or are they just not very good?

How about the numerous op-ed submissions the ny times receives it doesn't print. Are they censoring those, also?

Usenet doesn't edit and we all see what happened to that.

Most all respectable online forums have a moderator.

People get to do what they want with their blogs, and if that means keeping crackpots out of their life and their blog, that's their choice. If readers don't like it, their choice can be to find another blog.

bigsoxfan said...

Well said. I suppose I should get around to a real name and get out of the welovesaipan blog spot, but I'm comfortable with my posting and would hate to lose either of my readers with an addy switch. Just for the record, I didn't know what I was getting into with the bigsoxfan monicker, I was trying to reply to something Angelo had written last summer, the description fit me, and I simply drifted into the blog thing. I've been saying this for years. Since, last year anyway.

your guidelines agree with my own and while I respect people in delicate situations to remain anon, I'm not going to pay the same attention to their point of view, as I would to someone with cojunes. I will laugh occasionaly, visit, and comment. A friend of mine once wrote on a bathroom wall; "To be illegal, one most be totally honest" The whole election cycle on saipan, from a bloggers point of view, was a total bummer. Hope the community can move on, your post is the best start yet.

Feel free to comment on Mark Scease, ex Kannat Tabla, ex Chinatown, but always a Saipan lover.

bradinthesand said...

love it, ken. even though you take an anonymous cheap shot to stir the pot, at least you own up to it. it made me chuckle...

this blogging thing is great for everyone to air their opinions, but sometimes it becomes more of a "my opinion is better than yours"-athon.

thanks for removing that word verification monster. now i can post in peace...

lil_hammerhead said...

Jeff.. the New York Times has a particular political positionl, that is well known, and in fact, has been spoken about by many of their writers. To suggest that they didn't also "design" the conversation that takes place in their paper is wrong. You like to use that analogy.. it is not a good one.

lil_hammerhead said...
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lil_hammerhead said... by your definition, a "crackpot" is one who submits a valid opinion that runs askew to yours, because that is exactly what started your "censorship" in my case. You remember.. you outed the Saipanmiddleroad bloggers, you cast dispursions on their reporting and suggested that their reports were biased in favor of the Tan Corporation and then removed my comment suggesting, that by your own measure, another blogger who just happens to manage a radio station, run weekly opinion peices and manage the station news, and who is closely connected through two sources, could also be prone to that same bias. Your response: removal of my comment and a lame note stating, "I believe your facts are wrong". No, they weren't.. they were spot on.

Remember. I do.

That was where your censorship started, as far as my comments were concerned. Please, twisting facts and throwing out terms like "crackpot" don't change that truth. If "walking on eggshells" is an artform.. folks who comment regularly on your site these days, must have mastered it.

Jeff said...

The NY Times just hired Bill Kristol because it wants more left wing opinions, right?

You brought Harry's wife into a conversation that had nothing to do with her. She's not a public figure. Harry hosts a talk show where he gives opinions. He's not an objective news source. Plus I didn't know if your facts were correct and told you to post your thoughts on your own blog, not mine.

As for you, I just don't like you and want nothing to do with you because you act like an ass. You have no respect for people you disagree with. It has nothing to do with your opinions, most of which we agree on. You just act like a jerk who doctors pictures and obsesses over nonsense --anonymously. That's what makes you a crackpot, not a differing opinion. I'm under no obligation to allow you on my blog. You have every right to stand on a street corner and get your message out, or put it on your blog. You're hardly censored.

As for biases, people can evaluate mine because I'm open as a real person, not hiding behind a monkey picture.

lil_hammerhead said...

I pointed out alot more than Harry's wife Jeff. Again, you love to twist the facts to somehow forward your position.

Several writers for the Times have come out to speak about the very left wing bias of the Times. The fact that they recently hired Kristol, may serve as some remedy to that.

Facts are.. you weren't censoring volotile comments full of expletives. You were removing substansive posts that countered your opinion. This is the only reason you removed the comments. You can twist facts, and suggest half-truths.. doesn't change that fact.

Calling someone an ass and crackpot, after removing a number of their substantive comments, also doesn't change that.

Jeff said...

You are a monkey's picture, not Seymour Hersh. You have no reputation or credibility at stake to give you the benefit of the doubt. You could show up tomorrow as a banana picture.

lil_hammerhead said...

There you go again Jeff. Good response. Shed alot of light on why you remove comments of substance. Thanks.

Jeff said...

You won't stand behind what you say. Why should I? You have no reputation or credibility at stake.

I laid out the policy. Tough luck if you don't like it. Read another blog, then.

And not once did I not post a non-anonymous comment.

lil_hammerhead said...

Like I said.. "walking on eggshells" has become an artform to those regular commenters on your site Jeff.

lil_hammerhead said...
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lil_hammerhead said...
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lil_hammerhead said...

THE POLICY: If you disagree too vigorously with my post, it will be removed. If you use a pseudonym or are "anonymous", only comments in agreement or accolades about my site or post will be accepted.

I read all the blogs Jeff.. and I comment when appropriate. If the issue is important enough, it receives "treatment" on my blog. As I'm sure you're aware. Fair and adequate treatment by the way.

Jeff said...

To compromise, let's just go with: If you're an obsessive, cantankerous, unemployed crackpot clearly starved for attention and hiding behind a monkey's picture, you might not be welcome at my blog. Sound fair?

lil_hammerhead said...

About as fair as your comment section I'd say.

SteeleOnSaipan said...

Kap, if you could get these two in the ring, preferably armed with keyboards and laptops, you may be able to make some money.

I don't usually sit down at a bar next to someone and strike up conversation without exchanging greetings and names first.

I definitely don't chat on the phone w/ strangers.

I was never into online message boards.

So why debate local politics with an anonymous neighbor?

lil_hammerhead said...

Anonymous or not.. I am your "neighbor". I live in this community. I buy cars from Triple J. My kids attended public schools. I still have to hook up to CUC. I still have to buy the outrageous Mobil gas. And I still hope for the best when it comes to the future of the CNMI. The fact that I use a pseudonym, as so many other instruments of change have.. doesn't change those things.

lil_hammerhead said...

.. and I've often chatted on the phone with strangers. ;}

KAP said...

Well, I wanted feedback. Thot I'd just let this run its course.

Nope, Brad, haven't posted anonymously here. But elsewhere....

And I have chattered about someone in a bar, only to find I'm sitting next to their cousin. Or brother, once. Not recommended, though he agreed with what I'd said. But since I only say nice things...

More seriously, I've played on forums like redstate and kos, and they'll both bumrush you out the door if you push the wrong buttons. You know what you're getting when you join, so crying about it is self-defeating.

A weblog (blog sounds less geeky) is a different beast. It's anything you want it to be. Your own little world.

Some are gated communities; you can't even see what they say without permission. Others are a free-for-all. Quite a few are like forums.

You vote with your mouse. If you don't like one world, click off to another one. I don't go into someone's house and tell them how to arrange the furniture.

I pretty much said my piece about anonymity, except that there's a difference between saying someone did a bad thing and saying they're a bad person. I don't pay much attention to character assassination when it comes from the shadows.

Saipan Writer said...

On comment moderation, and anon posts--

I had my blog completely open and deleted no posts for nearly a year. I accept anon posts.

Then I started getting repeat, and progressively uglier comments on an old post (comments that refused to accept the truth, as admitted by the subject of the post).

So I set up comment moderation. I hate doing that, and hope to stop it sometime soon. But for now, sorry for the delayed gratification!

I still publish nearly all comments, even those unflattering ones.

What I dislike in anonymous posts are personal attacks that just call names or make insinuations not based on fact. I'll publish those, one time.

And while anon comments may be more likely to contain these, I also find anon comments sometimes contain good suggestions and ideas, and that identified bloggers will stoop to name-calling. In other words, anons are not necessarily worse than the known world.

And Saipan is a small world--as mentioned in the past, I had some not nice comments on one of my earlier posts, made anonymously, and eventually I ran into the commenter who told me he was the person who put those up, just thought I should know, had strong feelings, etc. So anon isn't a permanent identity either.

And for all those reasons, I'm all for allowing anon comments.

And Lil Hammerhead, you may not like moderation, especially when employed in a way you disagree with (arbitrarily, personally, to stifle real debate, in any way, or however), but the blogger controls his or her own blog--and you can have your own blog and say what you want, so censorship is not the real issue/problem. There's a free marketplace of ideas in the blogosphere. Some bloggers just have a narrower zone of tolerance, or a particular message they want to get across, and that's pretty apparent upon reading the blog or the comments.

So for me--Moderated, as suits the blogger's mental necessities! No problem.

PNGed again said...

I like the idea of squaring lil_hammerhead and Jeff off in the ring with laptops...that could be the semi-final with Bard -vs- Saipan Writer in the other match. No holds barred, no comments deleted, until one laptop surrenders.

I would expect Lil & SW in a tough final.

TLW Brad

Steele SWriter

Dr Lil

Angelo Jeff

ps Porky dropped first round to Wendy and Blalock ousted by reveler.

lil_hammerhead said...

I couldn't "square in the ring" with the SaipanWriter.. I like her too much. I might not agree with the whole censorship thing, but I love her insightful examination of a number particular issues.

As far as MOTEC goes.. he didn't even last long enough to make it to the first round.

SteeleOnSaipan said...

Triple J?

Why would you mention that? I thought that this was about the message, not the messenger.

Anyway Hammer, I have nothing against you. I like your site and we have some similar views and some differences.

I've been predicting for awhile though that anonymity on the blogs would breed contempt and abuse and you need only check GlenD's site today to see that in full swing.

I have no interest in having that crap show up on my site so I won't be participating in those anonymous-laden discussions.

lil_hammerhead said...

Alright.. I'm a member of this community who has bought cars from Microl as well. Better?

You pointed me out and badmouthed me. And I don't mean here.. but the MOTEC site. I didn't reciprocate.

Your point on this blog was a valid one, an opinion on the post, not an attack on me.