Friday, April 24, 2009

Eventually karma bites you in the ass...

... and I can certainly claim to be no exception.

Two points of view on the latest little DE blogosphere flap over commenters being banned, which now hits home here with Anonone being banned from commenting on Tyler's posts.

Yesterday A1 and Tyler got into one of their not-uncommon pissing contests. A1 has a thing for Tyler that often goes well past issues, and approaches jason's spleen for Dave Burris. And Tyler finally got tired of it, deleting a comment he found to be too far over the line.

I reversed him on that when I found out about it (on another blog, actually; I wasn't following the thread), because it has always been my policy to delete comments only for spam, outing, and actual threats.

But Tyler came back to me with the point that when I asked him to join DE Libertarian I told him that his posts were his intellectual property, with two minor exceptions (there are two local content areas I have asked my fellow bloggers to stay away from, due to a potential personal conflict of interest with my employment; most people in the blogosphere know what those issues are, and why I don't comment on them much), and that I had never placed any restrictions on him regarding how he moderated comments on those posts.

He's right: DE Libertarian is not (at least in my mind) a group blog or even a partnership, but a ground where several libertarian-oriented individuals have been invited to share the privilege of posting. When I give them the keys, I turn on the administrative privileges as well.

As far as I know, only one post has ever been pulled from this blog--well over a year ago. Someone objected to a particular post as being potentially racist toward hispanics, made his case to the author, and the author (not one of our current contributors) made the decision to take it down.

So here's where it stands: individuals posting on this blog have the right to make their own decisions. My decision is to pretty much take the slings and arrows as they come. Brian Miller doesn't even seem to see them when he posts, and Tyler is up for 99.9% of them.

I'm not banning A1 or anyone else from my posts. Truth be told, even though we have vast policy differences, A1 has never been as vituperative toward me as toward Tyler.

This is not an easy issue. Dana Garrett turned on comment moderation for a period of time (he supports Tyler's decision) and got shit from a lot of people, including me. Delawareliberal has banned several folks over the past year; in some cases I have seen their point, in others not. Mike Matthews prefers complete chaos, and I'm probably philosophically closer to him than anyone else.

But blogs are personal property, and within this blog each contributor's posts are personal property as well.

I am proud to have Tyler Nixon here. His coverage of local Delaware politics (especially City of Wilmington) often scoops everybody else. His views on the current administration are more visceral than mine, but he keeps me honest on that. And, frankly, from any personal perspective, Anonone's attacks on him here and elsewhere have crossed the line into the truly offensive on many occasions.

So suck it up, folks. Tyler is here to stay on his own terms. A1 can bash him from a distance at other blogs or even in my threads if the obsession is really that important to him/her/them.

And me? Karma probably dictates that I have just moved down the rung a few notches toward insect.

13 comments:

pandora said...

Your house, your rules, Steve. I'm fine with it. Many times it isn't one comment - it's many comments. I don't like banning people or deleting comments - and I've had some truly disgusting crap thrown at me. But everyone has their individual breaking point.

I tend to avoid flame wars, but I'm beginning to suspect they are an integral part of blogging (probably because they happen sooo often). Maybe it's due to the provocative nature of bloggers - a blogger's nature tends to lean towards seeking a response.

Delaware Dem said...

You and Tyler have been very transparent about it, and I have no problem with the action or the explanation. Like Pandora said, it is your house and you need to do what you think is necessary.

Jim Fryar said...

I should probably review my rules section where I say that I have never deleted a comment. I have over three years deleted two, one because it contained some sort of code, the other because it was diatribe of hate from an estranged family member of the person it was about. In both cases I left an explanation.

Personally I prefer to leave them up in the hope that the poster will revisit and be embarrassed by the content.

Anonymous said...

Steve wrote:

"And, frankly, from any personal perspective, Anonone's attacks on him here and elsewhere have crossed the line into the truly offensive on many occasions."

Sorry, no. Tyler is every bit as vitriolic, partisan, and attacking as anybody else in the Delaware blogosphere, even more so than me. Anybody who reads his posts here can see that.

Show me where I have been "truly offensive" or show me any quote where you think that I have "crossed the line" with him and I can guarantee that I can match you quote for quote from Tyler that are equal or worse in so-called "vitriol."

All you have to do is read yesterday's thread to see my first post was a simple, on-topic, informed, factual comment. It was not in any way personal. Tyler's response was typical of his responses to people who disagree with him - a personal condescending sarcastic attack.

Clearly, Tyler is a passionate, partisan, and highly opinionated republican politician. One might think that he'd be able to take the same kind of criticism that he so readily dishes out to anyone that HE disagrees with or disapproves of. But just like most republican politicians, he can't. So he decides to censor his blog post comments.

As pandora said, "your house, your rules." But Delaware Libertarian has lost any claim to being a blog that truly promotes a free and vigorous exchange of ideas.

A couple of days ago, you and I were discussing whether or not Libertarianism is a viable governing and economic philosophy. Apparently, the freedom of expression espoused by Libertarianism is not even viable for a Libertarian blog.

And that is too bad.

anonone

Steve Newton said...

A1
You are posting here because I believe in freedom of expression.

I'm not going to play your idiotic equivalency games.

But I will note that you are the one who has on several occasions compared membership in the GOP with membership in the Nazi party.

I guess if you standard is your ability to piss on any one and everyone with whom you disagree, then you have a point.

But don't go all sanctimonious on me about the sudden failure of libertarian freedom of expression. Over the past year in the DE blogosphere:

Delawareliberal has banned multiple commenters.

Delaware Watch employed comment moderation.

Delawarepolitics has banned commenters.

Down With Absolutes allowed somebody to mess with your pseudonym.

Thus it seems that this is an issue that cuts across pretty much all ideological lines.

You have freedom here to disagree or attack in any way you want--just not on Tyler's posts until he decides otherwise.

Here's an idea: don't like it? Start your own blog and see who shows up. Takes about ten minutes on blogspot.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

You wrote:

"But I will note that you are the one who has on several occasions compared membership in the GOP with membership in the Nazi party."

And? Hundreds of thousands of innocents dead, unprovoked invasion of another country based on deliberate lies, torturing prisoners sometimes to death, imprisonment without charges or legal representation, and on and on and on...

When you stay a member of a political party that has celebrated and defended all of the above, I think the rhetorical comparison is valid (although I lose the arguement by virtue of Godwin's law). The difference is in the magnitude of crimes, not the crimes themselves.

I wasn't expecting you to play any "idiotic equivalency games" - I was only making a point regarding this fallacy that "anonone crosses the line into the truly offensive on many occasions." That is nonsense. Have I ever with you?

I responded to your post before I even saw or read Tyler's post below it. It is a typical Tyler response with unsupported tripe like I "spew sweeping monomaniacal borderline-exterminationist garbage." Of course he offers nothing to support such nonsense because it isn't true whereas it is true that he served on the Bush/Cheney transition team and assisted in Donald Rumsfeld's confirmation. He doesn't talk about that much now.

And his complaining about me posting at Del Lib about him deleting my comment? Talk about "pathetically self-indulgent," that is is whole post! Just funny.

Meanwhile, Tyler defends a Mike Matthews and DWA who perfectly matches his slogan of "First State Filth."

But for the record, I never ever said or wrote or insinuated that Mike Matthews was or is a racist. Never. That is a lie. What I have written to Mike is that posting the rants of religious bigots on DWA who say that homosexuals are evil and will lead to the downfall of civilization is wrong. And I stand by that. People who dehumanize gays as "evil" are bigots, plain and simple.

And why shouldn't I go "sanctimonious on [you] about the sudden failure of libertarian freedom of expression"? Guess what? None of the other blogs that you cited are "Libertarian" blogs. Does because "everybody else does it" make it right?

I thought Libertarians were supposed to be different.

Honestly, Steve, this is a tempest in a teapot. I wish Tyler and you both well. And I have to get back to work on my anti-gravity machine. :)

anonone

Anonymous said...

Interesting post. And timely. I struggle with this because the oft defended freedom of speech, which I whole heartedly endorse and defend has morphed into another realm of discourse. It has taken a college (student) newspaper op-ed piece I read in another state to give me the clarity on this volatile issue. In essence, yes, you may have your opinion, and a right to that opinion. However, I have a right, and you have a responsibility not to abuse me with your opinion. This has settled it for me. Tyler, and others have been abused by the writings of "anonone". And that I won't endorse and defend. And there is a college senior out there somewhere, who has given me this metric, and will probably have quite a promising future in responsibility ahead of him.

Anonymous said...

Steve says: "Here's an idea: don't like it? Start your own blog and see who shows up. Takes about ten minutes on blogspot."So, instead of tolerating anonone's dissents on your blog, you want to shove him/her out of the room. Ridiculous!

And, I am surprised that you would abrogate your philosophy to allow Tyler to operate on your blog with his rules instead of yours.

Makes me wonder, is the reason for the existence of your blog to allow you folks to vent/proselytize/analyze only, or is it to do that and to promote discussion as well?

Speaking personally, I will readily grant that you, and Tyler, usually post well prepared and well written points of view. I enjoy reading them. But I must say that at times an arrogant/nasty tone creeps in, as evidenced by your response to anonone.

I also observe that anonone has a point with his "equivalency" statement. I'm surprised you choose to deny it and not to discuss it, or even to acknowledge it if you really think there may be merit in the accusation.

All that said, I do agree with Pandora. On your blog, you have all the power, to be used judiciously or to be abused, your choice. However, I suggest instead of banning, except in extreme cases with warnings, just rebut. Then anyone of us can decide. Isn't that the approach that an academician should favor? Your instinct to repost anonone's deleted post indicates that it is! I think you did the right thing.

Perry Hood

Anonymous said...

Perry Hood says "And, I am surprised that you would abrogate your philosophy to allow Tyler to operate on your blog with his rules instead of yours."

This is a very odd statement and writer seems to get it all backwards. Isn't it the essence of being a libertarian to not force others to live by your rules where they can do just fine on their own terms?

Very odd.

Steve Newton said...

Perry
I will do this once, and then I am done.

So, instead of tolerating anonone's dissents on your blog, you want to shove him/her out of the room. Ridiculous! You're full of it here, Perry; please note that A1's rebuttal ran two comments above yours. Speaking for Tyler, dissent can certainly be tolerated, and those of you who comment and don't publish your own blogs have no idea how much just plain rude abuse we all take under the guise of dissent. I'm serious: you've got so much to say, and you think this enterprise is so easy, so cut and dried--try it.

And, I am surprised that you would abrogate your philosophy to allow Tyler to operate on your blog with his rules instead of yours.Sorry, Perry, if my agreements with my co-bloggers don't satisfy you. One interesting thing here is that you and A1 both seem to think you have some sort of intellectualy right to be heard on virtually any terms you decide to set, but are unwilling to accept Tyler's decision to be free of abuse.

Makes me wonder, is the reason for the existence of your blog to allow you folks to vent/proselytize/analyze only, or is it to do that and to promote discussion as well?You're so full of it here your eyes are brown. In the history of this blog exactly one non-spam comment has been deleted, and it was re-posted. One of the things that Tyler and I disagreed on was that he should have given A1 fair warning before deleting the comment or banning him, and we both agreed that any such action should be taken publicly and transparently.

So no non-spam comment has ever been deleted, and A1 retains the ability to post anywhere here except on Tyler's posts until Tyler decides otherwise. That's certainly the picture of a blog that brooks no dissent.

Speaking personally, I will readily grant that you, and Tyler, usually post well prepared and well written points of view. I enjoy reading them. But I must say that at times an arrogant/nasty tone creeps in, as evidenced by your response to anonone.It's a BLOG, for God's sake, not the Bible or the Federalist Papers. Yes, I get annoyed at times and so does everybody who engages in this blogosphere--you included, I might add. However, I try pretty damn hard treat people with as much politeness as they treat me. Unfortunately, when people refuse to read the English language, or presume to tell me what to do with my own damn property, I don't equivocate. Name for me one political blog of any ideology worth a crap that you read that is bloodlessly polite to you all the time.

I also observe that anonone has a point with his "equivalency" statement. I'm surprised you choose to deny it and not to discuss it, or even to acknowledge it if you really think there may be merit in the accusation.Your sentence is a non-sequiteur. I do not believe A1 has a point here, so I don't have to rebut it. Moreover, as Pandora observed, it has been a steady diet of both rudely personal and nasty comments, more than any one comment. Again: you and A1 both seem to think that visiting here and commenting automatically vests you with some property right. It doesn't.

All that said, I do agree with Pandora. On your blog, you have all the power, to be used judiciously or to be abused, your choice. However, I suggest instead of banning, except in extreme cases with warnings, just rebut. Then anyone of us can decide. Isn't that the approach that an academician should favor? Your instinct to repost anonone's deleted post indicates that it is! I think you did the right thing.Obviously Tyler thinks A1 is an extreme case. I don't feel that way, so we made two different decisions. You will decide for yourself no matter what I say or do, and-this is the critical point that you don't seem to understand--it becomes incredibly incredibly tiresome to rebut people who come here with talking points (as you have on multiple occasions) and make arguments that indicate you have not either (a) read the post or the links you are critiquing; or (b) insist on rebuttals that were covered in posts weeks before that you never bothered to read. Nobody pays any of us (except maybe Celia Cohen) to do this, and thus I do what satisfies my own wishes. Responses that I consider stupid, vapid, or rude do not place upon me or Tyler any obligation for civil rebuttal

As for the last comment: I am comfortable about my role as a scholar without needing to be lectured on it by you. Should a WW2 historian be obligated to rebut every Holocaust denier? I have stated why I re-posted the original A1 post. That does not give you the right to insist that I always follow the policy you might prefer.

You possess the ultimate decision-making power here. This is a blog that I write for free, and that you visit for free. If you ever decide it is not worth what you paid to get in, the door is only a click away. I'm not suggesting that you leave, Perry; but neither you nor A1 have a brief to do more than inform me of your preferences.

You may now have the last word.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous @ 9:23,

Let me make sure that I understand what you're writing here:

A republican politician and lawyer who writes some of the most sarcastic, condescending, and personally insulting blog posts about other politicians and people with whom he disagrees should ban and delete comments from people that vigorously disagree with him because such speech "abuses" the poor fellow.

Got it. Thanks for clarifying that!

Are you a Libertarian, too?

anonone

Anonymous said...

Steve wrote:

"One interesting thing here is that you and A1 both seem to think you have some sort of intellectualy right to be heard on virtually any terms you decide to set..."

and

"you and A1 both seem to think that visiting here and commenting automatically vests you with some property right."

No. I unequivocally don't feel that way at all. It is your blog; you should set the rules. You have every right to ban me entirely from this blog, with or without any cause. The person who owns the printing press has every right to control what they print; nobody can dictate that to them. And you certainly aren't obligated to respond to anybody's post.

I respect that entirely and I do understand the work and courage that it takes to publish this blog. I also honor and respect your scholarship.

I disagree entirely that I have posted "a steady diet of both rudely personal and nasty comments." The record shows that isn't true. I have made a number of positive comments to several of Tyler's posts and have even spoken highly of one on Del Liberal. It is your decision to promote the meme that Tyler has tried to create, but as the song says "It ain't necessarily so."

anonone

Anonymous said...

OK Steve! I appreciate your taking the time to respond.

Sure, your blog is your "private property", but you have chosen to use the public internet, and to open it up for public comment, therefore you have certain responsibilities that have to do with the exercise of free speech. I note that you have not ignored this responsibility, to your credit.

I've seen bloggers use the word "abuse" to justify their decisions on deleting a comment or banning a commenter, without ever defining the nature of the crime. You used the word yourself.

Your comments are replete with assumptions, such that many of them apply only to these assumptions, not to me.

And then we have straw men and hyperbole. But that's the style you chose this time, thus what else can I say short of making this into a pissing contest, which I am not about to do. There's been enough pissing already.

Perry Hood

Now be sure to leave space for Hube to come in with his ad hominems!