Monday, January 29, 2007

Moderation is for monks... ...and cowards.

It's happened again. This time two whole comments offered to Ilana Mercer's Barely A Blog disappeared after being submitted. (At this moment, two others are awaiting her approval. I can only hope they will make it through the process, and as written.)

As I said before, I think that many of the folks who feel the need to vet other's contributions to their blogs, yahoo/google/??? groups, & whatever else, turn out to be cowards. They want to spout their opinions, but prefer not to have to defend them. Those submissions that parrot the owner's views appear, and those that present an opposing view either lose salient points, or vanish into the internet aether, never to be seen. (Experience has taught me to keep copies, especially when dealing with moderated blogs. I'm not a speedy writer--I think I'm too critical of my own words, & thus spend way too much time rejiggering sentences & paragraphs--and to have all that time & toil just disappear because some disagreeable soul doesn't want to be contradicted on his/her blog really pisses me off.)

It's not as though a blog/group owner cannot delete off-topic or commercial posts or those that would likely offend the sensibilities of their readers, after the fact. (Blogs written for young children or God-fearing church folk chock full of "motherfuckin' bad language", ads for tampons, or death metal concert reviews don't fly with much of anyone. By contrast, blogs written for death metal heads have no need of the sermons of God-fearing church folk or the nursery rhymes of children. If there's a blog audience anywhere in need of tampon ads, I am thankfully unfamiliar with it.) My point is, there is little reason to moderate before the fact, as one can do so as problems arise. To treat everyone as though they are going to offend (or be off-topic, or post advertising) until they prove otherwise, doesn't fit in with my ideas of innocence & guilt, and makes me wonder a bit about the moderator. All this said, moderating for advertising, off-topic posting, & bad language is far preferable to moderating for intellectual content, as Ms. Mercer and others do.

I believe there's no reason for me to submit to Ms. Mercer's version of my posts, particularly when I have my own all-too-seldom-used blog. Should she choose to grace us with her presence, her posts will be welcome, and appear as written, even if she chooses to explain in detail just how far up my ass she believes I ought to shove the broomstick. Should she post a coupon good for 50% off her favorite brand of napkins, however, I can't promise I'll allow it to stay on my blog (though it will appear, initially)... A fella's got to have some standards...

So, beginning with my next post, and for as long as it takes, I will offer the saga of my one man odyssey into the classical liberal world of Ilana Mercer, focusing on her daring defense of Bill O'Reilly , and all that followed. Nothing will be held back, and all are welcome to join in and comment.

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