Wednesday, July 08, 2009

More from the Comments Thread

At View-from-Wilimington, Chris Halkides summarizes what I consider unfortunate recent behavior by the blogger John in Carolina--whose work on the lacrosse case I had admired (with the exception of what seems to me his unfair unwillingness to consider the N&O's work after early April 2006 in evaluating the N&O's overall performance in the case).

A couple of factual points on the issues raised in the linked post. I have banned two commenters over the course of the blog--the commenter "polanski," who repeatedly commented under other people's names; and a (true-believer) commenter who repeatedly offered factually inaccurate statements. In both cases, I announced the bans in comment threads. No other commenters have ever been banned at DIW. I should note that I would have gladly shared this information with the blogger John in Carolina had he ever e-mailed me to ask me about it. He never did, and never has, for reasons that remain unclear to me.

Over the course of the blog, I have closed down around two dozen comment threads, when it seemed to me the comments had gotten so far off the topic of the original post that the thread was no longer productive. It hadn't occurred to me when I did so that anyone could interpret my closing down a comment thread as banning the commenters in that thread, but I would like to say that this was never my intention.

Second, a commenter offered the following item in an earlier thread: "For example. one might not expect on a Blog that champions free thinking and the free exchange of have one's post held for hours while others are cleared." It is not now, nor has it ever been, my practice to hold comments while clearing others. I clear all comments in the queue when I sign into the blog. That depends, of course, how frequently I sign in--sometimes, it might be 20 minutes, sometimes it might be a lot longer. I apologize to any commenter who thought that my non-timely clearing of his or her comment indicated that I was holding the comment "hours while others are cleared."

I'd like to say that I will do better on that score in the future, but admit that I probably won't: this is a one-person blog; I moderate the comments when I can; and there are (rare) occasions when the comments might go 24 hours without moderation. Such delay (which will be more frequent over the next two weeks, when I will be in Israel for an American Studies Seminar) should be interpreted solely as tardiness on my part, and has nothing to do with how I view the merits of the individual comment.