A few weeks after I started the blog, Pollyana that I was, I opted to throw open the comments section against the recommendation of several savvy blogfriends. Initially, the quality of comments was uniformly high. Readers stopped by to share their favorite war movies, for example, and posted their keen insights into the costs and benefits of the F/A-22 Raptor program.
A small detachment of trolls has frequented the comment threads, and I have been extremely liberal–yes, me, a liberal–in my use of MT-Blacklist. I wanted to encourage debate. Instead, my tolerance has turned once-enlightening channels for discussion into filthy sewers. Today was the last straw; I was forced to shut off the comments on this post after it was overrun. Shame on the jerks who screwed it up, especially the miscreant who used my name to post his/her vile thoughts.
Like most bloggers, I don’t have interns or assistants to help out with the blog. Unlike most bloggers, unfortunately, I probably attract a larger and more rabid breed of troll by virtue of my day job. Even with the de-spamming software, there’s simply little time for me to spare to play comment cop. Still, I want to maintain some manageable level of open access and interactivity.
So: For now, I’ll have a regular open comments section every Wednesday when I post my new syndicated column and I’ll be far more judicious in opening comments on other posts. I will aim for a few comment-enabled posts each week, and we’ll go from there.
My thanks to each and every visitor who has left an interesting, witty, kind, newsworthy, or provocative comment here. Please continue to do so.
As for the mental and moral midgets who have to have basic rules of decency spelled out for them, here’s the deal:
1) Absolutely, positively, no profanity, no vulgarity, and no epithets. No F-bombs. No N-words. No anal sex jokes. Go somewhere else for your gutter diet. If you can’t type a sentence without using a curse word, go away.
2) Stay on topic. If the subject of discussion is Joe Wilson, do not use this as an opportunity to insult the Bush twins, praise Fahrenheit 9/11, ridicule my hairstyle, or tell us what you had for breakfast.
3) If you have a personal beef with another poster or with me, take it to a backroom or another blog. Do this on your own bandwith. This is not the MGM Grand Garden Arena and I am not your Don King.
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