Saturday, October 14, 2006

A word on banned commenters

Folks, I really appreciate the visits and especially the comments. What I don't appreciate are those who visit and start name-calling, especially when that involves foul language.

For an excellent example of a pithy comment, actually many examples, look at the way Sacha writes comments. Sacha and I have some very basic disagreements on, well, most everything. As a matter of fact, she got right into my face once about a post I had written. I felt obliged to respond to her in a separate post rather than in the comments. I did not apologize but I did try to better explain my position. She understood it better, I think, but opted to continue to agree to disagree. That's fine.

What's not so fine is when a commenter not only writes false information, but concludes his comment with a nasty insult. Whether that insult was directed to me or to another commenter is irrelevant. Such behavior is not tolerated.

To refresh everyone's memory about what a "blog" is and what it is not, I'll lay it out again. Most blogs are created so that the blogger, in this case yours truly, can say something that the blogger wishes to say. The blogger may choose to use foul language and insults against, uh, whomever. That's pretty common and you know this if you skate around to many blogs. The blogger may choose to post photos of naked dancing girls . . . or boys, whatever. The blogger may choose to provide porn links and pornographic images. The blogger may choose to propagate and promote harebrained theories about everything from grassy knoll shooters to imploding twin towers to Honest Abe's sexual proclivities. That's the bloggers choice. It's his or her blog.

The blogger may choose to enable comments or not. That's optional. If, as in the case of Mark in Mexico, comments are enabled, the blogger will usually establish some type of ground rules. In the case of this blog, the only rule is "Keep it clean". When that rule is violated, it's "Adios amigo": The commenter is banned. Some banned commenters complain bitterly that this is unfair and accuse the blog owner of being everything from close-minded to gutless. The key words to remember here are "blog owner". A grocery store owner can decide to sell loaves of Wonder bread for $0.05 per loaf all day next Saturday. His competition may not like it, but the competing grocery store owners must recognize that selling bread all day at a loss is his prerogative because he is the "owner". The same is true of blogs owners.

The blog owner may ban any commenter that he wishes, at any time and for any reason. Being fair or unfair has nothing to do with it. Or, as William Munney said to the dying Sheriff "Little Bill" Daggett in "Unforgiven", "Deservin's got nuthin to do wiith it." If the most well written and thoughtful comments imaginable were consitently signed by someone calling themselves "Eat sh*t and die, motherf***er", sans asterisks, that commenter would be banned by Mark in Mexico.

Now, bans are not too terribly difficult to get around, at least for awhile. The blog owner may have to ban many IP addresses as the banned commenter searches for and finds other routes to get back into the comment section. Some bloggers get so disgusted with repeat visits by banned commenters that they will ban entire IP address areas, like Oaxaca. If Mark in Mexico were to do that, it would mean that no none from Oaxaca could leave a comment. I don't want to do that. I noticed that the previously banned commenter Slave Revolt had returned. So I banned his latest IP address and will continue to ban any additional IP addresses that he tries to use. I also deleted his latest attempt at humor.

This post is mostly directed at one commenter, specifically. You, sir, know who you are. And you, sir, are gone. If you desperately wish to return, which I doubt, then you may send me a private Email with an apology, which I will post publicly, and I will consider lifting the ban.

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