Monday, July 25, 2005

On Gold Mines in the Blog Comments: What Do You Think?

This has been a strange few days here at the Vigilance blog. First, some stranger emailed us a link to a Google cache full of CRC discussions. (Well, actually the first thing was a few weeks ago, when the CRC President sent a bunch of conniving communications out to the Whole World, almost surely by accident.) Then somebody signed in on our comments as "Anonymous" and posted thousands of lines of another, overlapping, message board of CRC/Recall sneaky stuff. Don't know where they got it. Then we got an email from yet another guy, with another many-thousands of lines of plotting and scheming by the CRC inner circle. Then we noticed thousands more lines of this stuff in another comments section, posted by the same or a different Anonymous. Several other chunks have popped up, as well.

We didn't ask for any of this, but of course it is very interesting to see how things got where they are now. The CRC/Recall made their plans and lied to the rest of the world about what they were up to, meanwhile pulling dirty tricks from registering the "dot-com" version of our domain name (try "www.teachthefacts.com" and see where it goes) to badmouthing us in the school board meeting, to publishing private emails from our members to theirs on their blog with a bunch of sarcastic and ignorant comments ... So I didn't feel guilty at all to be able to examine exactly what kind of scheming they had been doing in secret and reveal it to the world.

But I didn't think it was especially appropriate, or interesting, to post it all. A lot of it was just private comments, and all their email addresses were displayed, and it was hard to follow in the comments format. So when the first piece appeared in the comments, I deleted it. Then I got some emails, including another comment, asking me to restore it, and so I decided to put it back. One argument was that the stuff was already public information, it was out there on the Internet already, so publishing it here was no great violation.

The comments of a blog are different from the posts. We write the posts. Our readers write the comments. Comments are more spontaneous, informal, sometimes they get a little rowdy, but that's OK. The rule here has always been Morons' comments will be deleted, and I have deleted quite a few stupid things over the months. I have been very tolerant of contrary opinions, a little bit of bad language, some inarticulate expression, etc. So I am very hesitant to wade into the role of deleting things just because I am uncomfortable with them. I mean, the comments aren't for me, unless they've got my name on them. The comments are to let the people express themselves. And these things didn't meet the "moronic" criterion, well, you know what I mean.

A few people have expressed concerns to me about leaving these big message logs in the comments, and I admit, I'm not excited about them either. So let me say two things. First, please comment or email us if you have any thoughts about this -- I honestly don't know what to do here, and so I'm asking readers for their opinions. Second, if you find something like this on the Internet, would you please send it to us -- the email link is up there on the right -- instead of posting it?

Thanks.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The blog is running just fine...open for all. Interesting items found on internet (which is as public as it gets) that relate to this topic are relevant including Recall or CRC dialogue. People can choose to read or not longer posts or items such as this, etc.

But to ask people to send them(items) directy to one or two on this blog for them to possibly decided relevance is overstepping a public blog and emulating Recall or CRC in their blog, etc.

Do you want what sets this blog apart in openness to be what the other side does with their so called lack of openness on blog postings?


If you do why would anyone choose to post here?

July 26, 2005 9:13 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

I would hope that the comments section is a place for discussion. It has been very interesting, over the months, to hear comments from both sides of the issues, and see what the responses are. I don't want to step in and disrupt that free flow of dialogue. --I certainly don't agree with everything that's said here, but I like to allow everyone the right to say what they think.

When one comment runs for thousands of lines, there is no opportunity for anyone to follow it up with a comment, because nobody will have the patience to scroll to the bottom of it.

Requesting that stuff like this be sent to us is a way to regulate the flow of information. There is certainly some important stuff in here, but it comprises a small percentage of the text. I think it is better to take parts of these message boards and put them into context, so readers can understand what they're seeing.

On the other hand, readers might feel more confident if they can see the original, so they don't have to worry that I'm pulling things out of context or editing them in some way.

I have received some email responses to this post, and am interested to hear what others say. I'm a moderator here, not a dictator.

Jim

July 26, 2005 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim K said....

On the other hand, readers might feel more confident if they can see the original, so they don't have to worry that I'm pulling things out of context or editing them in some way.

I have received some email responses to this post, and am interested to hear what others say. I'm a moderator here, not a dictator.

Jim

*********************

Then let it work itself out with no manipulations. People can choose to read or not or hit delete key as always. Open blog is an open blog.

Things happen out of ordinary such as Recall or CRC found postings that shed a world of light on those that claim tolerance and say they are not bigots with an agenda when items such as what appeared in last few days say otherwise in most aspects.

This blog should allow for that.

July 26, 2005 9:41 AM  
Blogger wsfn said...

Openness is one thing, what really starts to look like spam or an attempt to overwhelm the system, is entirely another.

The point of comments is just that, your commentary about what has been posted. If you feel that a specific bit of dialogue you have located elsewhere is of interest, by all means attribute it and post... but thousands of lines of text including private information (names/emails) with seemeingly little or no relevance to the topic de jur makes it a pain for everyone.

Put me down as against the splogging (spam in blog form).

Faye

July 26, 2005 11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me too! Down with splogging!

Aunt Bea

July 26, 2005 12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well what is not relevant for a few may be relevant for a bigger number.

The blog will sort itself out....:)

More important things on the table such as Recall or CRC trying to take over the new CAC than the blog postings that a few are worried about.

July 26, 2005 12:43 PM  
Blogger Alex K. said...

It's potentially useful information, so let's not argue.

It may be lengthy, but it's not a tremendous issue.

I think it's fine as long as it's on a post that is not actively being discussed, like the previous day's post.

Let's not offend our Anonymous friend here.

July 26, 2005 4:36 PM  
Blogger GOld Bullion said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

November 17, 2009 7:23 AM  

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