When deciding how to run the Comments section of Seeing Greene, says a commentator, I should ponder the “intent” that actuates the blog. And if the intent is “to report on the events and activities in
…you should run a tighter ship....The right to free speech…does not give one the right to verbally batter and abuse, not to mention numb up the entire audience by repeating and repeating the same accusations and denials, accusations, denials, etc., etc., etc.
Experience has shown that the permissiveness policy can be costly. Yes, it has contributed to catharsis for some GreeneLanders, and it has helped to expose some issues that might otherwise be disregarded.
The blog comments are basically a poor man's newspaper editorial…. Requiring names would stop the whistle blowers from disclosing information for fear of repercussions. Some of the comments have been a bit off base[:] Charecterizing an arrest as a conviction, personal attacks not related to the issues but more related to personality conflict. # I can tell you first hand that by making people post names, people will loose freedom of speech. I have from day one, spoke publicly about issues that concerned me and have always put my name to everything I say. All I have received for this is a great deal of harassment, threats, nasty comments, and a egged truck. When people have something to hide they will go to any extent to cover it up. People will be afraid and should be afraid of being blacklisted if they go against the grain. Around here it's not how smart or right you are it's who you are related to. # While some of the postings are malicious, it is possibly the only outlet for free speech in Catskill... I think it's worth a few grumblers.
The permissiveness policy also has enabled a few one-eyed individuals to virtually hijack the Comments section. Those individuals, while ranting about just one subject--the Catskill fire department--indulge freely in anonymous mud-slinging. Their snarling oafish slanders deter prospective commentators who are civilized, and they tend to bring the whole Seeing Greene enterprise into disrepute. Hence the calls for restrictions.
…you should screen all the comments into your email. The character attacks and personal attacks should not be made here. ... Most of the Officers and some of the Firefighters of the Catskill Fire Company have taken a direct hit with the slander and the fire service of Catskill and
Ah, but what policy would yield just the desirable results, with no negative side effects? To that question I have not been able to reach a confident answer. In the meantime, I have adopted an interim measure, consisting of
Guidelines for Prospective Commentators ***If you want to post a comment to the blog under your own name, click Comments at the end of a blog and, when invited to "Choose an identity," select "Other" and enter your name (and, optionally, your personal web page address or your street address) followed by your message. (Some of our anonymous commentators, I have learned, did not wish to be anonymous but did not know how to operate otherwise). . ***If you want to post anonymously, then, after clicking Comments and being invited to "Choose an identity," select "Anonymous" and write your message. ***If you have your own blog hosted at blogger.com or blogspot.com (sign up here: http://www.blogger.com/signup), then, under "Choose an identity" select "Blogger"and enter your blogger.com username and password, and write your message. ***If you want to send a message to the blogger rather than posting a comment, then, at the bottom of any blog entry or comments page, click on the green "Dick May." ***If you read a Seeing Greene entry and want to tell a particular friend about it, then click the envelope icon at the end of that entry. On the next page, enter your name & email address, type in the friend’s email address under "Friend's Email Address" and write your own comments in the Message box. ***If you want the Comments section of Seeing Greene to remain an open forum, then think hard before choosing to be a cowardly, slanderous, one track-minded, malicious and/or moronic contributor. In other words, abstain from writing messages that would shame the blogmeister into shutting the thing down.