Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lest You Think This Is Some Newsblog That Allows Anonymous Name Calling

Just in the last few days I've had to reject the publication of four or five anonymous comments which were not about challenging issues raised in blogposts, but about calling names. One was a racial slur aimed at Barack Obama. Two called a post writer, or another commenter a moron. One called a commenter something worse.

Those kind of comments won't be published here. Ever.

I believe firmly in free speech. I love a good curse. A well-aimed insult is delightful. And I'd be willing to consider publishing a name-calling comment if the commenter was willing to provide his/her name, address, email address and phone, and have some reasonable defense for slinging epithets. Your free-speech right to hate stops here when you are unwilling to use your own name, but cower instead behind a shield of anonymity. Never will an anonymous name-caller have a comment published in the Middletown Eye.

Anonymity has it's place, but in general, I detest anonymous posts.

So don't waste your time, or mine. Peddle your hate with a newspaper which allows racism, sexism, bullying, and xenophobia in their "comments" section because they know it boosts visits to their page.

BTW, to the people who sent those posts, my name is Ed McKeon, and you, my friends should feel free to stew in the fetid stench of your own misery. But please, don't bother sharing.

10 comments:

Eye Spy (Anthony R. Lancia, Jr.) said...

Thanks Ed,
I am most certain that some of those cowardess coments may have been tossed in my direction.
I appreciate the opportunity to post on YOUR blog and excercise my First Amendment right, as always I will respect the rights of others but always speak what is on my mind.

Tony

Jen Alexander said...

Couldn't agree more, Ed. As one of the "moderators" who can approve comments to the EYE, I often wish I could email a commenter and ask them if they wouldn't like to re-phrase something with a little more compassion - as you once pointed out, a duel in the comments section can escalate just because we all act a little differently (less nicely) when we don't have to put our name on something.

I think the option of posting anonymously is necessary, especially when sharing information that you think is important or that makes you fear recrimination. And for lots of general comments, a signature is not important. But I would hate to see the EYE become a blog where public figures can expect unkindness or shallow criticism for its own sake, and I'd be happy to see us raise our standards (even higher) on that.

I think the EYE is making a great contribution to civic debate and plain old fun. It hurts to see people trying to use it to say negative things that they wouldn't have the nerve to say if they had to sign their names.

fishmuscle (Stephen H. Devoto) said...

I'm the third 'moderator' and completely agree with everything Jen and Ed said.

Each of us has run across comments which we agonized over approving, and in almost every case free speech has trumped our qualms. However, if you want to guarantee your post will be approved, sign your name.

Joanne Jukins said...

Bravo!!!

Vijay Pinch said...

Ditto to all of the above -- except that I feel the need to disagree with Tony: some of the insults *must* have been pointed in my direction.

Topher Polack said...

If you got something to say, OWN UP TO IT.

If it's something you wouldn't want your momma to know, don't post it.

Anonymous said...

I'm an idiot - I know it - What are you going to do about it?

Eye Spy (Anthony R. Lancia, Jr.) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Eye Spy (Anthony R. Lancia, Jr.) said...

I am disapointed that my response was removed, it held merit and answered 2:00 pm.
So much for free speech!!!!!!!!

Middletown Eye (Ed McKeon) said...

Anthony. I removed it because it seemed to contain a derogatory term, though misspelled.