Just this week, I received a rather harassing and hate filled comment to the opening page (a letter to the world both big and small) of my blog. A pithy attack, reminicient of the ideas and values express by a clique of members of the Human Rights Committee, in the dialogue on disability rights (follow the thread of the category of the same name).
I attempted to contact the sender of the comment, but the email came back to me as undeliverable, apparently only set up to send the message. Now, while the message was hate filled vitriol, I doubt it would have violated the use practices of the server; the only reason for sending this comment was anonymity: the unwillingness to argue and attack in the light of day, under the scrutiny of identity.
The comment did include an IP address, which was traceable, and I was able to figure out who actually did send the email. (Clever though they were! and OMG, guess who!?)
In the light of the receipt of this offensive posting I have instituted the following criteria for approving comments.
If the senders of the comment feel that their point of view is of such great social value that it must be posted, then it must bear the scrutiny of authorship, and they are welcome to resend it.
1. no spam. I don’t publish “comments” that are links to products with no relation to the content of the post or the blog.
2. Comments must include a working email address and the persons making the comment must identify themselves. At that point I will send an email to the sender(s) to confirm that the comment is actually from the email address it uses, that the email address is viable, and not a temporary address for the purpose of sending harassing hate mail to me, and that it was not sent maliciously from the email address of someone else, but rather, truly represents the point of view of the stated sender.
3. The comment must contribute to a greater understanding of human rights, including disability rights. This doesn’t mean that the commentator agrees with me, but rather (and often quite the opposite) that the issues raised, allows for greater discourse on the issues covered in the blog.
4. In placing the comment on my blog, the commentator(s) understand that I will in all likelihood, respond to the comment with critical analysis, and that they are visitors in my house.
5. Violent or veiled threats, or statements that may be in violation of server use policies, and pornography, will not be tolerated and will be reported, as will hate speech, that goes beyond the value of public discourse. In many cases these statements will not be published.
6. While we will publish all comments that meet this criteria, unlike the left, and the mainstream media, comments to this blog must, like letters to the editor, be limited to 200 words. If you have more to say, write your own article and post it to your own site.
6. If this seems unfair, start your own blog.