As sort of a follow-up to my post about Hate Online, I decided to investigate an article provided by one of my professors (Digital Self classmates – it is on the sidebar of our class site). In this blog post, Barry Ritholtz details the reasons he is turning off blog comments (and links to why some others have as well). My two favorites:
1.) Were I to shut down my comments, it would be for a reason I have not seen enumerated elsewhere: The intellectually disingenuous rhetorical sleight of hand that has become a substitute for legitimate debate. (I love this sentence so much)
2.) Therein lay the problem: A small group of trolls somehow confuse these sites for a town square. It is not. This blog is not a forum where I am obligated to give equal time to every crackpot conspiracy theorist, birther or intellectually lazy wanker out there. To be blunt, I don’t give a flying fuck at a rolling donut about these jackhole’s opinions. These folk need to rapidly disabuse themselves from believing other people’s blog’s are an open invitation for whatever ignorance or ill thought out nonsense they are peddling.
Now, of course, this is obviously a post written at a high point of frustration, so the language is a bit…extreme at points. And I am not a regular reader of this guy’s blog, so I don’t really know if his claims to reasoned discourse are fair and accurate. But the man has a point. It’s not for nothin’ that my friends and I have a mantra of “never scroll down.” All you have to do is click on the comments section of pretty much any YouTube video to learn that. But I wonder if shutting down comments is the answer. Yeah, I hate it when someone comes trollin’…but isn’t part of the point of a blog the interactive nature of it?
My blog doesn’t have a broad readership, so I haven’t really had to deal with this (though I have deleted a Facebook status or two because I couldn’t believe how my “friends” were commenting on it). But I wonder, if I had this issue – would I block comments? Delete the trolls? Ignore it all and move on?