A note about comments and blocking people

Every five or six days, I get an angry or hurt email from someone demanding to know why they’ve been blocked.  In approximately 100% of these cases, I haven’t blocked the person.  What it is, is Disqus (and sometimes the Register commenting system) nets someone’s comment for mysterious reasons that make sense only to the borg brain.  That’s all. It happens to me, too — sometimes I can’t even comment on my own post.  Sometimes I post a comment, and it shows up, only to disappear later.  Why? Who knows? Not me.  If I block you, I will generally tell you why.

My comment policy is not strict.  Don’t be incredibly and repeatedly offensive, and don’t threaten anybody.  That’s about it. I can alter this as I see fit, without warning, because it’s my blog. You don’t have any right to be heard on my blog; but I don’t have any particular desire to micromanage how stupid and awful you wish to appear in public.

That being said, the A #1 way to make sure I don’t block someone is to insist that I block someone.  When I write in public, whether here or on the Register or on Facebook or in magazines or wherever, I set myself up for a 24 hour stream of nonsense, and believe me, that stream ain’t drying up anytime soon.  One way I deal with it is to remind myself that it’s my choice how much nonsense I want to put up with.  If I want it to stop, I stop it. If I don’t care, I let it go. It’s my decision, because it’s my blog.  I cannot overstate how important it is to me to own that decision.  If you know of a better, fairer, more sensible way to run a combox, then start your own blog and go for it.

Okey doke?  Sorry if this is crabby. I’ve had a brutal sinus head cold for a week now, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have writing deadlines, and radio interviews, and six-layer cakes to bake, and dinner to cook, and doctor’s appointments, and homework to check, and teachers to placate, and dog pee to mop up, and sacraments to prepare for, and so on. I’m tired and mean and doing my best to get stuff done, and I don’t need any advice on how to do it better.

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