Saturday, April 23, 2011

Why I Delete Reader's Comments with Utmost Predjudice

A good friend who has just started blogging asked me what to do about point of view and reader's comments. All I could say is to do what you want. A blog is yours. It is your personality and creativity. You shouldn't try to please everyone and you shouldn't wear a "mask."
Say what you want. Be consistent in your beliefs and try to stick to subjects that you know what you are talking about and are expert in. 

I am an expert in media, thank you very much. That's why I often rail on the mass media.

People come to these things because they want to hear an opinion or be entertained by someone who knows what they are talking about so say your opinion and stick with it. Of course, as facts become available, they can change opinions and outlooks, but don't forget this is your blog and you can do with it as you please.

A blog is not a popularity contest. Remember when you were a junior high school kid and you tried to make friends by pleasing everyone? It didn't work. Well, it certainly didn't work for me. I started getting friends when I realized that I couldn't please everyone so I had to please myself.... Okay, well, it was only two friends, but two is better than none.

It was then, and only then, after I stopped trying to be so nice, that I started making really good friends. 

I am an extremely handsome and very popular guy.... 
Oh, and I have a big gun too!

Writing a blog like this can be such a chore. The only people who could relate to the nonsense that one has to put up with in doing so would be someone who writes a blog, and has consistently done so, for many months.

I try to update this blog at least once a day. Twice or three times if I have the time. Unfortunately, recently, I've been so busy that it is all I can do to handle updating once a day.

An angry and irrational reader wrote into me the other day and said something silly like, "I noticed that you started moderating your comments section. I suppose you do that because many people have written in and are disagreeing with you." 


This person used to write to me a lot. But I found that I was deleting his comments often because he would often insult other readers (besides being incredibly illogical). I don't really care if readers insult me. Hell, I insult idiot politicians and the like all the time (idiot politicians? Oh, but I repeat myself). 

But the difference between me and this guy - who would always insult others readers - is that he is always wrong, rude and out of line with his comments. I, on the other hand, am always right and, in spite of myself, try to stay civil and watch my manners. 

Oh, how hard that can be sometimes! (I mean, being right all the time. I have good manners because of good upbringing).

I've written before that I would like for this blog to be a pleasant experience for those who visit and I thank them for doing so. In doing so, I must be a baby-sitter when it comes to comments. In a blog post entitled To Comment or Not to Comment? That is the Question! I wrote:

Insults are OK in a public forum if they funny and are not personal nor directed at a certain individual

- snip -

Think about a blog or a news site as an experience for visitors. Do you think people enjoy going to Internet sites and see/reading negative or insulting remarks? (A blog can be different as it should appeal to a focused group). 

I think it is a special group of people who do enjoy getting frustrated and writing vitriol to blow off their stress. They have earned the special moniker of "troll." I think people who are busy, enjoy life, and have discretionary income generally do not hand out invective at the readers comments sections; they do not earn the title of troll. The people who do take the time to add value are appreciated, the ones who hurl invective - the trolls - are probably very frustrated people

Now why does anyone want to come to a comments section and read low-level vitriol and comments whereby one reader insults other readers and the best argument they can conjure up is to call them "idiot"? I don't want to read that. This is my blog and I won't allow it.

I place a visitor counter on my blog for everyone to see. It has been there since the start in mid-May 2010. It was there when my daily readership count was 10 a day (six of those were mine!) I put it there to show people that I didn't care what they thought, this is my blog, for all its warts, and I do this for me and no one else. If someone likes what they read here, then I am happy. If they don't, see my guidelines in my comments section. It says; 

"...If you don't like what you have read here then, just like when you go into a restaurant or bar that allows smoking, if you don't like it, there's something at the front that has hinges on it and it is called a 'door.'"

I removed the comment moderation function from this blog yesterday and, of course, today I had to immediately delete more moronic commentary from the peanut gallery and some crazies - usually named "Anonymous" - that bother to write in.

I won't bore you with details and a repetition of the profanity and comments about how much of an a*shole some reader thinks I am, etc. etc....  But I will quote word for word from one reader's "Anonymous" comments that just had to be deleted.

In the comments section of the blog post, The Heaviest Video of the Tsunami You'll Ever See, one reader wrote after watching the video carnage and catastrophe;

"It's hard to believe that after watching the mighty hand of God, How these people still reject and rebel against him and refuse to accept his salvation that Jesus paid on the cross!!!!  

Sure. And New Orleans was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina because God was mad at that cities rampant sexual promiscuity, drug use and homo-sexuality? ....Riiiiiiight...... 

I think what's hard to believe is that security is so lax at these lunatic asylums that a guy like that could get actually get out and be a danger to himself and the public at large. 

This guy deserves scorn and my "Idiot of the Day" award. So, Mr. Fool, you actually think that God caused this damage because these people refuse to accept the salvation that Jesus paid on the cross? What a moron! What about all the Christians who died in this disaster? What was their sin?


There are plenty of comments critical of my point of view on this blog. But I certainly don't write this blog to make friends. The vast majority of comments seem to be favorable. For that, I am happy. The one's that get deleted are not deleted because of my vanity.

These comments are deleted, as they should be, because of their failure in logic, rudeness or idiocy.

If people don't like it, I think I already mentioned about the door.


Andy "In Japan" said...

Mike san, Just wanted to say *thank you very much* for taking the time and effort to create this blog. And congratulations on having such a large following and skyrocketing viewership.

The shameful name calling and vitriol posted by a handful of people can never negate the fact that you have created a very interesting place for people to go for entertainment, information, and intellectual stimulation.

Anonymous said...

I don't always agree with what you say, Mike... But you do make me laugh.

mike in tokyo rogers said...

Thanks Anon! I don't always agree with what I say, and I make myself laugh too!

Anonymous said...

I used to strongly dislike it when comment sections were moderated. While I think conversations do tend to flow better in an unmoderated blog (sometimes) and are often more lively, the troll factor is sometimes significant and usually derails from the topic too much.

Plus, that bloggers do moderate helps to keep People like myself from feeding the trolls when we can't help ourselves from doing so, even though the sign says, Do Not Feed The Trolls. It's usually a huge waste of time to try to convince a troll of anything.

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