Kevin and I have been plowing our respective furrows in this small, quiet corner of blogdom for thirteen months now, and from time to time we have a discussion about comments posted here. Should we moderate them? Should we ban anonymous comments?
The answers to these questions have pretty much been "no." Kevin is busy animating and storyboarding. I am business-repping, writing, and spending way more time than I like helping with a certain high-schooler's homework (a story not worth going into.)
So we don't hassle with comments around here much, except to chime in once in a while. But yesterday the New York Times ran a piece on "blogger ethics", and so we wonder:
Is it too late to bring civility to the Web?
The conversational free-for-all on the Internet known as the blogosphere can be a prickly and unpleasant place. Now, a few high-profile figures in high-tech are proposing a blogger code of conduct to clean up the quality of online discourse.
Last week, Tim O’Reilly, a conference promoter and book publisher who is credited with coining the term Web 2.0, began working with Jimmy Wales, creator of the communal online encyclopedia Wikipedia, to create a set of guidelines to shape online discussion and debate.
Chief among the recommendations is that bloggers consider banning anonymous comments left by visitors to their pages and be able to delete threatening or libelous comments without facing cries of censorship.
We delete damn few comments (mostly those plugging stuff we don't want to plug). Very occasionally somebody's comment gets a tad too, ah, flame-like. But as for "anonymous" or not-anonymous? I have no idea who Rat Boy or other nicknames are, so I don't see what the big deal with anonymous is. Of course, my opinion could always change.
But as for censoring comments? Only once in a while. As needed. But it's good to know others are so concerned about it. Helps me sleep better at night.