Not welcome hereI received my first proper “hate mail” style comment this weekend. I had read enough on other blogs to know to expect one sooner or later, but it still took me by surprise. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how to deal with it. Should I ignore it, delete it, approve it, respond to it publicly? I really found it hard to decide.
I let it sit there in my comments queue for a while until I’d had a chance to think about it. And in the time that it sat there, I decided that it might be time for a comments policy on my blog. (Thankfully I’ve never needed one before this, because this situation hasn’t arisen before.)
So here it is – all rational, respectful comments are welcome on this blog.
There are two types of comments that are not welcome and will be subject to immediate deletion. The first are blatant link-gathering comments. If you post a comment that is only barely relevant to the article (or is not relevant at all) and immediately follow it up with a link to your own site, I will delete it. I have no problem with links to your own or other people’s sites, but they must be relevant.
The second category of comments that will be deleted are hateful, hurtful comments, clearly designed to stir things up. I welcome discussion and debate, so by all means feel free to disagree with anything I write. Tell me what you disagree with, and I will publish your comment and respond to it. But you must argue your point – don’t simply hurl abuse because you disagree.
So what constitutes respectful debate and what constitutes abuse? Well if you read the exchange between me and Lisa Sunbury recently on my post about iPads and toddlers, you’ll see a perfect example of the type of debate and discussion that I think makes the Internet a place where we can all learn from each other and grow. The type of place I’d like this blog to be.
And what constitutes abuse? Well I guess here I have to use the example of the comment I deleted. On my post about the lack of men in Irish Childcare, I received a comment suggesting that I was “sick and should have my children taken away” from me because I “let their father near them.” Apparently all men are abusers and sooner or later, he will harm my children and because of this people like me should be locked up. Where to even start with that?! Well, I have one child, not numerous children. Before commenting on a post, people should first read it. And the nonsense about all men being abusers given the opportunity…you can’t be serious!
So that comment is the reason why I find myself here writing a post about what I will and won’t allow on my blog. Call it censorship, call it what you will…this is my little corner of the Internet, and there is no place here for comments like that. If you’d like to post vitriolic nonsense like that, please feel free to create your own little corner of the Internet and post it there. Your hateful comments are not welcome here!