Friday, March 22, 2013

Comments Upon Comments

I was reading a column by Joel Stein in Time magazine the other day*, the title of which was "No Comment",  and the point of which was to include his remarks on how moronic are most of the comments on websites, and to proudly boast that he will not allow comments on his column.

OK, I agree with his categorization of most commentary I have seen online as being moronic, or troll-like, or possibly paid provocateurs.  (Possibly the worst I've seen is on Yahoo!, where they have a policy to suppress postings if they have to high a ratio of thumbs down to thumbs up, which seems to quickly remove all my comments there; the best might be what I saw on during the election campaign, through the NY Times).  Regardless of my opinion of online posting specifically or in general, however, I don't find his rejection of input from others to be worth the column space devoted to it, or at all worth bragging about, and the fact that Time would support his choices of column subject and comment suppression is not a very good commentary on that publication.

For the record, we welcome comments, though we do screen them before we allow them to be published.  I try to review all within 24-48 hours at the most.  My policy is not to allow overt spam, or random babbling which has no relation to the post, or abusive language, or stuff in double-key entry foreign languages which I can not see.  With regard to foreign language comments, I will allow them if they are recognizable. I will allow people to put a link to their blogs, if their comment has any relation to the subject at hand.

So, please--feel free to voice your opinions on the subject of the blog posts here, whatever your opinions may be, and to put a backlink if you want to invite others to discuss further on your site.

* I did not buy the Time, nor do I have a subscription (the link above will only give you the full column if you're a subscriber).  I read it in the health club.  For the record, the only paid subscriptions I personally have are to National Geographic, Atlantic, The Nation, and the Yale Alumni Magazine (and maybe a couple others that I get for contributions to their causes)--and that's plenty, for me.

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