So I’m using my PCR run time to catch up on half written posts, and I’m going to do the irritating one first.
I don’t actually expect anyone to read this. Really, who cares about my little outlook on the world. It is more exercise for the intellect than anything else. I’m not a fast writer, and writing frequently gets back burnered in favor of other concerns. Like sleep. Or snuggling babies. Or better yet, snuggling husbands.
I keep all initial comments for moderation, to cut down on spam. Once a comment is approved, it’s free reign. I tried to set up email filtering rules that let me know when there’s a comment waiting for moderation, and when any new comment is posted, but they didn’t work very well.
So back in November, when I got a comment (during the Thanksgiving week no less) that I felt was unfair, I didn’t know what to do. Did I approve the comment or not? I let it sit while I was internetless in the valley over Thanksgiving, and decided that I couldn’t justify censoring comments and approved it. But I also gave it the caveat that I felt it was unfair to my doctor to criticize his medical degree over expressing the common cultural opinion of our society. And then I went on with my life.
And a couple weeks later, during the busiest time of year, I found a barrage of responding comments that I hadn’t received any email notifications for, all apparently upset because I disagreed with their first comment. And I didn’t have time to deal with it. I had a large, time intensive experiment at work that only wound down on the afternoon of 12/23. I had baking, cleaning, decorating, shopping, wrapping, and holiday travel preparations that all had to be done five minutes ago. I had several pairs of pajama pants to make and a scarf to knit. I didn’t have time to deal with childishness in the comments.
Plus the vast number of posts about it really put my back up. All this because I disagreed with a poster? Really? Never threaten to be more stubborn than myself, it simply isn’t possible.
It was probably wrong to put my disagreement in the comment itself. I wasn’t sure of the appropriate protocol, so I followed one I’d seen on another blog which consisted of responses from author to commenter inserted in the comment itself.
I tried to change how comments were handled while I was traveling over the Christmas and New Year holidays by approving all comments so I couldn’t miss any more of them, but this somehow ended up with a bunch of comments going into spam, which I didn’t figure out till the Epiphany. Which just pissed the angry commenter off more.
I am sorry that she wants her comments deleted because I disagreed with her, but I don’t believe we just get to take words back because it’s the internet and delete is just a click away. She commented. It’s done. Because of my crappy comment notification email filtering rules, I missed her subsequent comments. But if I hadn’t missed them, I would have told her this. Sorry, but what is done is done.
But I stand by my disagreement. It was unjust to call my doctor an idiot because he held an extremely common societal opinion about extended nursing. I am used to doctors being normal people, full of opinions, so while it’s annoying, it doesn’t make him stupid. He did a good job with my injections and I’m thankful for his good work. He didn’t deserve to have his entire medical education maligned.
The whole thing upset me a lot. I felt bullied away from actually posting on my blog and when I did have leisure to write, it felt awkward. Which just made me angry. What I’ve taken away from this is that I need some sort of rules of engagement for comments.
So, after this debacle, here are how comments will be handled:
- I approve all initial comments. Subsequent comments have a free reign unless they become abusive.
- I will approve any topical comment, regardless of agreement. Delays in comment approval usually mean lack of internet on my part.
- If I do disagree with you, I’ll put my disagreement in it’s own comment, but you can bet on hearing about it. If you can’t handle being disagreed with…
- If your comment is not topical to the post, I will delete it.
- If you want your comment deleted because you’re embarrassed by it, I’m sorry, but what is said is said. I will, however, fix typos on request. (Indeed, it’s hard to resist fixing them without request.)
I’m following the non-topical comment rule retroactively. I’ve also removed my disagreement from the original post to it’s own response. And that’s the best I can do to make things right.
There we are. That’s it. And it’s one heck of a monkey off my back.