There’s been quite a lot of debate in the blogosphere lately about comments on blog posts, and whether bloggers have the right to disallow them. The peg was one blogger’s issue about some anonymous commenters who continually changed his ID and launched a vehement personal attack just because he doesn’t agree with my views on a topic.
Some others sometimes put up a long, aggressive comment based on a single sentence from my original post, extrapolated into an easy, black-and-white judgment he never intended to make.
Many of the bloggers I know have recently had problems with offensive comments on their sites – to the extent of black-marking anonymous commenters, or sometimes even disabling the facility altogether; even the ones with the most interactive blogs sometimes just throw their hands up and say, okay it’s getting a bit much now, I need to take a break for a while.
I don’t know whether this is a trend or something that’s just been happening in my own circle of acquaintances. But here’s my take: Am I going to wait starting to feel the pressure of dealing with offensive/antagonistic comments to take actions? I don’t know.
So am I going to disable comments on my blog? No way, because I’m not ready yet to let go of the high that comes with seeing a new, non-pejorative comment. Also, so far, the positives have far outweighed the negatives. Conversation is, after all, one of the best things about blogging – and meaningful conversations in the blogosphere help build tolerance for other people’s points of view and for the idea that one’s own opinion isn’t the final word on any subject.
It’s heartening the number of people there are in the blogosphere who are willing to give other people a hearing, concede a point here and there and, if the other person’s views are really irreconcilable with their own, politely agree to disagree – without allowing the debate to degenerate into petulance or personal attack.