Thursday, January 29, 2009

A new policy

A curious, ironic thing about freedom: to keep it, one mustn't exercise it very often. One has the right, for example, to quit one's job and live on the street as a panhandler; but if everyone did that, civilization would collapse. Society depends on us voluntarily doing- or refraining from doing- things that cannot be legally required or forbidden. If we don't do it voluntarily, then oppressive laws must be passed that restrict for all the freedoms a few abused.

It doesn't take all that many abuses to require the restriction of freedoms. Going all the way back to D.B. Cooper , there have only been a few dozen skyjackings out of millions of airline flights- a statistically insignificant number... but because of those few, billions of dollars had to be spent, airplane buffs could no longer hang out at the airport just watching, (as I used to do as a child), and the travelers themselves have to run an irritating and humiliating gauntlet.

The same principle is true in the blogosphere. The freedom to comment is often abused, requiring the blogger to take measures that limit the freedoms of those who had behaved. I have tried to limit my restrictions to the word verification that guards against spambots, but it wasn't enough. I tried creating the "Oubliette" post to transfer offending comments to, but the hint wasn't taken, so I have decided to delete that post. I simply don't have the time- nor frankly, the inclination- to go to the effort anymore. Nor do I wish to go to the effort of moderation.

So my new policy is this: offending comments will in future simply be deleted. Reasons for deletion will include spamming, off-topic, excessive profanity and/or scatological references, and attacks on people who cannot appear to address them. I am sole judge of what will be acceptable- this is my blog.

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