I value all comments made in good faith. Try to understand this concept. It's not about your point of view or your mode of expression. We love disputes and diversity. But I won't allow bad faith commenters to leverage their destructiveness on my commitment to free speech.Following this new policy and with Meade helping me, we've been deleting commenters we believe are writing in the comments with the purpose of wrecking the forum and driving away the people who enjoy the comments section as a place of free expression.
It's hard to draw this line, and it's possible that we're seeing some commenters the wrong way. The message at the comments window also says "If your comments are deleted and you don't understand why, write to Meade, who is helping me with this," but Meade tells me no one has yet emailed him, so I tend to think we've identified the "bad faithers." Meade says "There are about a dozen. Call them 'The Dirty Dozen.'"
Now, we can also err the other way. There might be a commenter who impresses us with a clever form of expression, even as he hurls insults. My orientation toward free speech has made me very tolerant of people like that, even when they attack me and the commenters here. I've gone very far defending edgy and harsh expression. That's part of why my new policy is about the good faith/bad faith distinction. That distinction depends on the writer's purpose, and purpose can be hard to discern, especially in clever writers.
In this context, there was a commenter who offended a lot of people, but he crafted his comments quite creatively. We delete him now as one of the bad faithers, but there are some ex-commenters who — elsewhere on the internet — excoriate me for leaving his comments up as long as I did. I'm not going to link to these folks whose idea of a good time is attacking me. I'm just going to invite them — and anybody else who's been following this dispute — to click "more" and see a comment that should take them aback.
This is a comment from Trooper York, written at 4:32 p.m. on September 5, 2011 (spelling and punctuations left as is):
Actually J is an acquried taste with a strong opinion and a unique way of presenting it. He has a point of view and is trying to find a way to express in his jazzy improv style. I know that the personal attacks can be annoying but who am I to critize that since I love personal attacks my ownself.If you haven't been following this dispute but clicked "more" anyway, Trooper runs a blog devoted largely to insulting me, and his primary complaint seems to be my failure to delete J in the past. I normally ignore him, but I found his hypocrisy so amusing and interesting that I had to memorialize it. The trouble with a policy of silence is that you shoot it all to hell if you speak even once, but... whatever... I'll return to my policy of silence. If followers of this now-old dispute need something to chew on, chew on the question whether J was Trooper's sockpuppet, and Trooper was flattering himself.
I like to hear someone who thinks so much differently than me. You need both sugar and mustard. You shouldn't get caught up in his name calling. It's just a motif like garage's idoicy and Cedarffords anti-semitism.
He brings a lot to the blog in my humble opinion. Another voice that we should here. Just sayn'