I like to think of my blog as my virtual living room. It’s where I sit and ponder and engage with folks on a myriad of issues. Sometimes my posts on social justice issues have resulted in horrid comments being submitted to my site. I moderate all comments from first time commenters so that epithets, hate speech, aggressive hyperbole, and spam does not get to a published state. Recently while I was on vacation, an anonymous commenter left a number of comments on a few of my posts. I decided not to publish their comments because I didn’t want to engage with this person. People who comment without using their real name or email address are almost always visiting my site with mischievous intent. I deleted the comments and continued to enjoy my vacation. Unfortunately, this particular anonymous coward decided that their comments were so important to the world, and to my blog, that they tracked down my work phone number. I received the following email from one of our awesome student workers:
Just to give you a heads up I got a call today from an angry guy who was complaining about his comments being censured from your blog and that it was unethical. I took a message but I just wanted to let you know.
I spoke with the student who had to endure the phone call. I thanked her for being professional and I apologized to her. She should have never had to take that phone call. I was really upset that this had happened. I suppose that due to the nature of my writing that the potential for this has always been a possibility. I was so proud of my student for how she handled herself.
I have never had an official comments policy on my blog. I have never felt that it was necessary until now. Here goes: If you comment on my blog and I decide to delete or spam it, that is my choice. This site is “EricStoller.com.” It’s my virtual living room. I get to decide whether or not you get to hang out on the “couch.”
Photo credit: emdot