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Commenting On Comments

So, Haloscan was down recently, Jo Fish of Democratic Veteran has had to dump comments because of spam problems, Karen at Peripetia had to dump the graphic check at her place because it was flakey, POP of Morning Martini has discovered that Blogger Beta comments doesn’t like non-beta BlogSpot [and vice versa], and now Mustang Bobby of Bark Bark Woof Woof is talking about John McCain’s crusade to stop child pornography by making bloggers file federal reports on their comments.

As Elayne keeps saying: this isn’t a job, it’s a hobby. We do this to exercise our minds, not put food on our tables. It is a method of communications, a release for our frustrations. One of the reasons it has become popular is because we can’t afford the time or the money to meet in person.

I’m getting tired of all the crap required to comment anymore, but I’m turning furious at all of the attempts by pandering politicians to violate the letter and spirit of the First Amendment because it is considered a political plus.

McCain, and most politicians, don’t care about “collateral damage,” like Constitutional rights, only scoring political points. There aren’t any short cuts. Discover the crime, investigate it, determine the suspect, and prosecute. That’s what works – always. These wide-net tactics don’t work and just annoy innocent people to the point they give up on the government.


1 Steve Bates { 12.15.06 at 12:46 am }

McCain seems to have forgotten how much his prospects for (s)election as president depend on the proper functioning of the tubes of the internets. Perhaps he’s also forgotten that, in addition to Democrats and other liberals, there are vast armies of technical professionals with a (small-l) libertarian outlook who will not tolerate this kind of nonsense… and don’t have to, given their skills. If this law were to pass… unlikely, I think… I’d hate to be McCain’s ISP or webmaster in the run-up to the 2008 elections.

Faced with such a law, I will personally engage in civil disobedience, refusing to file any sort of reports on my commenters, let alone censoring them. (Full disclosure: I do censor trolls. It’s my bandwidth, and blogs are free if they want a soapbox.) If even a quarter of the approximately 50 million bloggers out there (I read that figure somewhere this week) were to refuse to comply, it would render the law unenforceable. That’s fine with me, as it is already unconstitutional.

2 ellroon { 12.15.06 at 10:09 am }

I’ve had only one troll, the one from Toronto who is a real mental case. He’s been stalking a few bloggers who comment at Eschaton. Obsessively collects personal information. So I’ve deleted him several times. People clean up after their dogs, so I clean up my blog.

“There aren’t any short cuts. Discover the crime, investigate it, determine the suspect, and prosecute. That’s what works – always.” Bryan, well said! Politicians pretend they have quick fixes and talk a blue streak about how they will transform our society but they can never deliver.

Have commandeered your quote. (It’s hard work running a blog on these here tubal internets and stealing from all over.)

3 Bryan { 12.15.06 at 12:49 pm }

Steve, my constant worry as these things keep getting rolled out is a number of people I’ve encountered over the years who have the skill set to turn the Internet into a living hell if they get really annoyed. There are a lot of bitter people with time on their hands and knowledge, who could make the “script kiddie” attacks look like pale ale if they decided to “take action”.

I delete spam and commercial junk, Ellroon, but I’ll let almost anything through that’s not a personal attack on someone other than me. It costs no money to start a blog, so they can burn their own bandwidth if they want to attack.