The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing

Full Moderation

I have just got back after almost 5 days offline. I have been ill with a very nasty virus. Usually, I am not totally floored by such things but the stress and anxiety of my current situation (my very sick mum, unemployment etc etc) led to my needing to step away from everything, especially this blog. I come back to find that the barrage continues here. Rude and insulting comments from the same few but very vocal people. So I’ve decided, you want to behave like children, I’ll treat you like children. Although that’s insulting to children who, for the most part, are able to conduct a polite discussion without resorting to insults or derailing every conversation.

So full comment moderation is on for the first time since I started this blog. This means no-ones comment will be seen unless it is approved by me. Yes, I know I will get a deluge of emails and comments screaming about free speech and “how can a human rights blogger deny me my rights….”  but my answer is this. I have given you the freedom to post whatever you like; disagreements, questions, arguments against, arguments for. Everything. I’ve only asked two things. That you are polite and respectful and that you do not insult people on this blog. And some of you have repeatedly abused these two very reasonable demands.

I am not going to go into who said what and when and why. I’m not interested. I am not going to answer any personal attacks you might hit me with via comments or emails. I’ve heard them all before. In the past I have tried to answer everyone but I’m not doing it again. I am very upset that I have had to do this. This is not what I ever wanted for this blog but perhaps this means that proper discussions can occur. I do not rule out changing the complete moderation rule in the future but for now, this is the only way out of the situation I have been put in. I will be looking into user/reader moderation and other alternatives.

I apologise to all of you who have used this blog in the way it was intended and have remained polite and respectful regardless of how you felt about the issue being discussed. I know that it can be done because you have proved it. The few bullies who have taken up residence have spoiled it for everyone else. But they are just a few and hopefully, like all bullies, they will get bored and move on. I also apologise for not doing this sooner. I have been unwilling, I suppose is the word, to deal with the backlash and criticism alone. My weakness has been to believe that such people could be reasoned with and I have realised, perhaps way too slowly, that they cannot be.

I am also starting a new job next week (more on that later) so, although I will still be at a computer much of the time, I will not be available to moderate here so much.  I ask you to be patient and ask those of you who have followed my two basic requests to continue to contribute here.

Thank you.



  1. two cents worth
    November 10, 2010    

    good for you. i hope your inbox won’t be too full of nastiness … :s
    hope you’re feeling much better and good luck with the job!

  2. Jack
    November 10, 2010    

    DD I support your choice. Not easy. These people are bullies, however, and seem to find some odd pleasure in intimidation and insults. Let’s get going again. Too much needs to be done. Time to move forward and get things done with a bit of respect and dignity. Good for you.

  3. pj
    November 10, 2010    

    Great news about the job!

    As for moderation, I think that those who appreciate intelligent discussion and debate will have no problem waiting for their comments to appear. As for the rest, I guess you’ll have to try not to pay them too much heed.

  4. November 10, 2010    

    Great news for both: the new job and the return to civilization in your blog!

  5. Cinzano
    November 10, 2010    

    A very good decision on full moderation – and well done on getting a job.

    I join you in the hope that the racists just get bored and move on…..let’s hope they don’t come back dressed up as concerned citizens again..wolves in sheeps clothing …

    Good luck with the new job, i mean that sincerely..

  6. Mia
    November 11, 2010    

    I look forward to interesting discussions and debates.
    Congrats for the job!

  7. A concerned citizen
    November 11, 2010    

    I echo Panayote’s sentiments: two very positive things. Good luck with the new job.

  8. November 12, 2010    

    At last… full comment moderation! I’m all for it.
    This blog has been very tolerant and patient but enough is enough!
    Maybe now, I’ll start reading the comments again.

    And… new job! Woo-hoo! Good luck!

  9. Vassili Hatzidakis
    November 15, 2010    

    Why give people who want to deny the rights of others the benefit of Free Speech?
    And why worry about them?
    Haters will go on hating