July 04, 2003
Cooler heads prevailing

Sorry my post yesterday was so snippy -- I violated the rule against posting while angry, but I really felt I had to do something before things degenerated to grade-school level around here. As you've probably gathered, much of the trouble was from one individual who is now banned from the site, so I'm hoping from here on it will be smoother sailing.

Sometime commenter Tom T. also came around and posted a sarcastic remark that I have now deleted, but I haven't banned him. Tom generally posts thoughtful and civilized comments, but he never uses a real email address, and I don't know why. It did occur to me that some people may be avoiding spam. I noticed in Joel's posting policy he lets people insert anti-spam additions to their email just so long as it's obvious what the address actually is, such as camassia1@nospamyahoo.com or suchlike. That's OK with me, and also if you enter your blog or homepage address I'm not going to worry that much about the email either. I understand the desire to protect yourself -- after all, I blog under a pseudonym. It's just that having no email or Web site seems to encourage a "drive-by" mentality in some people where they think they can fire off insults and stir up trouble without taking responsibility for it.

I know how my mother felt when she complained that her least favorite part of teaching was playing cop. I really hope I don't have to play cop around my blog any more.

Posted by Camassia at July 04, 2003 08:19 AM | TrackBack

{ashamed} I was just teasing; I'm sorry. {/ashamed}

The use of a false e-mail address is just a reflection of my comfort level with Internet privacy (and lack thereof). I read a lot of political weblogs, where the level of discourse is often heated, and I prefer to confine my participation in any such dialogues to the comments on the weblog. I'm not a confrontational guy, and I am just less comfortable getting angry messages in my own e-mail box than in a string of comments on someone else's site.

I'm sensitive to the drive-by problem, though, too. I try not be nasty (although as you've seen I may sometimes be a bit juvenile), and I try to comment only on weblogs that I read regularly, so that there is some basis for dialogue with me.

Obviously, different people have different comfort levels about this sort of thing. Many webloggers run their weblog under their real names. You, for instance, have chosen not to, for reasons that you explained (and I certainly would do the same in your position). Bear in mind, too, that you have the power to ban annoying people from your site; once I put my e-mail address out there, I can't ban anyone from it.

It's your weblog, and it's your right to set terms for discussion, of course. I'm not trying to get you to change your mind on anonymous comments, I'm just explaining why I've chosen that level of anonymity.

Posted by: Tom T. on July 4, 2003 12:20 PM

Actually, you can block email from particular addresses, at least in some email systems. I know I can do that in Yahoo, and it comes in handy sometimes.

But anyway, since you're a longtime presence on the blog and I know you're not a troll, I don't want to kick you out. Like I said, I never planned on testing everybody anyway, just those who are attacking without showing their faces, virtually speaking. It would never have become an issue if you hadn't gone and flaunted it! But I'll let it pass, because basically, I'm a big softie.:-)

Posted by: Camassia on July 4, 2003 12:55 PM
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