One of the things I'm most proud of about Wizbang is our open comments policy. We don't require readers to register, or jump through any hoops, to express their opinions. Yeah, it's often abused, and I spend a good chunk of each day cleaning out the spam, but overall it's pretty much a free-for-all.
Other sites require registration, or delete or ban people capriciously, or don't allow comments at all. And that's fine. Their sites, their rules.
But every now and then I see something so absurd, so silly, I just have to point and laugh.
A little while ago, I linked to this site to gently deride them for something profoundly silly they'd said. A few other Wizbang readers followed me along, and raised merry hob with them. As far as I could see, the vast majority were generally responsible, responding to the authors' outrageous statements and refuting the more absurd of them, and in general having a wonderful rhetorical donnybrook.
But the authors didn't agree. They decided to "crack down on the trolls." They instituted a new registration policy.
Again, it's their right.
This morning, I noticed yet another screaming stupidity there. They were discussing the political ties of the various firms in line to bid on reconstruction in New Orleans. They cited Shaw, and mentioned that Shaw had contributed $75,000 to Republican causes. Obviously, they're in tight with the GOP, and that makes them BAD and EVIL and CORRUPT.
I thought it might be enlightening to the author to know that the CEO of Shaw is also the Chairman of the New Orleans Democratic Party. So I clicked on the "comment" piece, and discovered their new policy.
In a nutshell: if you want to comment on their site, you first have to register. You have to go to a registration page, follow the instructions, submit your information, and wait to be approved.
Of course, the registration page has the instructions and field names in black text on a black background.
I don't know if it's a coding error, gross incompetence, deliberate obfuscation, or an homage to a certain spaceship from "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy."* Regardless, it's simply way more effort than they're worth.
The authors of that site seem intent on building a little wall around their fiefdom, open only to those who agree with them and will jump through the hoops to be a part of their little echo chamber. They wish to be an isolated island in the great ocean that is the blogosphere.
So be it. Let them construct their little barriers. Let them seal themselves off from dissent. I'm obviously unwelcome, so I'll respect their wishes and stay away.
With any luck, they'll stagnate in their fetid little pool and drown in their own wastes.
From The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe:
"It's the wild colour scheme that freaks me," said Zaphod whose love affair with this ship had lasted almost three minutes into the flight, "Every time you try to operate on of these weird black controls that are labelled in black on a black background, a little black light lights up black to let you know you've done it. What is this? Some kind of galactic hyperhearse?"
The walls of the swaying cabin were also black, the ceiling was black, the seats - which were rudimentary since the only important trip this ship was designed for was supposed to be unmanned - were black, the control panel was black, the instruments were black, the little screws that held them in place were black, the thin tufted nylon floor covering was black, and when they had lifted up a corner of it they had discovered that the foam underlay also was black.