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"Everyone has the right to say how much they agree with me"

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.


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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference "Everyone has the right to say how much they agree with me":

» Loaded Mouth linked with Setting the record straight

» In Search Of Utopia linked with Jay Tea must be a Masochist....

Comments (34)

The problem seems to be in ... (Below threshold)

The problem seems to be in the theme css here

Specifically the part that says.

body, #search {
color: #000;
background: #000;
}

I think in their normal templates they undo that, but they forgot to do it in this case.

I for one refuse to read on... (Below threshold)

I for one refuse to read on a regular basis any blog that won't open comments or trackbacks. They can do one or the other or both, but if none of them are open, I generally don't find them interesting enough or humble enough to be worth reading. Even CNet/ZDNet let people comment and post trackbacks to their stories and so I see no reason why some petty little blogger cannot do that if even the media is getting into the act.

Btw, Jay, could you put a l... (Below threshold)

Btw, Jay, could you put a link to my blog on your blogroll? I put you on my blogroll a week or two ago :)

I was banned from proudlibe... (Below threshold)
Ed:

I was banned from proudliberals.com because I dissented, and that's a bozo no-no in liberal land. But I was mostly banned because of the blatant and virulent Jew-hatred that was posted. Furthermore, when I pointed it out to the owner, he decided that free speech was guaranteed, apparently, except for me when I called the posters anti-semitic scumbags. Then I was banned. So much for the kind, tolerant, diverse and intellectual left. But like Jay says, it turns out the website is an echo chamber for left-wing nutjobs.

Jay,I noticed that... (Below threshold)

Jay,

I noticed that too. I was there commenting on USS Bataan and after getting them on a few things, I see this new policy.

I started blogging now because of it.

SOH

http://insidethemindsoh.blogspot.com/

And the fourth mistake: ... (Below threshold)
SOH:

And the fourth mistake: The editor gets to set the tone of the comments section.

To me, that's the most important point. This is my blog, and when I come on here, I like there to be a welcoming feeling. This certainly doesn't mean that dissent isn't allowed, or that even trolling isn't allowed. But it gets to a point when enough is enough. I've checked my logs, this guy was sitting on this site for hours on end, refreshing the page every 90 seconds and replying to every post with practically the same comment each and everytime. There was absolutely no conversing with him, it wasn't even worth trying anymore. And I was worried about the comment secont. I didn't feel like having the troll drive away potential good commenters.

Notice the bold! Jay you hit the nail on the head.

I do like Kryten42's comments to me:

"So you are blind as well as ignorant and stupid.
Thanks for clearing that up. :)"

You can read how he showed how much he knows about the Navy in the URL.

Just because I'm spending a... (Below threshold)
Hotblack Desiato:

Just because I'm spending a year dead for tax purposes doesn't mean I can't sue for infringement.

"donnybrook". What does tha... (Below threshold)

"donnybrook". What does that even mean? I need to use that one.

Challenge for you, yesterday I used the word "ballyhoo". Legitimately even. HA! beat that!

Look, al I wanted was SOMEO... (Below threshold)
Banned4Logic:

Look, al I wanted was SOMEONE to come up with SOMETHING original...a thought of their own, an idea they didn't cut-n-paste...but they couldn't. It was getting so frustrating listening to their whiney Bush hating crap that I was about to explode. And your headline above is 100% spot on...you can say all you want as long as you agree with thier brand of BS. Tas deleted about 10 of my posts...posts I believe he couldn't reply to or defend in any way...he was in over his head and THAT is why he decided to lock the place down. Obfuscation is RAMPANT over at loaded mouth...they post portions of articles out of context and then couldn't even defend their own idiotic comments once I posted the remaining pertinent portions of that article. LoadedMouth is a joke...a blog headed for obscurity and cyberoblivion...just my .02¢

they post portions of ar... (Below threshold)
SOH:

they post portions of articles out of context and then couldn't even defend their own idiotic comments once I posted the remaining pertinent portions of that article.

The understatment of the day. Loaded Mouth buckled the first time it was threatened in a logical and concise way of thinking.

I must be doing something w... (Below threshold)
dave:

I must be doing something wrong... all I get is :

Warning: mysql_connect(): Can't connect to MySQL server on 'allah.loadedmouth.com' (4) in /home/.egypt/tasfourohone/loadedmouth.com/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 31
Can't connect to MySQL server on 'allah.loadedmouth.com' (4)

I feel somewhat satisfied i... (Below threshold)
Banned4Logic:

I feel somewhat satisfied in the fact that tas shut the place down because of me. It was a little irritating when I noticed post after post of mine disappearing...so I started posting questions as to why my posts were being deleted. He said he can do whatever the **** he wants. I accused him of censorship (they HATE when that is used against them...) and then he locked the place up.

Now he has a post dedicated to me...they are discussing what a troll I was...it's sad and pathetic. I still have posts over there that they haven't deleted, and I can only imagine it is because they have so little traffic over there that he's keeping some of my comments around to make the place look busier than it really is. Poor whiney liberals...they'll never learn.

Dave, I'm getting the same ... (Below threshold)
Banned4Logic:

Dave, I'm getting the same thing. Just 20 minutes ago they were up and running. Could this be the end of LoadedMowwth? We should be so lucky... :P

Actually, until now, I wasn... (Below threshold)
tas:

Actually, until now, I wasn't aware that the registration screen was black text on a black background. Which, yeah, that's a definite problem and I'm going to look into fixing itt right now.

As for who has the right ro comment, etc., it's not that everyone must agree with me, Jay. Believe it or not, I actually like comments from you because I learn something frmo them. But I also have a problem where I think that I must reply to everything, and the guy I banned... You probably know the guy that I'm talking about if you had read any comment threads on my site for the past week, he was absolutely fucking ridiculous. I hcecked my logs after banning him and found out that he would sit on my site for hours just hitting reload. Every comment of his was practically the same and I didn't learn a thing from my conversations with him. I came to the point where I thought it was useless to even try talking with him.

I know on big sites like this, commenters such as that come out of the woodwork all the time and there's not much that can be done about it. but the comment threads tend to generate so many replies that their crap can be buried. But on smaller sites like mine, people like that simply ruin the comments section. I don't feel like dealing with it. By and large, he wass less removed from the community for disagreement and more for being a complete asshole.

As for the registration for commenting process itself, I planned on only leaving it up for a week. Long enough for those parties I was targetting to lose interest in my site. Trutth be told, I don't like the registration to commentt crap either, but in this case I thought it muust be done. In the future, though, I would ask that you email me first about the black text onblack bckground. That is a mistake on my part. I just installed a new template that's not even a week old, afterall.

And, for the record, my actions did not target any Wizbang users. I know this guy didn't come from Wizbang.

tas, your a little liar. Yo... (Below threshold)
Banned4Logic:

tas, your a little liar. You deleted posts of mine so that you wouldn't have to respond to them...because you couldn't. In the face of logic you buckled. You're a sad excuse for a blogger...you have nothing original to say and employ circular logic to get yourself out of tight spots. You quote quotes by other liberal bloggers who quoted someone else. An opinion based on an opinion cannot be deemed as fact, yet you seem to base MOST of your blogging on just that, unfounded heresay. EVERY time I asked what your opinion was you would call me aname, say the F word or ultimately DELETE my posts. We all see you for what you really are..uneducated, arrogant and infantile. Your blog is a house of cards...soon to come crashing down. Until you start thinking for yourself and posting legitimate information you will never be taken seriously.

Jesus, are you following me... (Below threshold)
tas:

Jesus, are you following me everywhere I go now?

Hey brain surgeon, read the... (Below threshold)
Banned4Logic:

Hey brain surgeon, read the comments A B O V E your post...I was here before I even saw you here. Besides, in the grand scheme of things you aren't that important. BTW: Don't you have a house of cards to build?

Additionally Jay, if my pol... (Below threshold)
tas:

Additionally Jay, if my policy was really about banning people for simply disagreeing with me, how come I approved your account around 6am? :)

The registration fields have been fixed and made readable.

Tas, tell Kryten54 that I l... (Below threshold)
SOH aka AAA Boy:

Tas, tell Kryten54 that I love him.

lol ya and at 5:43 pm, your... (Below threshold)

lol ya and at 5:43 pm, your f--king blog is still inaccessible.

Funny, I am able to get int... (Below threshold)
tas:

Funny, I am able to get into the blog right now. Things have been running a bit slow since the poer outage in LA effected the serves my blog was running on, but it's still accessiblee.

So be it. Let them const... (Below threshold)

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.

Wah, wah, wah!

YOU were approved as a member, so obviously dissent was not the reason. You guys don't usually agree on anything.

So, what's with the attack? No news out there to blog about? I read the idiotic posts that he deleted. He got rid of a troll, plain and simple. And if you can't take ten seconds to register in order to join the conversation, too bad for you.

With all the other things you could post about, this is big news? Sheesh.

Mixter

Tas, you forgot to tell Kry... (Below threshold)
SOH:

Tas, you forgot to tell Kryten54 that I love him. He is need of serious therapy.

SOH

And now, por wittew tas is ... (Below threshold)
Banned4Logic:

And now, por wittew tas is cwyin to his libewal buddies over at LoadedMoth that Jay huwt his feelers. And of course, they are still ranting about how my comments were pointless, blah, blah, blah. It's like 5th grade all over again over there. Hey, I just told it like it was and they all couldn't handle it..."How DARE you bring any logic into this argument...we want to bellyache in peace"...It's simply pathetic.

Oh, how quickly they forget... (Below threshold)
joeyangtree:

Oh, how quickly they forget.

In case you don't remember, I was banned capriciously from this site. I am only able to post this now because this site's ability to actually ban people, like Paul's ability to argue, is very, very weak. I've posted on several different sites on many different subjects, but Paul's total collapse in the face of logic was the quickest I've ever seen. Backed into a corner where he would have to admit his errors of understanding, he resorted to banning me so fast, it made other posters who were arguing against me speak out.

So, Jay Tea, you can be proud of *your* personal decision not to ban people and allow them to comment freely, but please son't try to extend it to general policy at Wizbang. That's simply ludicrous.

In case anyone is wondering... (Below threshold)
jYt:

In case anyone is wondering the atrocities that I was banned for, please refer to this WizBang thread.

RU-486

Paul's basic position is that:
1) RU-486 has nothing to do with abortion (-S- may have gotten through to his lack of understanding on this point after I was banned)

2) Trying to discuss abortion and the relevance of it in the comments section of his post on RU-486 is a bannable offense.

So, please, posters, Jay Tea, etc., take up Paul's case and explain why my postings aren't covered in your theory of free and open discussion. Or dos that only apply when your mocking other, less conservative blogs? When we do it, it's for cause. When others do it, it's an anathema.

I fully expect Paul to have my posts deleted quickly and to block my latest posting address. It's just the kind of guy he is: a coward who'd rather take the easy way out than try and have an open discussion.

Aren't trackbacks wonderful... (Below threshold)
jYt:

Aren't trackbacks wonderful. They helped me see that I'm not exactly alone in my observations about Paul's antics:

Carnival of the Coward

Money quote (other than the very good first sentence):
"Paul's comment and trackback deletion are his favorite weapons. Paul's pattern of selective deleting and comment editing is wholly dishonest and cowardly. He routinely deletes comments that show he's losing an argument."

Wow, how a troll gets soo m... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Wow, how a troll gets soo much attention. I don't mind opinions, but I can't stand personal attacks. There was a troll lurking the Loaded Mouth site, and personal attacks are just the cowardly acts of a keyboard commando. I don't see why in cyberspace one is expected to tolerate such things.

Oh SOH, maybe you shouldn't change names on sites... unless you don't want some of your comments to be linked to you. Also it is funny that on your own site you do not allow anonymous comments. I won't say "pot calling the kettle black." I just won't go there.

Jay, I agree that any comment policy should be up to the owner... it is only their right. Thus I don't hold it against sites that enforce their policies. If anyone feels censored, just start your own blog. Or be like me, just loiter at one! :D

Mark, The site I m... (Below threshold)
SOH:

Mark,

The site I made was done a few days ago. I am working out the kinks and will be glad to allow anonymous posts.

About my name change, I started posting as "No Name, No Face, No Spine", but it took to long, so I just did AAA Dude, as I do aaa@aaa.com when most sites ask for an e-mail. I posted as AAA Dude AKA SOH, so you and anyone else would know it was me. I could care less if any posts are linked to me. Believe me.

As far as free speech goes, you don't know the first thing about it and my sites. Like I said, I just made that blog. But, if you don't believe me, click the link at the site to Luke beston's and see that message board. The only posts that were ever deleted there were ones with pictures in the subject line (most gay picture, which may disappoint you) and spam (a person posting the same thing 100 times). And if you come, fine, if you don't no biggie. It's just my place to throw some thoughts down.

The link:

http://www.lukebeston.net/

I too have noticed the clos... (Below threshold)
robert:

I too have noticed the closing of comments - all too frequently. This has always seemed to me to convert a site to more of a news or opinions post - not a true blog.

Anyway, thanks for letting us jump in from time to time.

I can't imagine that many o... (Below threshold)
Banned4Logic:

I can't imagine that many of you (if any) have gone back and read my comments on LootedMoth. If you had, you would find that more often than not I would ask the simple question "How would you have done it better?" or "How is THIS different from THAT?"... I also managed to contribute pieces of articles that were left missing...you see, a liberal taking quotes out of context is typical, and to combat it all you need to do is replace the missing context...all of a sudden their arguments fall apart. I did not simply follow and attack...I waited for valid responses and got nothing but name calling and profanities in response. For any of you to just ASSUME that tass is telling it like it really is is giving him WAY too much credit. So, I would appreciate not being called a troll and it not being assumed that I was only causing trouble at his little blog...I was lloking for intelligent discourse and found NONE. I was BANNED 4 LOGIC...tas could not debate his way out of a paper bag and decided to lock the place down to preserve his dominion rather than engage his brain and have to actually think about the issues. BTW: Jay, was it really necessary to refer to me as an "asshat" over there? Thanks a lot...

Hey ed. You think you were ... (Below threshold)

Hey ed. You think you were banned from proudliberals for expressing your opinion? HA. You were kicked off because you couldn't stay anywhere near the topic on hand. If you want to claim we're anti-semetic, you might want to point to an example of it. We're not anything simply because you say it's true. Shalom, asshole.

Looking for intelligent dis... (Below threshold)
tas:

Looking for intelligent discourse? Everytime me or anyone of my users would try engaging you intelligently (despite the fact that you had already whipped out the insults and berated us), you would still continue to berate us. So take you're "intelligent discourse" crap and shove it -- You were looking to be an a**hole and congrats, a**hole, mission accomplished!

<a href="http://www.ccc.com... (Below threshold)
ccccc:



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