Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tyrannosaurus Blog

The blogosphere can be a grim and intimidating space sometimes. Full of rough bullies willing to call you nasty names and wee in your packed lunch.

The culture on the left is thankfully a hell of a lot better than the culture in parts of the blogosphere - although I'm slightly bemused how some blogs seem utterly fraught and tedious places whilst others seem to have far more decorous discussion.

It's my personal opinion that many readers who never comment (or to use the rather emotive term "lurkers") choose not to comment because they have no wish to get into tiresome and fraught "debates" with people they have no respect for.

If we want to be inclusive we also need to exclude those who live to disrupt and degenerate discussion.

It is for this reason that I'm always puzzled why some would rather not use the delete button on their blogs or discussion lists for fear of censoring comment. The hard truth is if you allow spiteful rows or the derailing of threads you are excluding the majority rather than being extra inclusive.

I'm also of the opinion that if you give them an inch they will take a mile and without making it clear that poor behavior will lead to deletion your space is likely to degenerate to the depth of the UK Left Network list where the moderators tolerate the most outrageous threats and ad nausiam exchanging of personal abuse between the same old usernames. How dull.

Of course, I'm not arguing for the censorship of ideas. Stroppy was put in the naughty room recently for, rather politely, questioning the consensus on a radical feminist blog. The expression of any idea, as long as it's done in an appropriate way that is not designed to head off discussion, should be permitted - but I fail to see why we should tolerate the turning of forums of discussion into bear pits when we would certainly not tolerate that sort of behavior in person.

This is a new blog and I've not had to use the delete button yet, but I'm looking forward to issuing that "congratulations you've been deleted from The Daily Maybe" certificate with great anticipation.

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