Friday, January 29, 2010

New Comments Policy

I'm really sorry to have to do this, folks. I've appreciated being able to have an open-comments policy for a long time, and to have relatively few occasions when I had to delete anybody for foul language, abusive comments, trolling or the like.

But as some of you may have noticed, ever since I posted recently about torture and announced the formation of the Coalition for Clarity blog, this blog has been stalked by a rather tiresome one-note wonder sort of troll, a person who has apparently decided that anybody who is against torture must also be a) for abortion and b) a Democrat. Why this person thinks this despite evidence to the contrary I can only wonder; suffice it to say that nobody who actually reads this blog would ever suspect me of being in favor of abortion or a Democrat.

In point of fact, I've written posts against abortion over one hundred times since this blog began, and that's just the ones I remembered to tag (I'm terrible about tagging posts). My present focus on the torture issue does not mean in any way that I have forgotten that abortion is the gravest moral evil that threatens our generation. What I do think is that our focus on abortion does not absolve us from considering the moral implications of other evils. As a Catholic, I am against abortion, artificial contraception, ESCR, IVF, and similar evils which reduce human life to a commodity; I am also against unjust war, torture, the indiscriminate use of the death penalty, and other evils which deprive human beings of their dignity. It is not a contradiction for someone convinced of the evils of both to oppose both abortion and torture; it is, in fact, Catholic to do so.

I could just keep deleting posts from my stalker-troll, but my problem with that is that he/she is shutting down conversation and comment from more reasonable people on this and other issues. Nothing is more tiresome than to be reading the comment thread on a blog and realize that a troll is having a field day unchecked by the blog owner, and yet the realities of my life mean that I can't sit in front of the computer for hours at a time to make sure nothing like that is going on here.

Still, I was hesitant to switch over to a comment system where you have to have a Google account or Open ID etc. to comment; I know that some of my regular commenters don't use such systems, and I don't want to deprive anybody of the ability to comment permanently. So perhaps when the troll has moved on to something more interesting I'll be able to open comments back up.

In the meantime, if you really have no way to comment other than anonymously and you'd like to participate in a post thread, simply email me your comment and tell me what thread you'd like your comment to appear in. I'll be happy to post your comment for you.

Your patience during what I hope will be a temporary revision of the comment policy is greatly appreciated!


SAHMinIL said...

It is possible to leave the anonymous option and moderate comments. You can set it up so comments have to be APPROVED by you before they are published on your blog. Not only that but you can set it up to get an automatic email anytime there is a new comment and publish or reject them straight from your email with just one click. Just a thought!

Anonymous said...

Why this person thinks this despite evidence to the contrary I can only wonder; suffice it to say that nobody who actually reads this blog would ever suspect me of being in favor of abortion or a Democrat.

You would think the fact that you voted for McCain would be enough, but no, apparently not only must you vote for the GOP, you have to like it, or you are a closet Bania...err...Obama fan.

Fabiola said...

Hi Erin,

I sometimes visit a blog that has the same problem. The blog owner publishes the ip, location and all information from trolls. It seems to work (keeping them away), but I'm not sure how to get this info.

Perhaps someone with more knowledge could help you figure out how to do this.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

I believe the troll is pushing their own sense of LOGIC rather than presuming to know Erin's innermost thoughts or even public pronouncements. Just as Archbishop Bernardin posed the "seamless garment" -- that one cannot be pro-life on abortion while endorsing public execution and torture, this anonymous character has somehow concluded that one cannot oppose torture without being a Democrat and pro-abortion. I don't follow that logic either. There are pro-choice Republicans, pro-life Democrats, and assuming, as you do, that a zygote is already a human being entitled to full protection of the law, it only makes sense that you would be opposed to torture as well. Human beings and human opinion come in an amazing number of possible combinations, which is why electing representatives is always a challenge. No candidate is ever exactly what I personally would choose. If it takes some moderation to let Erin be Erin, then so be it.

Red Cardigan said...

All: the gentleman in question contacted me with an apology. I'll probably open comments back up on Monday, and we'll see how things go.

Thanks much!