If it weren’t 11 degrees outside (-12 C), this post might be called “Spring Cleaning”. But “Housekeeping” is probably better.
As we all know, comments on Internet sites are a touchy subject. Sometimes, it’s hard to read them without feeling dirty afterward (and not “dirty” in a good way).
This blog doesn’t attract a lot of comments (or readers, for that matter), but according to WordPress’s statistics, my 259 posts have received 161 comments (probably half of which were my responses). Most of them have been fine, but a few have been obnoxious. I’ve had a few repetitious exchanges in which no communication occurred. I’ve also been called a “racist”, “ridiculous” and “juvenile” and told to fuck myself (which wasn’t offered as helpful advice).
WordPress offers several ways to deal with comments. I could ban them completely, for example, or only allow them on certain posts. Freedom of speech and the exchange of ideas generally being a good thing, however, I’ve decided to continue allowing comments on all posts, but severely edit those that are especially rude or silly. So a 500-word comment that I find especially objectionable might show up as “What you said …” or “You’re really …” or “How about … ” or “Why don’t … ” and be followed by “The comment above was too rude or obnoxious to print in full.” The ellipsis can be our friend.
On a somewhat related note, I’ve removed three posts regarding my recent experience with jury duty: “On Not Being a Juror”, “On Whether I Am a Judgmental Racist” and “Maybe the Defendant’s Lawyer Should Have Kept Me on the Jury”.
For some reason, these three posts continue to draw attention. Maybe they’re being passed around by students at prestigious law schools. Or maybe they appeal to a bunch of white supremacists in Idaho. The only comment they’ve received wasn’t complimentary, as you can tell from one of the titles. But since they express a few opinions of mine that some people consider right-wingish, I’ve decided to remove them from public view. I’d rather not feed the prejudices of real right-wingers, at the risk of leaving brilliant law students uninformed.