“Stay cool is the netiquette rule, if flamed. Responding is for a fool. NetworkEtiquette.net”
― David Chiles, The Principles Of Netiquette
You know, I have friends from across the political spectrum that read this blog and that is the way it should be. I want everybody to be comfortable here, regardless of our ideological differences. There is an unspoken general agreement that we are free to hash out our differences civilly. Some of you prefer to look at the pictures and listen to the music, that is alright too.
Fillmore and I have never agreed on anything besides the Los Angeles Lakers and I pretty much publish all of his comments in their entirety. Because I appreciate that he has a right to his divergent opinion as I have a right to mine. Censored him one time I think and we both laughed about it afterwards because he knew he was clearly over the line.
He is not hateful or malicious. And happens to be very intelligent. So I appreciate his counterbalance to my thinking, as puerile and juvenile as he often says and writes that I am. My word is not infallible of course, nor is it sacrosanct, it is merely my opinion.
The first rule of the internet is to not feed the trolls. If you give them air they win. So I don't usually feed mine. I only have one, a quite nasty person. Last year he wrote me that I got and deserved my cancer because of my left wing politics. Other below the belt things of that sort. I figured if I deleted his vile posts he would eventually slink away. Always hateful, he not only attacks me but he also attacks the other commenters on the blog regularly. And he purports to be a good Christian man. God help us.
When I open my comments moderation page I hate to see his fetid brand of offal in my inbox. Even though it is anonymous, his angry tone is always unmistakable, and I quickly delete his hate filled offerings. He tees off on me regularly like a piñata and I can't swing back.
Here are two from yesterday:
Trolls can be big armchair tough guy warriors and they never take responsibility for anything. Parasitic free loaders really. Uninvited leeches. Bad company. This one is obviously obsessed with me and has self appointed himself as my moral conscience. No thank you. Do me a favor, seek like minded company, asshole, and leave me alone. I have no problem with people disagreeing with me, I only ask that they sign their name.
I wish he would go away but it is clear that he won't. So I have a decision to make. I can stop anonymous commenting on the blog altogether. Commenters will then have to have a Google account to contribute and comment. Or you could send your comments by email to me for me to post although that will be cumbersome. Or I continue to delete him with unfortunate regularity and get an upset stomach.
I asked Big Dave for advice yesterday and he suggested asking another blogger what they do in this situation? But I don't know any really besides Roy. It is my thirteenth year writing and I am now once again a dinosaur on a dying medium.
I'm a bit torn here. What do you think I should do?