Thursday, September 23, 2010

Offensive Comments Policy

The comments on this blog are, overwhelmingly, a testament to the ability of people to be thoughtful. On occasion, though, a crass and offensive comment is made. What to do...?
My view is strict. Short of libel, which could see the blog shut down, then all comments should remain as posted. Some will find this objectionable.

Consider, if the criteria for allowing a view to be aired was whether it was judged to be offensive, this blog itself would not exist. Many believe that my physical existence, let alone my electronic one, is an affront.

As individuals and as a society we progress through the clash of ideas and views. To suppress the offensive is to demean our ability to discriminate, it affords the offensive view a greater weight in our consciousness than it deserves.

So the crass, offensive and downright mad comments should remain. Let the world see them for what they are, and let readers judge them forever. The most effective way to deal with offensive views is to hold them in the light and allow the rest of us to shred them.


  1. 'hold them in the light.......' - I like that.

  2. Hi Ben

    As a bit of a "Johnny come lately" to your blog, I am impresed. If things are as you portray them here (and I only say if because I don't know you - I'm happy to accept that they are), then there seems to me that there is no justifiable reason at all for your continued incarceration.

    I've written to my MP who I know well and who is now a Junior Minister in the coalition to express my concerns (not sure it will achieve much on its own, but hey). I have a couple of questions for you (or for Ed on your behalf).

    1. Who is your constituency MP so that all who feel the same as me can contact him/her directly? (Not sure if this the MP for Shepton Mallet or from your original home constituency?).

    2. You may have covered this in earlier posts, but it would be really interesting to have an idea of what your plans are on your release? Will you continue to work with prisoners, or would you prefer something in a completely different field?

    Ayway - keep smiling and understand that there is a lot of support for you out here!


    Davina x

  3. John Milton, Areopagitica:

    Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play on the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?

  4. Does this excuse the blog editor from deleting comments and then claiming they had no part in it?

    That is beyond crass and you know it. Your crocodile tears don't wash.

  5. It is important to draw the line somewhere, that is what most people do whether in blog sphere or in real life.

    Say what it is you would like to encourage and what it is you will not tolerate.

    To say that you are allowing a free for all is unrealistic and a cop out.

  6. Man in the street: you have been told already that your coments disappearing was a technical glitch - one that I have also experienced, so I can confirm it is definitely happening.

    Ben: What about trolling? Some comments do not exist to provoke debate but to derail it, will you also be leaving those untouched? (Not making a point, that's a genuine question)