18 November, 2011
What draws my attention is his handling of reader comments "below the line". In Jai's first forays into the subject, comments were opened automatically according to usual Pickled Politics practice. The comments thread on all PP articles is eventually closed, though at least Sunny-ji doesn't follow the insane Harry's Place practice of deleting old below-the-line threads completely. At least with PP the old threads are preserved in aspic for the entertainment, enlightenment and titillation of future readers. I assume the PP threads are closed automatically on a time-out.
What happened with Jai was that he became exasperated with people disagreeing with him below the line, deleted those comments he took particular exception to and closed the comment thread prematurely to preclude further aggravation.
In the next couple of posts he took no chances and closed comments at the time of original posting, debarring local reader input completely. There were complaints from the regular readers and obviously someone has had a word, for the most recent two posts have gone back to the standard commenting arrangements.
Well, up to a point, Lord Copper, as I noticed earlier this week. A commenter called J to the T had said
but when I revisited the article the following day his comment was nowhere to be seen; disappeared without trace; gone, gone and never called me 'Mother'.
(Stop press: revisiting that article as I draft the present post I see that Jai has returned in the meantime, had a quick strop, and closed comments. Poor little flower! Really, Jai, if you want to blog but can't brook reasonable argument without having a conniption fit and taking your ball home, stay away from the controversial stuff. Seriously, mate, stick to the long-winded essays on Indian history that us White racist scum can't really be arsed reading.)
Obviously there are going to be times when any blogger or other "web publisher" who allows readers' comments is going to have to take action. Stuff which is actually illegal or is in breach of the host's terms and conditions, for example. Grossly offensive material, irrelevance, spam and so on. I'm sure we all know it when we see it, though of course we have different thresholds according to our own tastes and our consideration of our target audiences.
But to delete comments merely because they disagree with the blogger is childish. The deleted comment screen-capped above is a prime example. J to the T's few posts at PP have been fairly aggressive in tone, but offer reasoned argument. There is no justification for deleting them out of hand.
This sort of nonsense is of course regrettably common. At PP, LibCon and Socialist Unity, silent deletion has an added entertainment feature, of course. The comment software at these sites dynamically numbers the comments, and commenters get into the habit of referring to earlier posts by number. When the admin comes along and silently deletes some crimethink from the middle of the comment thread the numbering goes all to cock making a nonsense of reader's local links. I recall Sunny-ji being taken to task over this at PP. It was suggested that he should instead edit offending comments, replacing the text with "[deleted]" or some such. His response was classic Sunny. He didn't have the time or patience to devote so much effort and attention to racists and scumbags; pressing the delete button would have to do. (I paraphrase from memory, but that was the sense.) Pompous little fuck.
So chaps, if you want a cozy little pow-wow with your bosom buddies, all sitting round admiring each other's turbans, set up a closed user group and authorize new commenting members individually. Otherwise, be prepared to take the rough with the smooth. You never know, you might learn something.
I feel unclean now.
"...which includes Rafferty’s repeated threats of an armed war being started on the streets of Britain..."
So what - I've read similar bedsit giro-anarchist comments on CiF :
"Whilst you nay sayers are fighting it out amongst your selves onCIF we will be swamping the system taking back what is ours. The revolution is almost at hand."
Freedom for Tooting, comrades.
I recall visiting the website of one committed socialist last summer and he was getting excited at the riots as the people were, in his book, rising up against the evil cuts, etc.
Turns out his revolution was the stealing of trainers and plasma TVs, which as any student of history knows, was not quite what happened in Russia, and the emergence of the a Che for our times was frankly disappointing.