09.09.2013 12:35 PM

New comment rule

What HuffPo has done has inspired me. Along with my own previously-posted comment rules, here’s a new one: if I see a handle I don’t recognize – and particularly if the commenter is highly critical of others – I will send him/her a confirmation email. If it bounces back or goes unanswered, bye-bye. Au revoir.


  1. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Mark Dewdney says:

    It’s so unfortunate that civil disagreement and discourse need rules. Good on you for implementing them.
    (and it’s worth pointing out that I disagree frequently with Warren, but don’t feel the need to abuse him…nor he I, thankfully…)

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      !o! says:

      I don’t think that it’s unfortunate at all.

      In normal conversation we have rules, they’re just implicit and encoded as ‘norms’ or ‘common sense’. People take turns, one person talks at a time, etc. It’s at an almost subconscious level.

      These norms take time to develop. The net is new. Online forums are not face-to-face, and they’re *different* than anything society has encountered before. We don’t have a ‘common sense’ about how to post, and the one-to-many nature of forums implies that people can have ulterior motives or act in a disingenuous way on them. This necessitates rules, or at least a structure that keeps the positive elements of being able to comment, and mitigates the negatives.

      Personally I choose not to use my name, hopefully this is alright. I do try to be civil and add to things.

  2. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    dave says:

    I see a couple of sides to your rule about using a real name.

    On the one side, I suppose a person is taking public responsibility for any comments (…besides giving grist to future political opponents should they ever decide to run for public office).

    On the side of using a ‘handle,’ sometimes I think that a plus is that if we are somewhat anonymous then we concentrate more on the content of the comment, rather than on who the comment composer is. (I fear that people reading my comments would be intimidated were they to know who I really am…)

  3. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    lori says:

    hi sometimes have another FB name for my political rantings, debate and kudos, but if asked i give my real one, as a woman i worry about trolls, and also my friends care not for politics and it also separates me from any charitable work i’m linked to, don’t want my non profit to catch flack for any of my political leanings, but i do answer emails, and i try to have civilized debate unless it’s a troll, but then i just usually ignore and move on. Never trying to hide my identity so i can say hurtful things, more for my own protections

  4. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Pat Morsby says:

    While obviously your prerogative, ultimately this is a decision against literature, against precedent, against Liberty.


    The impulse to dismiss anonymous communications out-of-hand is in one way understandable; there is, after all, a long, dark history of depraved literature disseminated under alias or anonymously. The Russian Okhrana (secret police) produced the false document the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the infamous anti-semetic tract – Hitler based Mein Kampf on the Protocols. The Turner Diaries – based heavily on the Protocols and Kampf – distributed under the pseudonym “Andrew Macdonald,” was actually written by infamous racist William Pierce – this book was the inspiration of terrorist Timothy McVeigh.

    The internet sometimes seems like a huge dragnet of every hateful, misanthropic, and fanatical idea out there – almost always posted anonymously in internet chat rooms or on electronic bulletin boards. Cyber drive-by smears, whispering campaigns – properly cyber libel – has ruined reputations and careers. Academic and journalistic standards are the exact opposite of anonymity; not only must one be fully transparent and open as to authorship, but potential conflicts of interest and a tight framework of sources and attribution so others can verify the literature in question is mandatory.

    That said, in the long view of literary history and separating the wheat from the chaff, there is a branch of anonymous literature that makes a strong case for allowing a dispensation for it. The “dangerous” William Tyndale published anonymously because he believed that God’s servants must not seek personal glory. Defying both the King and clerics, he continued to translate the Bible into English. In 1543 the English Parliament “proscribed all translations bearing the name of Tyndale” – evidently, true that no prophet is accepted in his own country. He was eventually betrayed, strangled, and burned.

    The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn describing the Soviet forced labour camp system was published in samizdat (underground publication) form in the Soviet Union until its official publication in 1989. Samizdat (самизда́т) was a key form of dissident activity across the Soviet bloc in which individuals reproduced censored publications by hand and passed the documents from reader to reader. This grassroots practice to evade officially imposed censorship was fraught with danger as harsh punishments were meted out to people caught possessing or copying censored materials. After completion, Solzhenitsyn’s original handwritten script was kept hidden from the KGB in Estonia by Heli Susi, until the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The KGB seized one of only three extant copies of the text still on Soviet soil. This was achieved after interrogating Elizaveta Voronyanskaya, Solzhenitsyn’s typist, who knew where the typed copy was hidden; within days of her release by the KGB, she hanged herself on 3 August, 1973.

    After the publication of Rushdie’s Satanic Verses murder and mayhem was the order of the day.
    The FBI was notified of 78 threats to bookstores in early March 1989, thought to be a small proportion of the total number of threats. B. Dalton bookstore chain received 30 threats in less than three hours. Bombings of book stores included two in Berkeley, California. In New York, the office of the community newspaper, The Riverdale Press, destroyed by firebombs, in retaliation for an editorial defending the right to read the novel, and criticizing the bookstores that pulled it from their shelves.

    In the United Kingdom bookstores in Charring Cross Road, London, (Collets and Dillons) were bombed. Explosions rocked the town of High Wycombe and again in London, on Kings Road. Other bombings included one at a large London department store (Liberty’s), in connection with the Penguin Bookshop inside the store, and at the Penguin store in York. Unexploded devices were found at Penguin stores in Guildford, Nottingham, and Peterborough. Hitoshi Igarashi, the novel’s Japanese translator, is stabbed to death; and Ettore Capriolo, its Italian translator, is seriously wounded. Thirty-seven Turkish intellectuals and locals participating in the Pir Sultan Abdal Literary Festival died when the conference hotel in Sivas, Turkey was burnt down by a mob of radical islamists. The point is obvious: individuals should have the right to market and view literature anonymously especially in a political landscape where the powers-that-be cannot adequately defend freedom of literature and prevent attack from totalitarian fanatics.

    The United States is arguably the last nation on earth that takes freedom of speech and freedom of literature seriously. This is consistent with her history. Anonymous and pseudonymous speech played a vital role in the founding of the USA. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was first released, signed “An Englishman.” James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Say, Samuel Adams, and others carried out the debate between Federalists and Anti-Federalists using pseudonyms. Mark Twain was Samuel Clemens.

    The US Supreme Court, the highest court, has ruled in favor of Anonymity:

    Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority … It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation – and their ideas from suppression – at the hand of an intolerant society. Justice Stevens, McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission, 1996

    Anonymous pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and even books have played an important role in the progress of making. Persecuted groups and sects from time to time throughout history have been able to criticize oppressive practices and laws either anonymously or not at all. Justice Black, Talley v. California, 1960

    After reviewing the weight of the historical evidence, it seems that the Framers understood the First Amendment to protect an author’s right to express his thoughts on political candidates or issues in an anonymous fashion. Justice Thomas, McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission, 1996

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      J.W. says:

      Agree totally. Well done!

      • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
        Anyong says:

        I also agree.

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      MCBellecourt says:

      It’s amazing what gets socked away at the back of one’s mind and forgotten until someone like you, Pat, posts an amazing comment like this. As for William Tyndale, I actually stumbled on a video about him on YouTube the other day.

      Anonymous comments also serve to protect the secret ballot, something which I consider extremely important. That importance was glaringly illustrated by robocalls directing people to the wrong polling stations in the last election. When a pollster calls up the house and Mom answers, she just hangs up. If the caller is unlucky enough to get me, they get two words–one that sounds kinda like “firetruck”. It’s one thing to post here, but another to have somebody I don’t know sticking his or her nose where it doesn’t belong.

      It’s like any other tool at one’s disposal–it can be used for great things, like you illustrated, Pat, or it can be abused. You can build a house with a hammer, or you can use it to smash a window in a break-in, right?

      The current political climate in this country does not allow for free and open speech. The Charter Of Rights, which specifies that one cannot be discriminated against due to political or religious beliefs is essentially toothless because it’s always your word against theres, and they alway win because they got the money to buy the backup.

      So one does the nest best thing. One posts with a pseudonym to get the message out. It’s not hiding behind a name in many cases. It’s a measure of self-preservation.

      I don’t do Facebook or Twitter for those reasons–and besides, I’m too busy learning how to produce melodic trance to be bothered with them, anyway!

  5. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Brad Poulos says:

    I think you should have to use your real name. Otherwise I don’t take what you say seriously. That’s just me. I always use my real name on Twitter, FB, and of course Linked In which are my big 3 social network sites…

    There’s too much hiding behind anonymity on the internet.

    And really Lori, you’re worried that someone will see your NAME on he internet and decide to stalk you? That makes zero sense.

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Michael Radan says:

      Brad, with all due respect, women have a totally different sense of safety and security than men do. And rightly so.

  6. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    J.W. says:

    I am paranoid.
    I think people who are persistent critics who really fear the direction the country and society is moving under the Harper government and say so, have reason, in years to come to fear making their identity public.

    I will not comment anywhere under my real full name.

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Michael Bussiere says:

      The medium of comment boards does distort things. I’d feel very creeped out if I received an anonymous letter in the mail, or if someone refused to give their name at a dinner party because the conversation was getting heated and political. Or, if a professor or public speaker chose anonymity in a lecture.

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Thomas O'Donnell says:

      .. better to be brave .. n believe in Canada eh !
      My heart glows .. try to f with that !!
      n try to tell me it aint so !!!

      Can’t be Canadian n live scared under some sort of shadow !!!!
      or pompous priss Harper make believe fantasy
      that makes people intimidated or paranoid

      When you become afraid to state your name, your country
      or accept the basic rules of comment or conversation here
      or respect your host
      then its time to move on.. go elsewhere
      or join the Conservative Party of Canada
      and pretend to be Canadian

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      davidray says:

      J W please don’t be paranoid.
      Harper is not standing on a balcony while wearing an armband. Yet. He’s a self-appointed baby whose never worked a real job in his life. Here’s a woman who Harper and his goons tried to silence by cancelling her art grant for a show in Europe. She’s been kicking him in the balls ever since. Check it out because if she’s brave enough there’s no reason why you can’at be. In the meantime fuck Stephen Harper and the horse he came in on and the horse his horse came in on.

  7. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Tiger says:

    It’s more just formalizing previous practice, no?

    People who make themselves annoying get bounced.

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      smelter rat says:

      Exactly. Many of the posters here didn’t read Warren’s comment carefully.

  8. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    davidray says:

    my real name is Inigo Montoya
    you killed my father
    now prepare to die 🙂

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Danny says:

      You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

      • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
        Warren says:

        Greatest quote of all time.


  9. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    JH says:

    I have no problems with folks wishing to post anonymously on the issues at hand. I do however have a problem when the post descends to the level of personal invective and insults. Good rule WK.

  10. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Ppes says:

    I don’t use my name because I don’t want my wife to look at your website and accuse me of reading it and commenting on it too much.
    Happy life=happy wife 🙂

    On the other hand it’s your site and you make the rules and I think this new rule has a lot of merit, especially given the number of nut cases that comment. Me being one of course……….

  11. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Rob says:

    Jumping in late…

    I agree with your rule Warren. I don’t post often, but when I do, I use my real name and email address.

    Like you, I stand by what I say.


  12. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    JaniceJ says:

    Now your forum will descend into a bunch of narcissistic sycophants who have a superiority complex about their personal opinions not worth squat. Of course this falls in line with your own personality.

    If you organized all the Lib-lovers you would have a significant squad of jerkoffs sitting at their keyboards and pumping out their bloated useless opinions.

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Warren says:

      I’ll bet you are super fun to hang out with.

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      dave says:

      1st paragraph doesn’t work…too much pretentious latinate pedantry…

      2 paragraph works a bit better…leans more toward basic anglo saxon based insult…’bloated’ is good…I like ‘bloated…

      (Just my opinion, though!)

      • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
        Kaspar Juul says:

        Anglo saxon like cifesboren?

        Come on dude, using an ethnic term is just low hanging fruit… And poorly researched

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Cameron Prymak says:

      hmm – is this a Solzhenitsyn-like comment or the other?

  13. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Jon Adams says:

    “He wanks as high as any in Wome!”

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      MCBellecourt says:


  14. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    MCBellecourt says:

    Speakling of comment boards, is it just me or is the CBC seriously going downhill? For instance, you go to the Question Of The Day, and there”s one poster with a female name that starts with “A” with a number “1: after it, and it seems like every bit of garbage “she” spews forth in “her” annoying little mind gets through without being scrutinized, yet there are others who have had very benign but informative comments disallowed, and you can only read them by going to their personal page (clicking the name).

    Kind of puts the kibosh on anything resembling a “conversation”.

    CBC has become overzealous in their “moderation”, and it now borders on censorship. Pretty terrible.

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      MCBellecourt says:

      I should add that I agree that some moderation is necessary because of the ones that would ruin it for everybody (and there are times where I can border on obnoxious myself), but not to the extent that the Ceeb has gone to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.