Gombeen Nation is fortunate with the calibre of its comment writers. If you look through previous posts you will see that most comments are either well-informed, amusing, clever, on-topic, and - for the most part - those who post them generally are civil to each other, even when there is disagreement.
The vast majority of published comments add value to the blog, and are a great credit to those who take the trouble to read it and support it.
Most blogs, however, are moderated - and it is a necessary evil. I remember someone once remarked that the idea of moderating comments seemed, to them, a touch "undemocratic".
When you think about it though, it is not an awful lot different to writing to a newspaper letters page. Some get printed, some don't, and there is always a subjective element. A given newspaper might be happier to push a particular line on a particular topic, or a letter writer's opinions might chime more harmoniously with the paper's own editorial tone.
In blogworld, you'll find that you end up going over the same arguments over and over again... sometimes even in the one post. This blog used to publish all comments. Then, however, so much blogging time was spent arguing with detractors points that had already been covered that it became necessary to be more selective. Sisyphus would have had an easier time of it.
Then there is stuff that is potentially libelous. I've left some comments unpublished simply because it was not possible to air them - even when it was quite likely they were true - due to a lack of supporting evidence. Ireland is a litigious place... even for an "anonymous" blogger, so sorry to anyone who posted in that regard.
All the preceding is well and good, and is to be expected. But what about the serial snipers? You know, people who hate the blog and all it stands for, yet seem to have a fatal attraction towards it? Bunny boilers, I presume.
Now, it could be fairly claimed that writing a blog is a pretty sad, solitary, Quixotian activity - and it is. But how sad is it to be a compulsive reader of a blog you do not like? Really, you'd be surprised at some of the nasty, spiteful comments that don't see the light of your VDU. They nearly make a sad old blogger feel vindicated.
But to the rest of you, thanks for your valued input.
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