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Monday, August 3, 2009

Sloppy Thinking and Entitlement Mindset Abound Among Anonymous Commenters

I generally ignore the lingering trolls who persist in leaving cowardly anonymous comments in complete disregard of the Madville Times rules of engagement. If making anonymous public statements is really that important to you, set up your own anonymous blog and fire away. I need not waste my time answering faceless whispers in the dark.

But occasionally Anons perpetrate such idiocy that I feel a moral obligation to correct them.

Pat Prostrollo, fellow socialist
(photo courtesy Madison Daily Leader)
For instance, this morning, woefully ignorant Brookings Swiftel customer returns for another dose of my "smug rhetoric" and suggests my labeling of Pat Prostrollo as a "fellow socialist" (oh look! there's the graphic again!) constitutes defamation.

Ha ha ha.

Dear Anon, if calling someone who advocates a government spending program a socialist constituted defamation, there would have been mass arrests and lawsuits at the Tea Parties.

Amusingly, Anon shakes the junk drawer of her/his/its brain and spills out some additional unrelated rhetoric about the entitlement mindset. Funny: I had another anon just a couple weeks ago argue that no one is entitled to anything... and then, in the same comment, claimed that her/his/its comment was entitled to being posted on this blog, comment policy be damned.

Anonymous commenters fill my mornings with laughter... but I'm still deleting their posts. Next issue!


  1. The comment handling ability (or lack thereof) of the free blogger platform is the primary reason I shifted by blog to Wordpress.

    If you tried it, you'd be much, much happier once you got used to it.

  2. I'm using Wordpress for some other blog projects. I do like the comment handling... but free Blogger has template customizability that free Wordpress doesn't, and that's a big selling point for me.

  3. It's good that you can laugh at weird, hostile, anonymous input, Cory. I wish I could laugh more often over weird, hostile, anonymous reviews that I've seen written about some of my books.

    The dogs bark. The caravan moves on.

  4. If a government program benefits me, that's a good thing. If it benefits you, it's redistribution of wealth, and oh so bad.

    Socialism scares people. They tie it to communism, which also gets a bum rap because they think of dictatorship.

  5. Stan: I laugh and bark back. ;-)
    John: I love helping people overcome their irrational fears. On with the discussion (and let's see whether Thune votes for principle over his Madison GOP backers on Cash for Clunkers!).

  6. That "listen now" feature is hilarious... especially when it reads sarcasm and IP addresses.

    Kind regards,

  7. What was your reason for disallowing anonymous comments? I don't recall any defamatory comments over the past two years, and while some of the commenters seemed uninformed, it represented a broader base of local citizen's opinions, which were at least interesting to read.

    Maybe you were threatened with lawsuit? I'm not sure the validity of your phrase, "we speak as fellow citizens willing to be accountable for our words", other than someone thought you could be sued.

    Other sites appear to use "anonymous" without problems, and it is much more interesting to read "some" comments, rather than zero comments which has been the case with many of your posts since you changed your policy.

    I like reading people's comments, given freely, without threat of recourse, rather than the same posters.

  8. Listen Now: You can have similar fun by typing in silly comments in Microsoft's screen reader utility.

    Rod: Anonymous comments can't get me sued... and I think you know I respond poorly to threats. I don't think anyone who has ever tossed the word "defamatory" at me understands the legal meaning of the word.

    When I talk about accountability, I'm talking moral accountability, not legal. If people want to say something, they should be willing to put their name to it and get over this mostly false fear that someone's going to punish them for exercising their First Amendment rights. Nymity also appears to encourage somewhat more civil discourse..

    [Read more on the genesis of the current nymity policy here, here, and here.]


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