I hate doing this.

I strive to treat people as though I expect them to behave according to appropriate standards. I don’t put “RSVP” on invitations, for example, because it insults my guests, as my mother taught me, treating them as though they don’t have the minimal class necessary to reply without being prompted. (And who wants rude boors for friends anyway?)

That’s why I’ve always had an open comment policy on this blog. I allow all sorts of annoying comments, from jerks who call me a liar or a f—–g idiot or make unchivalrous observations about my figure. I reason that these losers say more about themselves than about me. And so I delete very few comments, only those that are over-the-top obscene and contribute nothing of value to public discourse.

Unfortunately, this morning I spent more than an hour deleting such comments, and I just don’t have the time for that.

So I’m activating word verification for comments. I really hate doing this. I hate treating my readers as though they need baby-sitting. I hate burdening responsible commenters with this extra step.

But the opportunity costs of deleting obscene spam have become so great that they are preventing me from writing about the moral hazards of making decent people pay for others’ irresponsibility.

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4 thoughts on “I hate doing this.

  1. Sorry so many people are being jerks. But those people that really care about what they say, and are willing to stand behind their words, won’t mind having to pass a measly CAPTCHA test.

  2. My attitude toward blog comments is that I don’t referee a free-speech zone; I’m running a private blog. It’s like my home. I reserve the right to make up my own rules as a I go, and delete at will.

    I do believe in free speech. People have a right to say and write whatever they want – but I have a right listen to them, ignore them, or boot them.

    At some point, a blogger has to decide whether he/she is running a public discussion forum, or a private news/opinion/entertainment outlet, and set the “rules” accordingly.

    Congrats on standing up for yourself, and taking that first step.

  3. Some of the kids are getting restless in the ” AGE OF OBAMA” if you don’t agree with them. It’s a shame you had to do this, but understandable

  4. I admire and appreciate your sensitivity to your readers, but because of spam, CAPTCHAs have become a way of life.

    For the people who don’t understand this by now, I wouldn’t worry too much about them. I actually envy people who get worked up over CAPTCHAs, because they’re obviously not worrying about how they’re going to pay the $787 billion dollars we’ll soon owe the government.

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