Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Comment on Comments

When I first started The Gossips of Rivertown, I required people to register to comment. Then I learned that at least one of my loyal readers was reluctant to register, so I changed the commenting policy to allow people to comment anonymously--that is, without registering--with the understanding that I would review the comments before they appeared and accept or reject them.

In the early days of the new policy, I accepted a few comments that I wish now I had rejected, and in recent days, I have rejected a couple comments--without regret. So, I feel the time has come to explain how I make my decisions.

Although you don't have to register to comment, I am very uncomfortable about totally anonymous comments, especially when they are snarky ad hominem criticism directed against commenters who have identified themselves. Some commenters, even though they have not registered, sign their posts, and I encourage everyone to do that--even if it's only your first name. The Gossips of Rivertown is a blog not a chat board, so comments that do nothing but react to someone else's comment and do not further the discussion or provide additional information are also discouraged.

In the end, I admit my decisions to accept or reject comments are quite subjective. That's the joy of having your own blog.

By the way, the image accompanying this post is an illustration from Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark, which I figure has got to have some etymological connection to snarky, no matter what Merriam-Webster says.

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