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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Thursday, January 05, 2006


Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has suffered a major stroke and is fighting for his life. This is a developing story but it appears the face of Israeli politics has changed forever - and hopefully for the better.


Blogger Human said...

Anthony Lowenstein - All the pablum and hate filled spew is degenerating your blog. It reflects upon you. I seem to remember a plea for more manners. Do you plan to do something about it?

In all my entries on blogs this has been only my second suggestion to another concerning an issue.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 10:41:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Thanks for your comment.
I have thought about this and unsure what to do. Do I have rules of involvement or simply allow people to write freely? I'm against censorship though civility is important. You're right, many people prefer to write hate-filled comments.
If I only allow 'civil' comments, then surely I have to delete comments that are not.
I'm happy to have this discussion again. So, people, please offer your thoughts. Should I bring some rules for comments, what is acceptable, what is not etc?

Thursday, January 05, 2006 10:52:00 am  
Blogger Human said...

There is proper, there is rude and there is outrageous. I guess one could pretend to be in ones house and take it from there. For instance what category does wishing that one parents castrated another fall in compared to calling die hard Bush supporters Usefools?

I know the answer. I suspect so do you.

Then again maybe this place serves another purpose than adult dialog. Please feel free to prove me wrong.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 11:01:00 am  
Blogger Lisa said...

For all the nasty thing that could be said about Sharon at least he succeeded in shaking things up just before this. It will be interesting to see what happens to Kadima now and, like you, I say the shakeup is "hopefully for the better" in light of this.

BTW Antony, I strongly agree with Human. I've been tempted to write comments responding to the trolls who live on your comment sections, but feeding trolls only makes it worse. I say delete comments or parts of comments that appear to you to be uncivil or personal attacks, particularly if the comment didn't relate to your post. If possible leave the "deleted by admin" with the name of the comment poster there to keep it transparent as possible.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 11:08:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Those comments are unacceptable, of course I agree. But monitoring comments requires much time, and frankly, I don't have it. I can ask people to be civil, but do readers really want me to censor or delete comments?
I want people to feel comfortable commenting without getting abused. This is not always happening and I don't like it but if readers have other ideas...

Thursday, January 05, 2006 11:10:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Lisa. And I hope you will start commenting. Abusive comments serve no purpose, I agree. Other reader thoughts?

Thursday, January 05, 2006 11:13:00 am  
Blogger Rich Bowden said...

Though also anti-censorship, I find myself somewhat in agreement with Human. The problem, of course, is where do you draw the line between obstructing free speech and ending what has become pointless slanging matches.

The whole point of the blogspot would seem to me to encourage controversial and lively debate - with a dose of humour,but whole comments fields devoted to personal attacks is - I agree - beyond the pale.

I suppose the best suggestion I can make is further warnings from yourself Ant with an attempt to bring the debate back to the point being discussed. My sympathies though, I'd hate to be a moderator!

Maybe we should all listen to Human and learn some PEACE...

Thursday, January 05, 2006 11:14:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Being a moderator is a tough, thankless and tedious task. I don't have the time for it, far too busy with other work.
If the attacks seem personal, it's simply not on. Comments should be related to the post or take the thought elsewhere. Other people?

Thursday, January 05, 2006 11:19:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Impassioned debate can quickly degenerate into abuse. I think the best way to deal with abusive posts is to ignore them.

Now I just have to learn to take my own advice.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 11:27:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

As you all know, I usually do ignore them by not responding or not deleting them. I don't want some people to not comment because of the abuse - and this is clearly happening - and passionate debate is often heated.
I'll say it again:

Thursday, January 05, 2006 11:36:00 am  
Blogger Mannie said...

I too am against censorship, and believe that the people who use abuse of others in their arguments lose the plot. It is necessary that people not hide behind an anonymous posting, and these should be treated as newspapers do - ignore them - they haven't got the courage of their convictions most of the time.
I find it offensive to be called an anti-semite all the time by some whippersnappers who are wet behind the ears and haven't lived in the real world for very long.
I find it offensive to be told to wipe my "ass" (sic) by people who are abusive and can't respond to the argument.
In order to save yourself time you should not censor, but delete the anonymous contributors. They are cowards!

Thursday, January 05, 2006 11:51:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Because you find it offensive is no reason for anyone to do anything about it. It the great scheme of things, you are rather unimportant.

Friday, January 06, 2006 12:27:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Right on cue.

Friday, January 06, 2006 2:40:00 am  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Addamo_01 said...
"Right on cue."

But amazingly, he didn't use his favourite word.

Friday, January 06, 2006 6:35:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

That he is full of addamo?

Friday, January 06, 2006 7:27:00 am  
Blogger neoleftychick said...


As probably your prime target for any "censorship" I will add this. I do not think you are diluting "free speech" by having "civility" guidelines and reserving the right to delete posts that you decide breach those guidelines.

But I agree with you that it is a tough call. Because what happens is that an increasing amount of the blog's "energy" will become devoted to bickering over editorial decisions.

Don't worry, I've decided to take the advice of others and set up my own blog in a few days or so. ;)

Friday, January 06, 2006 12:02:00 pm  

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