Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Comments ... Again

I think Don Surber is right about this:

The blogger is responsible for what is on the blog. A blogger who leaves an obscene or libelous comment up should be held accountable for that comment. You own it. It’s yours.

Maybe that's just my journalism background, where you can be as liable for a letter to the editor -- or a paid ad -- as you are for what you wrote and put your name on. This is a publication, not a conversation. This is a public space, but because the owner chooses to make it public. A bar owner is responsible for what goes on in his taproom.

If you don't have time to police the comments, you don't have time to blog. If you get too many comments, and you know they include vile material, get someone to keep up with them, or shut down the threads when you can't be there to monitor them.

I know some bloggers, of all political stripes, have essentially become captives to their commentariat. The fleas are running the dog. That's a recipe for disaster.