Warning: this is a bit of a rant.
I was recently warned by an anonymous commenter here that they’re “on to me,” that I was “under the microscope” along with senior city staff. He capped it off with a warning that I have had almost verbatim a few times on this blog, “This is a small town. Be careful.”
The ridiculous part is that it was on a “good news” post. In New Westminster, as far as this blog’s comment trolls are concerned, if it looks like good news, something evil is afoot.
Let me be clear: there is no great agenda behind this blog. I do it for fun. End of story.
I like comments in which people disagree with me. I don’t like comments in which people tear down good people in this city and infer conspiracy where there is none.
Banning comments is distasteful to me. I want people to have their say, critics included. But it does get under my skin. It saps the joy from an activity that is a lot of work, and (usually) a lot of fun. These anonymous trolls skulking behind pen names and fake email addresses don’t seem to understand that the darts they throw wound real people, most of whom are doing their best to do real good in the city. I’m not just talking about me (and yes, I am trying to do good in this town), but also city staff and individuals volunteering for various organizations around town.
If you’re going to be critical, do it under your own name.
If you’re going to be critical, also be respectful.
If you’re going to be critical, don’t let your imagination run away with you. Stick to the facts.
I have been very lenient with what comes through in the comments. I’d like your opinion. Should I enforce a “respectful comments” policy? Should anonymous comments be allowed? What do you think should be the criteria to allow comments through (or not)?