Posting up articles on Facebook, I have had some extremely interesting conversations over the comments section on Facebook posts – most notably on G+ being absolutely irrelevant, and even mucking up Google’s core properties, and on UCSD moving to D1 sports.
The main question for me is the ethics behind comment moderation.
Comment moderation is something that is absolutely subjective – and gives me, the author, unprecedented control over the voices that appear on my blog. Already, I didn’t allow something because it was troll-like, but how about those comments that I simply don’t like? Maybe something is poorly written, but presents a great opposing view. While I’d like to think that I’m objective enough to avoid that situation, it’s a topic that would weigh on me in moderating comments. And even though I am the master of this domain and can do whatever I want with my own voice, it would be absolutely unethical to muffle the voices of some, and not others (as long of course as it’s appropriate – i.e. not racist, slander, etc.).
I think the fairest thing would be to either:
1. Allow all comments, trolls and all.
2. Shut-down all comments, and force people to respond via their own mediums.
Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Allowing comments presents a lower threshold for responses, facilitating anybody (even trolls) to respond, in a potentially meaningful way. To not allow comments presents a higher threshold for response, but undoubtedly increases the quality of responses.
So for now, if you have something to say, mention me on Twitter what you wrote – I’d love to see it, and I’ll continue contemplating this whole question of comments.