Blogger rethinks policy on reader comments
By Bryan Tagas
Our recent posting on the SEC shutdown of Lakeside Capital Management has had higher readership than any story we've ever reported, with over 2,200 page views to date. The posting has also resulted in a higher-than-normal volume of reader comments on the Madison Park Blogger website. Unfortunately, some of the commentary is scurrilous. Specifically, unwarranted personal attacks have been made on the family of Lakeside's owner, Dennis Daugs, all of them anonymously.
This low level of discourse has prompted one horrified MPB reader to challenge me to enforce a minimum standard for reader commentary on blog postings. While Daugs may be fair game, she correctly points out that his family is not. I've always taken the view that readers of this blog should have an open forum to say what they think, even if they wish to remain anonymous. But because this privilege is now being abused by some, I agree that a standard of behavior for commentators should be enforced: no more ad hominem attacks. In plain English that means inappropriate or irrelevant commentary, such as statements about the supposed physical or personality characteristics of people who are not even the subject of the blog posting, will be removed from the site. This rule applies retroactively to the reader comments on the Lakeside story.
[The Peter Steiner cartoon, shown above, is from the New Yorker magazine. It's a famous take from the 1990's on the freedom the internet provides. But with freedom comes responsibility. Cartoon used without permission.]