Perhaps it was naivite all along that let me think we could leave our comments wide open. It seemed to be in the spirit of the blogosphere and was something we were going to endorse in the book. But, look around the prominent blogsites. You start seeing some really ugly stuff, more often than not, from people who refuse to identify themselves accurately before they slither back under the rocks from which they came. Scoble has been particularly hard hit recently and it is no secret that it has taken the joy of blogging away from him, and even his most loyal supporters hope that his self-imposed sabbatical will help him to lighten up. I don't know what he will decide to do about Scobleizer. That's all his choice.
Over here, we have not been that hard hit. But two incidents have left me thinking. First, were the comments of someone who has started to boycott us, somewhat to our relief. He prided himself in being harsh on other commenters who took views he did not like. He often wrote more on this site about his views than either Robert or me. His comments were so abrasive that people started email their thoughts to us, because they did not want to be subjected to his abuses. After thinking it over, those incidents have led me to the first change in our Comment policy:
If you came into my home and were rude to another guest, I would ask you to stop. If you continued to be rude, I would ask you to leave. From this point forward, this is what I will do. If I feel you are being abusive, hogging the conversation or otherwise discouraging the open exchange of legitimate points of view. I will ask you to be more polite. If you ignore the request, I will ban you from further Comments. I call the the Living Room rule and I will enforce it subjectively.
Secondly, I am increasingly bothered by Anonymous Comments. If I don't know who you are, I don't know where you are coming from. Anonymous comments have always bothered me, but they got increasingly disturbing, when we turned this space over to the family and friends of David Koch who was missing on a Vancouver mountainside. An anonymous blogger diverted the conversation to attack the search and rescue teams who were working themselves into exhaustion trying to find the missing editor, who would eventually be found dead. Since that time, I have had little tolerance for drive-by cheap shot artists, who show up on this site. They are dwarfed by the behavior of a creep named Arnold, who among others, have been attacking Scoble like a pack of Chihuahuas at the buttocks of a blogosphere giant.
From this point forward, I am banning all anonymous comments. If you have something to say, and you want to be credible, you will need to identify yourself, and I encourage you also to identify where you are coming from, so that others may assess how strongly they wish to value your opinions.
If you disagree with this policy, please post a reply--but just a reminder, sign it with a url, so that I can see who you are--or you will just be wasting both of our times.