Decorum And Censorship

Those of you who have read this blog for a long time know that I often talk about bad behavior, proper decorum while being online, and how there’s really no such thing as freedom of speech. So many disagree and try to get away with things and I guess that’s the human way, always trying to set your own rules. Hey, that’s life; doesn’t mean that the rest of us will always agree with it or tolerate it.

Dad - Vietnam Day

Dad; always about decorum

Two weeks ago I wrote a post called The Scam That Is Smartphones. I added a video to that post, which obviously sits on YouTube as well. And I got a couple of comments on it; that’s never a bad thing. Until this time.

Some guy, who obviously didn’t have a great grasp of the English language, decided he either didn’t like the video, the topic, or me. He started out by calling me an idiot for doing the video. He then proceeded to try to state his case, although his case was flimsy. Then he decided he hadn’t said enough and left a second comment which had profanity in it.

What did I do? Well, often I’m a knee jerk kind of person I have to admit. I think I’m losing my sense of balance in some ways as I get older, possibly because I’m not around people as often anymore since I work from home, or possibly because in person I have almost never had anyone say things to me like that; pays to be bigger than a lot of people. lol

In this case I gave it a bit of thought and did what I thought was the smart thing in this case; I deleted the comments and moved on. I didn’t sweat one bit about doing it either; I have a sense of decorum I expect on this blog, I don’t use bad language, don’t think I’ve ever outright called someone an idiot (I don’t think anyway; I’ve had this blog a long time lol), and I’ve always said that if someone wants to disagree that’s fine, but it would have to be done constructively.

Sure, YouTube isn’t my site but that’s my video page, and you never know who might stop by. My thoughts were one, I don’t want people seeing that kind of thing on a page associated with my name, two, I don’t want others seeing that and thinking it’s okay for them to do the same thing, and three, this guy was a flyby, never coming back, so why give him any power whatsoever by acknowledging what he left.

It’s all about protecting your own integrity. It’s the reason I have kind of a stringent comment policy, which so many people ignore even though it’s right above the comment box. I don’t want to be the suppository of flyby comments from people who could care less about what I’ve written, want to drop a link to a dodgy site, then go about their business. Then I’m going to respond to a comment that they’re never going to see because they’re writing for someone else, dropping an “info” email address that no one is ever going to open.

Our buddy Adrienne Smith recently wrote a post titled Why You Should Spring Clean Your Blog, and one of the reasons she gives for doing it is because all of us at some point have allowed things we probably shouldn’t have because we didn’t know better, and it probably penalizes us in some way. I’ve been working through a very long process of cleaning up old comments for a month now, and it’s a slow process because there’s over 25,000 comments on this blog, and I want to slap myself because it’s something I wouldn’t have had to do if I’d known better.

That’s what life is all about, though. We learn things that hopefully give us a chance to make things better. Then a few of us write about it to hopefully spark something in another person’s mind that says “hey, I didn’t think of that”, or at least gets them thinking about it, whether they have to change things or not.

Of course, if you talk the talk then you have to walk the walk. Even when I disagree I’m courteous on other people’s spaces. I need to be, otherwise Sheryl Loch will be after me for tracking people down and confronting them. 🙂

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18 thoughts on “Decorum And Censorship”

  1. Good for you Mitch – it is our property – our blogs. And your You Tube page too. I’ve been cleaning my blog out for 2 days now and boy lots of old comments and links that really are not relevant anymore. Debating about ditching some old posts or just re-working them. Adrienne’s post got me motivated. And you prior about those old comments and spammers that come around. I almost always ditch the faceless ones except for the ones I know now. And I suggest to them to get their face on a gravatar. Enjoy the rest of your weekend Mitch!

    1. Thanks Lisa. I know Adrienne’s strong on folks who show up without avatars but I’m not going that far because I know a lot of folks personally who have no clue about it as they’re not truly bloggers but decided they had something they wanted to say. As for old posts I haven’t deleted any of them, but I’ve made some private that didn’t make sense to keep live anymore, such as when I used to write about all the WordPress updates; who cares now about the 2.6 update? lol I have rewritten a post or two here and there but since I only allow comments on blogs going back 2 years I’d rather write a brand new post and link to the old one instead.

  2. Good on you Mitch! I also have no qualms at all about deleting comments on any of my YouTube video. In fact, I deleted a couple the other day whose only intent was to advertise their YouTube channel. As it had nothing at all to do with mine I considered it spam and treated it as such.
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    1. Thanks Sire. You know, I’m working on some mindset changes, and one of those is to stop getting angry at the rudeness and unprofessional behavior of others, delete and get them out of my life, and move on. Some folks just have no courtesy and are intentionally trying to stir us up, and I don’t want to get caught up in that anymore. I need more positivity in my life; don’t we all?

      1. Half the time they do it just to stir the pot. Every time you lose it by getting angry they win. Better to keep your cool and wait until you can think clearly.

        There’s usually no point in trying to reason with them and so hitting the delete key is usually a good option 😉
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  3. Hey Mitch,

    I remember in my early video days I had a few people leave a comment telling me I was ugly and they hated my accent. I mean really! I got my feelings hurt because I was brand new to doing videos but then I had to realize those people are just sad and probably miserable so they like to lash out and hurt others. Not only did I delete their comment but I banned them from my account. We don’t deserve that type of behavior so good for you.

    Thanks for that mention and shame on me too! I seriously did not know better in the beginning and although I did clean some stuff up over time more people abandon their blogs and more links are broken. More stuff needs cleaning and it’s a never ending cycle.

    I feel for you Mitch, I truly do because I spent over 12 hours on my blog and although I got a lot done, I still have more in front of me. Oh well, such is life.

    You did good my friend, I don’t blame you at all.

    Adrienne recently posted..Why You Should Spring Clean Your BlogMy Profile

    1. Thanks Adrienne. You know, it’s always a subject to deal with, censorship, and I’ve come to that place where I just want to be respected in my own space and want others in my space to be respected as well. Disagreement… fine. I’m not perfect (well I am but I don’t want to brag lol) and will make mistakes, I’m not going to take the right side or the preferred side of every issue and I’m certainly not afraid to court controversial topics here and there on this blog. But there’s stuff I’m not going to allow in my spaces and I don’t think anyone else should have to either.

      And you’ve been a big part in my thinking so I thank you for that. 🙂

  4. Hi, Mitch!

    You’ve touched a sensitive topic and I appreciate you talking about it. I liked your post so much that I shared it and Kingged it on the IM Social Networking site, and left the following comment:

    At the start of our blogging campaign, we tend to “allow” these irrelevancies since, as the article pointed, we didn’t know better, or we are just getting a more balanced footing on what we do, or simply trying to get more traffic. As we grow in this business, we also want our blogs to mature gracefully and so I deeply agree with you and Adrienne on this. Don’t give these unworthy people the time of day.
    Riza recently posted..How to Optimize Your Social Content for the Facebook Mobile AppMy Profile

    1. Thanks Riza; glad you enjoyed it that much. We do have to protect our spaces because so many other people find us guilty by those bad associations sometimes.

  5. Hi Mitch: I completely agree with deleting offensive and inappropriate comments. I think that people who want to contribute to the conversation in a positive way are scared away if they find rude comments in the blog’s comments section. In addition, like you say, there’s no reason to give a voice to people who are just being destructive.
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    1. Good to see you Marelisa. 🙂 I thank you for your words and totally agree; we need to stop giving these trolls a voice to ruin everything, especially when many of these things are good.

  6. You’re right Mitch, we shouldn’t have to entertain trolling or downright insulting behavior on our own channels.

    I had a couple of guys recently on some of my Joomla tutorials leave comments that I was an idiot or that I was ignorant for not knowing about such and such a feature.

    Nevermind that those tutorials were over TWO years ago and even though yes the features exist now, those same features didn’t exist in the version I made the video about.

    I was going to respond and explain it in case anyone else came along, but then I thought why should I even allow this crap? Delete.

    That’s why they’re called “youtube comments” though. People seem to automatically jump to the harshest possible response when they disagree.

    I know there’s that Tumblr blog that “names and shames” racist, sexist and hateful twitter folks, but maybe they should expand to youtube, too.
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    1. John, I hate these rude people and they’re all such phonies because they know they’d hate that stuff in their space, especially the attack stuff. I wish there was a way to “out” all these people but it just brings you down to their level eventually and who wants to be them? Deleting seems to be the best way to go.

  7. I agree with you completely on this one Mitch for the same reasons that you gave. Also, I like how you have your comment policy above the comment. (I confess that I don’t think I’ve ever read it before but I’m pretty sure I behave properly.) I should add one like this on my blog. (Note to self, add to “to-do” list.)

    I try to do a spring cleaning on my comments every few months because I can be too nice sometimes and I sometimes give commenters the benefit of doubt even if I shouldn’t.

    I recently ran Andy Bailey’s CLP script to clean out the broken links and that took hours. So, that had to have helped. As for not accepting comments without Gravatars, I agree that some newbie bloggers simply don’t know how to do that yet. They’re probably some of the people who most need to read our blogs!
    Sherryl Perry recently posted..Social Media Snapshot Men vs Women (#Infographic)My Profile

    1. Thanks for your comment Sherryl. Truthfully, not all that many people do read the comment policy, but having it there removes any guilt from my psyche if someone totally violates it. The idea of a blog after all is to create engagement, right? And we all have to protect our space because even if we didn’t say it, it still represents who we are if we don’t handle our business.

  8. Sometimes I get criticised for how I treat some comments and have been called over fussy when it comes to deleting and sometimes editing them, but at the end of the day our blogs are our babies and we have nurtured them from an early age, so why shouldn’t we want to give them all the love and affection that they deserve.

    1. It can happen Karen, but overall it’s our space right? I don’t moderate anyone, although for some reason a lot of people are ending up there who are long time visitors and haven’t violated the policy so I don’t know what’s going on with that. But I will delete if someone violates the policy or just says something that doesn’t match up with anything in the post. It’s so easy to tell the flyby’s, those people who don’t care and may not be coming back.

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