Wednesday, December 13, 2006

On Commenting

One thing I've always prided myself on this site is that I have completely open comments. I don't moderate them (never have) and don't intend to in the future. That said, I'd like to ask (not order or demand, just ask) that we try to not go on personal attacks and stick to passionate discussion of the issues. I've probably violated such a request myself; if not on my website, then surely on any number of other ones (I'm as passionate and PO'd as the next person). People are going to occasionally become passionate - and that's okay - I only ask that we try to make an effort. I like honest and frank discussions, even if it attracts people some of us may not like: it's my form of allowing people to openly contest "Ryan's Take."

One last thing... and this is just going out in general, for any website... generally aliases are there for a reason. Not everyone is willing to do what I've done on Ryan's Take - be completely open and honest about who I am, where I live, where I go to school, what my politics are and even post pictures. I'm loud, I'm proud and I'm going to speak my mind wherever and whenever I feel like it. However, there are consequences to that (future campaign fodder? lol) and it may not even be the best way to advocate for an issue online anyway, at least for some people. So, while I don't moderate my comments, I'd ask readers politely to give care when revealing aliases. If it's relevant to the comment, such as so-and-so wrote something under their real name that's important to the discussion they're weighing in on as an alias, that's one thing. However, revealing it just for the sake of revealing it seems kind of... well... meanspirited. After all, even if I disagree with that person, there are plenty of people I enjoy reading who are still anonymous - from Eeka to T-Rex. Anonymity on the internet has its plus and minuses, but it's sort of what makes the internet the internet.


Anonymous said...

Good post. But the civility on the internet unfortunatly reflects the civility in general society (or lack of).

Joe said...

hear hear

Anonymous said...


PP hit me with a lie/snark combo over on BMG and her post here pushed me over the edge...

Not an excuse, just sick of the Republican spin on gay marriage and Mitt.

laurel said...

my pet peve are people who can;t come up with anything more original than 'anonymous'. granted, i sometimes post anonymously out of fatigue, but when we've got a string of 20 comments and half are made by one or more anonymous posters, it just gets too confusing to bother with sometimes.

A note on PP. I agree with you Ryan that no one's cover should be blown for them, but i thought is was a little odd the other say when you mentioned seeing PP at a meeting. if she refered to herself there as PP, well it'd be odd but ok. But i assume that she used her real name. in that case, i think it is pefectly fine to repeat the name when commenting on that person's statements at the meeting. these are public meetings, after all. all these avatars - gets weird sometimes.

Ryan Adams said...


I agree - and that's why I'd never actually impose rules on my comments. I have actually used PP's real name on this website before myself, when I thought she used it on occasion herself.

The reason I didn't use her actual name was because I didn't really see the point of it. It would have been as likely to confuse people (who didn't know her real name) than improve my the content of the blog.

Anon, it's a free speech zone on my blog, so you don't have to be sorry. I just thought I could be preachy and hypocritical for a few minutes today. lol

bostonph said...

PP is such a weird case. You've got a Republican State Committee member there out there spinning for her life. It's her right, right?

Here's the rub:

In some of her posts she admits to being a committee member, but most of them she either signs herself a Republican or worse, pretends to actually be Peter Porcupine.

Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, she's posting as a petty party official in all cases.

Anonymous said...

Ryan, it's your blog, and I'll personally apologize for anything I've done here to contribute to incivility here.

As far as PP goes, however, she's been outed and you can't really put the genie back in the bottle. I would never out anyone under any circumstances, but she continues to post under PP after she's been outed and many people are going to think there's a relevance to letting people who may not already be aware know that she's a professional shill for the Republican Party since it's now a matter of public record, especially when she's talking about blogger ethics, since she likes to act as if she's just Joe off the Street, the Voice of the People. Since it's a matter of public record now, it's going to be brought up and it's hard to stop it imo. If a Democratic official was doing the same thing and discovered, she'd run into the same problem. PP could post anonymously but if she chooses not to, it's very likely that her identity will be brought up.

Anonymous said...

For example, I just did a quick google search, and Peter Porcupine (the actual person) is extremely well known locally, she wrote a newspaper column, and she's a widely quoted and apparently influential of the Republican machine in her area. So it's probably only natural for people to say, hey, know who PP is, she's really...., now that it's come to light.

Anonymous said...

The other thing to remember is she was initially "outed" for sock puppetting in her own paper's blogs.

A friend from the Cape points out she was a legislative aide for years, but her boss declined to endorse her when she ran for the legislature herself.

It says something.

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