Thursday, February 26, 2009

Reader Comment – 2-25-09

While I have stated on many occasions that I like receiving comments from readers, I was severely disappointed with a comment that was posted yesterday. The comment was directed at an earlier commenter and included a personal attack. What made it worse was that the poster hid behind the name Anonymous. The Use of ‘Anonymous’ Now I realize that there are many readers that would not feel comfortable signing their real names to comments posted on this site. I know that there are people from DHS that read this blog and many would not want their name appearing on the site or their connection with DHS. I respect that, I spent 15 years working for the government. Even employees in the private sector might not want their names appearing with their comments. I would prefer that my readers show a little bit of creativity and, if they want to remain nameless, come up with a handle that can be used on this site so that we can track their ideas. But, if you want to use ‘Anonymous’, so be it. Having said that hiding behind the ‘Anonymous’ tag and making a personal attack marks everyone that uses that handle in the future. That is certainly not acceptable. Anyone that uses that tag needs to make sure that they use it in a professional manner. No Personal Attacks I would like to think that this is a blog for professionals. As such there is no place for including personal attacks in the discussion. Admittedly I have slipped close to that line on a couple of occasions, questioning the motives of some readers. But, I have never come close to making the kind of attack made by this reader. This is not a moderated blog; you do not have to be a member to post a comment. It is, however, my blog, with my name and reputation on the line. I reserve the right to edit or remove comments that I find offensive or think that my readers might find offensive. With 15 years in the US Army Infantry, there is very little that I find personally offensive, but I will not tolerate personal attacks on my readers. As a blog owner I have two options. I can remove an offending comment or I can let it stand. The first option has its drawbacks; it can be seen as a move to stifle an exchange of ideas, especially if readers have not seen the offending comment. And the third option, do nothing, is always as offensive as the comment. In this case I will let the comment remain. It is far enough in the past that most readers will never see the reader comment. And, I hope that this issue will not come up in the future.

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