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Questions and Comments, or How I Deal With Cyberbullies

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Thought I'd take a couple quick minutes to outline the way I approach comments on this blog.  If you've tried to post a comment here in the past few months, you'll have noticed that I do take advantage of the "moderator" utility that allows the owner of a blog to decide which comments get published on his/her blog.  For the most part, comments haven't been a problem-- I enjoy the give and take that occurs between myself and some of my readers.  On occasion I've received some objectionable feedback, however.  

The amusing thing about nasty blog comments, to me, is how the people who leave them always hide behind an anonymous alias.  Here I am, with my name and face out there for all to see, and I have no problem sharing my thoughts and opinions.  On the other hand, you've got people who would love to share their petty attempts at cyber-bullying with the world (or at least this corner of it)... so long as they don't have to actually own up to who they are.  Personally, I tend to see this kind of behavior as a symptom of deeper psychological issues, but that's their problem, not mine. 

Curiously, this hasn't occured so much on posts related to topics that actually generate real controversy-- you know, religion and politics-- but on things we generally consider to be normal, happy stuff that decent, grown-up people don't fight about.  To judge by some of the feedback I get, someone went and made things like parenthood, high-school football, and neighborhood interest into hot-button issues while I wasn't looking.  Anyway, regardless of your reasons for reading this blog, here's the deal:

1. I do not allow you to publish comments that I judge to be personal attacks on myself, another individual, or another reader. Case closed.

2. I do not allow you to publish anyone's personal contact info in comments (including your own). 

3. I do not allow you to make statements I judge to be racist, sexist etc. on my blog.

4. If you actually know me and you have a comment or question about something I wrote, try sending an email, which generally works for most people.

I truly enjoy feedback and some of the dialogue with different, well-meaning readers out there. But to those of you who get your jollies at hiding behind an anonymous internet alias and trying to slam other folks, I can only say this:

If you have an axe to grind, you can't grind it here.  This blog isn't your public forum-- it's mine, and we play by my rules here.  If you don't like them, tough-- or at the very least, thank me.  By refusing to publish your crap, I'm saving you from looking like an idiot (even while hiding behind your anonymous internet name). 

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