Comment censorship and comment policies III: Nordic Dervish’s comment policy
Another recent encounter is Nordic Dervish’se comment policy, which contains some other common entries that trouble me. (Most of the policy, however, is reasonable.)
A particular issue is the implicit assumption that the reader has read the comment policy (reflected in several entries below), which is only valid to a part. While this may seem a reasonable assumption (possibly even eliciting a “Duh!” from the reader), it is rarely true, and any unusual rules and consequences should put to the commenters explicit attention in connection with the comment field. By analogy, a country can make whatever laws it wants, but if those laws are unexpected (say, jay-walking being punishable with a minimum of six months imprisonment), it really should explicitly inform tourists at the border—not rely on the tourists to grab a book of law and reading up.
Examples (retrieved 2010-07-27):
Kommentera inlägget. Allt som är off-topic raderas – oavsett hur intressant.
(Comment the post. Everything that is off-topic will be deleted—no matter how interesting.)
Apart from often being a disservice to other visitors (and quite possibly a time waster for the commenter), this is another highly arbitrary regulation. Notably, the border between on- and off-topic can be hard to define, sometimes it is necessary to go off topic to correctly answer concerns raised by another commenter, etc.
In contrast, “Try to stay on topic. Comments that stray too far from the topic at hand may be wholly or partially deleted.” would have been perfectly OK, if combined with sound judgement.
Håll kommentaren så kort som det är möjligt. ”Noveller” kommer att raderas.
(Keep your comment as short as possible. “Novels” [lit., in an odd twist, “short-stories”] will be deleted.
The principle is sound, but the same objections, m.m., as above can be raised.
Rasistiska eller främlingsfientliga kommentarer/formuleringar raderas.
(Racist or xenophobic comments/formulations are deleted.)
The same old problem again that I have raised in several previous entries. (Admittedly, this instance was followed by a disclaimer that some amount of dissent may be allowed.) However, this is nothing compared to:
Är Khomeini/Ahmadinejad dina idoler? Om du skriver publiceras ditt inlägg MED emailadress och IP-nr samt en uppmaning till dig att utföra passionerat fellatio på ett avgasrör.
(Are Khomeini/Ahmadinejad your idols? If you write [presumably “comment”], your input will be published WITH email address and IP-nr, together with a suggestion for you to perform passioned fellatio on an exhaust pipe.)
Publishing email and IP of a commenter without his consent is inexcusable (barring some special cases, say DOS attacks, but certainly not the described one). This applies even if the commenter happen to be an Iranian Islamist, a German Nazi, or a Satanist (in all three cases, assuming that his one crime in context is expressing a dissenting opinion). Further, WordPress assures posters, with regard to the technical implementation, that this information will only be made available to the blog owner(s), which makes a manual publication the more unethical.
The latter part of the quote could be construed as a suggestion to commit suicide…