03 April 2007

Comment moderation off

This is a bit of a ramble, so bear with me.

I know very well that I pay too much attention to what other people say. A few weeks ago I began moderating comments to this blog after I was bothered by the false statements of a certain contributor. Though I do receive certain anonymous comments that nobody would publish, plus spam, plus well-meaning queries that don't belong in my blog (which I reply by mail when possible), I set up moderation specifically because I didn't appreciate having lies about me published in my own space. Once published, I can only either delete the comment (which is easy to misinterpret, and which I find distasteful) or reply to it. The problem with certain lies is that it takes much longer to refute them that it does to tell them.

This blog is open to questions and, to some point, to discussion and debate, but it's not a forum. That I'm exposing myself by publishing it doesn't mean I'm putting myself up for discussion. This is a "content" blog, not a "me" blog (uhm... except for this post). In general, I even try to make personal posts useful by including at least some information that may be useful for the public.

Since you, the readers, don't really know me personally, you can't know for sure that I'm not filtering out a lot of negative comments. Maybe, you might think, my opinions are being refuted and my facts are being denounced as false by commenters that never get published because I censor them. I'm aware of that, and I only resorted to moderation because I have a long experience of being exposed to criticism by people whose opinions I don't care for at all. Long ago I tried to justify myself to idiots all the time. I'm a bit slow, but I've learned.

The truth is, my friends, I don't feel I need to acknowledge negative comments that have no backing or that are plainly false. If you come and say "You're a flip-flopper, your opinions contradict themselves", well that's a pretty serious accusation, and I won't publish it unless you show me how it's true. If you write "Your blog shouldn't be taken seriously at all", I consider that an insult — because I'm serious about it most of the time, and you can easily tell when I'm joking or exaggerating for effect. Yes, I'm not patient, and I'm oversensitive — mea maxima culpa. So what? You have the right to leave your comments and I have the right to throw them away if I feel you're making me waste my precious time. I'm sure most of my readers feel the same about their own time.

As I said, I tend to take other people's opinions into account too much, and this post is a result of that. The lady who writes miraquetemiroyo (which I regularly read) posted some thoughts about comment moderation where she concludes that comments are not useful at all for some kinds of blogs, such as hers, so she's turning them off (you can reach her through e-mail). However, she starts by complaining about people who moderate, in general... though it only takes a paragraph to see that she's speaking about me. She claims that moderation is fascist, and concludes that I have some terrible character flaw, so therefore she won't read my blog anymore. I don't get it. I get it even less since she herself said (two months ago) that D for Disorientation was "interesantísimo" and there should be more blogs like it. Maybe comment moderation was a mistake, but I doubt it was such a big mistake.

Anyway, since it was meant as a temporal measure, I'm setting moderation off. As a test, I'll let anyone publish anything for a few days (though of course I reserve the right to delete anything as well). If you want to communicate with me directly or off topic, leave a comment with your e-mail address (mask it in some way to avoid spam), and I'll get back to you if appropriate.


  1. Pablo – I can’t figure out why people would want to blog without the possibility of comments (unless of course the blog is a work of fiction). Otherwise I would view such a blog as the electronic equivalent of a “vanity press”.

    At least the negative comments on your blog haven’t been nearly as bad as those I’ve seen from others posting about Argentina on unmoderated bulletin boards and blogs. I also think its very important to distinguish between comments disagreeing with the opinions of the poster, and attacks on the poster themselves. When I disagree strongly with one of your opinions, I’ll be sure to leave a response with references to provide a reason for my disagreement.

    I’m curious about some things that I don’t believe you’ve blogged about (but since they’re personal, I can understand why you might not want to – although you’ve been very forthright about your health issues). I’m interested in learning about your job/education, and where you see your life heading.

    And lastly …. A philosophical question for you to ponder – why do you blog? I know it’s a major commitment time-wise. What do achieve personally?



  2. ¡Es tu blog, che!

    And you're doing a wonderful job.

    Simply ignoring people like that is the worst possible punishment... and it gets you great sympathy points from everybody else.

    Stay dry,

  3. Pablo,

    I also do not understand the person that attacked you nor the other blogger that commented on your moderator status.

    John is right. On my blog I would like to control the comments in case they are of an aggresive nature and are baseless attacks. Why waste everyone´s time on stupidity. It´s like name calling in the playground by little kids.

    I agree with John and Yankui Mike. Keep up the good work, ignore these people and move on.

    Frank E. Almeida

  4. I've turned moderation off since I haven't received any more comments of the kind I didn't want to handle. It was actually a bit silly of me to turn moderation on for such a small matter as one anonymous user that refused to understand a couple of obvious things; I wrote today's post because I thought the lady at that other blog had blown the issue out of proportion. I've contacted her to let her know that, and I think we're OK now. This is not something I like to discuss anyway...

  5. Si alguien dice "negro" siempre hay alguien que dira blanco, y viceversa. Es asi.

    Recorda esto...Cuando una persona ataca a otra personalmente es porque no te pueden discutir lo que vos estas diciendo.

    "Ehhh... sos trolo!" De ese modo.

    Si algo asi ocurre ellos no tienen nada inteligente que decir y vos seguramente ganaras la discusion. El truco aca es reconocer este momento y no caer en

    "vos sos trolo,...no...vos sos trolo...no, vos sos trolo!" porque de ese modo parecerias retardado.

    A cerca de esa mujer que no le gusto que vos moderaras los comentarios y dijo que ella no
    leeria mas tu blog si vos lo hacias, a quien le importa? Y que pasa si no lo hace? Nada. Es asi.

    Al fin y al cabo es tu blog y vos podes decir lo que quieras y moderarlo si queres. Esto no es
    facismo porque los blogs son libres, es mas, arriba de cada blog dice "Create blog". El camino esta abierto para cualquiera.

    Para ser sincero, no pienso que muchas criticas se abriran porque un blog se abre para recibir criticas y esos criticos no son suficientemente duros para bancarsela.

    Vos mismo dijiste que esa mujer que te critico por moderar los comentarios no esta permitiendo CUALQUIER comentario en su propio blog ahora! Que paso aca? Ella se topo con alguien que no le gusto
    lo que ella escribio?? JEJE!



    YanquiMike....quoting you, "Simply ignoring people like that is the worst possible punishment" Yeah I agree, but what I don't understand is you saying this and then
    keeping a blog attacking BAEXPATS and certain blogs all the time.

  6. My house is open to my friends anytime. Whether we agree or not.
    If somebody offends me or my family or comes in with a hammer threatening to destroy the space I built -usually anonymously- I show them the door.
    If somebody deliberately lies and publishes offensive or abusive opinions about my country as "facts " -usually under the umbrella of an ambiguous group- I show my fist.

    That´s what I do.

    This is your space, your house and yourself exposing. Don´t feel bad for protecting it.
    You don´t need to apologize.

    Tu blog es excelente.

  7. You were fighting for your art.

    I understand completely why you "experimented" with moderating your comments.


  8. Hi Pablo,

    I sincerely hope that the short period of moderation was enough to ward the idiots off for yours is a truly great blog and it is obvious that you've put a lot of time and heart into it.

    In the past year, I started from answering and publishing all comments unmoderated, to moderated and now limited only to people who are at least willing to put a name to their thoughts. This slow learning process had taught me that some people simply have little conscience or integrity. I felt frustrated with this at first but I've learnt to accept such is the reality of the world and I now just pity these unfortunate souls.

    Best wishes,



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