Just an aside FYI, lest I be suspected of censorship: In moderating the comments for the contest pictures, my standard (as always) was to publish substantive criticism—i.e., that gave specifics—but not general condemnation. For example (I'm making this up): the comment "None of these are any good" would not be published.
On this basis I declined to publish one comment and edited two others. I also didn't publish one comment that denigrated one of the legitimate professions shown in one of the photographs.
That was it.
—Mike the Mod.
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(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
MarkR: "I wouldn't even think this would be an issue. Your site, your blog, your rules. I am oft suprised that you let through as much as you do."
Bruno Menilli: "Not having had the opportunity to see those posts, it appears that we are all allowed our own opinions and to have freedom of speech—just so long as they agree with yours?
"If that is correct surely it's not right."
Mike replies: No, that's not correct. I will (and do) publish conflicting and contrary opinions. I will not post belittling or insulting ones, however. I just try to look at it from the perspective of the person being talked about, and think, if it were me, would I feel affronted or disrespected? Is it likely to provoke a defensive response? If so, it doesn't go. If the person is insulting me, why, then, my editorial evaluation is just that much easier to make, because in that case I know how I feel.
Think of TOP's Comments section as being like a magazine's or a newspaper's "Letters to the Editor" column: presented for the benefit of all readers and always subject to selection and editing.