Friday, April 06, 2007

What I will and won't discuss, and comments

I'm annoyed that I have to make this post, but I guess that I'm going to have to actually set some sort of policy.

In the course of discussions related to the faculty job search process, comments have been made by posters regarding specific people and their job performance. Some of these comments have been about anonymous faculty or candidates; others have not. Some have been by anonymous posters; others have not.

Unfortunately (though understandably), Blogger does not allow me to go in and redact individual names from comments, as far as I know. I can either leave the comment alone or delete it altogether.

Consider this fair warning. If you post a comment that I think is inappropriate, I will delete it. In this case, I think anonymous comments that single out specific people (that is, where the identity of the subject of discussion is unambiguous, even if the full name isn't given) for criticism about their job performance and tenure chances are inappropriate. This policy isn't censorship - you're free to start your own blog and post whatever you want on it. I'm not going to provide a forum for those discussions.

UPDATE: Upon further reflection, I've deleted more comments from the previous thread, scrubbing out potential identifiers. I think I was able to preserve most of the insightful commentary while removing the tawdry gossip. I don't want to moderate posts, but I may have to go in that direction in the future. I wish blogger had an alternative to wiping out comments, but considering that the service is free, I shouldn't complain.


deepthroatinphysics said...

There are always somebody whose existence forces the existence of rules, laws, policeman, ect. Even a blog could not avoid them.
Support your policy.

Unknown said...

Doug, you have officially become "The Man." Does this mean you are now a right wing conservative trying to stick it to us "little people"? Well, at least you know there are people reading your blog!

Anonymous said...

Please start doing this right away. In fact, any time you find something inappropriate, take it out. The difference between a blog and a bathroom wall is that one has an editor.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that I can no longer whine on this blog about my colleague Dr. X, who is always providing me with samples for spectroscopic study that somehow always fail to behave in the anticipated fashion? Oh, wait, that's Doug...

gilroy0 said...

Any public forum is going to need some standards. Otherwise, you risk appearing to endorse things you feel are reprehensible.
As for free blogging, the WordPress suite is fantastically powerful and customizable, allows you to moderate and edit comments, and is also free. Setting up a WordPress site is pretty straightforward; I've managed to do it four times without any kind of issue. Of course then you need a hosted web space. On the other hand, I have lots of capacity over at and would be happy to set it up for you and host it there.

Abi said...

Do consider moving to to, which is also free, with set-up and maintenance being taken care of by their wonderful team. Your blog there will have all the benefits of the WordPress blogging platform (that Bernard has already mentioned), including a provision for the blog owner to edit comments.

In the meantime, I support your policy.

Oh, before I go back into my "lurking admirer of this blog" self, let me offer you a link.