It has been a while, but time for another reminder..

I haven’t had to do one of these posts for a while, but I’m dealing with a rather insistent commenter today under one of my recent posts who was hell bent to get her point across. Despite my admonishments, she kept posting her allegations against a lawmaker. And I kept having to delete them.

Why? No, not because they were trash talking a Republican… I don't do that, despite what some of you might believe.

I get enough crap from friends who say "You deleted that stuff on Herseth,or etcetera... but you're letting them trash me. Take that comment off." And then get mad at me because I won't. Sometimes, I swear I can't win.

Today, I had to play deletion overlord because the comments were beyond the pale of what I could allow. First off, they accused the person of an act which could be construed as improper or illegal (and also called the person a pervert). It was an anonymous accusation, as well as one that couldn’t be documented.

Frankly, I think my little website does well because (typographical errors aside) I try to provide factual information. If I’m printing it, it’s because I provide documentation, or I can otherwise back it up with evidence. If that’s not the case, I'm making my arguments and writing with the understanding that it’s my opinion.

In other words, I’m stuck having to be responsible for my own words. Nobody else.

And then we get the commenters. I allow them to be either signed or anonymous, and almost all of them are expressed as opinion.

But then, on rare occasions as above, I get a few who try to use the comment section as a forum for hurling serious accusations without having any burden of proof. So I have to make them go away, and I get grumbled at because of it.

Might their accusations be legitimate? It’s entirely possible. But lacking evidence, it’s equally as plausible that it could be utter bullsh*t. The key is that there’s no way to know.

Think I’m alone? You could take the same accusations as a letter to the editor in the newspaper, and not only would they not print an anonymous letter, they’ll also refuse potentially libelous content. So why is there an expectation that I should be different?

It might not seem so, but as often as I’ve deleted comments about Republicans, I have to delete comments about Democrats. In fact, the most recent incident was something out of line about a Democratic activists’s mom. I’ve also had to delete potentially libelous and at the least scurrilous accusations about Congresswoman Herseth, Stan Adelstein, and other people you might expect would draw my ire because of their less than conservative stances on the issues. When it comes to that kind of stuff, I don’t play favorites. Regardless of party, it at least has to make a minimal burden of proof.

When I worked as an investigator over at the Division of Insurance, we had many cases that we could resolve based on factual information. The car sustained x dollars in damage, And here's two estimates. Both parties agree this was the extent of the injuries.. etc.

Others ended up as “questions of fact” – a he said/she said situation that could not be determined other than by a arbiter of fact (called a judge) who ultimately is the only person who might be able to decide which version of the facts was more correct. Lacking sufficient evidence, questions of fact can be near impossible to determine. Even those decisions are appealable.

So, my point is that if want to throw out an accuastion you think to be true, but can't point to any documentation, I can guarantee you that the comment section of the blog isn’t an arbiter of fact. I'm not going to spend incredible effort to find out if it's in question. I'm going to dump it.

Don't want me to dump your thoughts? The key is if you’re going to comment (especially anonymously), don’t make accusations of activity that one would consider negative without sufficient evidence on hand.

Please give me your thoughts and comments. Argue. Debate the issue at hand. As many do, you can slam me, or offer your personal opinion on the topic or politician being discussed. That’s well within bounds. If you haven't noticed, I let darn near anything fly - with the exception of allegations of that type.

But if you try to say “Candidate X assaulted you when you were in high school but was never charged” or "Representative Z is having an affair with Senator Q" and you can’t point to a readily available document or photo proving it, you will find your comment deleted. Plus, making that kind of accusation under a pseudonym will not be allowed either. If you want to make that kind of news, you’d better be ready to back it up.

Despite what you think, it’s not my responsibility to prove whether or not negative allegations made under the comment sections of my posts are accurate. I’m not going to conduct interviews with dozens of people to prove your point of debate. I’m not a newspaper, I’m a politically oriented website.

If you have a story or a hot tip, and you’re serious about it being looked into, don’t try to raise it under the comment section. E-mail me directly, because just like a mainstream news organization, I need a few things. I need a starting point.

For example, I require names. I need that if I’m going to even consider following up. If you have to remain anonymous – I might even accept it as many reporters will do so - as long as the documentation is sufficient. And that’s written documentation. If there's no documentation, it won’t make the cut. As noted, I come from an investigatory background. Believe it or not, I need evidence. I need solid proof, primarily in the form of written documentation.

So before you grumble at me on the boards for deleting things, take a look at it from where I sit.

But by the same token, if you can actually prove it, don’t be afraid to e-mail me either.


Anonymous said…
steve sibson is a dbag
Anonymous said…
My only comment is that your post is too long. I don't believe most people will read it.
Anonymous said…
The comments must be bad for a post of that length.

I have emailed you in the past with a hot tip and you were on it in a matter of hours. I almost always get the hot news (news means factual not gossip) from your web site days before the mainstream will cover it. Just take the PAC mess. You broke this story.

Keep up the good work.
Anonymous said…
I appreciate your blog and consider it to be the very best. Keeping the gossip and scandal out is the right way to run your blog.
Anonymous said…
But Representative Z IS having an affair with Senator Q. It's true.
Anonymous said…
I think I read one of the posts that got deleted before you had a chance to get to it. I figured it wouldn't be around long.

And BTW, I'm pretty sure it wasn't written by Sibby (this directed to 8:46 anonymous).
Anonymous said…
Jeepers, That's a full fledged scolding...look what you started now silly girl!! Although everything you were saying is very right on!! People clean up nicely for their picture day don't they??
Anonymous said…

Nobody puts Baby in the corner.
Anonymous said…
from where we sit, you're a pompous, vain, self-righteous ass, who manufactures quotes; and one subscribes to situational ethics.

But the Good news is no one with a brain confuses your crap with journalism. You're just a hack. And a flabby one at that.
PP said…
Amendment E's Bonnie must be making a return visit...
Anonymous said…
geez...can those allegations be PROVEN?? That's a little harsh and I was one of the people arguing with PP the other day about the Olson deal which got quite heated at least the truth was being told there and I was pretty heated with PP...but I don't even think he deserved that post, but whatever makes you feel better I guess! Sorry for that PP, I don't think you're flabby...I think your SEXY!! ha ha

Popular posts from this blog

Breaking News: Frederick not in SDGOP Chair Race

A strategic move by Sutton. Good for him, bad for Dems.