Monday, 5 November 2007


I notice that across the road at Curly’s Corner Shop, he has removed the comments section to his post “Comments Policy”. His message in the post is clear and his intentions understandable and I completely agree with him. Why should we bloggers be used as a medium for other people to air their dirty linen and unfounded rumours; they should start their own sites.

However, to remove the comments section for this post seems a bit strong. It would seem easier to remove any libellous comments rather than stop posts altogether. The situation also seems odd in the light of what was covered at the bottom of the page on 3rd November, when Curly said of Nadine Dorries MP, a Conservative member who has stopped comments on her site posts;

“Sorry Nadine, turning off the comments is the wrong thing to do, for whatever” good” reason, and by failing to carry on engaging in the conversation you lay yourself open to all sorts of charges from your political opponents, please consider reinstating the comments.”

OK, posts have only been restricted to the one issue, but it still smacks of censorship.

All posts to The Northern Herald go first to moderation, basically because previous inputs have contained foul language. If I can remove the offending words and maintain the tone of the comment, it still goes through. If I cant, I will reword it myself and post it. Perhaps Curly’s hosts “WordPress” don’t have this facility.

Never mind, its Curly’s site and he can do what he wants. Should he ever find himself in trouble over some one else’s comments on this or any other issue, I will defend him to the hilt such is the need to preserve free speech.

However, with disclaimers and the removal of dubious allegations, he will have the same legal protection that radio and TV programmes have when faced with unanticipated comments from the public and those being interviewed etc. I would suggest that we should also be prepared to take a "risk" at times and allow certain things to be said. If we didn't, who in this region (or indeed nationally) is providing the true voice of opposition? At this level a retraction, a removal or indeed an apology, will probably suffice in any legal spats that may emerge.

PS – Don’t bother to comment on this post, I’m to busy to moderate them!

Curly has updated his post on this issue - he obviously has readers who dont want to play the game by the rules. However, whats to stop them attaching posts to other items? The best policy might be to just keep deleting them until it all blows over, which generally means a couple of days. Either way, this is very interesting. I wonder what was said and about who. Answers on a post card to............

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