Monday, March 20, 2006

ETIQUETTE: TROLLING, A MINOR POINT

The March for Free Expression and similar efforts around the globe seem to have brought a whole load of loons out to play. Whilst their interest in the March is flattering, I'm sure blog owners are starting to get sick and tired of having to clear up after the mess they invariably leave behind.

After banning one quite keen troll last week, I stated:
[A]n Englishman's blog is his castle - do whatever you want in your own but play by my rules in here please. Which are pretty simple: No antagonistic trolling or Mobying.
to which he replied by email:
Comedy gold!

Thanks for that.

xxx

S
Ha! Trust a Marxist not to appreciate the distinction between public and private. I'm afraid I do.

I do no object to anyone's right to say and do pretty much anything they wish in public, in their own homes or on their own blogs. However, they do not have the right to accept an invitation round to my house, urinate in the sinks, vomit on the sofa and expect to be asked back for tea.

If they are under the impression that freedom of speech is somehow an absolute that can be exercised anywhere at any time, or that proponents of free speech consider it such, they are sadly deluded. Their right to free speech is not impinged by me exercising my own right not to listen.

That still sums up my attitude. Until someone can convince me that Jehovah's Witnesses have the right, after being invited in for a chat, to stay for as long as they want or until I have run off with them to Kingdom Hall, I will stand by my right to bar trolls from my website.

For the benefit of future trolls:

If for some reason you find yourself banned and consider this unfair, I will happily listen to your case via email and reinstate your comment privileges if you can argue that you actually had (or now have) something to add to the debate. Your right to free expression does not extend to defecating over my blog which I view as my private property. There are plenty of other places you can go to do that, most of which are inhabited with similar people who will better appreciate your trolling finesse.

Of course, if you find yourself banned and would rather make a public response or appeal, you are always free to post from another machine under your usual username.

I should tidy this up and add it to the evergrowing FAQ that I haven't got round to writing up yet, including an explanation of why the blog is called Muscular Liberals, mainly for the benefit of those who find the site by way of a search for "muscular young women". I can only imagine their disappointment.

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