January 17, 2007

All Hezbollah Supporters Are Banned in Advance

I’ve been writing a lot about Hezbollah lately, so I thought I’d be a good sport and let Hezbollah supporters sound off in the comments. But it hasn’t worked out. One by one they have all been banned, sometimes for being hostile and rude to me personally, other times for abusing other commenters, and finally (big surprise, I know) for posting racist and bigoted comments about Jews and people of other religions.

None of this is acceptable.

I have better things to do than spend an hour every day moderating my comments and trying to decide if a Hezbollah supporter in question has crossed the line yet. So from here on out, if you leave comments supporting Hezbollah you will be summarily banned without warning and your comments will be deleted.

This is not a “free speech” issue. I will not get in your way if you choose to create I(Heart)Hezbollah.blogspot.com. If you want to ban me from commenting there, go right ahead. Free speech does not mean you, I, or anyone else gets unfiltered access to every medium in the universe.

If anyone thinks this makes me a bigot (or whatever) against the Shia, forget it. Today I banned a person for being overtly bigoted against Shia. That isn’t acceptable either.

I have met (some) Hezbollah supporters in Lebanon who are perfectly capable of holding down a civil and interesting conversation. Whatever cultural inhibitions they have regarding rudeness to strangers seems to break down on the Internet, though. This isn’t surprising. Many Westerners have the same problem.

I’m sorry if anyone thinks I’m being too draconian about kicking people out of the discussion, but it takes effort to cultivate a decent and respectable comments section and this is just something I have to do.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at January 17, 2007 6:47 PM
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