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April 10, 2007
A Comment on Comments
Posted by Frank J. at 11:11 AM | View blog reactions | Comments (45)

There's a New York Times article on making a blogger code of conduct. Most of it seems to be aimed towards regulating comments (I didn't actually read the article; that's why I peruse blogs: they summarize what I don't have the attention span to read myself). Apparently, blog comments have gotten so vicious now that some non-conservative chick has been the target of their venom that it's time to regulate things.

I think I speak for everyone at IMAO when I say, "Yawn."

Yes, comments at a lot of blogs have become cesspools of trolls without even the slightest bit of tact, but how big a problem is that really? If we get rid of the filth, is it likely we'll finally get those intelligent conversations we've always craved?

Dangerous in the wrong hands... or annoying at least.
Doubtful. So really, where do nasty comments rank on the scale of world problems? Sticks and stones and all that. I say the problem of nasty anonymous commenters actually ranks below the plight of the spotted owl. And I really don't care about the spotted owl. It's an owl. With spots. Who cares?

Comments are just an extra thing; most blogs don't actually need them to survive and plenty do fine without them. We here at IMAO, though, like to get feedback on our posts and want to make commenting as accessible as possible. Also, we're lazy. Those two things pretty much dictate our approach to regulating comments. Our only real concern is spam comments. Since I already have more photos of nude celebrities than I know what to do with (and I probably shouldn't publicly mention my huge stock of prescription drugs), spam is of no use to me. Also, it clogs up old posts and the constant hit from spammers can make us exceed our bandwidth. Thus, that's all we really care about combating. If those people in the NYTimes article want to do something useful, they should sponsor legislation to have spammers hunted down and beaten to death with bats. Yes, I know many spammers have families, but I don't care. I want them beaten to death in front of those families so their children will be discouraged.

That said, we do have a comment policy.

THE IMAO COMMENT POLICY

* All comments you make are property of IMAO. As soon as a comment is made, we can do whatever we want with it. We can delete it, edit it, or print it out and frame it and sell it on eBay. You do have some rights, though, such as not having to give lodgings to soldiers and not being forced to incriminate yourself in a court of law (though we may edit comments so you incriminate yourself).

* Official policy of IMAO is that we don't read your comments. While I do in fact read every comment, if someone comes up to me and says, "Why didn't you do something about this horrible comment?!" My response will always be, "This is the first I've seen of it. I'll do something about it right away!"

* Because I say I'll do something about a comment right away doesn't mean I'll ever actually do something about the comment.

* Comments can be deleted for any reason... or no reason whatsoever. If a comment is deemed offensive, it may be deleted. If a comment is deemed too mean, it may be deleted. If a comment doesn't kiss my feet enough, it may be deleted. If a comment is in the way of an interblog highway, it may be deleted. If I'm fiddling around with blog settings before I've had my morning coffee, many comments may be deleted.

* The main purpose of comments is to stroke the egos of authors. Thus, comments that speak negatively about IMAO are likely to be edited. E.g. "IMAO has been going downhill for a while. You've lost your funny" may become "ROTFL! That was awesome! Who wants to have homosexual sex with me?"

* By writing a comment, you are agreeing to be made into a racist. I.e., a recent comment of, "LOL! Great post!" may be turned into "LOL! Great post! I hate black people!" I may also go back and edit all your previous comments so you have a long history of racism if I'm really bored. Nothing personal; I'm just a jerk and I find that sort of thing funny.

* Despite all these caveats, you should know that any of your comments may (and probably will) be used against you in a court of law.

* Finally, and most importantly, IMAO is absolutely not responsible for anything that happens in the comments. In fact, we're unaware that IMAO even has comments. Just because we own the site, that doesn't mean we have time to click on every link and see what happens. Like there's this link near the bottom that says "Syndicate this site (XML)." What the hell is that? Wow. Now that I finally look at my site, I do have a lot of ads.

I hope this clarifies things. Please continue to enjoy IMAO!

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