Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Banned from Other Blog Sites

***

"Yikes."

"This is not good."

"I'm a bad, a very bad person."

"My last comment must have been considered too honest, too conservative, too radical, too patriotic, not patriotic enough, or something dreadful."

Those are the thoughts you're tempted to think when you attempt to visit a Blog Site, Message Board, Discussion Forum, or other interactive, comment posting web site...and you are FORBIDDEN.

Like, unexpectedly. At least evictions from apartments give you time to pack your bags and do some pleading or coaxing or reconciliation.

COLD KICKING is the term I made up for what happened to me. There is no current word I know of that refers to this action, so I propose my neologism.

"Cold Kicking" = banning someone from a web site, without giving any prior notice, warning, or command to quit making unwanted comments.

If you like blogging, you should learn about blogging basics and ethics , how to write good blog articles and responsive comments, nanopublishing, and other blogging issues.

This formerly "underground" web activity is getting popular, in fact mainstream blogging is an accomplished fact.

Political Party Convention blogging is a normal aspect of journalism now.
My friend Darren Rouse can help you learn a great deal about blogging:

www.livingroom.org.au

Click on (select) "Blog Tips" from left column menu on his homepage.

Anyway, I've been "kicked off" three sites now: two theological sites and one web design site.

Each time it happens, it's like a funeral. My blog ability at the site just died. And I lose another what I thought was an online realm friend.

Here are the messages I received when I tried to either visit the web site, or tried to post a comment at a site:

1. THEOLOGICAL BULLETIN BOARD SITE: "Board Administrators have removed your ability to post to this board."

2. THEOLOGICAL BLOG SITE: "Comment Submission Error.
Your comment failed for the following reasons:
You are not allowed to post comments.
Please correct your error and try your post again."

3. WEB DESIGN BLOG SITE: "Error: FORBIDDEN.
You do not have permission to access the requested file [i.e., the web site] on this server."

When you get a message like this, you think back to the last comment you posted and figure it was offensive in some way.

COMMENT POLICY: Most blog sites, discussion forums, message boards, bulletin boards, etc. claim, in their terms of agreement or comment posting policy statements, that they will notify anyone who makes an offensive comment. They will email the culprit, explain why the comment was offensive, and warn the person to stop making such comments.

REALITY: So far, this has not happened. I've just been banned, forbidden, kicked off, with no warning and no explanation, in all three cases. Thus, they committed the cowardly, impulsive COLD KICKING.

I abstain from flaming, phreaking, trolling, cracking, hazing, ranting, flooding, lurking, baiting, scambaiting, chatterboting, and other undignified forms of online misbehavior.

How does a person get kicked off a web design blog site, where most of the writings are about CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), fonts, design freedom vs. usability concerns, and other technical topics?

By making a political reply to a rare political commentary the site operator published. By making what amounted to a statement of an aggressively jaded, skeptical, apolitical, anti-partisan attitude.

I made it clear I was not impressed with his favored party, yet was also seriously questioning the competing party, which I favored more. My comment was about three sentences or so. No blazing diatribe or hyperbolic missive.

I had never posted any hateful or personal assault type comments on his blog site.

My posts were mild mannered comments on various usability topics, but once I complained about a well known computer manufacturer's web site not being designed very well in certain aspects.

Maybe he loves this computer company that I critiqued. Maybe these two comments added up to igniting his ire.

I tried to email the web design person, apologizing if I offended him, asking if this was a real ban or just some technical error, but my email was returned as "undeliverable".

This makes me wonder if his blog site, and associated email, is down, off the Web?

Weird. I can't access the blog site, can't post a comment, and can't send an email. This guy really doesn't want to hear from me in any fashion...forever. Well, that's what the insanity and hypocrisy of politics does to some people, I suppose.

DEPTH PSYCHOLOGY: Your humble blogger is worried--am I that horrible of a person?

Nah, these folks are just prone to sudden outbursts of anger and revenge.

Maybe they're repulsed by anyone freely expressing an honest opinion, or they can't handle criticism, or they're hostile to independent thinking.

MY PROMISE: Whilst this is not a reader comment-driven blog site (I just use it to inform clients and interested parties about Web Usability and various Computer Oriented issues)...

...still, I promise and pledge to NEVER ban, forbid, or otherwise ostracize anyone from my site.

Because I don't know how. Google Blogger Tech guy hasn't taught me that yet.

And also because I prefer to warn someone, and if they don't heed the warning, I can just Delete the "troubling" comments.

For now, this seems to be a good POLICY.

TO MY BANISHERS: As for my fellow blog site operators, those who have their own blog site, bulletin board, discussion forum, or whatever, and commit COLD KICKING: toughen up.

Thicken your skin, relax, sip some green tea or Boston cream coffee, take a nap on a waterbed and wake up on the right side of it, go on a vacation to a tropical island, read anthropology texts, learn about foreign cultures and traditions, and quit being so post-modernly, xenophobicly sensitive about everything.

Different Viewpoints do exist in this wild and wonderful world of ours. And some people can state their opposing views in much more explosive manners than I ever could.

Don't let contrary opinions turn you into crybabies throwing temper tantrums, spewing forth reactionary "Forbidden" messages.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought this was a democracy, this America, this World Wide Web, this Internet.

To ban someone without any explanation or notification is pathetic.

Sounds like a hissy fit, if you ask me. They only want comments that mirror their own thoughts. They deserve to be surrounded with Yes Men and butt kissers. The blind leading the shut eyed.

Anonymous said...

Hate to say it, but it's their right to ban whoever they want. Blogs are personal sites and the owner can ban anyone. It's not everyone's wish to turn their blog into a huge argument - it can get real ugly sometimes. And these are personal sites with peoples' names attached to them. Now I'm not suggesting you did something wrong, I have no way of knowing that. But there's nothing inherently wrong with a site owner deleting comments. It has nothing to do with free speech or censorship - blogs are private property, and you are only allowed to comment on them because the owner is inviting you to comment.

Anonymous said...

tru dat...even though it's a rant, it's ture :D

steven edward streight said...

Thanks for your responses.

Yes, I know how flame wars can erupt suddenly, and how a person's blog site is their private property, though in a public sphere.

My point is that people pose as tolerant, but when it comes down to hard reality, most people hate opinions that differ or actually are opposed to their precious beliefs.

I am a man of strong conviction about many things, but to ban someone for one comment is very childish IMHO.

A single comment that was not mean-spirited, not hateful, not arrogant, and not trying to provoke the person to anger.

Just a simple, short statement of an differing viewpoint, not trying to make the person look stupid or wrong.

This hyper-sensitivity is really funny.

And for political or theological statements to annoy a person, you have to wonder how convinced and secure the person really is about their precious little opinions.