The bloggernacle has gone censor-happy. Feminist Mormon Housewives are discussing troll-prevention, while Rusty has thrown down the gauntlet: If I don't like what you say I'll ban you. (For the record, I am 100% behind Rusty. He has been more than patient dealing with obnoxious trolls, and even more to his credit, he left up the original offending comments for all to see.)
The previous examples represent the reasonable wing of the bloggernacle. Meanwhile, an anonymous e-mail tipster (thanks!) pointed me to the first installment of M*'s Rough Stone Rolling reading group. Comments have been disappearing from that thread faster than they appear. I've read some of the comments that Geoff B felt the need to censor (he even deleted one of his own!) and I must admit I'm mystified. They were neither vulgar, abusive, or off-topic. It seems that Geoff simply deletes whatever doesn't strike his fancy. After all, some things are true, but not useful. I applaud commentator Eric S. who continues to post comments, even after getting quite a few deleted. I wouldn't have the patience. Reading M* is kind of like what I imagine teaching history in the Soviet Union was like: you have to be prepared for everything to completely change at any time. I will give a plate of nachos (Flanders style) to whoever can create an M* mirror site that simply posts all deleted comments. Now that I would read regularly!
Over at the Bloggernacle Times, Grandpa Dave (as Ronan calls him) has seen fit to do some major surgery on a minor (and fairly innocuous) threadjack. For the record, I love Dave, but it is beyond bizarre that he feels the need to delete 10 comments about English-bashing on this thread, but allows these two train wrecks to plow on unimpeded.
Of course, perhaps I am asking too much of the man who first introduced the hated comment moderation queue into the 'nacle. I still read DMI (it has some great stuff), but I rarely bother commenting any more. Putting all comments into the queue is like calling someone on the telephone but making them send their replies to you on a postcard. Sure, I know my comment will turn up there in a couple hours, but by then five people will have already said the same thing. It's hard to have a dialogue on a tape-delay.
Of course, the dubious honor of King of Comment Deletions goes to T&S's peevish Adam Greenwood, who famously censored two of Ronan's comments. This prompted Ronan to complain publicly on his blog. Why don't I link to Ronan's complaint? Why, Ronan deleted it, of course.