Monday, July 31, 2006

Common Sense Online

Blog owner's message - Comments will not be accepted...really, they won't!

Common sense is very important when it comes to how we interact with other people online. We really don't know who is on that other keyboard when we chat, blog, or post. Common sense should caution us to disclose personal information only to people we have good reason to trust (and even they could turn on you). This includes giving out real names, cities, telephone numbers, places of employment, children's names, and so forth.

There are exceptions, of course, when it comes to people who make a living online or whose online ventures contribute to their livelihoods. But by and large, in this day and time, it is not exactly prudent to "let it all hang out" online. While the vast majority of people wouldn't dream of stalking or harrassing people by following them from site to site, there are those who do. I've seen an example of that right here, unfortuately, though the person attempting to post that kind of comment has obligingly violated numerous guidelines on most attempts and most of that person's comments have been rejected.

To that commenter, I have a few things to say: First of all, I don't know anything about you that you haven't posted publicly in the many places on the web where you've gone telling people about the big, bad "new" blog where you've been so allegedly mistreated. However, the truth is, you use your real name on numerous sites, including this one, or so you proudly say when maligning people those of us who post pseudonymously (like a majority of bloggers and forum participants). I honestly don't know if it's your real name or not, and I don't care. You mention what state you live in sometimes when you're discussing things on various sites. In what I've read, I don't know what city you live in and don't have your address, nor do I care. I have no idea what your telephone number is, despite your false claim that I do. I truly couldn't care less what it is, because I wouldn't dream of calling you. Frankly, you're just not that important to me. Important as any child of God is, of course. But to me? Nothing beyond the love I have for any Christian brother or sister.

And finally, I'm simply not who your comments indicate you think I am, so your using of "Badge of Honor" to keep your grudge alive is only that much more ridiculous. I am not a terrorist, nor do I have any reason or desire to "destroy" you, despite your repeated false claims. If it scares you that people know your name, don't use your (supposedly) real name online. It's the only name you've used here, so if someone's going to address you or refer to you, it's all we've got. If it scares you that people know what state you live in, don't reveal that information. If you don't want people knowing exactly what you say about other people and sites, don't continue to post your judgments about them, sometimes years later, on other public venues. If you don't want to constantly fear that the person you've been maligning for years is finally getting even with you after all this time, whenever you think you recognize that person, then leave off referencing your disagreement when you go to sites that person doesn't even participate on. Or better yet, lay down that heavy grudge. It's highly unbecoming and it hurts other people, even if your forum friends won't tell you so.

Everyone, including individuals who have had comments rejected, is free to submit stories (via e-mail) and post comments that conform to the stated guidelines. Do not misrepresent me as "not letting you respond" because I'm "offended." This is not true. Follow the same guidelines as everyone else and don't try to use Badge of Honor for non-BOH communication, and your story and comments will be welcome. If I want to carry on off-BOH conversations with you, I will provide an appropriate means for that to happen.

To all "Badge" participants, including those whose comments are not published: I'm telling you here and now that you have nothing to fear from me except my rejecting your comments, editing your stories, or if you've been really outrageous, maybe a comment of my own like this. It's just words, and I'm saying them here and only here. I won't follow you around and tell everyone I meet what I think of you. I won't call you, visit you, e-mail you, post to your web site, fax you, message you, or put out a contract on you--honest! But there are some people on the web from whom you'd be very wise to protect your personal information. As the old sergeant told the shift in the opening scene of "Hill Street Blues," "Be careful out there."

Edited 8/1/06 - BP
Edited 8/4/06 - BP

Edited 8/5/06 - BP

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