Bloggers are responsible for the comments they attract

I feel a deep debt of gratitude to Harry’s Place for reasons I set out in my last, and in more depth here, but basically I agree with Marko – Harry’s Place’s commenters are Harry’s Place’s problem. I’ve raised this – too mildly – in the past here and in messages.

I missed most of the examples Marko points readers to, but the Laurie Penny stuff particularly disheartened me – as well as being personal, it was aimless. I meant to say something, couldn’t quite grasp the nub of it, and I’m glad that Marko did. Following his experiences by reading the comments trails he links to is pretty dispiriting, too.

What is going on beneath the Harry’s Place posts – particularly those on Islamists – worries me, because British Jews need Harry’s Place, which is so vigilant about antisemitism, to be serious about anti-racism in its own back yard. Anti-Islamists need Harry’s Place to be serious about anti-racism. Anti-racists need Harry’s Place to be a serious opponent of the BNP, but I know at least one person who favours both.

Commenter Zkharya is broadly right I think:

“I like HP. I like the freedom. I like, by and large, the company. There is a problem with Islamophobia.

But if you like Israel, there aren’t too many internet forums to hang out that are vaguely as sociable or linked up to other issues.”

I’d qualify that. I think the gender mix on Harry’s Place is poor, and the linking to other issues has large gaps (environmentalism, a critically important movement which continues to harbour misanthropic and anti-industrial tendencies, needs Harry’s Place’s attention, for example).

Judy:

“One point I’d say she [Laurie Penny] does have is her focus on bullying on HP. Under the banner of free speech, HP is happy to have and sometimes encourage a degree of entirely personality-based vilification and abuse of individuals on the basis of their opinions (as opposed to any political actions) which has nothing to do with politics with either a small or a large p.

There’s no problem in my view with ridiculing and satirising of political positions, including inconsistencies and shifts therein. But it does seem to me that HP is complacent about personalised bullying on the basis of assertions about opponents’ insanity, encouraging others to bully, advocate violence towards and/or ostracise opponents on account of that or of opposition to a declared favourite or personal arbitrary preference of one collective member or another.”

I wish that Harry’s Place bloggers would look to their own back yard. Below the posts it’s like a frat party (yes I’ve been to a few during a year in the US – rarely felt so lonely).

The thing is, there’s a difference between attracting aggressive, obscene and bigoted commenters who pile in because you have interfered with their world view and they feel the need to disagree with you, and attracting the same who basically support your blog and feel at home there. The first is inevitable – when you are courageous and stick your neck out like Harry’s Place bloggers, your wages will include opprobrious comments. But if the people approving of you, defending you, or just hanging out, are aggressive bigots, and you don’t put an end to it, then, yes, it’s yours. You host it. You can’t disown it. You will be known for it. And it’s not feasible, as one HP author tried to do, to suggest a division of labour where you, the author, ask your moderate readers to take responsibility for the comments. You can’t rely on volunteers who haven’t volunteered – it’s your blog, it’s on your head.

Here is what Laurie Penny said:

‘you condone bigotry by allowing hateful, misogynist, racist, Islamophobic comments to be published on your site, and allowing bigoted, ignorant trolls to control the debate. I don’t apologise for that assessment: it’s you that needs to step up and look at what your site has become.’

I will limit my agreement with her to that.

Marko, defending this and told by Harry’s Place author Brownie to withdraw his “slurs” or “fuck off”:

“Here at HP, Brownie, you’ve provided a site in which pretty much anyone can make any slurs they want against anybody else. Slurs that should not see the light of day receive wide publicity, thanks to HP. When you provide a forum in which this sort of filth appears in print, and when you make a point about refusing to delete it, then you are condoning that filth as something legitimate; with a right to be heard. You are harrassing and victimising innocent people by allowing anonymous psychos to defame and abuse them in the name of ‘freedom of speech’.

So I’m sorry, but you have no right to complain about being slurred, when you have provided a forum that enables the slurring of so many other people.

For the record, I don’t think that you, Marcus, David T, Brett or any of the other regular posters here are racists. I do, however, think that your comments moderation policy is an utter, utter disgrace, and that you should be ashamed of yourselves. And I say this as someone who likes you as people and who mostly agrees with your politics.

Right, now I’ll fuck off.”

Harry’s Place has a problem. Unlike HP blogger Neil, I don’t think Comment is F***** – plenty of blogs manage to attract conversations which are respectful of the person, even while trenchant in opposition of their views. See for example Bob From Brockley, a blog with interests that overlap with Harry’s Place.

I think a more purposeful approach is in order on the part of the authors to putting themselves on the opposite side of the Islamophobes and bullies. I think it’s generally true of campaigns and things like campaigns that to define your support you have to frame what you’re against in terms of what you’re for. If this could be embedded into every post I think that would probably be all that was required.

In the absence of that, a moderation policy backed up with time taken to moderate.
Otherwise, it may be time to turn off comments. But that would be an act of defeat.
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37 thoughts on “Bloggers are responsible for the comments they attract

  1. I saw Marko’s post but haven’t read his comment, which is good.

    As for moderation policy, they’ve been told numerous times but can’t seem to be too bothered to sort it out.

    So in the end they lose those decent, informed and moderate readers and end up with a pile of Daily Mailites, etc instead.

    Shame, it used to have some good material.

  2. Very well said, FiG.

    ‘As for moderation policy, they’ve been told numerous times but can’t seem to be too bothered to sort it out.’

    This is also my impression. It’s as if the comments at HP are the Frankenstein’s monster of David T and the other HP bloggers; they’ve lost control of them and don’t know what to do about it, so find it easiest to do nothing and just carry on in the same way. Which is a terrible shame, for the all the reasons FiG gives.

  3. Indeed Marko,

    I read Penny Red’s thread and the abuse aimed at her, terrible (to be honest I couldn’t face reading HP or her piece on the matter), but that personalisation of things (and I confess I have been guilty of it too) is the problem. It means that any decent, sensible, intelligent points are lost in the melee, it is a self defeating attitude.

    I think allowing racism to be pushed on the specious ground of freedom of speech is wrong, it closes down debates as fanatics and cranks take over, and the rest of us walk away.

    I thought Judy’s point was spot on.

    Each blog has to decide what type of moderation policy to implement, and it is an area where much debate and types of approaches have been tried, so it is much easier than it might seem.

    For example, on my blog, I won’t have any neo-Nazi or Far Right material. I am not unduly worried by insults, as long as they are mostly funny but I am not having anyone going on a bit of Jew or Muslim baiting, at my or anyone else’s expense. Granted whilst my readership is much higher than I ever expected I don’t get many comments, thankfully, so it ain’t much of a problem.

    I have about 13 comments hanging in moderation, one, if memory serves, is from a hard core American neo-Nazi, a few from Gilad Atzmon fans and others from assorted Holocaust deniers.

    I think it comes down to, where do you draw the line? And whatever you implement it should be intellectually defensible and pass a few common sense tests.

    • Are you implying that HP gets a litany neo-Nazi comments? I have been there longer than you have and maybe i have seen a few by hit and run trolls and Islamists but not what you are implying. Dont make shite up.

  4. I had got more and more perturbed by the gangs of bigots that were infesting HP. Then David T said they would start pruning off the worst growths, which they did and things got better. However, it’s getting out of hand again.

    In lots of ways I like the knockabout on HP – the teasing, the banter, the jokes. Some people who comment there are funny and shrewd. But there is too much abuse – some of it is meant to be amusing, but it sounds like a bunch of excitable 14 year olds who have learned to shout rude words.

  5. Regarding Laurie Penny; what the Harry’s Placers do not seem to understand is that, even if her initial post about HP was unfair (and I think it was), or even if it was defamatory, it does not justify unleashing a whole barrage of comments against her that focus on her age, gender and class background. Penny’s initial attack on HP focussed purely on its politics and behaviour. Therefore, fair or not, it remained within the appropriate bounds of discourse in a way that the HP response did not.

  6. I’ve been thinking about this issue for a while now, and especially since my most recent spate of psuedo-anti-Zionist trollery http://brockley.blogspot.com/2009/11/in-pol-pot-time.html in which Gert in particular threw about personal insults and phrases like “douchebag” in my comment thread.

    I also recently read this post at Splintered Sunrise http://splinteredsunrise.wordpress.com/2009/11/09/the-jabbing-finger/ which, like Penny’s original post at The Samosa, makes some good points among some bad ones.

    SS, I thought, undermines his point with one of his examples, the comment thread at Dave Osler’s place about the late Chris Harman http://www.davidosler.com/2009/11/chris_harman_19422009.html . There, Jim Denham wrote “I regret Harman’s death, as I regret the death of any human being, but I can’t conceal the fact that it leaves the socialist movement with one less dishonest apparatchik. It also leaves the SWP bereft of its last direct link with its third camp origins – not that he did anything to fight to defend that heritage in recent years, as far as I’m aware.” Not a nice way to mourn a dead man, but not cruelly offensive either. To which SWP loyalist Johnno replies “When you die Denham there will be one less bitter twisted twat in the world.” Jim defends himself, and Modernity joins in. SS represents this as “The double act of Father Jack and Morality Blog is especially obnoxious”.

    SS also undermines his point too by being unable to resist calling Marko “Attila the Hun”.

    I am re-considering my own comment policy in light of this. At the moment, I just prune out the worst examples of racism and leave everything else. Luckily, as a Z-list blogger, I don’t get too much unpleasant commentage, and my comment threads are generally places where interesting, civil conversations take place. But I’m not sure any more.

    As for HP, I tend not to bother to go there. If there’s something important featured, I am as likely to come across it at Engage, Greens Engage, The Spittoon, the Z-Word or Modernity. And, as at CiF, I almost never read the comments threads. I think a good rule is, if there are more than about a dozen comments on a post, it’s likely that people are talking nonsense.

  7. P.s. Marko if you are still here, you might want to follow the link from the In Pol Pot Time post comment thread (first url in my comment above) to the comment thread at Jews sans Frontieres, where I “debated” your critique of Noam Chomsky’s position on Kosovo with Gabriel Ash. Actually, you probably won’t want to!!

    *http://www.haloscan.com/comments/levi9909/2580081301876956265/?a=50232#349416 (asterisk because I believe FiG doesn’t approve of direct links to JsF)

    • Only, Bob, because direct links attract their attention, and contributions, and that’s a big waste of time. Your annual testing of the JsF waters was also mine – they are still sulphurous.

      I think your fight with JsF people was more straightforward than what is going on at Harry’s Place (or JsF, or Socialist Unity) where there’s a problem with the supportive commenters, as well as with those who are in opposition.

      Rosie, I like the spirit and the knockabout too. And it’s also true that the authors at HP can – and sometimes do – signal the kinds of things they don’t welcome comments on. But their heart doesn’t seem to be in it. Their attention may be elsewhere.

      • One thing they say at HP is that bigoted and/or abusive commenters are taken apart by other commenters. But when you see a thread with the usual suspects lined up spouting the same old garbage you can’t be bothered. I know what people I don’t want to read – the ones I call “vaseline commenters” because your eye slides over them. Then I suppose visitors who aren’t used to the place see the same lot and are repulsed by them. I wonder why the usual suspects don’t get fed up with saying the same thing over and over.

        On HP when the subject of commenting came up I suggested that they closed threads for commenting which they knew would attract the usual crowd. I’m interested in Islamism and its various footholds in government, the universities and the Guardian, but those threads have the bad commenters descending like midges.

        However I would have been sorry to miss this exchange where a Muslim called Abu Faris meets the usual brutality in the comments thread with exemplary courtesy.

        http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/11/22/stop-the-islamisation-of-europe-and-the-madness-of-stephen-gash/#comment-413547

      • “One thing they say at HP is that bigoted and/or abusive commenters are taken apart by other commenters.”

        I remember David T presenting this (in some desperation, if I had to guess) as an opportunity for readers to hone their skills. I was in a quandry about that for literally months. Was it really up to me? I had a go. Very repetitive like you said, and I decided my skills would be better honed reading and thinking elsewhere.

        I *like* the spirit of Harry’s Place, and (perhaps a personal problem on my part) I rarely find earnestness exciting to read (to wallow in my own, well that’s another matter!). I like to laugh at my foes. I’m sure HP bloggers have a better idea than anybody how to sort this out without losing their pluck and mischief. I just wish they would.

  8. Yeah Bob, I think you are wasting your time, these “anti-Zionists” will even bait you on your own blog, I thought that Elf calling you a “Jewish supremacist” was completely out of order.

    I heard about Splintered Sunrise ages ago, told how smart he was, which he might be on issues that he’s been debating for years, but he’s also got a few hang-ups etc on a particular subject (you know which!)

    As for comments policy, you might think about using WordPress, it makes moderating much, much easier.

    WordPress will automatically take over a blogspot blog, etc during the conversion process.

    On other matters, I think it is best to avoid blog/sites that are hung up on Jews (even in the guise of “Zionists”) or display peculiar attitudes towards Muslims, particularly in the changing political climate and the rise of the EDL/BNP.

  9. Bob, I’ve followed the link; Ash seems to avoid the issue, but frankly, I think it’s generally a waste of time debating with people like that.

    As for Splintered Sunrise, he described the Serbian human-rights activist Sonja Biserko as a ‘stooge of imperialism’, so ‘hypocrite’ does not even begin to describe him. He is a sympathiser of the Serbian far-right.

  10. What is going on at HP threads is symptomatic of a wider problem. People are feeling less and less self-restraint towards expressing themselves in a rude way. Moderate ideas can of course be expressed with passion, that’s not the problem. The problem is that while they may believe they are respecting freedom of expression, there are some basic social skills that are required when we want to engage in a civilized conversation.

    Once the standards are lowered, people feel authorized to more openly express their bigotry and prejudice. They feel free to do so because the social sanction is absent. When asked to have some self-restrain, they claim we are not respecting their freedom of speech as if freedom meant that we are allowed to do whatever comes to our mind.

    This in turn creates an environment in which more moderate voices simply prefer to be quiet, not because they feel intimidated, but rather because they feel the effort to get their voices heard is simply not worth, because it becomes just cacophony.

    In my case as a blogger my option is simply to delete all comments that reveal bigotry or use what I consider to be inappropriate language, and of course, ad hominem attacks are simply not allowed.

    Mine is a small blog (not that I mind), but independently of size, I think, in order to preserve a moderate climate, it’s worth sacrificing some of the dynamism that comments always bring to a blog.

    • Sarah, remind me which is your blog (I say remind, I think I’ve visited before).

      I think I’m coming round to your way of thinking – much less reluctant to jettison comments than I have been in the past. I was about to defend ad hominem attacks if the person they’re aimed at is both aggressive and irrational. But then again since this Harry’s Place stuff coming to a head, I think I’d probably just refuse the aggressive irrational comment in the first place. Unless I could use it as a foil and personally take responsibility for it…

  11. http://cafeturco.wordpress.com/

    Café Turco is my blog. I not only erase offensive comments but also ban the offenders.

    Unfortunately, some bloggers (many) do like to be bashed because it makes them look like victims, others because they enjoy a good fight,
    but I prefer to think that the dogs bark and the caravan passes, so only if were publicly attacked in another blog (or elsewhere) would I use my blog to defend myself, and even then only if I thought that the attack would in any way harm my reputation or mislead someone about who I am or what I stand for.

    The fact is that, by banning bullies, I have created an environment where people who is usually very reticent to express themselves feel comfortable enough to participate:

    http://cafeturco.wordpress.com/2008/09/15/a-reply-to-genocide-deniers/#comments

    Please read the comment by Ben, you’ll get my point.

  12. Oh, and yes I am aware of SS’s unsavoury views on the former Yugoslavia. Most recently, I started to argue against his description http://www.davidosler.com/2009/11/the_breakup_of_bosnia.html#comment-39232 of Milorad Dodikas “a moderate social democrat” and his contention that “the Croats” (all of them) are unhappy with the “Muslim-dominated Federation”, but I didn’t have the energy. Similarly, I almost started to argue against his description http://splinteredsunrise.wordpress.com/2009/11/16/fixed-and-consequent/ of the late HH Patriarch Pavle as “a man of peace and stalwart opponent of injustice and the abuse of power”, but again I didn’t have the energy. The JsF lot used all my powers of argument up…

  13. bob, I sympathise with the lack of energy

    I think when it comes to the likes of Splintered Sunrise another Irish man’s word apply:

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

  14. Well done, Bob.

    The HP link that Rosie posted above was gratifying, in that, finally, one gets to see a sufficient number of decent people drive Morgoth away – like a group of villagers defending their village from a wild beast that had wandered in from the forest. But I can’t help feeling that the energy they expended could have been put to better use, and that Morgoth should have been banned from HP long ago, so that there could be more proper discussions at HP, rather than such exercises in troll control.

    http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/11/22/stop-the-islamisation-of-europe-and-the-madness-of-stephen-gash/#comment-413547

    On another matter, I think it’s better to have dreadful politics and be able to engage in a discussion in a civilised manner, than to have sympathetic politics and be a vulgar, abusive bully. For example, Neil Clark has disgusting politics but seems to be a nice enough fellow personally, whereas Will Rubbish of the unlamented DSTPFW blog had sympathetic politics but was a thoroughly obnoxious cyber-bully; of the two, I found Will Rubbish much the more objectionable, even though I tended to agree with him politically. I never could work out why extremely decent individuals like Terry Glavin and Peter Ryley blogged with him.

    I don’t at all mean to say that one should be polite to someone who has disgusting views, like a racist or a genocide-denier – far from it. But the harsh words should be directed at them for their views, not for their gender, physical appearance, class background, etc.

    As for Splintered Sunrise, he has disgusting politics and a snide way of writing about people, but he isn’t the worst offender by a long way. His support for Serb nationalism appears to be little more than an affirmation of his own political identity; he never seems able or willing to articulate a coherent position on anything relating to the Balkans, as he does for Northern Ireland and other issues.

    • Will Rubbish’s invective had pretty much the same effect on me that JsF’s has – horrified fascination and the urge to piss them off even more than they are pissing me off. Red mist, very personal, have to take myself by the scruff of the neck. Mark Elf is rumoured to be meek in person. I imagine Will is doing his daily sudoku as I write this. You wonder if for some people the Web is like they say porn is – a pressure valve. Still, they can do it on their own blogs.

      I don’t think I would insist on civil. On more than one occasion over the past few years I’ve been motivated to join arguments and defend the right of people subject to polite racist slights to get angry and lash out on discussion lists. Some discussions are all the more grotesque for being polite. I would say that some subjects are so nasty that discussion is almost bound to be uncivil. Uncivil I can manage, for a good cause (although as Sarah points out, it’s not personal correspondence, it’s a little group of people who are either welcoming or unwelcoming, so it’s not just about me, and maybe I’m wrong not to take it more seriously) but I would axe hateful, vilifying or demonising stuff (including what Mettaculture aimed at you, Marko), which was also self-serving and incontinent and showy, another combination I think I’ll get rid of if I ever have the chance, as an affront to political commentary.

      And on disgusting politics, I kind of came to the conclusion that if you have disgusting politics then you can’t be nice personally, or ‘nice personally’ doesn’t count for much. But that’s not to write anybody off – you can change your politics – people do all the time.

      Anyway, this has been very thought-provoking. Thanks for that.

      • On more than one occasion over the past few years I’ve been motivated to join arguments and defend the right of people subject to polite racist slights to get angry and lash out on discussion lists. Some discussions are all the more grotesque for being polite. I would say that some subjects are so nasty that discussion is almost bound to be uncivil.

        Yeah, fair enough. I remember a totally grotesque thread on Butterflies and Wheels with some very polite Holocaust deniers, who in the end we realised were taking the piss and off in a little blog huddle together sniggering while they were offered links on this and that and kept filling the thread until they were cut off. There is such a thing as righteous indignation.

        My righteous indignation is your self-righteous defensiveness and refusal to engage with the issues. So it goes…

  15. ‘I don’t think I would insist on civil. On more than one occasion over the past few years I’ve been motivated to join arguments and defend the right of people subject to polite racist slights to get angry and lash out on discussion lists.’

    I entirely agree; there are times when politeness is unwarranted. But there’s a difference between being rude and being vulgar or abusive. If someone says something racist, they should be called a ‘racist’, with no mincing of words. But they shouldn’t be called a ‘cunt’.

    To be honest, I’ve sometimes been dragged into exchanging insults with other commenters at HP, and I’m not proud of it. The conclusion I came to was that if the only choice is between turning the other cheek and descending into the gutter oneself, it’s better not to participate in the discussion at all. Hence my reluctant decision pretty much to stop commenting at HP altogether.

    ‘And on disgusting politics, I kind of came to the conclusion that if you have disgusting politics then you can’t be nice personally, or ‘nice personally’ doesn’t count for much.’

    It doesn’t count for much at the realm of politics and public debate; I’m not going to write anything nice about a Milosevic fan like Neil Clark just because he appears reasonably nice at the personal level. But I believe I could bring myself to be civil to him if I happened to meet him at a public gathering. Possibly even Splintered Sunrise. But I’d draw the line at Mettaculture or Will Rubbish.

    • “… if the only choice is between turning the other cheek and descending into the gutter oneself, it’s better not to participate in the discussion at all.”

      Quotable. That is the only comments policy Harry’s Place needs.

  16. I’ve read this thread with interest after being caught up with the Laurie Penny story, and having always felt rather uncertain what to make of HP. It often takes a position which is important and valid yet which attracts really objectionable people – the most obvious example is that a piece attacking Islamist extremists is going to draw in the BNP. I think it’s really important to carve out this kind of middle ground but I don’t feel HP always does this very effectively. People who might have thought there was a lot of sense in article by David T or whoever are likely to be put off as soon as they go to to the comments. The fact that rabid Islamophobes are coming to a site which is associated with speaking up against antisemitism is, as FIG says, very unhelpful. If HP had a more balanced mix of articles, without changing its line on anything, and did something to calm down the comments too, it might actually do more good – even if it means fewer hits to its website. I’d like to see more about slightly less sensational issues such as fiscal policy.

  17. Will Rubbish was my test case, calling virtual friends cunts with some regularity (as well as editing one of Francis’ posts to make it mean the opposite of what he wanted to say). I was conflicted because he had helped me in my early blogging days in a few small ways and so I had a certain loyalty to him (as a trivial aside, Mod and I were added to the Popinjay blogroll on the same day).

    I also agree that a certain ‘robustness’ is reasonable when responding to truly objectionable views, whether Islamophobic, antisemitic or whatever. But there are better and worse ways of doing it.

  18. Pingback: Comments And Blogging. « ModernityBlog

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  20. I want to just make one comment and then I promise to leave all and sundry in peace.

    Mark O’Atilla’s torrent had little to do with Harry’s Place, as that was just the hook to swing the attack from. Actually the bugger was writing about me – here’s the story.

    I posted a piece at my blog which argued that we should respect the privacy of those who blog anonymously. This piece was inspired by a fairly loathsome post by Gimlet Kamm which gloated at the Time’s outing of the Night Jack blogger.

    O’Atilla then weighed in at both HP and his own blog with an attack on me. The only possible reasons that I can come up with for this is that he is part of Gimlet’s gang of sycophants, and he chose to use my name in the post. Put another way, this was Gimlet’s revenge for my posting that had criticised his actions and the actions of the scab sheet that he writes for. So, and just to conclude, I think that my posting annoyed Gimlet who set O’Atilla loose to nibble my ankle like some deranged King Charles Spaniel on a bad acid trip.

    Poor old HP are more sinned against than sinning in this case.

      • For the record, I haven’t read the post Bell wrote and is referring to here. I wasn’t aware he had even written it. Not having read the exchange, I don’t know whether he or Oliver Kamm was right in this instance.

        There’s no hidden agenda – I simply find the viciously abusive and misogynistic way that Bell writes absolutely abhorrent. Harry’s Place, which quite rightly criticises misogyny in the Islamic world and elsewhere, simply should not allow someone like that to post comments, let alone defend him as a treasured member of the bloggers’ old boy network.

  21. Mark,

    Why not let Mrs Hand and her five daughters go to work and let you shoot your wad? You will feel much calmer afterwards.

    Look, if my version of events was not true then there would be no reason for you to keep repeating my name, would there? I posted an attack on Gimlet which damned him for using Night Jack’s real monicker. Along comes one of his stooges and does the same thing one-handedly to me.

    I don’t believe in coincidences.

  22. I think it really hurts the people here that there can be a blog with no moderation and no censorship of dissenting opinion. This to the chagrin of the left who has this uncontrollable desire to censor expression. let’s be honest here, what is bothering you is the lack of censorship.

    Please go to HP right now and find some example neo-Nazi talk or personal attacks. You will find none. Not because HP is moderated (it is not), but because the people there are a class above the rest of you who have to moderate comments to your blogs. Moderation is shameful. But that does not stop leftists from controlling their blogs with an iron fist.

    Inside each leftist is a totalitarian struggling to come out. Control yourselves. HP will not stoop to your low and censor dissenting opinions. Just read the its motto and go and ponder what is wrong with your attacks on HP. HP will continue to bash Islam and Mohammad, Islamist fascists and their leftist enablers, and if you think that is an attack on Muslims, then you are too stupid to even be commenting on HP.

    • Moazzem, you’ve misunderstood Harry’s Place if you think they “bash Islam and Mohammad”. They’ve overstepped the mark in the past, in my opinion, but in a way that was far from the spirit of bashing the religion or the prophet. Sarah is a better advocate for Muslims facing prejudice than I’ll ever be, for example.

      I’m not ashamed to moderate, because while I broadly agree with HP that the remedy for hate speech is more speech, this is my small private blog, not a public space, and in the main I decline to host hate or defamation.

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