Citizen Wausau

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Another One Says Goodbye to the Forums

by on October 12th, 2009

My relationship with the Daily Herald’s blog has come to end. Recently the site administrators took two of my posts down for violating the terms of service and banned the user with whom I was arguing. The site administrator said he could have banned me. I think I’ll remove the opportunity from him. I don’t want to make it seem like I have sour grapes; I have enjoyed my time on the blog.

There are a couple qualms I have. If I write them down, perhaps I will be able to relax a bit. First, the user with whom I was arguing is anonymous and he will simply log-in under a different name. In fact, I have reason to believe he did only hours after he was banned! He will continue his vulgar and hate-filled assaults, now without my impediment.

Second, it’s dubious whether or not my comments rose to the level of serious ad-hominem. In other words, my criticisms were hard yet warranted. I challenged him to a public debate. Further, I called him a cowardly, rude, anti-intellectual, reactionary, iconoclast chump. Now, I realize these are not the friendly names one would associate with polite discussion – yet this was a Smashmouth debate. The criticisms hold true – and I stand by those words. He embodied each of these labels. His words were vile and the assaults he employed are well described by my reproof.

This brings me to my third point. I called the site administrator, and he said the WDH didn’t like the escalation of conflict. He was reasonable, as usual. But this is what bugs me – the situation was monitored and people were aware that I was rhetorically lambasted, and they did nothing about it. Had I not defended myself, I imagine the hostile attacks would still be up there. In fact, similar attacks went unnoticed. I don’t mind mixing it up with people who insult others anonymously – it’s part of the blogosphere, and it provides an interesting challenge. But in this case, I felt like a boxer with one hand tied behind his back. Thus, it was a no-win situation.

So here we are. I have logged out of my account on the Herald’s website and do not intend to contribute further. I shall passively peruse, but no longer actively contribute. I need elbow-room to perform at my best. If I can’t authentically defend myself on the WDH site, best I just call it good and bow out. It’s been fun. I’m sure they’ll get along just fine without me – though I imagine the quality of the arguments will be slightly diminished. It gives me the opportunity to start my own blog, which I have wanted to do for a long time. So, perhaps a blessing in disguise.

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