Monday, February 20, 2017

Commenting on the Blog

Dear Readers,

I had mentioned previously that I am very frustrated with this district but that's actually a different issue than what I am bringing up here.

I find it difficult to moderate lately and therein lies the frustration.

Charlie and I have basic guidelines on comments but we try to use our best judgment on what stays and what goes.  It's not easy because:


1) if we moderate too much, we're too picky and it's supposed to be an open forum
2) if we moderate too little, then we'll allowing some comments that skirt or go over the edge to some readers.

I can take a certain amount of "personality" to some comments (if only so people see the thinking that is out there).

There is also another issue with the moderation and I said this in the charter school lawsuit update.

I know that some people coming here are paid to do so. They are here to obfuscate and try to run me and other readers in circles.  

Call me old and cranky but I reserve the right call it out or to say no.

It's one thing to have an opinion and another to try to spread ed reform rhetoric on my time and my blog.

This blog is one of the few places where comments are NOT pre-moderated. 

We allow you to pretty much say what you want (even in criticizing us.) Does the Washington Policy Center? Nope. LEV? Nope.

But after doing this for more than a decade, I'm drawing my own line in the sand.

One, if you've made a point and you just keep making the same point over and over, this may not be the blog for you.

Two, if you try to make it sound like others don't care about children -even though they are clearly at a public education blog - this may not be the blog for you.

Three, if you are here to make this personal and about me, this may not be the blog for you.

So, if you don't like those points, then I invite you to go elsewhere.

Onward.

17 comments:

NO 1240 said...


Good for you. I felt a particular individual's personal agenda was to discrediting you and confuse readers.



not mc troll said...

amen said from a frequent flyer on the mw disdain button. thanks for all you do.

no caps

Anonymous said...

So, your point is that you are now going to start moderating?

Albert

NotPaid said...

Careful Albert...don't ask questions.

Eric B said...

If it's moderating off-topic, repeated comments from people who don't seem to actually want to discuss things, then I'm all for it.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Charlie and I have always moderated. We delete, warn, clarify - we've done that since we started.

What we don't want to do - and have never done - is pre-moderate comments. You can put up a comment without any preview or editing by us. We leave that to others like LEV and Washington Policy Center.

What I am stating is fairly clear. I don't like wasting my time or readers' time with circular arguments or restating of an argument (unless for clarification).

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Melissa. I don't comment here often, but I do read. I've learned so much not only about our schools and the district but also the greater education scene, and I'm very grateful. Your blog is a vital source of information (and opinion) and it makes impacts both large and small. So thank you for what you do.

-Grateful reader

Anonymous said...

Thanks Melissa. Since I started reading this blog 8 years ago, I've found it the best source for actually staying informed about Seattle Public Schools. I love the back and forth in the comments, but I, too, have noticed a lot of comments recently that are less contributions to the discussion and more petty repetition of points already made (with personal attacks thrown in). It's typical troll stuff, and whether people are being paid to do this or just doing it of their own accord, it's pretty noticeable. In addition to what Melissa and Charlie are doing, we can all help out by not responding to these posts. It's not always easy to tell, but if you believe someone posted something just to get a reaction, in my experience the best thing is to just not respond.

Stay Positive

Not Fooled said...

Alfred's comments were inflammatory and aimed at discrediting individuals. No one was fooled.

Not Fooled said...

Clarification: Albert's comments were clearly aimed at discrediting individuals, creating chaos and twisting words. Glad comments were deleted.

Not Fooled said...

The best thing to do is ignore Albert.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elsa said...

Just stop you two.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I agree with most of you and I am going to strive to ignore comments that I feel are not useful to a discussion.

Just as I told my sons that "Every thought that comes into your head doesn't have to come out your mouth," then every comment doesn't need a reply.

Anonymous said...

Do whatever you need to do to keep the blog up and stay relatively sane. You are doing a huge public service.

Grateful

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I agree with the other favorable comments about this blog, Melissa and Charlie. Thank you so much for the time and passion that you put into this work and to helping so many of us to better understand SPS. I'd be so happy not to see the comments that devolve into a back and forth between just a couple people. Melissa and Charlie, you're far more lenient with comments than I would be. You can do whatever you want, this is YOUR blog. Anyone who dislikes it doesn't need to read it. This is opt in, no one is forced to be here. Thanks for all your efforts to make it useful to a wide audience.
Appreciative