I feel I ought to say a few words about my increasing propensity to delete comments. I delete comments when I believe that they are made, mostly to waste time and tie people (in particular me) in sterile debate at the expense of more useful activities. I also delete openly racist and abusive comments. I am not opposed to debate per se, even with zionists. The mildest of criticism I have received over deleting comments by trolls is that it is censorship. That came from a guy who posted wilful lies about my own posts. I didn't mind the first time, but when he kept on doing it I deleted his comments. I don't accept that this is a form of censorship. On the contrary, trolling is a form of censorship for reasons outlined above. The same guy, indeed anyone, can run their own blog. I won't interfere or complain about their right to do so. In fact the same guy did set up his own blog and told the same lies about me that he told by way of my comments box. Next up I was accused of stalinism by a blogger from New York who is an Alan Dershowitz acolyte. He too denounced me on his own blog. I think being called a stalinist for deleting trolls' comments is just a tad over the top. He presumably thought I was a trotskyist and that stalinist was, to me, the vilest form of abuse. Still another guy accused me of fascism for deleting his silly comments. In his case I only deleted them because whilst he felt free to comment on every post I made, he never answered any questions. I usually have an honest go at answering some questions even by manifest trolls for the first few times. Regarding bans, this is a very blunt instrument so I don't do them very often and when I do it's only temporary. The first time I did, I ended with well-wishers asking me why they had been banned. At present I only have two bans in place and I only did those today. I even had the decency to respond to this guy's questions about the future for Palestine in two posts but he still accused me of not responding. He also insisted on continuing questioning another blogger and persisted when I asked him to question the other blogger on the other blogger's blog. Is that too much to ask? Anyway, as you can see, I don't really have a consistent policy on deletions and bans; try a comment and see how it goes, or better still, start your own blog.
Update 3/8/2005 - I now have a "chat" facility so if you want to hurl some bogus or tenuous allegations at me for others to see then comments in the chat box have more chance of being seen for longer before they inevitably get deleted.
Dr. Mona El-Farra: "We have no power and no water."
46 minutes ago