As longtime readers of this blog and Charley’s Facebook page know, although I do moderate comments I’m pretty permissive about what can be posted. I allow people to criticize me and my methods, for example, even if they’re rude about it. I’ve even allowed plenty of nasty personal attacks towards me to stay on my blog. Fortunately I haven’t had any of those lately.
Really, the only type of comments that will definitely not get approved, or will get removed if they got automatically approved by WordPress, are ones with a whole bunch of cuss words on them, and ones that are really, really vicious towards the MP. As far as personal attacks directed towards people other than me, like towards other commenters for example, those are be decided on a case-by-case basis. But I am probably more likely to remove them than otherwise.
(I will sometimes also remove comments months or years after the fact, or indeed an entire blog entry or entries, if a relative of the MP or a police officer requests it. But that’s another story.)
However, something came up today for the first time that I want to address: I will not allow any discussion about possible paranormal explanations for a disappearance (i.e. aliens, ghosts, etc). I won’t allow any discussion of things like the “Illuminati” either. Probably blaming “Satanists” would also merit deletion, unless there’s some actual evidence to support this theory. (Samuel Ray Rawls would be a rare example where such discussion on that topic might be warranted.)
I think such discussions as these are not helpful to an MP case and they have a strong propensity to get off-topic quickly, like people just debating whether aliens etc. exist in general. There are many places online where it’s appropriate to discuss those topics, but those places do not include the Charley Project’s blog or Facebook page or Twitter account.
I agree with Justin – this is a good rule. I think the reason for this craziness is people who are off the wagon and online. I would like to think that no sober person would suggest alien abduction.
I’m really glad Frederick Valentich doesn’t apply for the Charley Project.