The Herald Tribune recently reported on a group of bloggers who feel that there’s a need to “bring civility” to the Web.
Last week, Tim O’Reilly, a conference promoter and book publisher who is credited with coining the term Web 2.0, began working with Jimmy Wales, creator of the communal online encyclopedia Wikipedia, to create a set of what to many would be common-sense – though already controversial – guidelines to shape online discussion and debate… Chief among the recommendations is that bloggers consider banning anonymous comments left by visitors to their pages and be able to delete threatening or libelous comments without facing cries of censorship… A recent outbreak of antagonism among several prominent bloggers “gives us an opportunity to change the level of expectations that people have about what’s acceptable online.”
Now, of course I am all in favor of civility. When it is merited. And I have in the past, on rare occasions, removed comments that I felt crossed a certain line – usually when they were personal attacks not meant in the least to advance any form of discussion, or when they revealed private information. As I was reading this article, I was amazed by the controversy these common sense ideas were generating and then… Richard Silverstein popped up!
Richard Silverstein writes a blog, that I am not even going to bother to link to, that focuses in part on his far left anti-Israel and anti-Zionist opinions. I of course do not begrudge him his right to hold and disseminate controversial, hateful and even patently idiotic ideas. What annoys me most about Mr. Silverstein is what a whiny bitch he is.
Witness the following from the article:
For the past four years, Richard Silverstein has advocated for Israeli-Palestinian peace on a blog … that he maintains from Seattle… People who disagree with his politics frequently leave harassing comments on his site. But the situation reached a new low last month, when an anonymous opponent started a blog in Silverstein’s name that included photos of Silverstein in a pornographic context… “I’ve been assaulted and harassed online for four years,” Silverstein said. “Most of it I can take in stride. But you just never get used to that level of hatred.”
The pornographic context was, as far as I could tell, the use of the word penis and a reference to “Little Dickie.” Go see for yourself here. I mean, I was prepared to be horrified by pics of Little Dickie’s ass or something equally horrific. But no. Instead what I got was something less than pornographic and more lame ass whining by the blogosphere’s premier Jewish whiner. he considers anyone who disagrees with him and says so on his blog to be a harasser. When he doesn’t get included in Jewish blog awards because his opinions are simply too offensive and too off the radar, he considers that harassment. At the end of the day, he’s a giant nudnik, unbelievably self righteous and incapable of any nuance or of fathoming the possibility that a legitimate opinion can exist that he disagrees with. If he puts his opinions out there, he shouldn’t cry if people disagree. And given what a pain he is, he shouldn’t whine when people don’t want to have any association with him.
So have I been less than civil? Maybe. But some ideas and some people do not merit civility. that bothers you? Tough titty.