Blocked Comments

I was just doing a little housekeeping on my blog, when I realized that more than 3,000 blocked comments were being held in my “waiting to be moderated” bin. So I just spent the last two hours, scanning through all of these comments (mostly filthy trash), rescuing about 20 messages. Many of them were critical of my ideas. I’m not sure what the criteria for blocking comments is, but that surprised me — not that people were being critical, but that they seemed to have gotten blocked. I believe that one of the conditions tested, is if a comment from that person has ben approved in the past, then future ones will get through automatically. So look for future firestorms of discontent. 😉

“Am I too controversial?”

I do want to say here, that I did not approve one of the comments. It was highly critical of one of my recent presentations, and for the sake of continuing to try to make a living, I left the block on. I wrote to the author of the criticism, thanked him (or her), and mostly wanted them to know that I had read the post and that I had taken it to heart, like I do all correspondences.

I am a very lucky man, because I have a mission. But I also have to raise a family. So I have to exercise a right to decide what information is included in my web sites. To my knowledge, I have never blocked a legitimate comment before — and plan to mention in my blog, any time that I do so in the future.

7 thoughts on “Blocked Comments”

  1. David,

    I just finished reading Fullan’s “Leading in a Culture of Change” again. I tried to apply most of what I read this time to the kinds of things we are learning in this journey of educational reform. He says something interesting about what he calls “enabling disturbances”.

    “You can’t get there from here without amplifying and working through the discomfort of disturbances. When change occurs, there will be disturbances, and this means there will be differences of opinion that need to be reconciled. Effective leadership means guiding people through the differences and, indeed, enabling the differences to surface.”

    He also makes the point that resisters are crucial when it comes to implementation. Successful movements involve more than “just like-minded innovators; they diliberately build in differences. They do not mind so much when others- not just themselves- disturb the equalibrium”

    Bottom line- you are a “lucky man” because you have a “mission” or moral purpose and because of that you will have to deal with a few hard-core resisters who make a career out of being against everything – who act in other words, without moral purpose. But there are many of us who see you as a change agent, a visionary, and we are intently listening.


  2. I wanted to weigh in here because I think it will raise an interesting point of argument when it comes to blog edict. Ewan Macintosh in the podcast from Wes Frayer’s site mentioned that one of the problems he saw in student blogging was this lack of moral judgement when commenting on a peer’s weblog. The students saw it as a chance to be rude or inconsiderate of each other. There is an interesting debate to have here about how exactly we go about setting rules and guidelines for blog comments. What I write on my own site is entirely up to me and therefore what I allow to be posted on my site is also my decision. However, you would hope that professionals would never abuse what should be an environment of trust. The digital native and digital immigrants still need to be guided with some wisdom and values. Oh how I can see an even more increasing need for quality values education as we head toward the future of such technologies….
    Moral questions come to mind like…….

    1) Is it wrong to use someone’s unprotected wireless?
    2) Is downloading a TV show that isn’t available for purchase in your area wrong?
    3) Don’t I have a right to constructively criticize someone’s point of view in a podcast or weblog and have it read by all that read the blog?
    4) What if I copy and past information off someone’s weblog? Especially if they haven’t copyrighted it?
    5) Can I take David Warlick’s opinion, thought or concept and present it as my own presentation at a conference in which I receive financial gain, without giving him credit?
    6) Who owns the intellectual property of wikipedia?

    Furthermore, we need students to understand the concept of bias and what the particular bias of a piece of writing is. If I have complete control over the content on my weblog, all who read it and perhaps my reference to it need to emphasise the fact that all comments by me and all comments by my readers have gone through a personal bias filter – The Brett Moller bias filter!!

    How important it is to communicate this idea to students, especially if we continue to encourage them to participate in these types of conversational technologies.

    All these questions I can answer on my own value system, but what if you disagree, what the law disagrees? And like so many areas of technology change what if there is no law that covers these questions?

    This got lengthy enough for me to post on my weblog ( – Oh is it wrong for me to promote my weblog on Dave’s site? Especially, considering he has his site setup to auto allow my comments!!!! 🙂

  3. I have traditionally allowed all comments (except spam) but changed that this weekend. Sometimes people try to “hijack” the blogs of others for their own propaganda (and I use that term loosely.) However, I do feel that newspapers and organizations that present themselves as a two sided conversation should explicitly say if they block opposing viewpoints. It is sort of a “disclaimer” or “policy of comment editing” that in good faith should be posted.

    There has to be some sort of comment filtering because of the spammers who waste all of our time. Sometimes, we can post the comment of a naysayer and become so consumed with our response to the constant jibing that we lose our very own enthusiasm for our beliefs and passions. That happened to me and I do not want it to happen again.

    There is a difference between another view point and another know it all who only wants to show people how smart they think they are.

    Keep going Dave. Having sat through four of your seminars, you changed my life forever. You can take what is good on coolcatteacher and credit yourself for getting it going. You have a purpose and a great one at that. Please ignore know it alls such as this. He/she is probably a person who is envious of your position as an expert.

    I’m still listening to you.

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