Your Rights as a Talkbacker.

Note: I got zero comments during my five day hiatus from blogging. Are you folks really that indifferent? Show a little more fire, people! These aren’t easy to keep up even in the best of situations.

Much to the chagrin of some readers and members of staff, I implemented a talkback system on the site with the redesign. We’ve never been cutting edge but I always felt that our readers were smarter than the norm and would elevate such a feature. For about twenty minutes I was right.

Then people realized that all the rules and codes that are somewhat in place on our messages go out the window in the less regulated, more loose format of the talkbacks. It’s a shame but a part of the terrain. Compounding issues is the fact that, unlike the message boards which reach only a small percentage of the readership, these comments are visible to all.

First you attacked Phil Owen, pretty much because he’s new. Most of this site’s writers aren’t too proud of their early stuff, but they didn’t have to endure the kind of vitriol Phil has. I blame some of that on a few old timers being vocal on the MB and their sycophants (or themselves on multiple logins) being anti-Phil and doing it just because they could. But, a “me too” mentality pretty much defines the web.

Then it was David Wagner, because… as we all know, going to strip clubs and dating attractive women much younger than ourselves is a horrible thing.

Then me and my comic strips. Mixed into that mixture were the omnipresent but much less vocal in 2008 Devin Faraci haters.

In a way it’s harmless, but when folks do Google searches of us they are unfortunately given some of these lame attacks and it’s really kind of unfair. But, I spent a lot of time deleting dozens of anti-Phil comments and a lot of the ones on Dave’s blogs and my Bitter End pages.

Inevitably [and all apologies to Lucidz, who I didn’t realize I was deleting the posts of because our backend doesn’t name whose comments belong to whom, just offering the words], people complained about their talkbacks being deleted. Censorship! Big Brother! Call Orwell!

Here’s your rights as a talkbacker if you don’t use your real name or message board handle:


The talkbacks aren’t like the boards, where there’s a community aspect and the ability to have discourse and the need to back up your discussions. Talkbacks are “fire and forget” places and since I’m the boss I will cull them as I see fit. Too bad. Keep that in mind when you post something there rather than on the boards. The boards are a safe haven to post most anything [aside from spam and proto-hatespeak], but the talkbacks are a place where the good of the site and its contributors overrules an anonymous person using a fake handle’s “rights”.

Just so you know.

– Nick Nunziata would delete your legs if he could.