Comment stonings and comment warriors

A couple of links that show how the internet is developing.

First up are a bunch of pot-heads calling themselves “CLEAR”.  They know what they want, and they’re not about to let the fact that everyone else disagrees with them stand in their way.  They write.

Every day the CLEAR Facebook page points to such stories and calls for comment warriors, people who can post polite, well-informed, persuasive comments.  This is an excellent way of driving opinion from the grass roots.  Over time we can influence newspaper editors, local opinion formers, those people who are prominent in local society.  It is a long game and requires patience, persistence and politeness – but also passion.

So follow the Google news service for stories and keep an eye in the  CLEAR Facebook page. Watch out for calls for “Comment Warriors” when we find a story that’s really worth complaining about and  feel free to add any you notice!    Please take the time to leave a comment, express your point of view and use some facts to counter the lies and propaganda that are published about cannabis. If you can’t write a comment to the newspaper’s website, then write to the editor.

To be most effective, your comments should be polite and refer to scientific evidence.  Please do not use bad language, however angry you feel at the content of the story.  Please feel free to copy any information you find on this website to use in your comments.  Over time, you will be able to build up some standard comments or paragraphs that you can save on your computer and copy and paste as you need them.

In most cases you will need to register in order to leave comments. This can be frustrating to begin with but soon you will be registered everywhere. Of all the local newspapers published in Britain, most use one of only three or four standardised comment systems.  Once you’ve registered once, you’ll be able to comment on all papers that use that system.

The most important thing is to keep going.  It can become tedious but invest just 10 minutes a day and you can be part of making an enormous difference.  Working together we can have an enormous impact from the grass roots.  Become a comment warrior today!

Yes, it’s not about communication or debate, but “having an enormous impact”.

Over at Front Page Mag, there’s a conversion story of a leftist journalist who gradually realised that his allies in a “hit story” were being dishonest, and what happened when he tried to correct things.  The nuts and bolts of the story don’t matter; but I liked the description of what happened when he tried to add some balance to the pre-arranged media narrative.

In January of 2012 I wrote 3 consecutive articles for the Daily Kos.  The first was entitled “Loonwatch.com and Radical Islam”.  Here I pointed out the how Loonwatch only deflects criticism of radical Islam.  I was also critical of Islamic theology while noting over and over that most Muslims were peaceful. 

The comments section of Daily Kos made me feel like I was attending my own funeral.  It was like a public stoning.  

There wasn’t much in the way of responding to any of the points laid out in my article but hundreds of comments accusing me of being “right wing” a “bigot” and an “lslamophobe”. 

A “public stoning” is precisely what some of these “comments” feel like (and are intended to feel like). 

In the face of all this dishonesty, perhaps we need a campaign for honest blog comments.  That the whole purpose of comments is being perverted seems clear.

My own policy on comments is very simple; if a comment annoys me, I delete it.  This isn’t a forum, and I regard the choreographed, manipulative complaints  of “censorship” made by the offenders with amused contempt.  My house, my rules.  If you want to open your mouth in my house, be polite, be nice and, if you disagree with me, remember just who owns this house, or you will be ejected.  In other words, behave as you would if you were in my house in real life.  Which hardly seems too much to ask! 

7 thoughts on “Comment stonings and comment warriors

  1. Indeed – a man’s digital home is his castle!

    Never heard of ‘Clear’ before but it tickles to hear the cannabis advocates seek a ‘grass-roots effort’.

    My experience of this kind of swarm is with US political blogs: there is a subset of Ron Paul supporters who track mentions of his name and form a great crashing wave of comments, all drawing as if by magic from the same short list of responses.

  2. I’ve really come to dislike “persuasive.” Schools make a big mistake, I think, when they tell the student to write a persuasive essay. It doesn’t matter about what; it doesn’t matter which side (unless you pick the wrong side…); truth is irrelevant. It is important to understand any argument well enough to articulate it, but of course that’s not what’s happening. They’re training the student to sell the soap, promote the cause, acquit the defendant or convict him.

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