Ethics Alarms Public Service Announcement: If Your First Comment Is Like This, You Won’t Get Past Moderation. Ever. Take Note.

I sat down at Ol’ Betsy (I call my PC Ol’ Betsy) to write the first post of the day, and what do I find in the “Pending Comments” queue but a comment submitted for publication by “Lisa Clifton” regarding this October 21 essay which discussed an interesting legal and ethical issue. My analysis was clear, amusing and correct, but Lisa was outraged by the piece. Why? Because she didn’t understand it, or didn’t read it carefully, so she just dashed off an insulting rant. In fact, she dinged her own comment in the first few sentences:

Jack Marshall, what the hell gives you the right to call Dillon Webb a jerk. Bc you don’t like what her wrote. I guess that makes you a jerk as well. Bc I don’t like what you wrote. Leave it to the “fake news, lying ass, sorry pieces of shit press” to condemn someone else for writing what they want to….

First, Lisa didn’t check the comment rules (above) before foaming at her metaphorical mouth. That never bodes well. Then, her first sentence…

  • …begins with a verbal assault on the blog’s host
  • …is mispunctuated, indicating that the author either didn’t have the respect for the forum to write her audition comment with care, or skipped the 4th grade, and while I know having “her” for “he” is a typo, it’s a particularly bad one, indicating that the writer didn’t bother to re-read what she wrote…
  • …is an doubly idiotic rhetorical question that contradicts what she argues later in the post. What gives me the right? The fact that it’s my blog gives me the right. Apart from that, the First Amendment gives me the right, which is why the Florida law the EA post discussed, making it illegal for the jerk, Dillon Webb, to display a sticker on his car that read “I Eat Ass,” was unconstitutional. This nuance also escaped Lisa, whose reading comprehension skills apparently drop precipitously when she is upset.
  •  Her introductory blather also indicates that she lacks a basic understanding of what rights are. That one has a right to do something doesn’t mean one should do it, or that one should be immune from criticism when one does do it.
  • In addition, she wrote “Bc” for “because” twice,  and I don’t allow text message shortcuts here (LOL!), and finally…
  • Ethics Alarms “condemns” things people say or write “because they want to” on a daily basis. This isn’t the blog for you, kid.

Lisa’s comment had another paragraph to go, and it was as bad as the beginning.

It’s a tangential matter and not among the issues examined in the post, as you will see if you read it, but I also clearly explained why I designated Mr. Webb a jerk, although the post itself defended both his right to have the juvenile and vulger sticker on his car and the application of qualified immunity to the police officer who arrested him for doing so:

Some may disagree, but Ethics Alarms regards public display of that legend signature significance, as a non-jerk would never do it. Not even once.

I’ll confidently stand by that standard. Lisa’s attempted comment is also signature significance, both for a jerk and someone whose input would not be beneficial to the quality of the content on Ethics Alarms. I’m sure the now departed EA gadfly “A Friend” would protest that such judgments make this site an “echo chamber.”

In a classic episode of “I Love Lucy,” Lucy is thrilled when a publisher wants to purchase her book, a roman-a-clef about her life with “Nicky Niccardo.” Eventually she learns that her opus was sought so it could be used in a chapter of a book for aspiring authors, titled, “Don’t Let This Happen To You!’

Aspiring Ethics Alarms commenters should heed Lisa’s example as well.

6 thoughts on “Ethics Alarms Public Service Announcement: If Your First Comment Is Like This, You Won’t Get Past Moderation. Ever. Take Note.

  1. One thing I really l about this blog (aside from the subject matter)is that generally disagreements are resolved through civil discourse.

  2. Heh. As a former blogger, I really enjoy these types of short examples of the insanity and inability to communicate currently endemic in the world. It also illustrates an axiom that I learned from bitter experience — if something you read makes you angry and outraged, carefully move your hands away from the keyboard, walk away from the computer, and do something else for a while.

    Rage-commenting (or rage-blogging, tweeting, Tik-Toking, Facebooking, etcetera) never ends well, and usually makes you look stupid, intolerant, and emotionally crippled. It can (and should) get you removed from the forum for an inability to contribute meaningfully, think clearly, or communicate effectively through the written word. Frankly, written communication is just not for everyone anymore, and what we see here is yet another example of a case where we no longer teach the rudiments of written communication, or hold people accountable for their authentic frontier gibberish or outright nonsense. Popular shorthand and lack of critical thinking have destroyed yet another mind, at least until he/she/xe/xir/[poster’s pronoun here] gets some remedial instruction.

    Shorter: I support your decision wholeheartedly, and thank you for writing about it. It’s nice that others get to see what hard work blogging can be behind the scenes.

  3. After spending an inordinate amount of time on the Red Sox and Yankees posting board Lisa actually seems rather sane.

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