As I realize at least once a day, blog comments boxes– by providing a relatively instantaneous, safe and anonymous means for people to insult and misunderstand each other– can be annoying, infuriating and frequently more trouble than they’re worth. On the other hand, the comments threads in which people genuinely and respectfully engage with each other sometimes make the whole exercise worthwhile.
One other advantage of comments boxes is that they make it impossible for Stop the War Coalition chair Andrew Murray– the apologist for Stalin and “Peoples Korea”— to get away with saying things like this (in his Guardian blog):
[W]e stand for freedom and civil liberties.
Sorry, Andrew. You’ve got a cyber-trail now. You can’t tell brazen lies like that anymore and expect only dutiful applause from the true believers.
Murray, who spoke those words at the recent Islam Expo in a speech on Islam and the Left, also said:
It is striking that today, for the first time in my memory, a section of the liberal left has abandoned the obligation to stand by the victims of racism in our society and is instead pandering to Islamophobia.
I wonder whom he means by that?