Open Comments

One of the dangers of having a controversial website that is also open to viewer comments is the threat of visitors’ words being attributed to the site owner.

As an aside, Dennis Prager rehearses the now-common (but still pretty good) observations about the difference in reaction in insulting Islam and insulting other religions. He points out the absurdity of the Federal Koran-in-the-toilet suit versus the crucifix-in-urine modern art piece. Putting a Koran in a toilet and putting a crucifix in urine are essentially the same thing, but the reaction is entirely different.

In this video, Ibrahim Hooper, of CAIR, makes just such a claim against Robert Spencer and his site Jihad Watch. “[Hooper] quoted a genocidal comment that was made on this website yesterday, and made it appear as if I had written it,” Spencer writes.

His response: “In reality, someone kindly alerted me to the existence of the comment shortly after it was posted, and I removed it and banned the poster.”

So it was on the site for a short period of time, but then disappeared. How then would Hooper have known it was there? Someone emailed him? Someone at CAIR monitors Jihad Watch continuously?

Spencer continues,

The comment itself seemed to me and to others who posted on the same thread to have been written by a provocateur — someone who wanted to discredit Jihad Watch and me by planting a comment here. Such people come through here fairly often. And now, after Hooper’s use of this comment despite its being deleted, I suspect even more strongly that it was written by a provocateur. (Jihad Watch)

Could it be that someone who is critical of the site posted such a comment to make the site look bad? It seems entirely possible.

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One thought on “Open Comments

  1. Thud says:

    Bill O’Reilly got into this awhile back with Daily Kos, complaining about the “hate” on the Kos site. He got the “hate” from commenters on his own weblog thrown back at him — as well as that from guests like Ann Coulter.

    Personally, I’m all for screening and editing comments that are excessively rude or insulting, especially if they don’t add to the conversation. But that’s a personal choice, and if Kos or Bill don’t want to do that, that’s fine by me. But no one should mistake a commenter’s words for anyone but the commenter’s.

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