In short, I don’t know.
In longer answers, I don’t know, I don’t care, as long as I don’t receive annoying legal statements or phone calls.
However, I was disturbed by a conversation in this entry: Second-Generation Identity Card, related to a person named Chris Devonshire Ellis. If you want to see all the off-topic discussion, scroll down to the comment made by Pesci, and all the discussion after it.
With all due respect to Chris, I don’t know who this person is, and I am not very interested in finding it out – the article the comment belongs to is a blog entry about “Second Generation Identity Card in Hong Kong”. I hoped that there had not been off topic discussion below it.
Then someone posted something about this person – pretty negative, but I just wasn’t able to distingurish it from many other normal, off topic comments.
Then there are request to remove the comment by Roger. Without the following thread, I didn’t realize what happened, and posted my policy of removing comment as below:
I did see your comment. However, it is my policy not to remove any comment on this blog, as long as it is legal, not spam and not meaningless. If there is any evidence about illegal, spaming, or comments that is not appropriate on this blog, please report to me by writing to me at jianshuo at hotmali dot com. No evidence, no removal.
Posted by: Jian Shuo Wang (external link) on October 4, 2006 11:46 PM
Laowai2, I am a strong supporter for freedom of speech, which is really not easy in China. There are just enough censorship going around everywhere, so I took relatively less moderation approach.
To be honest, I have no idea about what Pesci is talking about. I didn’t see anything in my post, or other’s post before him/her that is related to this comment. Please correct me if it is wrong.
If people just came to the site and randomly post something not related to the post itself, I will actively remove it. I call it spam.
If Pesci is talking something related to this entry (Second Generation ID card), and is saying something bad about another person, please give me some evidence so I can make decisions. Currently, I have no clue at all about what this is all about.
On Anti-Foreigner, or Pro-foreigner, I always use the rule set by Martin-Lurther King: people should be judged by their characters instead of anything else. I don’t delete any post because it is posted by foreigners, Chinese, black, yellow. The only guideline is, it is the right or wrong comment. I won’t delete any comments just because he/she is foreigner, or leave a comment there just because he/she is a foreigner.
For negative comments, I have many negative feedback on this blog (including myself). It think as long as he/she is telling the truth, it is OK. In most cases, I cannot tell who is telling the truth, so please debate on the thread instead of asking me to remove previous comment.
I hope it is clear now.
It triggered many comments after that. I then commented the previous comment with my note – that is what you see now. Then I continue to receive emails from this person to ask me to delete more similar comment. I just have no idea about who Chris Devonshire is, and again, I don’t really care. He complained about me in this article: The Downside Of China – Immaturity Online .
So, I am seeking for some legal advice here: If I receive complain about a comment, and there are pretty reasonble evidence or arguement about it, then what I need is to take down the comment temperily and wait for the other side to give evidence that it is true, right?
Please Stop Here
Anyway, I hope everything stops here, after I hide the original content of the comment. Please, leave me alone without further lengthy legal warning and similiar stuff.
If you want to say something bad about Mr. Chris Devonshire Ellis, please go somewhere else, and the best, start your own blog, instead of posting off-topic comment on this blog.
If you want to say something good about Mr. Chris Devonshire Ellis, please also go somewhere. He has a pretty nice blog at http://www.2point6billion.com/, and your comment will be welcomed.
My point is, please go somewhere else for a topic that neither me, nor my readers are interested. It is just as the case of Disturbed Lunch (the point was, no matter which side is right, just don’t disturbe the third party).
Also, if any one want me to delete any comment posted either by himself, or by others, please simply send me an email stating what happened, and most of the time, if reasonable, I will help, just as I stated in the How to Delete Your Comment. We are here to help, and not to fight. Please do not always use threatening word. I am not always the person with good tempter. If you push the line too hard, I will also react.
Update January 23, 2009
Received a phone call around 17:00 from Chris’ lawyer again on this. Hm…
Update January 23, 2009
Received a phone call for the second time today at 17:18 from Chris’ lawyer on this. Hm…, asking me to delete this article because I said something negative about Chris Devonshire Ellis. I asked her to list all the sentence she thing is bad about him, and I will delete it. I have changed my bottom line here: tell me exactly what you don’t feel comfortable, and I will delete, OK? I am just too annoyed by this stupid thing. Yes. I am pretty angry about this. People have the right to be angry and express their feeling if treated in a not-so-comfortable matter, right? I want to help, and I did help to remove some of the comment (with backup so it is possible for the original commenter to counter-argue). I have cooperated, and then, what the next thing you want?
Update February 15, 2009
Interesting enough, after Lost Laowai posted an article about this Chris Devonshire Ellis, he received Chris’ legal threat again, and he was forced to close the comment section with comment as below:
As much as I’d love to be a beacon of free speech, I don’t have the time or wherewithal to deal with Chris’ threats nor can I guess what is true and what isn’t – apparently an ability Chris believes I hold, as he refused on every occasion I asked for him to simply tell me which comments were libelous so I could remove them. He never did.
I don’t know about others, but I just feel Chris is pushing the line too hard. If I were still “neutral” about this person when I started this article, I became negative about him after all these happen. If anyone asks me for a reference, I would honest tell what I feel about him.