One of my reader AussiePB was very offended on this blog today. AssiePB has been here for a almost two months, if I count from his first comment on August 9, 2007. He left a comment and said good bye to this community.
Hi Jian Shuo – it is with great regret that after a very long time following your blogs and enjoying open and friendly discussion, I will no longer be visiting your site… unfortunately, it has attracted a person with very low intellect and even lesser moral fibre. Good luck to you and your family, I will keep in touch via email. Keep up the good work and positive attitude going – I hope that the racism desists here in the future!! Kindest regards, AussiePB…
Posted by: AussiePB on September 23, 2007 7:21 PM
Unfortunately, this is not surprising for me, since I have seen this happens before, when a passionate reader put their heart into discussion and only found out this is not the right place to discuss the issue. I feel bad about it.
So let me write something about it. For AussiePB, but not only him.
First, I don’t Want AussiePB to Leave
During the first interact with AussiePB, when he commented on the coins, I start to know him, and so do all my other readers. I share the happiness of AussiePB’s new arrival baby, as he enjoys my happiness of having Yifan. We even exchanged photos of his son. From his comments, we know he is from Australia, and he has a nice Chinese wife, and enjoy their lives in Shanghai.
This is a typical story of one of thousands of readers of this blog – a real person who is passionate about life, and happen to gather around this little blog.
I don’t want AussiePB leave us. If he feels he needs to leave, so does many other readers.
Secondly, Tolerance is the Survival Tool on this Blog
I have to say, there is no other suggestion than tolerance to my readers when there is a conflict.
For my readers who have been to this blog long enough, we have witness so many cases that people throw all kinds of negative things to this blog. I don’t want to name it, but remember that someone from California came to the site and write a comment on every new blog article, and claiming I am a government agent and try to fool this world? I remember I have about two months or so time to see this kind of comment as the first thing in the morning. Beside that, there are many controversial discussion on this blog, that discuss get heated up. So, I am not surprised.
In this situation, I believe ignore the comments you don’t like is the only way, or the right way.
Thirdly, I don’t Delete Any Comment
Even in these situations, my readers have guided me and helped me to ensure myself that no-delete-comment policy is the right way to go. I have a strict policy on this blog that I do NOT delete any comment as long as it is readable, and it is not a spam.
Sometimes to delete a comment is the most convenient thing for me to do, or even ban some IPs, or keyword. MovableType has that cool function. However, no matter how convenient this action is, it is against the spirit of free speech, and free flow of information. I am not 100% confident about my own judgment of what is right or what is wrong. That is the value I get from comment section.
Lastly, I do NOT Allow Personal Attack
I also have the guideline that you can say whatever you believe is right, but it is definitely not allowed to make personal attack to anyone. That leads the discussion to nowhere.
So My Wishes…
In short, this blog is a place for people from different countries, from different angles to gather and discuss the same topic that people happen to like to discuss: Events (in Shanghai or China) that affect our lives. I value this place so much since I could not find any place that people can discuss so openly and honestly.
It was amazing for me to see a comment system even without registration or email confirmation works so well in the last 5 years, that it is seldom (in percentage) abused. That is the beauty I love to put 30 minutes or 1 hour to this blog every day. It helps to change the world (for a little bit).
So, I’d like people (like AssiePB) to stay, and I will feel frustrated if people just get offended by any of the discussion. It happens, so as I suggested, ignore it, and go on. Do not repeatedly post on the same topic for more than twice if you feel there is some person who don’t understand you.
Anyway, we are adults, and it is not possible to change anyone, especially using comments. It is not only waste of efforts, and also dangers (we see enough time in all kinds of BBS that any effort to change another poster often lead to flaming threads).
This blog is prepared for people who like to express, and more importantly, people who like to listen. Let me use my favorite story The Blind Men and The Elephant again. We are just blind men in this world. No matter how ridiculous or naive, or no-brainer, or making-no-sense the other person is saying, it may be one angle for the same thing. I said MAYBE, but who knows…
Let me add my final comment. If I look back to my entries in 2002, 2003, and 2004, I cannot believe I wrote that, since my point of view was changed so much by intensive traveling, by reading comments on this blog, and by talking with people from different countries. Who knows how my thoughts or your comment-fighting-partner’s thoughts may change in the future.
So, if you enjoy it, keep on commenting, and if you don’t enjoy a comment or two, ignore it and go on the another topic. That is just my 2 cents on this issue.
P.S. By asking AssiePB to stay, I didn’t imply wonton is wrong. Wonton, I read your comments, and got many of your points. People in China, like me, share the same frustration as you have. We are trying to building a better country while someone is holding us back, or ban it. This is reality. As a 3rd party in this case, I feel that you and AssiePB are holding different part of the same elephant – China.