As most of you probably know, I moderate the comments on this blog. I do it mostly to stymie the spammers - I do not need money wired to me from Nigeria, I do not want to pimp the latest computer software, and I do not wish to view "HOTEST Russian womens". I also want to make sure that a certain level of politeness is maintained. While I'm all for First Amendment rights and will allow pretty much any comment that isn't libelous, blatantly offensive or an out-and-out lie, I do insist that opinions be expressed in a civil manner.
I've received several comments lately from people who are seriously cheesed off at certain reps and/or saddle companies, and have chosen to use (or try to use) my blog as a venue to air their grievances. I've chosen not to publish these comments because of both content and tone: "DON'T EVER DEAL WITH MANLY BARECHEST OF DEAD GOAT SADDLERY - HIS SADDLES ARE PIECES OF S**T AND RUIN HORSES' BACKS, HE'S MEAN, RUDE AND HE SMELLS BAD, TOO." (And the caps thing - I really, really dislike the all-caps thing.) "BARBIE THE SNUGGLEBUTT SADDLERY FITTER FROM EAST BACKACHE IS AN IDIOT AND TOTALLY RUINED MY SADDLE. SHE'S ABSOLUTELY INCOMPETENT."
Here's the bottom line: comments like those will never, ever appear on my blog - end of story. If you want to get your message across in that particular manner, you're welcome to start your own blog - there, you can vent your spleen until the cows come home, and you won't have some cranky old saddlefitting broad editing (and deleting) your commentary. Or better yet, write it all down on a piece of paper - call 'em names, curse them roundly, cast aspersions on their parenthood and family tree, question their humanity, call down upon them all manner of misfortune - and then burn it.
I'm not saying you shouldn't air your opinions (see this entry) - I'm just saying you should be careful about where and how you do it. Tell the truth, air your views in a factual, non-libelous/-slanderous manner, and you many save someone else from going through the same bunch of crap that you did. You'll also probably feel better. However, you won't find inflammatory stuff in the comments here. By not publishing comments like these, I've not only kept a lot of negativity out of my blog and my life, I've also protected the poster from possible litigation and attendent lawyer's fees.