Wednesday, April 17, 2013

No more free commeting at Hirhurim. Thanks to Broyde (we think) you now have to register

Without really explaining why Gil Student has announced that his blog will no longer allow people to comment without registering.  While he concedes there are workarounds, effectively this means Gil wants to do everything he can to find out who you are before allowing you to comment on his site. Can you say chilling affect?

So far, his commenters seem overjoyed at this invasion of their privacy....

rspolter on April 17, 2013 at 2:09 am
I agree with the policy and commend you for it.

Nachum Klafter on April 17, 2013 at 8:01 am
Wise decision, as always. Yesher Koach

jckaplan534 on April 17, 2013 at 8:54 am
Good decision

... but there is an easy explanation for this. Thanks to the policy, those who object and prefer not to register are not able to voice their objections! (But they can send me emails!)

Why has Hirhurim changed its policy? Obviously, Broyde has something to do with it, but I admit to being unable to work out the thought process. Does Gil think requiring people to register will prevent famous Rabbis from behaving unscrupulously or is it just that he doesn't want his blog to be a party to that particular kind of unscrupulousness? And whatever his motive may be, why is he willing to make his threads more one sided and more boring in pursuit of it?

Some other questions: If he's willing to torpedo his blog to prevent future instance of sockpupettery why is he also acting as R. Broyde's chief spokesman? I understand and admire choosing your friends over principles, and I can understand, while disdaining, choosing your principles over your friends  but Gil seems to be trying to have it both ways. He has to choose: Either he supports Broyde or he steps down as self-appointed high priest of J-blog ethics. One or the other. Not both.

Note below: Those, like Gil's commenters,  who seem to think anonymous writings make the world a poorer place depress me. But I guess, that if you never had an interesting idea in your life, you simply can't understand why people might not want to link their names to their thoughts. If all your brain can do is parrot the party line, what's the harm in putting your name on everything your brain produces? And if forcing people to identify themselves means never having to hear something that goes against the party line, well, so much the better.

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