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One of the interesting things about having a public professional blog is the ability/responsibility to screen posts. On the one hand, a part of me says, "The internet should be FREE!" but a wiser and more cynical part of me knows what the unmediated internet can look like, and feels that curation and moderation is entirely appropriate, particularly on the blog that represents me to the world. Being a sensible sort, I listen to that part of myself, and keep the first post screening up.

Of course, this then introduces the question of what to unscreen and what not to unscreen.

It is my blog. At the end of the day, I make the rules, and don't have to account to anyone but myself.

But it's a blog in which I talk about culture, and my experiences of culture, and I think that there's value in being open to other people's cultural norms, particularly in a forum nominally devoted to such, at least sometimes. (And it seems insufferably rude to make sweeping statements about other peoples' culture and then not allow them the chance to respond civilly, whether I agree with their statements or not, though how to respond to comments that are respectful and on-topic but completely contrary to what I believe is an interesting challenge.)

And then there are . . . other comments. Such as this one, which I got on my post about a young white woman's experience as a racial minority:

Friend though I may be a stranger but may be you can kindly connect me to a white lady aged between 17 to 35. I will really appreciate if you will help me. Am just within lusaka . Please if so my email is yudeamusonda@gmail.com am tired of searching but it seems I can't find one.

Did I mention that this was the post in which I talked about how many marriage proposals I got?

This post is clearly unsuitable. My blog is not a dating website, and even if I unscreened it, I think it highly unlikely that he (I think, in this instance, it's safe to assume 'he') will get any takers.

But . . . it wouldn't be unsuitable in Zambia. If I delete it, he won't understand why I deleted his comment, which he made in good faith. It's kind of an excellent example of exactly what I was talking about in the post. Also it amuses me.

(But if I unscreen it, do I then set precedent? Do I feel any obligation to be consistent in what I do and don't allow? I suspect that I do, though not so strongly that I wouldn't feel capable of going against precedent if something became a problem.)

I haven't made up my mind whether to allow it or not, and keep waffling either way. (To be clear, this is on an entry from a year and a half ago, and is not likely to pop up first thing if a prospective employer were to follow the link to my blog. But it's still on my professional blog, even if buried pretty deeply.)

So . . . thoughts? Comments? Opinions?

Date: 14 Dec 2013 07:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] relique.livejournal.com
What is the point of your blog? I mean, on some level, it's a place to put things that you write. But who is your primary audience? It it first your friends? Possible employers? General people you don't know? I mean, this may change a bit from entry to entry, over time, etc.... Are you trying to get a job? Share your experiences? Change the world?

You have no obligation to be fair, or foster free speech, or anything like that on your blog. Unless that's the point of your blog. You have an obligation (I mean, sort of. I guess. If you have an obligation at all, which is sort of up for debate) to pick an audience, pick a goal or handful of goals for your blog, and then try to figure out how to best accomplish those choices.

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