Censoring blog comments

I’ve been blogging for nearly five years now and I’d like to think that I’ve seen and handled most things. As a blogger you’ll always get the odd weird comment coming in to moderation and you need to work out whether to publish or not. In most cases I say “yes”.

I’ve had my fair share of anonymous comments. I’ve had my fair share of abuse. I’ve also seen my fair share of controversy.

That’s the way it rolls.  You can’t try to provoke debate and then avoid it.

But this Saturday morning, I woke up to find a comment made in the very early hours that made me question my approach.

It was made by an employee.

Now that on its own isn’t really a big deal. I don’t hide the fact that I’m a blogger or on Twitter. But at the same time, I don’t write about my own work or organisation.  I try to keep the two things relatively separate.

But it was also both anonymous and using the anonymous email service www.sharklasers.com. And it made comments about work and specifically someone at work, albeit vaguely in the context of the original post about inter generational issues.

And so I didn’t publish it.

Was I right? I don’t know. I took the decision because I thought the approach was a little cowardly, but also because it just didn’t feel right to do so. And I tend to trust my instincts.

I’m all in favour of two way communication, I’m in favour of feedback, I’m in favour of being open and honest. But to do that, you need to be both open and honest.

So to “disappointedemployee” I’d say this. Drop me an email, come and see me, let’s talk. We’re very open as an organisation, we can talk about anything and I’m happy to explain any decision that I’ve made. Or if you don’t feel able to, you can speak to your employee representative, your Trade Union representative or use the “Whistleblowing line” too.

We can even agree to disagree. That’s ok.

But let’s keep it at work and keep it above the line. That seems the right place for it.