Policy Question for the Readers

Gentle readers, hitherto, my policy was never to ban anyone who did not break one of my rules, printed clearly for all to see in the side column of this page.

However, I notice that there are now four men making frequent comments here whose comments I have no desire to read and no desire to answer. My eyes glaze over.

The frequency and size of these remarks seems large enough that there is now some danger of regular readers growing bored, or made to feel unwelcome, by the comments of these worthless and unreadable remarks.The internet version of Gresham’s Law threatens to be at work here: bad comments driving out the good.

All of them are men I have openly but politely not to make any further comments here, and whom I told were not welcome. I consider them pests.

They are Chris Gerrib, Camestros Felapton, Steve Schwartz, and the dishonest yet indefatigable meatpuppet Dr. Andreassen.

I do not put 1RW into this category. He seems to be sincerely trying to have a conversation on a topic of mutual interest, even though his bad habits of sneering and changing the subject make that more annoying that it need be. He is not a pest.

I would like to poll the readership and hear your reactions. Should I grant myself the authority to ban a commenter, after due warning, because and merely because I find him a pest? Such a rule would be subjective.

If the regular readers find their comments entertaining or interesting rather than foolish, hostile, and annoying, I will not grant myself this authority.

I am debating the matter in my mind, because I do not wish my sense of honor and propriety to be abused by men with no such scruples. And I do not wish my regular guests to be annoyed or discomforted by trolls and yammerheads and pests.

What do you say?

UPDATE and RESULTS: While many readers responded to the question by waxing philosophical about the First Amendment or the private property rights of blog owners, or expressed opinions about such matters as my reputation for fairmindedness and how to maintain it, only two readers actually answered the question I asked, which was whether these four men bored you or pestered you to the point of making you feel unwelcome here.

One voted aye, and one voted nay.

All the other comments, while I appreciate that readers took the time to voice opinions, I interpret to be abstentions.

Since, to my surprise, two of the pests voluntarily absented themselves, and since I know full well that talk about materialism invites reply from Dr Andreassen ergo in his case the legal doctrine of ‘coming to the nuisance’ applies, that leaves only one pest who is remarkably infrequent in his unsightly verbal litter being left on my metaphorical lawn.

I interpret the oracle of the replies to mean that readers are not bored or offended or bothered in numbers enough to make any change in policy needed at this time.

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