Comment Approval Required -- I've seen the term "blog nazi" used in relation to people who have their blogs set so that the blogger must approve all comments. In fact, that is the context in which I remember first seeing the term soon after I joined Myspace. One point made by those who have used the term in reference to these bloggers is that the practice stifles free speech. It's censorship at its finest. It goes way beyond deleting comments that are offensive or unacceptable to the blogger, because it ensures that the information never reaches the general public for comment, at all, if the blogger so chooses. It's the ultimate control over one's own blog and comments.
I confess, when I first started blogging, I set it so that I had to approve all comments. I didn't do it to control the content of the comments on my blog. At that time, I had few enough readers that it was the only way I knew to keep from obsessively checking every two minutes to see if someone had posted a comment. By using this setting, I could go on about my business, safe in the knowledge that I would receive an email alerting me of a new comment that needed approval whenever one was received. Then I realized that it simply meant that I was checking my mail every two minutes to see if I had gotten an alert letting me know of a comment, so I stopped. I am sure that people who engage in this practice have their own reasons. Perhaps their mother reads their blog, and they don't want the details of their private lives and conversations mentioned in response to a blog. Perhaps they have been spammed so completely and hatefully and voluminously in the past in their comments, they wish to limit the appearance of spam by weeding such nonsense out. Or perhaps they do simply feel the need to control their comments that completely, in which case they really are blog nazis.
By now, I am sure that most people know what "blogdicking" is, but if you don't, it is defined by urbandictionary.com as "the act of pushing your way into the top few comments in a popular blog by replying to comments already posted." There is more there, but I'll just go with that. Common "blogdicking" practices include (1) leaving comments on someone's blog that are only meant to direct them to YOUR blog; (2) leaving comments on someone's blog that are thinly veiled SPAM, just to sell your book or link them to some really great ringtones for their phones; (3) hogging the comment section on someone else's blog by going into looooong stories about how you've had exactly the same experience that they described in their post, only yours was FAR more interesting or you handled it in a FAR better way; and (4) replying to comments left on someone else's blog on page one, just so that YOU show up on page one, even though you got to the party late. A distinction is often made for comments that actually respond saliently to a previously posted comment by another. That's just a "comment on a comment."
Some people don't like it, and they will tell you they don't like it and ask that people refrain from doing it, but ultimately, they tolerate the practice. I did find one person who opined that the practice is "rude and uncalled for . . . like those cocksuckers that would break line in lunch at school: It's not fair to the people that were there first." In offering this explanation, he explained that he approved all comments to eliminate blogdicking and to ensure comments appears in the order in which they were received, out of fairness to his readers. Imagine that . . . fairness to the readers . . . I liked his explanation.
Rarely do I have the truly intolerable blogdicker, i.e., that person who drops in simply to advertise their own blog, sell a ringtone, or something of that sort. When it does happen, it's usually pure spam that trickles in from the xeon mist when someone stumbles across my blog. I don't feel badly about deleting such nonsense, nor have I ever been condemned when I did so.
Blogdicking happens, and when it does, there are three types of people . . . those who openly encourage it; those who don't like the practice, but tolerate it; and those who don't allow it under any circumstances. Which would be the "blog nazi?" The person who point blank admits they don't like the practice, but will allow it? Or the person who absolutely forbids it and deletes all occurrences of the practice? If it happens, and it remains, despite a dislike on the part of the blogger, I am not sure that could really be said to be the type of control that warrants the label of "blog nazi." I could be wrong.
Deleting Obnoxious Comments and Blog Blocking
Not to be confused with the practice of approving comments, deleting comments refers to the practice of removing offensive or obnoxious comments once they have already appeared on the blog. Some bloggers have no problem deleting comments that express a viewpoint contrary to their own. Even when a reader posts a comment that irrefutably proves the blogger's premise to be false or inaccurate, such comments might be deleted for no other reason than the blogger doesn't like being told they are wrong. Fascist. Censorship. These are all criticisms heaped on the head of the blogger who deletes comments with which they don't agree. Personally, when it happens, I would tend to agree that it does exhibit a desire on the part of the blogger to control the exchange of ideas in a way that is bordering on fanatical. After all, who could have a problem with information that disproves the thesis of the blog or some secondary point made therein? Isn't that one of the points of a blog, particularly one that allows commentary?
Then you have people who pretty much have an open forum, where comments are typically allowed, with few exceptions. Such exceptions might be those where a reader posts pornographic images, or when someone posts a comment along the lines of "no one gives a shit what you say, you stupid bitch." I have had both types of comments, and in such cases, I deleted them and blocked the profiles. Does that make me a "blog nazi?" I don't think so, because I hardly ever delete comments on my blog. But pornography? There are bloggers on the internet who post blogs with pictures they know violate the Terms of Service of the site that hosts their blog, and then joke about the fact that the blog post will probably be deleted. I have a little more invested in my blog than pure entertainment value. I have letters to my future child saved in my blog. I would be absolutely devastated if one of my blogs or, God forbid, my entire profile, was deleted. This is why I have backed up all my blogs from my other profile, and why I am in the process of backing up all of my blogs from this profile. I care about the things I write. I spend time on them. I think about what I want to say. I do research and gather links for future reference. I use my blog to express things about which I care a great deal, such as civil rights, and things that are very personal for me, such as my unborn child. Those aren't purely for entertainment value. And I will be damned if I am going to jeopardize that by letting someone come in and post content that violates the Terms and Conditions in my comments, placing not only my blog at risk, but my entire profile, with my network of friends, at risk.
As for someone coming on my site and calling me a "stupid b****." Even before the "blog invite" button was removed from Myspace, I rarely used it. I didn't even know it was gone until a couple of nights ago, when a friend told me. I'm observant that way. My point is this: I am grateful to the people who read my blog. It consists of a group of people who are, for the most part, always very respectful towards me and each other. When someone comes in and calls me a "stupid b****," I know for a fact that I did not invite them him or her. The comment is left for no other reason than to insult me. Most recently, I deleted a comment in which some random person told me, "No one cares what you say, you stupid b****." I deleted the comment. Some people do care, or they wouldn't be here. He apparently cared, too, or he wouldn't have dropped by and left the comment. Unless he is willing to admit that he searched out my blog, dropped in, didn't read, and simply left his hateful comment, in which case, I welcome him to get a life if that is all he has to do with his time. Would that be considered the actions of a "blog nazi?" If so, sorry I thought of my blog as "my blog" and am not willing to have it overrun with a free-for-all funfest of blogshanking bile. And I submit that people who demand that leniency want to exert way more control over my blog than they are entitled . . . some might say a "fanatical" level of control that is characteristic of a nazi, as used pejoratively when no reference to Hitler is intended, express or implied.
Kill the Blogger
Is a "blog nazi" one who sets out to actually launch an all-out campaign against another blogger to the point that he or she no longer blogs? The blogger is so offensive in his ideas, or may even be seen as so trifling and superfluous in her topics, that one or more people determine that he or she is not entitled to blog on the topics of his or her choice. Over the past few years, I have seen several bloggers leave Myspace, citing this reason. It didn't matter what they posted, or how innocent the subject matter, their blog was attacked by those who, for whatever reason, decided that Myspace just isn't big enough to allow any form of peaceful coexistence. It still happens, I think. Is the person who sets out to shut a blogger down a "blog nazi?"
Go Get 'Em
This next practice might be one that the blog nazi party might exhibit, if such a thing could be said to exist. To me, this occurs when someone comes across a blog written by another that they find so offensive, they either blog about it themselves, or they post bulletins encouraging his or her readers and friends to go on the attack, flooding the blog with the wrath of the masses. Another possible example is when someone feels attacked on his or her own blog, or the blog of another, and, again, encourages other readers and friends, usually through the bulletins, to go to that specific series of comments and attack that person. Is this an attempt to intimidate the commenter, to scare off that person from ever returning to the blog? It's not that uncommon . . . and then when the person objects to the reaction of the masses, he or she is considered a "whiny baby." Someone call the waaaambulance! Yet, all I can think in that situation is, "who was the one who called in the reinforcements because they read something they didn't like?" And if the need to control the thoughts and words of others wasn't so strong that someone felt the need to summon the posse, circle the wagons, or rally the troops, it would die down in two or three replies in a single blog. Instead, there's a party. And not the fun kind. But I am digressing . . . if you are in a public forum and are insulted some way that causes you to summon your friends, is there desire to control that forum that could rise to the level that one could be called a "blog nazi?"
I am not sure this one really belongs in this blog, but it might. You tell me. The blogosphere is relatively small, and most bloggers and readers interact with one another on a frequent basis. Friends lists and subscribers are shared. A bulletin posted by one person can be seen by hundreds (assuming they still read their bulletin boards). Regardless of whether you want to, or not, there is little chance of escaping the carnage that is laughingly referred to as "blog drama." It's like a trainwreck, and the person exerting all the control is the one who started the drama. After all, if the person being targeted responds, he or she is whining and "can't take it." And if one person dares to speak out against it, he or she is either accused of the same conduct, or the protests are explained away as being nothing more than jealousy. So, often, no one says anything. People who are supposed to be friends will watch the equivalent of a cyber evisceration of others and will turn a blind eye, saying nothing, to avoid becoming a target, or to avoid being labeled a jealous hypocrite by those who have the least right to be calling anyone names. It's the ultimate control over the blogosphere.