I am officially neutral in the 51st delegate race. However, knowing Faisal Gill and his supporters enough to know he is a decent and honorable man, I have from time to time taken to answering the more outlandish charges against him (and there are many).
In the past week, the Black Velvet Bruce Li (BVBL) blog has gone into full-attack mode, making up more and more charges, and allowing anonymous and other commenters to say outrageous and offensive things without restraint.
Since a baseless charge unanswered may be believed, I took to answering each charge made against Gill specifically, and directly. I was factual in my presentation, and avoided attacking his opponent. There are answers to most of the charges being made.
I've also been defending Ken Cuccinelli, Scott Lingamfelter, Bill Bolling and Corey Stewart against outlandish, slanderous statements being made about them in comments. When people start accusing our elected officials of taking bribes and being unprincipled hacks and terrorist sympathisers, Good Republicans, and in fact all good men, have to stand up.
But instead of welcoming the exchange of ideas, or defending the outrageous claims, the BVBL blog owner instead deleted every comment I made in the past week.
A blog can do that, of course. But that shows the weakness of the position -- the charges can't be defended, so the opposition has to be silenced.
The BVBL blog is now highly misleading. The blog is trying to drive google hits to "tell the truth" about Faisal, and instead is presenting a one-sided picture. Further, there is no indication that comments are deleted, so readers are being led falsely to assume they are seeing every comment being made.
If BVBL can't stand comments, comments should be turned off, so people know why there are no answers to the charges. By allowing comments, but secretly deleting arguments against his position, he is essentially lying to his readers by suggesting that nobody HAS an answer to his arguments.
Bloggers should be offended by these actions. While a blog has a right to delete comments, what is a "right" is not always "right", and in this case it is most certainly wrong. It certainly is NOT ethical blogging to offer a blog with comments, to suggest to readers that there is a free exchange of ideas while surreptitiously deleting opposing comments.
BVCL is re-writing history by deleting comments en-masse from the past week.
Bloggers can ban people from their site. They can stop people from posting. They can remove individual comments if those comments are over-the-top or not germaine to the discussion. And, they can delete all the comments that argue against their position.
But what you have a RIGHT to do is not the same as what IS RIGHT to do. It's bad enough to ban someone from a site. It is deceptive to pretend to allow open debate, while blocking people who successfully refute your arguments.
But to allow people to spend their time posting to a web site, to CLAIM CREDIT for hits to the site, but then to delete those comments simply because you don't like the opinion or can't answer the criticism, is highly unethical, and should be roundly criticized by the blogging community.
If Bloggers don't denounce unethical blog behavior, we deserve the ill reputation we get.