Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Comments

I read Melina's recent post announcing that she was enabling 'comment moderation' because of anonymous threats and insults. I've begun to realise that Tangocommuter is about the only tango blog of my acquaintance that hasn't enabled comment moderation. (Perhaps I should try harder to annoy people.) I've never seen the need for it, and I like to be an open house where people can say what they like, and it's worked well. There's been a bit of trivia but there have been a lot of great conversations, and lots of interesting feedback. Three years of it this month, and nearly 400 posts. & anyway I've never had to wonder whether a comment is acceptable or not... until last week.

I didn't want to mention names, but everyone else has, so OK: Jantango's comment on the Cachirulo video. Of course I can simply delete that comment myself, but that feels too easy. (Thanks, by the way, to La Reina and Joli for your comments: thanks for making me laugh out loud.)

You – the whole wide world – are welcome to say what you like about tango on Tangocommuter; that it should be danced like a cancan, on stilts, spouting pseudo-Argentine nonsense, dressed like chickens and definitely off the beat. I'll disagree with you, but let's talk about it. But derogatory remarks about other people definitely aren't acceptable.

Jantango, most of us entirely agree with your views on tango. We're on your side! We respect your experience and knowlege. But one of the things you admire in your Argentine hosts is their tradition of courtesy and politeness. You've tried hard to become a porteña: can't you adopt that too?

Moreover, you got it wrong. You don't know the milonga: I hear you never go to Cachirulo. You don't know what the arrangement was that evening, and you don't know Allison. We always look forward to your tango comments, but this kind of comment makes you no friends.

So I won't delete your comment myself, but I invite you to delete it. Simply log in, go to the comment and click on the little dustbin icon. It's easy, it'll disappear. Think about it. & write to us about tango.

Tangocherie recently wrote a long and very heartfelt post about the corruption of tango as a result of visitors' attitudes. That kind of comment is really valuable.

10 comments:

Tina Ferrari said...

Bravo!

Chris, UK said...

Stick to your guns, Janis.

Chris, UK said...

"You – the whole wide world – are welcome to say what you like about tango on Tangocommuter ... But derogatory remarks about other people definitely aren't acceptable."

TC, I don't see how you can have it both ways. Tango is about people. Almost any comment derogatory about some aspect of tango is interpretable as derogatory about some person. And very often the person is integrally part of the product, e.g. dance teachers. Declaring such comments as unacceptable soon ends up in a situation like the Tango-L forum and its rules that permit anyone to freely (and falsely) praise a performer or teacher, but not to criticise except under very limited conditions. Or worse Dance Forums, where negative reviews of teachers are allowed only if the teacher is not identified, despite which the backlash has led to almost all the contributors now hiding behind assumed names. I think it is great that you let people comment freely, but not great that you then post-hoc declare a comment to be Unacceptable.

tangocherie said...

Thank you for the link and the kind comment about my post re "Tango Idols."

My feeling about comments on one's own blog as well as the posts themselves, is that the blog is "yours," and you can do what you like. It's not like a Forum or mailing list (Tango-L), which is supposed to be, I suppose, democratic and showing all sides of the question/opinion/problem.

I moderate the comments on my blog because I don't want spam, commercial links, marketing, or sex sites. Otherwise people can say what they like.

Controversy can also infuse life into any discussion. As do derogatory remarks.

If people can't take the heat, they need to stay out of ...

Elizabeth said...

Having the freedom to say what we think is important. But does this mean we put our personal standards for the dance above our standards for kindness? People can surely be creative enough to write what they think (and thankfully we don't all think or dance in the same way) without picking an individual apart. Words are very flexible this way.
E

Mari Johnson said...

Criticizing dancers and teachers on one's own site is one thing - using someone else's blog to attack someone is another. And when comments get personal, rather than keeping it to professional criticism, it is an attack. Elizabeth is right, how you phrase things is important. Hiding under "I was just being honest" is a way to justify being cruel without having to feel bad about it.

I think it's fair to criticize something you see - a behavior that's inappropriate etc. But speaking to someone's motives, or character - especially when you don't know all the facts, is just poor debate and discussion skills. If you have to get personal to feel heard, how strong can your argument be?

Chris, UK said...

"I think it's fair to criticize something you see - a behavior that's inappropriate etc."

Glad that's settled, then.

" But speaking to someone's motives, or character - especially when you don't know all the facts

Nobody ever knows all the facts, Mari.

Mari Johnson said...

"Nobody ever knows all the facts" - and that's exactly my point. :)

tangobeginner said...

"I've begun to realise that Tangocommuter is about the only tango blog of my acquaintance that hasn't enabled comment moderation."

It's the only way against automated viagra sellers.

Janis said...

I'm interested in talking with those who were there at Cachirulo, like Pedro Sanchez, etc. and hear their opinions. I spoke by phone with Hector's sister (a milonguera) and told her what I thought about the "performance." I hope I can view it with her and see her reaction.