Comments rule

This blog has enjoyed tremendous success. That success – measured by the number of readers who visit this blog every day – is not just because of my posts. Instead, it’s driven mainly by your comments.

Many of your comments are informative. They are thoughtful. And they are insightful. In fact, many of them are better than the original post. That’s why they generate so much attention. And that’s why there’s such vibrant debate.

So naturally, I am deeply grateful for your comments.

That said, some of the comments have also been spiteful. They’ve been written with the sole intention of lobbing personal attacks at other people. Such comments distract our readers from the main issues; they compromise healthy discussions, and they suffocate constructive debate.

The prime minister and other public officials, including yours truly, have all been victims of abusive comments and personal attacks. Other prominent people and some commentators have also suffered. But, so far, I have not intervened; I have not moderated the comments. That’s because I did not wish to risk stifling any one’s views in any way. Plus, I strongly believe that, in the overall analysis, a free-for-all discussion space generates more good than harm.

However, the number of malicious comments intended to discredit people has increased sharply. Perhaps that’s because we’ve been discussing many more controversial issues. But then again, perhaps it’s the looming elections that is spawning the vitriol.

So I’ve decided to moderate this blog, more carefully, and more attentively. I am aware that I risk interfering in your views and how you express them. But I am also keenly aware that, left unchecked, personal attacks and vicious comments will crowd out other useful comments. And that the fruitful discussions we enjoy now will degenerate to meaningless noise.

That’s why I have decided to moderate all comments. But I will do so reluctantly. And with great hesitation.

Starting with this post itself, I will remove any comment that I think is abusive; that I consider to be a personal attack; or that is not directly relevant to the issue that I have raised.

On my part, I commit to actively engage in the discussions by interacting with you instead of just listening to you. If you would like to raise issues that are not directly relevant to my post, you may do so by emailing them to me – I’ll consider posting them as separate entries.

Thanks to your active participation, this blog has enjoyed tremendous success. Let’s work together, with dignity and mutual respect, to strengthen and build on that success.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Lyonpo, It’s like you do mind reading. The other day I was going through your posts and I was like, OMG, lots of bad good comments and high time Lyonpo does something and here this post… Great!! Like the idea as people tend to post what ever they like……

    • Dear Tashi – I’m happy you approve. However, I’ve decided to moderate comments with mixed feelings, and a heavy heart. So thank you for your understanding la. Thank you for your support. T

  2. I appreciate what you are doing, OL. I was getting tired of personal attack type of posts from people … so I have stopped posting. They will attack anyone who writes something critical … even when the criticism is merited and proven.
    I even dreaded coming to your blog …

  3. As you like only positive comments about your post, we also hope that you would post only good issues about the country and the government.

    • Please “Trangpo”, do contribute to discussions, even with critical views, as long as they are well considered. All I’m suggesting is that we should refrain from abusive and personal attacks. And that we should try to stick with the issue being discussed.

  4. Dear OL,

    This is good. However, except for some very rare comments that were derogatory and personal in nature, on the whole, the comments here were not all that offensive. No doubt some comments were meaningless but we realize that the world is made up of a variety of people. Also, the quality of discussion is relative to the quality of topic put up for discussion. Therefore, if we must spend time debating on issues, like Trangpo said above, I hope you will keep to useful and relevant issues that are without bias or prejudice.

    I agree with you that this Blog is certainly among the most popular in Bhutan. Therefore, you should be happy that your Blog is a very useful part of the process of change that is taking place in this country.

    Please be fair in your moderation so that we have a reason to continue to come here and participate in the issues you raise.

  5. Nice to hear that from OL la.Few weeks ago, I even decided to write complain to Kuensel in My say Column about your blog and bad comments bad to our political leaders by readers. Because some of the comments on you r blog are so so dirty and even readers don’t hesitate to post such comments la.

    I am entreating OL to delete those bad comments not all but the sentences that truly used gibberish words la.
    With Hopes to hear more information from you
    Pema RIM la.

  6. Dear OL,
    It is food for thought for everyone of us.I think we really need to change our attitude and work as one instead of criticising each other.Even in the party politics, whether it is ruling or opposing party, there is need to think oneness instead of thinking as if like different entity.In that way our democracy will be unique in the world.It is not only in your blog,but also others.Even media, there is need to have unbiased reporting in order to avoid personal attack and come up with meaningful discussion. Lyonpo,this is my sincere feeling whether you will accept my post or not. Saying that all the best for your forthcoming election

  7. I think it is good for all of us to be careful with what we write and say. Words could come out cheaply but their implication could have long term consequences. In a democracy just as we have freedom of speech, but we also have responsibility for its outcome. Freedom without responsibility will lead to anarchy and lawlessness. Of late, many in Bhutan seem to be riding on the bandwagon of freedom of speech but without being responsible. I could already see some bad fall outs from such reckless behavior.

    Guys, enjoy writing and be creative and sensible.

    Cheers

  8. Kelzang Dawa says:

    Dear OL,
    in right time, you have decided to intervene. This reassures hope for young citizen like me who would be interested in a discourse concerning a nation. I was always informed and alarmed by your posts whether it was good or bad, but the comments were not sensible. Some of the comments were eye opener and rational, worth of debate and resolution. Some were far beyond the limit, waste of time and required to be labelled as malicious. Such comments provoked me and I was prompted to react , and this would have lead me towards wrong direction, often negating the real issue. So, I rarely participated.
    Now as OL declares to moderate with unbiased intention and initiate constructive discussion, I here by declare that, on behalf of youth, I would participate herein. ( I believe that most of the participants are adults, and from my experiences and circle of friends and environment, I would try come up with sincere and unbiased views…
    cheers….

    • Dear Kelzang,
      Thank you for sharing your views. And thank you for agreeing to participate in the discussions.
      The youth form the biggest and most significant section of our society, and, as such, it is imperative that your voices are heard.
      With my best wishes,
      Tshering

  9. A timely and good move, if I have inadvertently caused any one distress with my comments, my apologies, but everyone must also agree that most of the vicious and personal attacks were those that were being directed at our PM. With no more of that, it would mean that this blog would be less used, not because it is not popular, but only because many people blogged in defense of the PM when he was being personally maligned, which we thought was very unfair.

    As the first democratically elected PM of the country, we certainly expected people to show him a little more respect.

  10. Hon OL,
    I believe i am one of the readers who read your blog regularly and who comments against you sometimes most derogatorily. But i don’t remember commenting against you as person but as a opposition leader.

    I also believe you should moderate your comments that are commented to inflame hatred, disharmony and misunderstanding. However, i am also worried as a son of Bhutan and a stakeholder of democracy that some comments can be against your views and you moderator will moderate it.

    With due respect, we would love to see objective moderation from your side. As a humble Bhutanese, i know Hon OL that you will continue expressing your opinions though i hate to read sometimes.

    I am never a supporter of any parties but definitely i won’t support PDP in present form but i respect your views and opinions. I may not respect your opinions but reluctantly, i agree that for a smallest opposition, you are doing fantastic jobs.

    Hon OL, best of luck with your blog and coming election. Forgive me, if my comments are harsh and personal sometimes….

  11. Dear Guardian,
    I think the OL is clear that he will disallow only those comments that are of a personal nature and is out of context. This is a positive development in the sense that he will finally moderate any comments that are directed at the PM or himself or other personalities – with malicious intent.

    Let us see some improvement in the content of this blog after all we spend quite a bit of time here. I am personally happy to be here but if things come to a head, it takes less an 10 minutes to start a blog – without having to spend a broken Chettrum.

  12. Hon`ble OL,

    Let me also agree for such kind of discussions which does not attack any one in particular. Your blog has been suffering so far for creating dis-harmonies in the minds of the people/readers. Such things are not a good merit and it will bring ill lucks to the individual and to the nation. Will look forward the best chosen topics and comments which has no direct personal attacks to any one including both readers and non-readers.

  13. Honorable OL,

    theBhutanese newspaper started to moderate the comments in its forum few weeks ago and I did not know you would follow suit. Trust me, theBhutanese forum did not or do not publish the comments which were against the article they have published. I believe they do not publish the comments which are too convincing, against their articles.

    And I think personal attacks and abuses in your blog were minimum. I do not know if you are aware that there is a group called ‘Social Democracy in Bhutan’ on Facebook. Comments there are getting real bad, especially the PM is being bashed here and there using varied adjectives.

    Well are you under pressure, political or whatever to moderate the comments? Just curious.

  14. ‘Man Is Born Free, And Everywhere He Is In Chains’-Rousseau

  15. Foontsho,

    The site you mentioned on face book is being hijacked by some weirdo’s to attack the PM and has family.

  16. Dear OL, you were already moderating before this post. Couple of my past comments were not published. So I am surprised you should announce this now.
    Anyways, this is your blog and you have every right to do as it pleases you.

    • Dear “Koko”: My general policy was not to remove, or even edit, comments. So, in the past, I removed only couple of comments. Both of them carried attacks that were personal and extreme. So if you’ve lost some of your comments, it’s not because I censured them. The chances are that your comments did not upload properly, or that they went automatically to the Spam Folder. I try to check the comments in the Spam Folder, but cannot be thorough due to the large number of comments that arrive there.

  17. Dear OL, I don’t understand your mention about the comments on personal attacks. You have allowed all personal attacking and disgracing comments about the PM and the government. The bloggers have used all sorts of nastic words against the PM. Som to whom should the bloggers not make personal attacking comments?

    • Dear Trangpo – the reason I’ve decided to moderate the comments in this blog is to discourage personal attacks on every one, not just on me, but also the PM, public officials, other commentators and other people.

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