Urban Semiotic has been around in some form for over three years. We’ve been hosted here on WordPress.com since the end of October 2006 and we’re loving it. There is, however, something we do not love — and will never love — when it comes to publishing this blog: Commenter Regret. That regret rears its selfish head when people ask — hours, days, weeks, years later — to have Comments they wrote here removed from public view.
We have learned this Commenter Regret is usually most common on Hot Topic articles where people post an emotional comment without first thinking.
I’m certain our recent conversation concerning “Jesus Found Dead in His Grave” will foment several regretful requests to have their comment removed from publication.
We have no choice but to deny all requests to delete published comments. We have that policy not out of hatred or punishment — but to preserve the flow of conversation as all of our Commenter minds explore every angle.
To go back later and pull out a comment or two because someone is unwilling to own what they wrote is to create censorship via Commenter Regret. To abide such requests is to willingly destroy a conversation thread where others may have replied to, or been inspired by, the comment in question.
We appreciate your effort to move forward from hiding and to place new ideas into the fire pit of public analysis — but do not punish us, and our readers, by asking to delete your work. Recanting is better than removal.
Some try to argue we are not The New York Times or Newsweek or The New Yorker and we do not deserve the same standing or need to honor the same shared effort of preserving the Public Record. “You’re just a Blog,” they counter our denial for removal, “You aren’t a real publication.”
To that small-mindedness and lack of forward visioning, we reply, “We are every publication. We are every Blog. We are every preserved idea. And, so too, are your comments. As a part of us, the greater good is served, and your thoughts provide a mark of who we all were at a certain moment and we celebrate that opportunity to share the meaning of the world.”