Engadget now is a dictatorship?

While I am waiting for the duck to roast, I am using my powerbook to check Digg. I stumble upon a submission where the author is not happy with Engadget publishing an email address as a means of revenge for the person screwing up their Christmas charity auction. When some readers didn’t like this action by Engadget and became vocal about it, Engadget closed the comments. So the Digger asks: Engadget is now a dictatorship?

Well, let me answer to you: it was never a democracy. Neither OSNews is, neither is Slashdot. You have Engadget trying to do a good thing for Christmas with this charity work, and then you have the idiots shitting all over the good intention. Sorry guys, but editors are people too. They have feelings, they can get pissed off, and “staying professional” (I hate that word) is not always what they want to do (especially blogger-style free-form journalists like OSNews or Engadget).

So, kudos to Engadget for ruling their site with an iron fist. It’s the visitors who must behave themselves, not the other way around. When you visit someone’s blood and tears and hard work, you ought to respect it. Unfortunately, some people think that by visiting one’s web site they can do whatever they want, including vandalizing it. Nope, you can’t and you shouldn’t.

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This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on December 26th, 2006 at 8:54 AM PST:

> Everyone is entitled to express “rants and thoughts” on a personal blog, but not on a website that aim to be taken seriously

I do not agree. OSNews for example has a special section called Editorials, which is exactly this, opinions. Sometimes we even add “My Take” at the bottom of a news item to do some commentary on it. I suggest you read this too.


Albygil wrote on December 26th, 2006 at 11:31 AM PST:

I usualy tend to agree with your opinion, but this time I have to disagree: “Professionalism” should still be the main difference between bloggers and journalists. I agree is a dirty work, and that’s why we all need people like you and your collegues to be able to do it in a professional way.
Everyone is entitled to express “rants and thoughts” on a personal blog, but not on a website that aim to be taken seriously (the blog-written style, can’t be an excuse): amateurism, retailation and juvenile behaviour shoudn’t be excused by editors well before than by readers.
That said, seemed to me that in that case most comments were sympatethic with the author of the post, althought few were asking him to behave in a more professional way, I can’t really find any reason for him to close the comments.


mikesum32 wrote on December 27th, 2006 at 1:29 AM PST:

So to you vandalizing = leaving comments you don’t like ?


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on December 27th, 2006 at 1:45 AM PST:

No, the vandalizing part is when you opt for a charity and then you back off. Or when you curse on the editors via the commenting system.


Doug Stewart wrote on December 27th, 2006 at 12:30 PM PST:

I’ve looked at some of the original posts. As I understand it, the auction winner claimed that he hadn’t in fact bid, but he had left his computer on and someone had made the bid in his name as a “practical joke”. I’ve seen his post about this which seemed to me polite and apologised for what happened. He indicated that he did not in fact want the item.

This to me seems a very reasonable position. Putting aside the fact that it was for charity, if someone purchases an item in the name of someone else, without the other person’s knowledge or agreement, surely the other person cannot be required to pay.

There were also other bids, so hopefully one of them would come through.

Maybe I’m missing part of the story. However, I don’t see what is wrong about the guy declining to pay for an auction item that he never bid on.


Albygil wrote on December 28th, 2006 at 12:16 PM PST:

Eugenia, I had read again your other post at the time of my writing, and it has only strengthened my opinion that we all desperately need people like you and Thom and many others who do this difficult work in a serious passionate way.. Maintaining a professional attitude in such evenience is extremely difficult, but it’s nonetheless necessary to let us readers understand.
On the other side, you’re right: editorials and personal takes are the right place to express personal (passional) feelings, and that’s why they’re probably the most difficult to write. And as a reader while I’m expecting a stinging view, I’m also looking for witty posts, written with some style, not juvenile rants (that, in my view, makes the difference between Thom’s article and the endgadget guy’s one). It’s probably unfair to ask the same level of professionalism and dedication from paid journalists and from unpaid contributors. Can I ask the same quality level from GNU/GPL software and commercial one? Probably I shouldn’t, but I’d still like to see it happen.


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