Where should I draw the line on comments? I found a somewhat unpleasant comment left here some time ago, on an old post. This time I left it on, but quite often I clean up and remove what I feel doesn’t belong. But then, people are entitled to their opinions.

I’m not very clever with my interviews. I don’t ask all kinds of intricate literary questions. I don’t try and pry into people’s private lives either. It’s just nice with a little window opening on a person, and it’s not meant to be complete or anything.

I have found most authors that I’ve met to be nice human beings. I have no inclination to start digging if someone seems too nice, in order to find ‘dirt’.

The comment in question was about Neil Gaiman, who apparently has had things going on in his private life. He’s mentioned it a little on his own blog, so it’s no secret. But even he seems baffled that he can’t be allowed to live his own life. I’m sure people have been upset, but that’s private. What I did was talk for a short time to a nice and interesting individual whose books I like. He doesn’t have to be perfect.

To return to my thoughts on vetting authors the other day, I’d say that most of us have something ‘Not Good’ in our past. And I’m not even going to ask what yours is.

4 responses to “Privacy?

  1. I have had a similar problem. I did delete a few on a Holocaust post (they weren’t personal, but arguing about whether a site one of them recommended was a Holocaust denial one or not and I wanted to stop it before it got out of hand). But I have also had a number of comments on one of my Neil Gaiman posts that involve his personal life and I haven’t known what to do either. Two came to one post shortly after it went up and got into a conversation back and forth in the comments. I asked them to stop as it had nothing to do with the post and after one insisted it did they stopped. But since then there are occasional comments (just one yesterday) and I haven’t known what to do about them. I assume they now come because they find it via search engines (as something personal to Neil Gaiman was mentioned in those comments).

  2. On the whole, I don´t think an author´s private problems concern me or should influence the way I read his books. I think it is a silly and unhealthy trend to be so interested in gossip just because someone is famous.

    Please, can´t we turn the clock just a little bit back – to a time when no one cared (or knew) about the private business of authors, actors, politicians etc. As long as what they did was not criminal.

  3. clarehitchens

    I recently found this blog and enjoy it very much. Regarding your dilemma, my opinion is that it’s your blog and that you can delete comments as you wish, especially personal attacks. People are certainly entitled to their opinions, but you’re not required to provide a forum for them.

  4. Thank you, Clare.

    Yes, I know I’m the boss, but it’s sometimes hard to censor comments. This time, as I said, I left it on.

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