Thursday 27 January 2011

Brace yourselves

Today marks a turning point for Palingates. I asked Patrick and Kathleen to leave the blog due to irreconcilable differences in editorial approach.

I take full responsibility for my decision and for the inevitable consequences of this move. Palingates is a fairly popular open forum and its contents often used as a point of reference by a number of people. What goes on here matters and certain lines should not be crossed.

Despite any disclaimers about who is responsible for the editorial decisions and contents of Palingates, the overall responsibility rests with me. All the accounts relating to it are in my name: Blogger, Disqus and Paypal. I cannot shirk my responsibility for the sake of an increase in pageloads or for the growth in the number of readers and commentators.

I am not detracting from all the hard work and the many hours Patrick and Kathleen put on the blog. I would like to pay tribute to their dedication and enviable skills as researchers and networkers. Palingates was transformed through their input, evolving from a modest, sleepy blog to a minor sensation in some circles. But we are not on the same page on a number of issues.

I do not know if Palingates will appeal to readers after Patrick and Kathleen's departure. I do not have the skills they brought to Palingates and may not be able to offer what people want from it.

Will Palingates survive? It may have had its natural lifespan and could simply become a reference blog. I cannot guess what the future holds.

There is a Palingates community. It is a dynamic group of very diverse people who are proud of the close ties that were formed in the last few months. Unfortunately, this caring community does not always live up to this caring label and at times some insensitive comments are posted. Anybody who dares to express their concern regarding any insensitivity is met with aggressive and dismissive responses by some.

I have received a number of e-mails asking me to do something about it. To that end, I wrote two posts addressing the issues of commenting and how to deal with the trolls. They were very well received by the majority of readers, but there was an inevitable pushback and the problem persists, as may be observed in the thread about Shailey Tripp. (Sorry, it can't be observed anymore, the post was deleted)

Again, the dedication and hard work of Palingates contributors has to be commended. But it became apparent that members of this admirable community need to re-evaluate themselves from time to time and ask themselves a few questions. Palingates would be a much better community if people paused to read their own comments before clicking on the "post" or "reply" buttons.

I could not ignore the pleas of people expressing genuine concern for Palingates. I could no longer sit on my hands and hope for the best.

Palingates is a political blog with a purpose. This purpose is to find ways to prevent Sarah Palin having influence in the political landascape of the US, which affects us all in this global new world. Is Palingates going to stop Sarah Palin at all costs? Are we going to publish anything and everything about Sarah Palin and anybody connected with her, however incidental the connection?

I will always be the first person to rush to my keyboard to take apart Sarah Palin's speeches, point out inconsistencies found in the pages of her books and share any discoveries of unethical or criminal behaviour in her part. I will criticise the way she uses her children to score political points. But if I came across a notebook containing poems written by her, personal poems that reflected a deep hurt or pointed to some painful events in her early life, I would never publish any of these poems. They belong to Sarah Palin the woman, the human being, not Sarah Palin the politician, the Fox News talking head.

If I did that, everything I ever wrote about Sarah Palin the politician would become tainted by my lack of compassion for Sarah Palin the woman.

I cannot run a blog about another human being without compassion. If this blog was about the efficiency of internal combustion engines, UFOs or simply a blog to share recipes, none of the things described above would be an issue.

On this blog, words matter. That's not negotiable.

Full explanation about the split HERE

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