A few posts last week referenced BCoop’s deletion of Tommy and Twit’s comments, and I wanted to return to the topic briefly to explain why the incident warranted the attention I gave it.
Simply, blog moderators shouldn’t delete comments without a good reason, which would include comments that are off topic, libel, spam, and ad hominem attacks. I’m not questioning BCoop’s right to delete a comment or remove a commentator’s posting privilege; I’ve removed a couple of comments from this blog myself.
The problem with the Tommy and Twit comments was that there was no good reason to delete them, and, I would argue, an affirmative obligation to keep them on the page once the discussion began. Cooper had asked for advice, which Tommy offered.
Cooper responded and refuted Tommy’s suggestion, inviting Tommy to explain or defend himself, which he did. If Cooper didn’t want Tommy playing in his sandbox, the time to shut him down was when he offered the first comment. Once Cooper disagreed and engaged Tommy’s idea, he really needed to let the discussion play out.
From what I recall, Tommy offered several detailed and substantive responses on the difference between us and the disciples, and on NewSpring’s apparent institutional contempt for seminary. Twit, as you know, joined in with a Spurgeon quote supporting book learning. Tommy’s responses took some fine thinking and time in writing, and Twit’s took some research to find. Deleting them was an act of bad faith.
If Cooper felt that the comments section was getting too long, he could have simply shut the post down to further comments and left it at that. That’s done fairly regularly, especially for old posts or for long discussions that have gradually veered far afield from the original point.
The value of seminary and formal learning was certainly appropriate to the advice that Cooper had asked for.
Instead, it seemed that Cooper was worried that Tommy was winning the argument.
That, my friends, should not be a sufficient reason for deleting entries.