So far, out of an abundance of caution, I have refrained from allowing search engines to index this blog. The main reason for my reluctance was the thought that doing so might make it easier for people to comment with lessened fear that a controversial comment would quickly go viral, creating problems for the person who wrote the comment. An additional reason was a fear of a deluge of tendentious and off-point comments which would have to be reviewed for appropriateness by me before being approved for posting (or not). (It should be noted that in fact there is already some apparent indexing access from within the WordPress platform that I use for blogging.)
After about six months of blogging, I am now seriously considering turning on search engine indexing. The obvious advantage is that more people could find and make use of the information on the blog, and indeed regular readers might find information more easily (although remember that there is a search feature on the right of the blog page.) The downside is the risk of the deluge described above. I would not want the blog to turn into mindless denunciation of courts, legal aid, lawyers, or trivial back and forth arguments on legal or other issues. At a minimum, I would only approve comments that are directly relevant to the post, and are substantive. I would always have the option of turning off search indexing, or turning off comments. It might be added that getting the views of the general public on these issues might be very helpful.
So, I am implementing a non-binding vote, to get at least a sense of what our regular readers think on this issue. Please vote, and lets see how it goes. I would also appreciate any thoughts by use of the “other” option, by e-mail, or by comment.
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