Easy solution in the “who’s liable for comments” debate

Techdirt points out the foolish arguments over who is liable for website comments – the website owner or the commenter. The catch here is it is very very difficult to figure out who commenters are (despite what some think). Of course, I suspect a lot of the hubbaloo is about what is posted to blogs (and those who would love to know who the comment posters are), so I have a simple (albeit potentially temporary) solution:

All blog owners turn off all comment capability, and turn on trackback capability (if they haven’t already). Anyone who wants to provide feedback must do so via their own blog (even if they use it only to provide said feedback). That will weed out the trollers anonymous types (at least until some smarty figures out a hack around it). And who knows, those newfangled feedback-only blogs may just generate some revenue for those previously scared of airing their views. They can use AdSense for goodness sake. Sounds like Google might be needing the extra revenue any day now.


I obviously agree here.


I’d like to comment on that…

Good idea but for those of us who don’t want a comment we make on someone else’s blog to become an entry on ours (for various reasons) it doesn’t work. My comment is interesting (perhaps) appended to your entry but doesn’t fit the subject matter of my Blog.

michael says:

You are correct there. Commenting from one’s own blog does create uncorrelated threads. But I think that failure is a function of blog software design as it stands today. Wouldn’t be too hard to create a separate “outbound comments” functionality, which the blog owner could make visible to the “linked to” blog via the trackback link, but keep off of their published front page or dated archives.

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