Hawthorne mentioned the #NRORevolt phenomenon in the post below. Perhaps we should bring people up to speed who haven’t been following this. I’m not exactly sure what article started it all or if there was even a specific initial article that did so, but some alt-right websites have apparently put out the word on several recent NRO pieces and then swarmed the comment sections, much to the chagrin of NRO and the regular commenters there.
I haven’t commented at NRO in many years, except maybe a comment here or there that I don’t recall, so it took me a while to figure out how the game is played. I made a few deliberately pretty benign comments on a recent article, and was then accused of being an “@troll” in some of the replies. At least I thought I was being accused of being a troll. It turns out, it was actually an attempt to censor me.
From what I have picked up reading some of the comments, NRO delegates policing the comments section to senior commenters. Apparently two @troll replies from designated commenters below a comment gets the comment deleted and the Disqus user identity banned for a week.
What boggles my mind is that there are obviously some commenters who see it as their duty to police against wrongthink sneaking into the comments section and seem to relish the task of @trolling comments and getting them deleted. I simply cannot fathom this mindset. I think trolling comment sections of left and faux right websites is a useful strategy, but I have expressed concerns about the crudity of some alt-right trollers. But the censorship going on in the comment sections at NRO is not just about crudity, it is also (primarily) about the content of the thought expressed. Censoring comments to me is an expression of intellectual cowardliness. I would never think of doing such for fear that someone might think I was afraid of an intellectual fight. When I see a comment that raises my ire, I don’t think “I’m going to delete that comment.” I think, “I’m going to refute that comment.” It seems obvious to me that the former response is based on intellectual fear and the latter is based on intellectual strength.
So stand up and act like men, NRO comment section. Stop being a bunch of intellectual girly men.