Comments Will Not Be Censored Here at The Gate — Except For…

Readers of The Gate have been contacting me in recent months to let me know that the authors of other weblogs have been adopting policies which have increased the censorship of comments and restricted what is allowed — to the point with which comments are either deleted or not approved altogether.

Comments Will Not Be Censored Here at The Gate — Except For…

An increasing number of media sites which used to allow readers to post their thoughts in response to articles have since shut down their comments sections. That had me thinking about whether the Comments section at The Gate should remain open or be closed — but the majority of readers who responded let me know that the Comments section should be kept open…

…but at which weblogs are comments censored — and at which ones would you feel comfortable enough to express your thoughts and feelings?

The most comprehensive list which I could find is this discussion on FlyerTalk called Which miles and points blogs censor comments? I cannot verify the information in that discussion or how updated it is — but it is a start.

If you know of a better resource, please post a link to it in the Comments section below — and you are more than welcome to post examples of weblogs where comments are either censored or not permitted altogether.

Summary

I believe that now more than ever, people need a place to say how they feel — especially during the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic and the sharp political divide the world is continuously experiencing — even if what they say is less than perfect…

…and if a reader chooses to attack me in the Comments section — well…then that person is leaving someone else alone. Besides, to me, written insults are merely words and I do not let them get the best of me. I prefer to learn from you whenever you decide to leave a comment in response to an article which I wrote and posted here at The Gate.

Despite my personally being outright attacked over the years by certain commenters — I hesitate to call them readers because that would imply that they actually read the article on which they were commenting — I vehemently support keeping the Comments section open and as uncensored as possible for every article which is posted by me at The Gate. I want to continue to have a place where you can freely speak your mind without hesitation or retribution, as I still believe that the right to freedom of speech has been increasingly contracted lately; and I do not censor nor impose any rules for commenting — although the exception is that purely obvious “spam” comments are either deleted or never approved.

I intend to keep the Comments section open for as long as The Gate remains in existence, which is almost 14.5 years and counting — but I still would like to know your thoughts; so please post them in the Comments section below…

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

15 thoughts on “Comments Will Not Be Censored Here at The Gate — Except For…”

  1. Barry Graham says:

    Brian, it would be very interesting if a commenter were to comment that comments should not be allowed! I agree with you that comments should continue to be allowed.

    I’ve had some amazing coincidences happen as a result of comments I have made both on TPG and in other places. On one occasion I found myself standing at an airport next to someone that I had exchanged comments with in a travel blog a few years earlier. When TPG allowed comments, I responded to an article and in so doing discovered that the author is the son of a friend and neighbor. Without comments, nice things like that couldn’t happen.

    Most importantly I wouldn’t have got to know you without the ability to add comments here. I really appreciate it too when people are not afraid of using their real names.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      …and I would not have known you either, Barry Graham.

      Thank you.

  2. Tony says:

    That FlyerTalk article is quite inaccurate, ive been blocked from commenting on one particular boarding area blog for calling out someone’s negative attitudes towards a certain airline as biased because they lost a certain elite status from that airline. that blog is listed as “does not censor” lol

    1. robbo says:

      But wouldn’t you have a bias towards an airline that you thought had unfairly downgraded your status or lost it when it should not have happened? Why is that individual not allowed to express his concerns? Just sayin……

  3. Billy Bob says:

    And another thing!!!!…..

  4. NB_ga says:

    Blogs are meant to be interactive… comments are paramount. Blogs allow the reader an opportunity to learn from the authors as well as to interact with them. I have been pleased by the openness with which most of the blogs that I follow allow commenting and the bloggers’ willingness to engage with their readers.

    Several big-name blogs seem unwilling to accept any input or conversation – no worries, I simply will not read them.

    Another gross example is a fellow BA blogging duo where they have gone so far as to post a list of tight commenting criteria – not just the basic “Be Kind” message that could be charming… no, they will not allow comments from anyone who even suggests disagreement with their traveling style, their medical beliefs, their idea of science, their opinions on Covid procedures, their idea of on or off-topic, or their choice of discriminatory categories… and they are quite direct in informing their readers that even though they may make mistakes and might even correct them, they will never actually print a correction suggestion as it is just not pertinent to them. Given how negatively they react to almost every travel experience they have, I suppose I should not be too surprised by their commenting “guidelines.” Their blog, their choice… I no longer read them, but I doubt they care at all.

    Bottom line… thanks for keeping comments freely open here!

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      How in the world is someone supposed to keep an open mind and learn if he or she is not willing to listen to thoughts and opinions by people who do not agree with him or her, NB_ga?!?

      Thank you for reading The Gate.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Whether you realize it or not, robbo, I do appreciate how blunt you are whenever you disagree with articles which I write.

      Thank you.

  5. derek says:

    I find it a privilege to be able to comment and be on the same page as The Gate’s Brian. As such, I’d never say that he’s an idiot or he deserves to be punched, which would be untrue if said (he’s no idiot and shouldn’t be punched). I hope he doesn’t reply “What is Wrong with That Comment and/or Picture?”

    I don’t read The Points Guy because it’s harder to comment, have to log in, etc. However, if The Gate’s Brian eventually needed log ins, I would probably do so.

  6. david says:

    Every time “Ryan S” at MtM starts bickering with commenters and tells people to “think logically” it makes me cringe so much that I feel compelled to comment but it always gets removed. I’ve also seen GSTP and OMAAT censor but no surprises there. They’ve always been sensitive little boys.

    Can confirm you’ve never removed any of my comments. Cheers for that, Brian.

  7. John says:

    I respect your view, although I think the term “censorship” is a bit of a misnomer. Censorship occurs when opinions are supressed widely and systematically across media.

    If a single, private blog elects to not give room to certain views, I wouldn’t consider that censorship but a legitimate editorial decision. After all, people have many other media at their fingertips in which they can still voice their opinion. There are highly liberal social media (e.g., reddit, telegram). But they can also simply start their own blog, rss feed, newsletter, video site, etc.

  8. Fathiss says:

    No need to censor the comments section. Only thing worth reading. It’s the blog itself that should be censored. Mostly cut and paste crap of useless offers, or “insightful” observations that are trite. Really hate the picture of your mugshot every time I go on Boarding Area (please remove him from there).
    As for the comments not bothering you ….. well I’ve seen many of your stupid retorts that prove different where you respond as a 3 yr old.
    But I will credit you for not censoring the comments.

  9. DaninMCI says:

    There are many miles and points blogs that censor. Even most of the Boarding Area blogs do. There are notorious offense comments from folks like “Debit” on some that never get censored which are OK I guess. What bothers me is that some bloggers aren’t so much offended by general comments but that you disagree with them. I’ve seen many blog posts over the past 10 years on Boarding Area where the blogger will either claim something is true when it isn’t or claim that their affiliate link to Amazon or some credit card is the best when it’s not. When you comment on those issues they will delete or not approve those comments. This hurts their credibility. It’s your blog so you are free to opinions and how you run it but I enjoy your content and come back for more. I think as a miles and points blogger you want people to recommend your blog to others, not post it on Flyer Talk as the place not to go.

  10. John says:

    The discussion in the media today about free speech, about twitter shutting down Trump’s account or about Simon & Schuster callling off Josh Hawley’s book perfectly reflect my comment above.

    It’s the government which is prohibited from censoring you. But at the same time, there can be no government or no law which requires you to say or publish something. That’s your free speech! As a private citizen or private enterprise, it’s totally up to you which comments to publish and which to delete.

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