Today, we have taken an unusual measure, and we felt it necessary to explain.
walmartramen, a longtime commenter on this site, has been using the comments section to promote his or her own sites for a long time. He or she would take every opportunity to jump into an existing conversation or start a new one and redirect the narrative to his or her pet peeve, the perceived low wages of workers in Oklahoma and America, which in his or her mind was the root of all social problems in the country.
Early on, there were readers who agreed with walmartramen and readers who disagreed, but as he or she persisted, everyone got sick of reading his or her link-laden rants that more often than not did not relate in any way to the stories on which they were posted as comments.
We warned walmartramen more than a year ago to keep his or her rants on-topic or risk being banned. For a short time, he or she complied. In fact, we warned him or her several times via email to the email address he or she used to post comments.
Yesterday, we warned walmartramen publicly. He or she still persisted in taking a conversation about a tragic crime sideways into his or her own worldview of an oppressed proletariat committing crimes out of protest for low wages.
So today, we banned walmartramen from commenting.
Please understand, we take no official position on the content of his or her posts; you are free to form your own opinion on poverty and its relation to criminal activity and everything else walmartramen said again and again and again. We will not express an opinion either way. We simply can’t have every conversation co-opted and steered away from the issues at hand.
Feel free to tell us what fascists we are in the comments below, but we must preempt any accusations that we are infringing on anyone’s free speech. Walmartramen is free to continue ranting on and on; he or she is just not free to do so on our site.