Since posting rejected comments recently, I've received a lot of criticism for withholding readers opinions and experiences. I get why you would be upset. I'm a big proponent of freedom of speech and I wish that I didn't have to carefully screen people's comments before putting them online. But let me explain why I have.
You know that giant globe of the earth at Riverfront Park? That's a good metaphor to help me explain my argument. I've always disliked how they had to put up a fence around that giant ball to keep people from vandalizing it. It seems like a major sacrifice of the aesthetic quality of that piece of art. It's sad that people can't just walk up to it and touch it, take in the detail and learn about world geography. When I look at it nowadays, all I can think about is basketball. But if they took away that fence, the globe would be at risk of graffiti and vandalism, ruining someone's hard work and costing the city precious resources to fix. Even with all the security measures, people still enjoy that globe and it makes a nice addition to our Riverfront Park.
Now think of the Eat Salem blog as the globe and the fence as the moderation process. Moderating comments has kept the language on this blog civil and relevant to the topic at hand. I've allowed for people to express their likes and dislikes of restaurants, limiting personal attacks and unverified bug sightings. The blogging system is not perfect and it would not be fair to a hard working restaurant owner to allow sensational accusations be made anonymously online. It also compromises the dignity and credibility of the blog. I encourage you to continue to comment. Be as polite or vulgar as you wish.
In a perfect world, there is no need for fences.