Thursday, April 02, 2009

Comments on the California Stem Cell Report

Late last night, an anonymous comment was posted on this site that contained deeply, deeply offensive language concerning President Obama.

I removed the comments today within minutes of learning of them. I apologize for their appearance and profoundly regret their presence on this website. The comments had no place on this blog or in the discourse about the events in our country.

I also want to share with our readers the current state of the ¨comment¨ function on the California Stem Cell Report. A few years back, I began with un-moderated comments. But libelous and offensive anonymous postings appeared concerning one of the spouses in a marital dispute, who happened to be involved in the stem cell business. As a result, I began moderating comments.

Virtually all of the comments since then have been civil and within the bounds of reasonable discourse. A few amounted to spam. Moderation allowed me to prevent them from ever being posted.

A week or so ago, I removed moderation in hopes of stimulating additional commentary and dialogue. A couple of spam items surfaced and were removed. Then this latest ugly comment came in.

I believe it is an aberration and do not want to let the hate-mongers stifle public debate. So I am going to continue un-moderated comments, at least for the time being. My policy is to allow virtually all comments with the exception of offensive or obscene statements such as the one posted last night. I believe that robust criticism of this blog, its writer as well as others involved in California stem cell matters is to be encouraged. Libel and spam, of course, are not okay.

If you have any thoughts on all this, you can post them as comments by clicking on the word "comments" at the end of this item or you can send them to me privately at


  1. Dave,

    You should continue your current policy of un-moderated discussions as it does greatly facilitate debate.

    There may be the occasional abuse, but then you can remove those rare statements.

    I think most readers understand the problem and are sympathetic. I also would encourage folks posting comments to give their names.

    Identifiable comment is much more credible than sentiments cloaked in anonymity.

    Best regards,

    John M. Simpson
    Stem Cell Project Director
    Consumer Watchdog

  2. I'm glad to see that one sour poster wasn't able to spoil the bunch. Keep up the great work with this site and thanks for taking the time to keep it updated with useful information.

    Tyler Lanza
    Stem Cell Advocate
    URL: &


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