Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Every once in a while, blogs can get inundated with hostile/obscene/defamatory comments. Darlington Councillor seems to find itself in that position at least three times a week.
For other bloggers, however, this can be a new and unnerving experience, and I was sad to see Mike Barker's blog is now only readable "by invitation only".
As I'm sure most will be aware, Mike has incurred the wrath of Darlington FC fans after criticising the club's drinks promotion policy online and via the media. A particularly virulent thread has started up on the Forum of the Darlington Rivals site.
Entirely in character, Mike tried to take his message (and build a few bridges) by answering fans' complaints on that thread, but 130 or so angry fans' posts and 4,000 views later, he presumably gave that up as a bum job. As a disinterested observer, I particularly noted the comment from one fan;
This Barker bloke is full of his own importance read his blog, he is a self publicist. He is part of that town lier crew who complain about everything to do with Darlington...If they hate the town and its folk so much why dont the leave and go back to Reading of wherever they came from.
...presuming, of course, Reading will have them. There were some other choice observations about the Liar and its contributors, which I daren't repeat here.
Locking the blog in response, however, does seem pretty drastic. From their comments, I don't think the Darlo fans are going to go away, and some are even talking about picketing his shop.
As I see that LibDem MEP Fiona Hall and the LibDems nationally have received protests, I do hope that Mike hasn't been ordered to take down his site by some Cowley Street supremo. Whatever the rights and wrongs of Mike's views on Darlington FC, blogging in Darlington is all the stronger for his presence, and I hope that this matter gets straightened out soon.