I Think I Handled That Rather Calmly

So if you read my last post, you know Ivan Oransky of Retraction Watch edited two of my comments at his site without leaving any indication of the changes there, and I don't think that's okay. I've been talking about that since, and I e-mailed Oransky telling him how I felt. I had said:

Dear Ivan,

I’m happy to report both of my comments now appear on your site properly, but I need to apologize. That last e-mail was sent from my phone, and I hadn’t checked your site very closely before sending it. Because of that, I need to now say… What?!

Leaving aside the reasoning you provide, are you really saying you just edited the comments I submitted without leaving any indication? That is not okay. You cannot simply remove portions of a comment and pretend they were never there. That is completely dishonest.

I suppose I should count myself fortunate the sentences you removed were at the end of my comments so you merely truncated them. What would have happened had they not been? Would you have removed sentences from the middle of a paragraph and left no trace of your excision like you’ve done here?

This is beyond absurd. You demanded I provide verification of facts prior to allowing my comments to be seen, presumably on the grounds of some journalistic ethic, but then turned around and altered what I wrote without indicating such? That is obscene.

Brandon Shollenberger

He responded to me about half an hour ago. I wasn't sure I was ready to read his e-mail given I was still rather upset, but I decided to risk it. All in all, I think I handled things rather calmly. What do you think?


For reference, here's the relevant part of their comments policy:

Why was my comment deleted or edited?

We are huge fans of Retraction Watch commenters. They broaden our posts, send us tips, and correct us when we get things wrong. Without them, the site would be a shadow of itself. However, we have recently found ourselves — this update is from January 2013 — having to edit ad hominem attacks out of comments, unapprove other comments, and contact some commenters to remind them of what’s appropriate.

It may not be clear to those who feel the need to resort to such personal attacks that they destroy the discourse that we and others have worked so hard to build on Retraction Watch, but it is abundantly clear to us and many others. The same goes for unfounded allegations and unverified facts.

We will not tolerate these sorts of attacks, and will simply edit or delete comments that contain them. Until now, we have made an attempt to contact the commenters who left them, as long as they provided real email addresses, but given the volume, we will no longer be able to do that. If you have a question about why your comment was edited or removed, please use the email addresses provided in our About pages to contact us.

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