Recent blog entries have reported on correspondence that I had with www.IndexUniverse.com in an effort to have an article on Valuation-Informed Indexing published at the site. Set forth below is the text of an e-mail that I sent to Matt Hougan on January 29, 2008.
That sends exactly the wrong signal.
The Goons who destroyed the Vanguard Diehards board are watching what you do to see what they can get away with. The purpose of the abusive posting on this thread was to have the thread taken down, just as the purpose of the abusive posting on the Vanguard Diehards board was to have the board destroyed as a learning resource.
The proper response is to administer the rules of the site in a reasonable way. You should permit posts that are within the rules of the site to remain up. You should take abusive posts down. That would send the right signal and bring the abusive posting to an end. By failing to follow the published rules of the site, you send the Goons a signal that you are weak, which encourages them in their pursuit of abusive posting. The action you describe here is an action that makes abusive posting pay.