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Monday, September 12, 2016

Changes to blog comments

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

All future comments on this blog must now be pre-approved by me before they are visible. This is because another neo-Nazi "alt right" troll found my blog last week and filled the comments with filth - including posting a reasonable comment and then changing it a couple weeks later so it appeared that I endorsed something completely different from what he originally said. I do not respect people who are dishonest liars.

I deleted over 30 comments, which were peppered with words like "faggot" and multiple variations of the F-Word as well as the usual racist filth we see from the "alt right" on Twitter. I am not sure why the "alt right" cares what I say on a blog that gets almost no traffic, but some of them find their way here anyway.

I have few visitors and even fewer comments, so I have resisted changing comment settings to require pre-approval of all comments. I do not want to discourage comments, but I will not allow the comment section on this blog to become an open sewer. I am not going to allow this filth to be public for hours or even days before I get a chance to delete the comments and ban the latest "alt right" troll who finds my blog.

With that said, I understand why some people are in favor of mainstream news sites abolishing comments altogether. But even Eric Zorn seems to miss the point he made in his own editorial: That the problem with online comments is not that trolls take over and turn threads into feces-throwing contests, but that bad moderation produces a bad comment section. Zorn himself admits that his comment section got really bad only after he lost a number of valuable moderation tools.

The reason I prefer Disqus to Blogspot's native comment system is because Disqus offers more moderation tools, including banning particularly troublesome users. Blogspot does not offer that. Plus, you can comment on multiple different websites with only one account. It is unfortunate that I have been forced to use some of these tools, as some trolls are far too intellectually feeble and emotionally unstable to make an argument without sputtering obscenities and calling me a "faggot." I will continue to use those tools to ensure this blog remains a family-friendly site.

Below are the rules for commenting on ConservaTibbs.com.

  1. A reasonable level of civility is expected. While it is expected that controversial political and social issues may generate heated debate, there are common-sense limits of civility that will be enforced.

  2. This blog is a family-friendly site. Therefore no cursing, profanity, vulgarity, obscenity, etc. will be allowed. This is a zero-tolerance rule and will result in automatic deletion of the offending post.

  3. Anonymity has greatly coarsened discourse on the Internet, so pseudonyms are discouraged but not forbidden. That said, any direct criticism of a person by name may not be done anonymously. If you criticize someone, you must subject yourself to the same level of scrutiny or the comment will be deleted.

  4. You must put a name or pseudonym on your comments. All comments by "Anonymous" will be deleted.

  5. Please keep your comments relevant to the topic of the post.

Thank you for your cooperation.