Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Comment Moderation

After a month of comment moderation being off, I have switched it back on due to the enormous number of anonymous people who have returned to troll and smear. They will, in future, find many of their comments moderated out as they are stifling proper debate for everyone else. I have no objection to anonymous comments in general as I know there are people who comment on here who for genuine reasons cannot reveal who they are. But some are now abusing the privilege.

UPDATE: If you do post anonymously, please use some sort of pen name or pseudonym. It's quite difficult to follow a debate if half the people are called Anonymous.

UPDATE: To those in the comments who see a conspiracy theory in everything I do, can I just point out that the default position on this blog for the last two years has been that comment moderation has been on. Only in the last month has it been switched off. Initially it was OK, but as usual, people have abused the privilege so it's gone back on.

31 comments:

Einstein on the beach said...

A pity, as the time lag for your moderation rather spoils the rapid development of an idea. Back over to Guido then...

BTW, can you tell real trolls from people who are genuine in their opinion?

Johnny Norfolk said...

Shame you have to do it but you will find labour activists just trying to mussle out open debate. its the only thing they are good at.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I'm curious that my comment on abortion was considered offensive. I merely asked you to talk about your own experiences of an unwanted pregnancy and pointed out Mad Nads has had her own amendment blocked.

quentin letts said...

Comment moderation is of course subjective, as is your judgment on who is and is not commenting for the purposes of "trolling and smearing".

Henry Rogers said...

Iain,
Sad, but I think you had to. Nobody minds hostile arguments but discussion free insult is a waste of time here.

'eotb',
You are probably right about the difference between Iain's blog and Guido's. Over there insulting trolls are insulted back by the inhabitants, the bad language flies and everyone is happy; Guido's blog is great fun. I think Iain is trying to run a different sort of operation but it too is fun. We need both sorts of blog!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm nothing on George yet?

Not another Derek Conway is he?

Anonymous said...

I've had to put additional policies on to my blog, plagiarising quite a lot from you Iain (credited!), so thank you.

The LibDem trolls on my site have actually nearly provoked a claim of defamation against me, such is their desire to close debate.

I've actually added a "Trolls" page on to my website where I name and shame now.

Einstein - I don't have the number of hits that Iain has, but over time, you learn who the Trolls are - they have a pattern and everyone leaves an online footprint...

James Smith said...

Good for you. I don't want to trawl through multiple abusive schoolboy level postings; those who do have many other sites where they can express their 'thoughts'.

dalesman said...

Wondered what had happened this morning.

How can you tell the trolls from those giving what is a genuine opinion though, Ian?

Moderation does tend to slow down any discussion too.

Paddy Briggs said...

Johnny Norfolk

Anyone who disagrees with you is a "Labour activist" - have I got that right? Labour must have more activists than party members then!

For the record I disagree with almost every post you make..and I have no connections with Labour whatsoever. Oh, and I can spell "muscle".

Unsworth said...

It's not a privilege to comment anonymously. I think it should not be allowed at all. What's wrong with pseudonyms?

That said, I'm glad you've decided to moderate. With any luck it'll cut out large amounts of extraneous garbage from the apparatchik trolls.

Unsworth said...

@ Quentin letts

Yep, you've got it. I do believe you've got it.

Iain's blog, so his choice of what he publishes or bins.

Anonymous said...

Maybe QL @ 3.14pm,, but it is Iain's blog and he can do what he wants. You can always set up your own.

Jobbing Doctor said...

I briefly turned moderation on when a libellous comment arrived on my blog. I have turned it off, becuase I quite like the development of a thread.

The Jobbing Doctor.

Arkangel said...

A great shame!

Darren said...

Maybe you should introduce a filter so only people who voted Tory in the last election can comment Iain? Wouldn't want any dissenters infiltrating this little circle jerk now would we?

daniel said...

I had not heard the phrase Troll (in this context) until recently - and have found this definition:

(v.) (1) To deliberately post derogatory or inflammatory comments to a community forum, chat room, newsgroup and/or a blog in order to bait other users into responding.

The trouble is how can you tell?

I can understand banning rudeness or something that might offend -(such as the homophobio which i notice you have deleted) but by doing so we run the risk of also cutting out genuine debate.

On the whole it is best to use a name (albeit there could be some instances where this is not possible), but, and I say this as somebody who does not on the whole share Iain's views, it is necessary to respect the rules, and engage in serious discussion rather than crude propaganda.

Johnny Norfolk - people are not necessarily labour activists if they post a different view - we might disagree with Iain - but that does not mean we slavishly follow any party.

the orange party said...

Just quick message of support Iain.
I've noticed the anonymous trolls in the UK have stepped up quite recently probably when the 'plumbers' arrived at No 10.
I'm used to it though as the site receives a huge amount of traffic from the US where trolling is down to a fine art.
In the US you just have to live with it. All part of the healthy internet and all that.
What is annoying is when the site is hit by such a high volume of comments that it trips an alert at Goole Blogger which shuts down the blog for a while thinking it's a spam attack.

John Pickworth said...

I dislike moderation for obvious reasons, however I understand why you needed to do it Iain.

I also have to agree with Unsworth (October 21, 2008 4:48 PM) about 'anonymous' posting. I always choose to post under my real name because it keeps me honest, although I can understand why others might not wish to be so open. But why can't they write using a pseudonym? It takes but a moment to register such an identity and would make following their comments so much easier.

Not sure if its supported on the platform but wouldn't it be better just preventing 'anonymous' posts? No offense to those that do but lets be honest, its just lazyness isn't it?

Tom FD said...

Oh well. I like comment moderation on here anyway. It means we know all our comments get read by the blogger :)

Ann said...

Turn it on an off as you see fit Iain, Guidos blog can get too much sometimes, I like this blog, and the way its run, and your laid back style of writing, and dare I say it in plain English. :)

Good luck getting rid of the trolls, (p.s., couldn't you get rid of them via IP banning?)

cherami said...

Agree with comment about using pseudonyms. Why not? And make them quite difficult to change.
'Anonymous' really is quite annoying.

Very restful, here, not being beaten over the head with xuxx and xuxx all the time!

Edward said...

I did notice that my occasional ramblings were being immediatly posted, I assumed I was on a safe-list of some sort as you liked me Iain. I now discover that I was just being treated equally with all the rabble.

I'll now go and sulk in a quite corner if you don't mind. Hopefully I will get over the shock.

:-)

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Thanks Iain

Summer said...

Trolls are definately stepping up to the mark to squash any anti-Labour comment.

Company rating site Plebble has had labour down as next to top for 'rubbish performance' (rated on service and value for money) for months. All of a sudden in the last couple of days it's been hit with trolls scoring Labour with top markes to get them out of the worst performers list!!

Authoritarian Labour is on the rise!!

Anonymous said...

Moderation always seems to come back on around here when a senior Tory is under fire!

africanmum said...

prefer moderation as we don't have to deal with bad language and pure filth.

Biro said...

No problem.

Anonymous said...

Looks like your comment moderation includes deleting comments.

Unless my send button broke, of course.

Carl Eve

Iain Dale said...

I haven't deleted any comments from you, although believe me, I am tempted.

Anonymous said...

Oh that's so sweet of you Iain.

Consider yourself blessed. Well, by Nadine and all her little Christmas Catholic Helpers, at least...

Carl Eve