Comments stuff and registration
The thing I heard at the Feed about the site was that people were tired of the comments. Particularly the me-too comments, but they had many of the same frustrations as Dave and I have expressed at different times here. While I think the comments have for the most part fostered a good discussion with many viewpoints, it’s not without a cost.
There are over 3,000 specific anti-spam bans in place. Some use my Comment Spam Retaliator, many throw comments into a queue to be reviewed.
There are about 30 moderation bans in place in response to trolls (like the people who thought it was funny to make anti-Japanese comments about Ichiro!). Some may encompass problem ranges (like when we’re getting hammered from AOL, I may widen one). So if you’re from AOL, for instance, and you’re allowed to make a comment but it doesn’t show up, just hang out and it’ll be cleared. Generally, these are temporary and get lifted as possible.
This also means I get people yelling at me because they’re mad they’re being censored but what’s actually happened is no one’s gone through the queue to wave their comments on through (this is you, Dan).
There are two bans for particular people for doing something that forced the issue. When they get around the bans, the bans get adjusted. I can’t keep them from reading, but they don’t get to play in the sandbox. They know what they did, and it’s between them and us.
When I started this, I’d have thought that number would be much higher than two.
To the main point, and whether we’re going to registration or not — we’re considering things. I threw some ideas around at the Feed in talking to people individually, but I’m reluctant to implement those that stop people from being able to easily come by and write something up.
It is quite likely comments will require registration to post soon, unless we come up with a better solution. Suggestions welcome.