Comments stuff and registration

DMZ · December 22, 2004 at 4:30 pm · Filed Under Site information 

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.


53 Responses to “Comments stuff and registration”

  1. pat on December 23rd, 2004 5:23 pm

    #15 – I see the difference, DMZ. I wonder if you can find a volunteer admin to help with the comment/registration/etc. details, that would allow you 3 to focus more on writing and interacting, and away from the software guts? It seems to me that with so many readers who are likely to be technically competent, there’d be one or two folks out there who could be a trustworthy admin.

  2. The Poopsmith on December 23rd, 2004 5:58 pm

    Re #51: I’m not sure there are a lot of people clamoring to be admins.

    I think the comments are great (maybe not mine, but you get the idea). But, as we all know, this blog isn’t a paying job for Dave, Jason or Derek.

    I say the authors of this blog should do whatever they have to do to make the comments manageable for them. If registration saves them 10 minutes they’d normally spend blocking spammers/trolls/morons/jerks (and it’s hard to imagine it wouldn’t) they could instead use that time to 1) do something that pays the bills, 2) spend time with their family/kids/friends, or 3) write something cool to post on USSM, I say they ought to do it.

    In any case we should offer our sincere thanks that they trusted us with the ability to post comments without the bother of registration.

    Again, thank you. You guys rule. USSMariner likewise.

  3. Noel on December 23rd, 2004 11:31 pm

    I just finished plowing through some of the comments on the P-I Mariners blog. The signal-to-noise ratio there is pathetic… there’s no control from the P-I staff, so probably half the posts there are off-topic and/or objectionable. Which reinforces my view that an actively moderated comment space is A-OK with me, thank you very much.

    Here at USSM, the hands-on supervision by Derek, Dave and Jason is what keeps things orderly and intelligent. Kudos to them for putting in the time and effort to make the comment system work, and if they have to implement more controls to keep it working smoothly, I say go for it.