Sunday :: May 13, 2007

Open Thread - Mother's Day Housekeeping Note


by Mary

One of the neverending problems for an editor of a blog with open comments is keeping the comment threads reasonably civil. Just like one unruly child in a class can disrupt the entire class, a bad actor in a comment thread can create an atmosphere that reasonable people find offensive. MovableType provided a way for blog administrators to control comment threads by banning an offensive commenter via banning their IP address. Unfortunately, technology has advanced since then and many commenters are using IP services that give them basically unlimited IP addresses to use. This means that banning an individual is in many cases unworkable.

So what can one do, especially if one would rather not be in the business of "censoring" opinions or doesn't have time to police comment threads regularly?

Fortunately, Teresa Nielsen-Hayden came up with a solution that doesn't require deleting offensive comments, but does allow a blog editor the ability to rate a particular commenter or even a specific comment for its relevance to the conversation. Her solution was to "disemvowel" comments that are particularly disruptive.

As my part to helping create a more inviting comment space, I've spent some time to see how we can use Teresa's creative approach to regain control of our comment threads. And in honor of Mother's Day, I'm launching the new policy for TLC: the worst offenders to our (my) sensibilities are hereby officially "disemvowelled".

Bendito is hereby "disemvowelled" because of his particularly poisonous accusations of evil motives for anyone who disagrees with his worldview.

The other commenter who has earned being "disemvowelled" is scout who despite numerous notices has decided that The Left Coaster can be hijacked to preach his peculiar brand of misogyny that sees Jezebels and whores in any woman who chooses to live without a male ruling her actions. I am tired of the having scout disrupt our site with his evident hatred of women and want to make sure people understand his opinion is not worth my time. If you care to take time to decipher his blatherings, please go ahead. I personally have no more time nor patience for his garbage and want to make that clear.

Much thanks to Teresa Nielsen-Hayden for the idea, to Thomas Hasson for providing a plugin which allows us to deal with specific comments and to Al-Muhajabah's solution which I adapted to work for specific commenters.

Happy Mother's day.

This is an open thread.

Mary :: 1:06 AM :: Comments (28) :: Spotlight :: Digg It!