It was remarked the other day that a comment moderation system of some kind should be used here on the blog. The reason is that are some people who come just to blow off steam and say “Briggs, you fool, you’re wrong” (and nothing but that). This can be annoying, no matter how true the message.
Now I have stalkers on Twitter. People who look forward to responding to global cooling and probability tweets. They never say anything more than (a) “The consensus doesn’t agree with you”, (b) “You’re a dummy and your ideas are wrong”, (c) “Briggs won’t admit when he’s wrong”, and so on.
These are all content free, since they never engage with the arguments I’m making. It’s especially insipid to be reminded the Consensus (on global cooling, p-values, etc.) doesn’t agree with me, when the very points I make say, explicitly or implicitly, “I don’t agree with the Consensus.” Restating what I take as a premise is pointless.
I recently took to blocking these fine people, which saves me the time and trouble of having to ignore them.
The suggestion before us is this: should we do the same on the blog with some commenters?
Here currently is how some people can be put into automatic moderation:
(1) New users; all users are “new” if they have any new IP, any new email, any new username, or any case-sensitive combination; some long-time readers wonder where their comments go, and it’s always because they made a typo in their information; computers are deathly literal, and that any is absolute;
(2) Users who are habitually like those Twitter folks, who only come to say “Briggs, you fool” and the like, with no real substance to their comments except to convey the idea they don’t like me;
(3) Certain frequent use of profanity and any attempt at doxxing;
(4) Creating multiple user names/emails, but by the same person with the same IP (this happens when folks think it makes it seem like I have more critics).
Otherwise, all is allowed. I even allow “Briggs, you bigoted hateful racist etc. fool, here is why you are wrong…” because there is some kind of argument. I’m not at all rigid about this: even the thinnest arguments are enough to get the comment to pass. I also pass all clever or funny insults. Unlike the woke, we have a sense of humor.
A word on comment editing. I never do it. Except in rare instances when somebody has bad HTML tags, which I fix (when I notice them). Or when certain profanity kicks the comment to moderation, and where I remove (the profanity only) if the comment is otherwise good.
If you’re worried I’m editing your comments, take a picture of the comment you posted, or save it or print it, and compare it with the comment that shows on the blog.
Now a word to the people who just come here to bitch. I remind you that I am wholly independent. I belong to no groups of any kind, save the Catholic Church (and am only a pewsitter). I belong to no professional organizations, or even any unprofessional ones.
I have no employer. I have no one under me. I have no students. I have no budget. I have no official or unofficial position in any bureaucracy or government, at any level.
In short, I am nothing but a guy on a desolate corner of the internet, far from any position of power or authority.
Not one person on the planet has to listen or read me. I have no official, or even semi-official influence.
If you don’t like what you read here, leave. It it pointless to come into my place and say, “Boy this is crap” (and only that, with nothing constructive). You would never do it in real life to anybody. Why do it here? Plus, I do not go to you: you come to me. Why are you coming just to be annoyed by me? It’s a strange thing.
Again, it is a tacit premise to everything I do here that I do not hold with the Woke Consensus. Reminding us that people in the Woke Consensus don’t agree with me is the point I am making, too. It’s silly of you to remake it.
Now if you have what you think is an original argument on why I am wrong, mistaken, in error, and so on, feel free to make it. If I think it’s worth answering, I’ll show you why it’s you who are wrong. But usually in a new post and not a comment, so it doesn’t get lost.
Besides moderation, the only other solution I know of is to vote on comments, but I loathe this. It has to be done on every new post, and it could even reorder comments, making them harder to follow. I loathe it because I hate all attempts to quantify the unquantifiable.
The idea I’m leaning on is if I get enough complaints about a reader I agree with, I put the person into temporary moderation until they get the idea to come up with better insults.
What do you think?
Feel free to email if you don’t want to comment.
What most might not know is that the vast majority of readers never comment. Indeed, the people that support this blog are almost all non-commenters.
Thanks to everybody for commenting about comments. The consensus, and my thinking, is leave it alone. Which I shall do. (I haven’t been able to find any software that lets readers block/hide other commenters.)
But I do have a word of advice, known far and wide as wisdom:
DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS.
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