Sunday, March 27, 2016

Moderation

I must sadly announce that I have been forced to enable comment moderation today.  I've just been overwhelmed with trolls- it really only takes three or four to totally take any fun out of blogging, and I suspect they are (deliberately) driving other people from reading my blog.

So, what I have learned is this characteristic of trolls:  They start out by posting comments that are very wrong, but are at least somewhat related to my posts, then rapidly move to getting more and more irrelevant and vicious, until they end up like Anonymous, calling me a butt fucking faggot, or this Dikran character, saying that my wife must be deeply defective if she is with me.  If I start deleting their comments, after  a short time they will ratchet back the disgusting comments, and being the sucker for free speech that I am, I generally let them come back, at which point the whole sick thing begins again.

Well, enough.  I really liked the idea of letting anyone comment, whatever they had to say, but it turns out that doing so is like leaving the keys in the car at the mall.  It is absorbing a very significant part of the energy I have for blogging, and I can't take it any more.  I hope people who do feel like making relevant comments will understand, and accept having to wait a little while to see their comments, rather than have to fill their minds with vicious right wing swill.  I will make an effort to stay on top of this as much as I can.

12 comments:

Infidel753 said...

Very understandable. I've always used moderation and have never had any doubts about the grounds for doing so.

Some trolls just spew insults or irrelevancies, but some make outrageous accusations or deliberately "misunderstand" what you said in an effort to make you waste time and energy responding. That "absorbing a very significant part of the energy I have for blogging" isn't a side effect, it's the goal. If they can drain and frustrate you so that you put less time and energy into substantive posts, they win. Drawing your other commenters into pointless bickering instead of the real post topic is almost as effective.

I get waves of trolling like that from time to time. The readers never see it because of the moderation. Rejecting their comments and ignoring them is the only thing that eventually makes them go away.

Green Eagle said...

Well, I guess I was foolish to think any differently. Thanks for your comment.

Marc said...

There are very few places on the internet where I wander into the comments anymore. Most are moderated, and those which aren't, have a heavy presence of regulars who have the time to turn the firehose on the occasional troll who pops up. Once someone is pointed to 'Wheatons Law' and still violates it, they (and their posts) tend to get bounced hard and blocked. Sorry you had to to do it, but it's not your fault - these shitbirds need to find another place to roost among their own kind, and not fling poo in other folks houses.

Adam Alabaster, A-1 American said...

I understand for Anonymous. I'd like to get rid of him, too.

However,

"Dikran character, saying that my wife must be deeply defective if she is with me."

My sister-in-law Elizabeth says the same thing about my wife. They still talk to each other on a regular basis. Just develop a thicker skin.

Green Eagle said...

Adam, what your sister-in-law says is your business. When someone is reduced to insulting my wife, he has left behind any pretense that he is trying to comment on my post, and is just being a dick. This is not the Republican Presidential primaries here; I do not have to collaborate in publicizing his tantrums.

Magpie said...

Good job, mate.

I understand the fixation people get with a particular blogger who challenges their worldview… I think that’s common enough to be normal.

But your blog is your house.
Reasoned disagreement is fine, even if it goes off topic, up to a point, because I’d have that in my living room. But no-one normal would let someone pee on their carpet and scrawl abuse on their walls and say “oh well... to be 'fair' I have to leave that there”. Yet that is somehow what trolls, who usually maintain no blog of their own, demand of people.
I haven’t got time to read the psychology of that but there’s a dissertation in it somewhere.

St. Joan said...

I'm very, very glad that you are taking this step. I have been discouraged from engaging with your blog because the trolls' comments were both irrelevant and disgusting. Good work. Best wishes.

isaac said...

I see no need for you to either apologize or to even explain--although it is very kind and thoughtful of you to do so. This is your little space on the internet and as such you get to call the shots. You are not required to tolerate the rantings of people who lack the ability to rationally question or respectfully or thoughtfully disagree. You're not obligated to run comments at all.

If those who cannot conduct themselves as adults don't agree with you, that's fine--let them get their own blog where they can fulminate and rant to their heart's content. I severely doubt, however, that they would allow opinions that differ from their own to be printed.

Go ahead and moderate. From having been a reader here for a couple of years, I have every confidence you will allow thoughtful disagreement--key word being "thoughtful." Oh, and respectful--not meaning "obsequious" or "sycophantic."

Adults can disagree without being disagreeable.

By all means, discard the abusive, childish crap so the adults can talk among themselves.

Pinku-Sensei said...

Sorry that the trolls are getting you down. Just the same, I wish I had your problem. Trolls would be better than spam, which I just delete, as I wrote in My comment section. A climate denialist or other troll would be a step up from a spammer. Besides, each comment drives up my page views and I'm not above trolling my commenters.

Green Eagle said...

The comments drive up your page views, but they can also drive them down, by making it just not worthwhile to wade through the crap. I've reached the point that I feel like it's doing me a lot more harm than good.

By the way, thanks for the sensible comments.

Paul Wartenberg said...

I admit I do have comment moderation for my pages, but that's really due to the Chinese spammers posting to me in a language I can't read. Guys! Please, stop! I can't tell if you're commenting for reals or selling me something! /weeps

I still leave a little wiggle room for comment posting, and have gotten a few anonymouses (anonymousii?) that came to troll. But I'd like to think: 1) getting a troll means I'VE ALREADY WON THE ARGUMENT and 2) I'm important enough to get trolled. So yeah, I actually get thrilled when I get one. You might see me post back "AT LAST" and then follow-up with a witty bon mot. ;)

By the by, I am NOT a Robot. I can tell because in the movies and tv shows all the robots have Ryan Gosling abs.

Green Eagle said...

Paul,

Thanks for the comment. I usually try to be a little fair, and not ban a person just because I disagree with them, or because they resort to cheap shots once in a while (God knows, Green Eagle himself has been known to take a cheap shot once in a while,)* but when this particular Anonymous is reduced to calling me a butt fucking faggot in every comment, I think we can let him go, whether he is a troll or just an unusually degenerate asshole. For most people, even those whose comments I've cut, I try to react to the comment and not the person. If they say something pertinent and rational, great, whether I agree or not. But in certain cases they are just trying to weasel their way back in, so they can start up with the butt fucking stuff again.

Anonymous has clearly reached that point, so out he goes for good, even if he posts a message straight from Jesus himself. I agree with you that in cases like this, they have been reduced to impotent rage, which I suppose is a failure on their part, although it doesn't provide me with the satisfaction that I would get from driving a wingnut with a functioning brain to lose it. That is, if there is such a person.

I was not familiar with your blog, but coincidentally, I read a post from it this morning, about Trump's likely performance in the general election, which was very well written. I found it through Infidel's Sunday collection of posts- one of my favorite online things of the week. I'll add your blog to my bookmarks and try to keep up with you.


*Just kidding. Green Eagle's blog is basically nothing but cheap shots. Still, I'd like to think I've kept myself a step above the butt fucking class.