Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Civil Society Please

I don’t know about you but I think this weblog has settled down nicely now that comment moderation is turned-on. There is a downside and that’s having to flick through the comments to approve them, in a batch, so it’s no longer real time but this does keep the ‘trolls’ away and the conversation at a more civilised level of engagement.

That said, when I run through the comments, I can see the mail I’m receiving from one barred reader, full of predictable abuse and frustrated venom. The IP address goes straight ‘in the bin’ and I would strongly recommend a course of therapy or at least anger management for the person concerned.

In fact, traffic has actually grown since I put comment moderation in place, with the moving average of visitors showing an increase. Perhaps people feel more comfortable in a moderated setting, knowing that the nastier side of ‘blogging’ that we witnessed over the past two weeks won’t be tolerated here anymore.


tony flaig said...

It seems rather drastic to withdraw access to non registered users I have yet to see anything offensive on your site. I use my own ident as it suits me and feel that I should stand by what I say clearly angthing less I would not be comfortable with, and anon comments have less value so it would appear you are a little over sensitive.

Still its your blog but its only a blog

DrMoores said...

Thanks for your comment Tony. When I need your advice I'll ask for it on your weblog - Cheers.

stuart said...

Dr Moores, I've been reading the local blogs for quite a while now and just lately there seems to be a lot of negative vibes between the bloggers.

As illustrated here perfectly, do you really need to bite so much?

I also think that you are perhaps being a bit sensitive and that moderation isnt the way to go. I personally think it's very offputting knowing that this comment (for example) will only appear if you deem it to be acceptable.

What is the point/where is the open debate of issues if you make it go your own way?

DrMoores said...

Open debate is actively encouraged but as we have a very tiny percentage of visitors who seek to cause trouble through bad language, abuse or tasteless comments, I'm simply doing what you might expect of any chatroom or indeed publication printed or electronic. If people wish to pursue their discussions, arguments and debates elsewhere then there is an increasingly rich choice available.

stuart said...

So what you really mean is if you don't like it go somewhere else?

I agree with you about the tiny percentage of people but something we all learnt as kids... if you ignore them they will get bored and go away.

i dont think you should put this limitation on everyone because of the actions of a few.

DrMoores said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DrMoores said...

This time with my spelling corrected, if you don't like the Guardian, then try the Telegraph or even Private Eye.

Anonymous said...

As an old established reader and sometimes contributor in a small way to this website I support the owner in his successful attempt to keep it nice on here.
If left unmoderated decent users would soon get fed up with the abuse and bad language and would give up coming here - I have seen it happen to so many sites.
I am ususally anon, mostly because I couldn't remember my password but on this occasion to show this is a real post I can tell you I am FastMike who used to run Fast Micros PC shop in Westbrook before I retired.
This is a great site and deserves support, Simon puts a lot of hard work into it for nothing except his hope (which I share) that Thanet will become a better place.

DrMoores said...

Thank you Mike, the expression of support is appreciated. By my estimates, I have about 160,000 visitors who share your opinions and perhaps ten who don't or who have nothing better to do than post generally mischevious or personally abusive email in an effort to drag this site down into the mire.

stuart said...

Its your site at the end of the day. I just feel that losing real time is a shame and by taking the steps you have then the people who have posted abusive messages have won your little battle.

I also believe there is no smoke without fire Simon and little comments like the one above to Tony F and the whole Eastcliff Richard episode might explain why people want to post such messages.

Perhaps if you bloggers were civil to each other then the rest of your readers would follow your example.

End of rant.

stuart said...

Just one more thing, this site has had 160,000 hits. Given that most of your readers are regular that of course doesnt equal 160,000 unique visitors.

DrMoores said...

Quite right on the hits. We pick up about two and a half thousand a week roughly split between new and returning visitors.

tony flaig said...

I was not seeking to give advice I was just making a comment, as you know my blog relies in the main on opinion. I like to provoke debate or interest with provokotive original outreageous statements, and thus am not to bothered if people get personal it goes with the game.

Your blog is mainly factual based so it may well of be unacceptable, the fact is I think we have all used anon comments for whatever reason so to be frank the only time I shall withdraw comments from my site is if they prove to be of an illegal nature such as promoting racism etc.

Still with my opinions I may be more used to recieving abuse than yourself.

Please note the preceeding is written without assistance of my spell checker.

DrMoores said...

Good for you! Sadly when people are called "w*****s", "T****s" , "P***s", I'm old fashioned enough to believe that they may find readers who find such language entertaining on other weblogs and so choose to relieve my own readers of the experience of having to pick through such dross.