Tobold's Blog
Monday, February 22, 2010
 
A free speech experiment

Klepsacovic believes that comment moderation makes blogs worse, because "Supposedly blogs are about conversation." I'm not even sure whether that starting statement is valid, my first blog entries probably had zero readers at the time, and at that time Blogger didn't even have a commenting functionality. A blog *can* be about conversation, but it also can be a monologue, a diary, a showcase, or one of many other things. A blog is never as much a conversation as lets say a forum, where other people than the blogger can start a thread.

But even if we just look at blogs for conversation, we are still left with two widely diverging theories. One is the idealistic theory of Klepsacovic, that conversation is best served if there are no restrictions to it whatsoever. Free speech absolute! The second theory is that the potential for anonymity and lack of repercussion will cause antisocial behavior, a theory best known as John Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory.

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle: Completely free conversation is bad because it gets disrupted by trolls, but too strongly moderated conversation is bad because some people who would have a valid input are excluded by barriers like having to sign up somewhere for an identity, or captchas not working properly on their machine. So how can we find the truth? As a scientist, my obvious answer is to set up an experiment:

Starting from now, all comment moderation is removed from this blog, except for posts that are older than 14 days. You can now post anonymously, your comment will appear on the blog immediately, and I will not delete anything, even if it is personal attacks or gold farming spam. Note that in the spirit of fairness I will not even "moderate" my own responses, it would be kind of a one-sided fight if I let people insult me here while remaining polite myself. So don't be surprised if my comment responses are somewhat harsher than usual.

I'll let the blog run for some time like that to monitor the outcome. And then I'll ask you again for your opinion: Was the conversation better *with* or *without* comment moderation? And I'll be happy to listen to your input on what level of moderation you find ideal.

What do you think about this experiment? And what are your predictions on how it will go? Will we get a higher volume of intelligent discussion, or will the conversation quickly become unreadable?
Comments:
This could be interesting - looking forward to see what happens
 
wow.com and the official forums are unmoderated. You can see the the quality there, no need to run the experiment yourself.

A summary:
lololol
XDDDD
Meg Fox is soooo hot ROLFLOL
tobold u suck stop this fail blog lol
 
Yes an interesting experiment. However I feel that if you don't filter out the obvious spam (Jennifer Aniston NuDE!!!, Grow Your Dick!!!, Free Cialis!!!) you'll get skewed results which will render the experiment meaningless. So leave the spam filter on (if blogger has one, its been so long since I used it) and just let human beings comment. Then you'll be able to see reliably how badly you're being trolled and can troll right back at them :)
 
I hope for a bit longer conversations in the comments. With moderation a typical conversation could nearly never exceed three posts, then the day would be over, another topic would be on top and the focus would be gone. That said, I have no problem with your moderation of comments per se, just with the effects of moderating only a few times a day (I know that can't be helped).
 
Looking forward to a meaty post where comments will be free. I am one of those who do feel that the comment section here sometimes grow very stale.

And I won't lie, I'm very curious to see what kinds of trolls you spend so much time moderating out :)
 
So leave the spam filter on (if blogger has one, its been so long since I used it)

As far as I know, Blogger doesn't have a spam filter. It does have "word verification", aka captchas.

And I won't lie, I'm very curious to see what kinds of trolls you spend so much time moderating out

You might be disappointed, I haven't had to moderate any comments out for some time. Basically the very existence of comment moderation eliminates trolls, which is the purpose of it. Except for a double post or two I didn't have to delete any comments last week. Of course now that the moderation is off, the trolls might crawl back from under their bridges.
 
Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, Tits

(what you need Tobold is minimal moderation, where any post that follows the minimal rules gets posted, otherwise your blog will soon be overrun with spam)
 
I wonder if perhaps the experiment would be more successful if you had removed moderation without telling us.

Either way, I think you're right that the answer lies somewhere more in the middle, but I also believe that the right way to handle moderation for any given blog or forum has to be decided on a case-by-case basis. There are some blogs and forums where wholly unmoderated discussion works well, because of the pace of conversation or the need to allow extreme differing viewpoints to stand side-by-side.

On the other hand, in places like your own blog, reasoned, metered debate is able to happen because of moderation. By filtering the trolls some time ago, I think you created an environment that is more conducive to that sort of discussion, but without moderation I have to believe you'll eventually see this site return to something murkier and less civil.

Just my two cents.
 
I LIKE BACON!!!!!!!

BLUE IS THE BEST COLOR AND ALL OTHER COLORS ARE STINKY!!!!!!!

SNOOPY AND WOODSTOCK WERE HOMOSEXUAL LOVERS!!!!!!!!
 
what you need Tobold is minimal moderation, where any post that follows the minimal rules gets posted, otherwise your blog will soon be overrun with spam

Actually that is what I had before. But some people found my minimal rules too restrictive, in spite of them being not stricter than the unwritten rules that would govern lets say a busines meeting.

And then of course all censorship results in paranoia, a lot of people imagined that I was deleting lots of comments, which never happened. And then paranoia caused some people to not post at all, because they thought I'd delete their comments if they would disagree with me, like Gevlon does. Never did that either, unless the disagreement was expressed as a personal attack.
 
I do like the ability to post without signing in, mostly as I don't want to have to make yet another account somewhere. I don't mind captchas, although as you pointed out it's one more thing to possibly not work on someone's system. The moderation rules you had were never a problem for me; seemed very reasonable.

Given a choice between them, I'd personally rather see moderation than requiring an account to post. (If it comes to one or the other.)
 
Nonsense. Blogs are about reading one person's opinion. Message boards are for discussion.
 
who reads comments? they dont show up in my blog reader... most comments are trolls, and anything worth reading, most bloggers will include the information in a follow up post.

the best way to do moderation is like wowhead comments, vote up or down, get a community consensus on it. my opinion anyway.
 
YO DUDE SUP

YO BLUG IS HAWT DAWG IT DA BOMB
 
Blog comments are not for discussion. Forums are for discussions.

The writer makes a post. It is directed at the reader. The reader writes the comment, directed at the blogger. I see no point for discussion between readers except maybe a link and a "hey come see my thoughts on this topic on my blog".

Blog wars are the new town hall meetings.
 
Too soon, I posted that too soon, Tobold! But more seriously, I did screw up the scheduling and had it up for like, five minutes. I guess now I should just put it up so the link works.

Unfortunately, I think the experiment will fail. Like I said, you have too many people itching to troll and spam, and just mentioning what you're testing is going to bring out even more. But maybe it will work and be awesome. I wish you the best of luck.
 
THis guy has a toon w/ a crap gear score.e his gs is so low he ain't even clear icc plague wing. no wonder fhe feel bad about comment makin him feel bad he don't know how to play he scrub priest with low gear score.. i got high gear score and i do just fine=d in raid.
 
I think this experiment will significantly decrease your desire and enjoyment from the blog. You should have a larger vote in the result.
 
It would take a WoW fanboy like you to remove content moderation, Tobold.

(That was sarcasm, for the sarcasm-impaired).

My opinion is that you'll have a few people that post just to post, and a few trolls will come out and play, but mostly if it goes on for too long you'll just get goldsellers and phishing sites posting comments...

I've never been a fan of 'no mods!' anywhere I actually wanted to have a conversation.
 
My only complaint is the long delay between commenting and getting posted.

I would personally prefer you moderate comments, and then delete them post-post if they violate the rules. That keeps the idiots in check but lets the conversation move a lot more quickly.
 
I'm not sure you need to switch from one extreme to another. My own preference was for the time where you required people to log in to comment, but didn't pre-moderate them (feel free to post-moderate).

The trouble with pre-moderation is that it breaks the flow of conversation. The other anti-spam measures seem fine to me, as they don't do that.

For me, the important thing is not to draw the conclusion: "I've shown that zero moderation doesn't work, therefore I must have maximum control". A middle ground is fine.
 
Tobold,

I don't read your blog for conversation. I read your blog first for your insight and second for relevant conversation.

If the point of a blog is conversation then make a new post everyday called conversation and let people talk.

From past experience I trust you to moderate in a way that makes it worthwhile for me to read your blog and the comments.
 
For me, the important thing is not to draw the conclusion: "I've shown that zero moderation doesn't work, therefore I must have maximum control". A middle ground is fine.

Agreed, but where exactly is the middle ground? I see some people want me to turn on identification, others want word verification, and again others want me to delete spam and troll comments AFTER they have been posted, but not stop them before.

A phase 2 of the experiment with some form of middle ground solution is possible, I'm just not sure which one is the best.
 
Please notice how i'm anti-social by posting group pictures of my raids, going after titles like The Undying and giving advices on different matters. Also, you can see me contradicting myself everyday on my blog, censoring valid opinions because they make me look bad and finally giving up the the trolls, specially this one, by enabling comment moderation.

I'm awesome.
 
I think my issue of moderation came from the fact that I prefer people discuss the post and not why I am an asswipe.
You have every right to disagree with me, but start attacking my personal character...then there is a concern.
I still keep moderation on, and publish all comments immediately on my blog. I wish to also know who posted what as I am very avid in commenting right back if it deems the notice.

Screw the other fuckers though...you turn back on your moderation...because right now I am having so many issues controlling my language knowing I can say what I want..

FUUuuuuu.....
 
@Openedge1: this isn't about you. Go back to your blog and blog about it in it.

Also, visit mine:

http://shittygoblin.blogspot.com/
 
Never moderated comments, always had cpatchas turned off. Never removed a comment unless it were spam from a gold-seller. Always served buffalo-style Arakkoa wings to all me visitors. Gevlon wants fer ta come by and tell me Megan's Fox is hot, or me argument be based on easily-disproved assumptionizings, he'd be welcome.

But not everyone is me. They's blog, they's rules.
 
Too much crap to read in comments now. I'll skip them from now on.
 
Many of the best psychological experients are those where the participants have no idea what is truly being studied. Now that we know we can say things to screw around with the results.

It will be interesting, but I'm not sure that you'll get accurate results.
 
@Tobold

You make an interesting point regarding moderation - the fact that you've only deleted 2 posts in the last few days suggests that trolls will always go where they are unmoderated.

So why not just tell us that you're moderating posts but don't. Just set up a time delay to give the appearance that you've been reading through everything.

Also, I'm hoping you're going to drop something provocative during this 2 week period. Perhaps answering the PvP question on Sunday would do the trick? ;)
 
Hmmm - I dunno, I've never moderated my blog, but it does have built in spam filter (Wordpress). So any weird post usually go into a bucket for me to look at before the post goes live. "Vanilla" posts just show up without landing in the spam-bucket. Of course, I have a pretty low traffic blog, so...
 
Cataclysm or SC2? Which is released in 2010 and which gets pushed back to 2011, or do we see Blizzard release both of these titles in 2010?

PS, has Blizzard ever released two titles the same year, ever?
 
What Gevlon (the real one) said. This is not an interesting experiment at all, we all know what will happen. Revert to moderation please, or I'm out of here (unless you want me out :P).

Oh, and please ban that GevIon (the fake one ofcourse) dumbass.
 
sure wow.com is unmoderated, but social norms play a big part in what happens. There are pure trolls and spammers that probably need to be eliminated, but beyond that, it's suprising how clean an unmoderated comment stream can be.

What happens with unmoderated comment sections is that when you say something controversial and it gets picked up and passed on to a large audience who doesn't normally read your blog, you can be overrun with trolls.

I think you will find that you have to delete spam and perhaps the occasional recalcitrant troll, but not much more than that.

IMO, most blogs that moderate do so more heavy-handedly than necessary.
 
@Tobold

"but where exactly is the middle ground?"

Admittedly, there is some debate about this. My answer would be the middle-heavy level of moderation I proposed earlier. The only problem I have really is with the time delay. Beyond that, you're free to control posts how you see fit.

Ideally, it would be possible to remove a post along with a reason (e.g. "Deleted - spam"). That way people understand why a particular post has been removed. Can that be done?
 
I like to raid while listening to Lady Gaga in my underwear with Naxx gear, Im so U83r!
 
"And then paranoia caused some people to not post at all, because they thought I'd delete their comments if they would disagree with me, like Gevlon does."

I'm not sure this is accurate. I've been posting comments on Gevlon's blog for a while now and have yet to have a single substantive comment deleted or fail to post, even though I often disagree.

From Gevlon's commenting rules, the list of things he will delete:

"Denial comments that show nothing but the fact that the commenter disagrees. While you are free to disagree, do it alone! Comment only if you have arguments to support your opinion."

It wouldn't surprise me if he's deleted a few comments under this definition that I wouldn't agree fit it, but he's never done it to me. And while I'm not a big fan of moderation policy this tight in general, I do agree with him that such disagreement adds nothing useful to the discussion.

Has he ever deleted one of your comments unfairly tobold? It deserves to be public if he's not living up to his moderation policy and deleting comments with coherent arguments just to make himself look better.

But by the same token, I think it's inappropriate to suggest that this is happening unless there is some actual evidence.
 
I like the idea of limited moderation.

I would say just delete the obvious spam after its been posted. More to keep things tidy rather than anything else.
 
what about disqus ?

U suck hard.
 
Ideally, it would be possible to remove a post along with a reason (e.g. "Deleted - spam"). That way people understand why a particular post has been removed. Can that be done?

Blogger is quite limited in its options. I can delete either completely the post, or just the text, but then the reason given is always the same, something like "has been removed by administrator". The reason I didn't do that is that some spam comments have the link to the goldselling or whatever site in the author's name at the top, which remains when I just delete the text.

I'm still waiting for Blogger to introduce a better commenting system, like one with voting up or down comments so users can help with moderation. But I don't feel comfortable trying to install such a system from a third party, because I think that would increase the chance of failure.
 
I don't know if it was real or fake Gevlon who said it, but "wow.com and the official forums are unmoderated"? lol?
 
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NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER
 
"You can now post anonymously"

Ultimately everything is anonymous anyway given that none of the non-anonymous methods of commenting need to have any genuine link to anyone's identity.

"your comment will appear on the blog immediately"

This is definitely the right way to go, it destroys the potential for conversation if comments sit in a queue while you're not around (middle of the night your timezone etc.)

"and I will not delete anything"

Nah. No way. My theory of how to have conversations on web sites? Let people post freely.. and delete garbage equally freely. Anonymous comment 22/2/10 20:43 above me is an example of why.
 
Nah. No way. My theory of how to have conversations on web sites? Let people post freely.. and delete garbage equally freely. Anonymous comment 22/2/10 20:43 above me is an example of why.

Okay, so how would you handle the following situation: I post something about a game. Anonymous comment 22/2/10 20:43 posts his NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER comment in response. I'm not online, because I'm at work, or asleep. Next commenter complains about racism. The commenter after him tries to calm things down. The commenter after that interprets calming things down as yet another form of racism. I log back on several hours later and find 20 comments about racism, and 1 comment about the subject of my original post.

What would you do in that situation? Delete only the NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER post, making all the following posts impossible to understand? Delete all the 20 comments about racism, even those that are polite?
 
Its interesting that you have decided to go all out and remove all moderation to comments.

Why do you think your blog would be a place for discussion? I can understand why people would state their opinion to your opinion in your comments but at the end of the day, it still doesn't change YOUR blog subject and your opinion on it. It's just going to feed those people (trolls) that attack you personally and give them an actual outlet to bash you.

If I were to write a blog that actually gets visitors, I'd use the comments as a 'short' post like you did on Friday. I enjoyed that blog more than I thought I would. A good experiment would be to put the moderation back on and then change so that one day a week you could answer the more prevalent/interesting comments on that week's blogs.

just my two cents though. I'm not interesting enough to write a blog with followers.
 
Trying to appease or satisfy everyone is the Kobayshi Maru. It is a no-win scenario.
 
I generally don't read the comments on this blog, so I'm not particularly concerned with their quality. However, I'm concerned that allowing trash talk will encourage more trash talk, resulting a larger negative impact upon you and your readers than if you moderated the comments.
 
@Tobold

"What would you do in that situation? Delete only the NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER post, making all the following posts impossible to understand? Delete all the 20 comments about racism, even those that are polite?"

I'd delete the text of them all & post a brief explanation of why.

e.g. "I've just deleted a bunch of posts, because the first one was offensive and the others, whilst reasonable, were a response to that rather than being on topic".

Spam, I'd remove entirely.
 
Please remoderate if you start getting stressed out by dorks. Your voice is valuable to me and I'd hate to lose it because you feel that setting (appropriate IMO)boundaries makes your blog weaker.
 
Not going to lie, a single pointless off-topic post about racism or gold sellers or something can drive an entire conversation off-course.

I had no problem with the moderated discourse, I still saw plenty of comment threads with good discussions of 50 or 80 posts.

It's not like you aren't on every day to moderate - and if you don't feel it's too much work and improves the quality of the discourse on your blog, what's the problem?
 
If you could stand the time required to moderate after the fact, which I'd understand if you didn't want to, I'd suggest a rule something like "feeding or responding to trolls encourages them and will be treated as trolling, including being deleted." Trolls tend to get sad and go away if ignored.
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
Some moderation everyone finds acceptable, filtering out strings of swears, discriminatory name-calling, etc. I see some in this thread posted helpful examples! But the only reason you ever got in "trouble" was because you intimated that you would filter comments that would "personally criticize you". That's when alarm bells start going off on the interwebs.

A good example of why over self-moderation is a bad idea btw is Gevlon's blog, a paragon of self-aggrandizement, which I'm sure most veteran blog readers look at mostly for entertainment these days. Especially due to the hilarious way he "fixes and deletes" comments pointing out his more obvious errors in judgment.

So, to sum up. Fuck is ok. A million fucks is not. Be wary in limiting self-criticism because of its perception. Profit.
 
as for this "experiment" I just want to point out that it is flawed; just like the previous "vote or die" scenario you gave to your commenters a few weeks/months ago. The choice should _not_ be, lockdown vs. anarchy. Otherwise, you're going to predetermine the results; of course everyone would prefer Uncle Tobold to the WoW Forums.

Instead, less restrictive moderation than your current style should be an option (like, "This idea sucks because of X"); but still having some moderation. As long as people give a rationale for their disagreement, it should be allowed, even if critical and even with some bad language. Without a third option the only solution is the status quo.
 
I think it would have been a better test if you didn't tell people you weren't moderating anymore.

Now people are going to post outlandish things because they know you will let them through.
 
I love this blog but I never could post my opinions because Google is now asking for Mobile Phone number during registration, with the fake excuse to combat spams.
We know that Google has been working on Mobile Phone products recently and they just wanna users to buy their Mobiles Phones. Stop with this stupid wild capitalism, Google!

On topic, like I said, I love this blog and now I'm able to comment on it. Moderating to delete spams would be nice, but forcing users to create a Google account just to post a comment is too much.
 
Instead, less restrictive moderation than your current style should be an option (like, "This idea sucks because of X"); but still having some moderation. As long as people give a rationale for their disagreement, it should be allowed, even if critical and even with some bad language. Without a third option the only solution is the status quo.

Don't you think that if I knew exactly where the perfect spot for comment moderation was, I would have chosen that spot long ago? Fact is that each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and perfect moderation doesn't exist, especially given the fact that sometimes I simply have to sleep and can't always moderate within minutes.
 
I think it would have been a better test if you didn't tell people you weren't moderating anymore.

I think that having comments appear immediately and the anonymous commenting option are impossible to hide.
 
Having to choose a google account or openid is a PITA. having Anon available is much easier to make comments. Now, I've never tried this Name/URL but If I can post then that'd work too.
 
and it worked, so can we keep it? huh, huh, can we, can we?!?!?!
 
My experience in trying to create working communities has always eventually involved some level of moderation. The communities were healthier for it.

You, Tobold, provide the fodder for discussion. This is very valuable for building a community, as people collect around your opinions and discuss them. Every community needs active leaders.

The participants add to the discussion. This is also very valuable, within limits.

Limits:
1. More is not better. Most people want to read a few insightful comments, not click through 45 pages of crap. The role of the moderator is to showcase the good stuff and prune the useless stuff.
2. Antisocial behavior. Your community is very social. Therefore, your most avid participants do not want to be subjected to trolls, who seek to use your readers only for their own amusement. Don't let trolls abuse your best contributors, or they will stop coming back.
3. Excessive censorship. Some people have good points that they frame very badly. Moderators must be careful to address the bad while retaining the good. I have occasionally "reformed" such people in my communities by offering them respect despite their abrasive manner. (They eventually become less aggressive upon feeling welcomed.) Censoring everyone who is slightly abrasive will do as much damage to your community as giving the trolls free reign.

An interesting experiment, Tobold, but I do hope you return to moderation soon.
 
What exactly is a troll or bad comment? I can understand removing spam or totally elevenths nonsense, but removing differing opinions is dangerous.
 
Sibyl is a cunt.
 
Where's the non-consensual pvp post gone to? I was about to leave an unmoderated comment :)

This reminds me of an important advantage of having unmoderated comments - the immediacy. As a commenter it is gratifying to see my comment appear straight away and it also facilitates conversation between commenters when you are not around. Of course it is your blog Tobold so perhaps conversations that do not include you are out of place here.
 
I do miss the old days when a post was instant, and users could post at will, ensuring conversations that could occur in almost real-time.

At the same time, by allowing this, you get cursing, personal attacks, and idiots.

Recommendations:

1. Have a filter that focuses on certain words. If certain words are in a post, it gets flagged for your personal permission before it gets posted.

2. Give very limited access to your blog, so that the only thing the admins can do is remove posts they feel violate your ToS/aesthetics, with you of course able to override it.

3. Go back to full moderation, but remove any and every post you feel violates the ToS, after the fact. As you've mentioned in these comments, it does become hard to moderate after the fact, as you have to decide on whether you want to remove an inciting post, or all the answers to that post.

Personally, I love the limited moderation, because I like the ability to have a conversation with other commentators, without unnatural delays between.

Yet, people who curse because mommy isn't around, and morons, can ruin it if their comments and troll remarks aren't removed.

Honestly? Get a couple of people who you think you can trust. They can help you admin the comments. If there is a way they can log on and only have the ability to remove posts, you would probably end up with people who would do a good job, without too much worry about them screwing things up.
 
there is a difference between "unmoderated" and "completely unmoderated."

What if someone posted, say, your real name, home address and phone # in a comment here? would you then remove it? (or someone else's personal info?)

completely unmoderated says no, keep it.
regular unmoderated is remove auto-generated gold spam and irl personal information.

jus' sayin.

(if someone already suggested this, i didn't read all these comments, obviously so... obligatory FUCK yOU ANON COMMENTER HAHAHAH XDDDDDD)
 
(anonymous 68 here)
also yeah i was just going to post the other day on some other post of yours pointing out a fallacy, but i didn't have a login

and now i've forgotten what it was so YOU ESCAPE THIS TIME

bwahahaha

someone probably already thought of it anyhow, it was something about something from greedy goblin and I know yall are such buds anyhow <3
 
Interesting concept
 
Personally I like the anonymous aspect, only because it's tedious to log out of Google and my non-gaming related persona/blog/profile and log into a gaming related one.

And it's pretty easy for me to gloss over idiot comments, this not being my first time using the internet and all.
 
71 comments as I type this, and the number of troll comments has already adversely affected the signal to noise ratio of this post.

Is there any reason for you to think it will get any better without some form of moderation?

I suspect the lifespan of my scroll wheel will be significantly reduced as a result of this change =P
 
Personally I'd like to see it all.

I don't mind skimming the dross.

I think the fact that each discussions resets with a well-thought out original Tobold post should keep it from becoming too much like the WoW forums.

I think you should ban people who are just complete idiots with nothing to contribute but let spirited debates run free without the wait for moderation.
 
PS. Also take out anonymous commenting as this comments thread has already proved.
 
Tobold: I use Blogger too and if you look closely there IS an alternative for removing comments so you don't see any remains of it at all. Just check the "remove forever" option and you'll see. I use that for all the viagra spam ads I get (an increasing number btw).

About the discussion: I feel for you strongly. I'm not quite yet in your position, but the amount of spam I get is enough to keep me pretty annoyed and cause me a lot of extra work. You probably have ten times more and I understand completely why you choose the moderation alternative. Any blogger who has experiened heavy spam would.
 
I am in support of moderation of spam/trolls/obviously offensive posts. However, I am very enjoying the ability to post a comment without having to log in. I don't want to have to open accounts on sites I don't otherwise use/visit just to leave a reader comment. Please notice however that I did choose to enter a name as I don't necessarily want to be anonymous, just don't like having to register accounts. I am also OK with Captcha. Perhaps anonymous/non-registered commenters should require Captcha and logged in folks do not? That would be one form of middle-ground. Tobold, I've always enjoyed reading your blog and musing on your insights. At least as a result of this experiment, it has allowed me to thank you personally for the first time as an appreciative but otherwise silent reader. Keep up the great work!
 
I think you had it right as it was. Censor the personal attacks, the spam, and the idiots like gevion, but just about everything else is worth keeping. The experiment is of course slightly skewed by the pants-on-head retards that think the ability to shout obscenities and attacks is an obligation to, but I trust you'll find the reason you turned moderation on the first time.
 
Where's the non-consensual pvp post gone to?

It was posted with a timer, to give this post some more hours before the next. Now its up, but apparently it was visible for a short time to some people already at posting. Just like Klepsacovic's post was visible to me when he didn't want to post it yet.

Also take out anonymous commenting as this comments thread has already proved.

Two major problems with that: 1) This thread doesn't prove anything, because any thread saying "you can cuss whatever you want" will result in people doing just that. The real experiment is the threads of the next days. 2) When I listen to this thread, what form of moderation people hated the most, having to have some account is right on top, next to pre-screening of comments. Without anonymous commenting I'm losing a lot of potential valid comments from people who can't or won't sign up for some of the identification services.
 
Sometimes I wanted to comment on your blog but not so badly, that I would register. For example, when you were asking about your reader's experience with hacked accounts. Now I have the opportunity.
May I suggest that you do comment moderation, but allow anonymous posts?
ibrul
 
In general, I don't care for posting comments on sites that use "take 2-3 more steps before you can post" (word verification, login, etc)

While *I* don't like it, I completely understand why some do that, and /or pre-screen comments.

Of the two, the pre-screening bothers me more, since my comments will usually appear in a block of 5, 10 or 15 others, and what (yes, usually small) contribution I may have will be lost.

But that's my own ego.

It's your blog, your preferences should prevail. But the interest of what commenters have to sya, is appreciated :)
 
seriously what about disqus
 
The main disadvantage of disqus is that it again forces people to sign up at some place before being able to comment.
 
usually don't post comments anymore or hang out on forums. After all these years on the internet I've come to learn that very few people care about what I have to say and that those who respond usually turn out to be asshole trolls.

The internet needs to be moderated, I have no doubt about that. The only question is, how much? I can't answer that and honestly moderation is more of a situational problem. You have to deal with the crap as it comes along and hope you make the right decision.
 
about disqus: of course they need to login somewhere but at least you can share the management of the blog (getting rid of spam and over-offensive content). Everybody has at least an account at facebook, twitter or openid if not it's really easy to create one...
 
honestly I don't know who do you do to review every comments from your blog (Gelvon included) that must be so painful! At least with disqus there is a spam filter!
 
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