Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Comments policy

I have changed my philosophy towards comments on this blog. I hope that readers will continue to feel free to comment but I want to take greater care with respect to comments which contain insulting and even conceivably defamatory language.

Simply put I will not tolerate personal, abusive language at all. I do have a persistent problem with troll(s) and I am dealing with them.

All comments will now be moderated although comment submission itself will be simplified because I have switched off the word-recognition requirement.

If you do wish to post under a pseudonym that is fine but you must use the same pseudonym every time you comment. You cannot post as 'anonymous' or change your identity with different posts.

If I detect people trolling under different pseudonyms, perhaps with different IP addresses, I will ban the person permanently and inform other blogs.

I welcome discussion of this policy.


rabee said...


My view is that you either ban comments or you stick to the liberal policy you had.

You want to have an environment that's fun.
Moderating is so juancole ....

Bring Back CL's blog said...

It is consistent so I am happy with it.

Anonymous said...

The main problem with trolling here (and in the Wikipedia article) seems to be the content of the posts of the trolls rather than pseudonyms. While there can be problems with pseudonyms, I don't know if this is the problem here.

I use my name if I am commenting on an area in which I have some expertise and a pseudonym(s) if it is more a matter of opinion - it is nice to be able to put arguments independent of identity. If the arguments are valid, non-abusive etc then it is not clear to me what the problem with pseudonyms are - though if this can be argued, am happy to change this.

hc said...


'Juan Cole' - I like that!

I am tiring of the abusive posts. In terms of generating interest in my blog the effects of such posts are negative.

Again anonymous read what I said - I do not oppose use of pseudonymns but I do oppose anonymopus abusive posts.

The problem with people using different pseudonymns and changing their IP addresses is that comments can be made irresponsibly and difficulty can occur in making legal redresses to such comments.

Anonymous said...

I was clear about the meaning of your post and could see that you didn't mind a single pseudonym.

I am sorry as I was unclear as I meant to argue why someone might want to use multiple pseudonyms rather than one pseudonyms.

Your point about enabling legal redress in case of defamation is fair enough though. And I appreciate that it is work to check comments so rather than stress on whether something is defamatory, (appropriately) shift some of the cost/risk back onto the commenter.

So will use one name for all posts after this one.

Anonymous 12.25pm

Iain Hall said...

Switch to WordPress Harry, then you can approve new commentators and not inconvenience regulars with moderation. blogger does not allow you to ban trolls or to see what IP they are using but WP does.
worth considering...

FXH said...

My view is that it's very straightforward. Your blog is yours like your couch or BBQ. You invite who you like or delete who you like. you don't even owe any expanation or even acknowledge you deleted someone.

People don't like it they stay away or snipe at you somewhere else. Anyone can start up a free blog in 5 minutes and Fisk anything you write point by point.

shirlenebower said...

Hi Dr. Clarke: I have just been given the nod to conduct a Political Fallacy and Research Methods class at University of Prince Edward Island (Canada) in addition the Comparative Study of Canadian and American Juvenile Justice, and Global Issues Critical Thinking classes that I already teach there. I am very interested in your site. I am also very interested in addictions as part of the big picture. Can you advise me as to how to proceed with developing this course ie texts? I am beginning with David Hackett Fischer's Historians' Fallacies. Shirlene O'Brien Bower, MA Ed. My favorite book at the moment,is State of Fear by Michael Crichton

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