July 5, 2018

Moderation.

You may have noticed that I've had a problem with comment moderation. I hadn't been able to get to the page where the comments on posts older than 2 days wait for approval. Sometimes I could get through, but it was (and remains) totally unreliable. Yesterday, I figured out a work around. So, if you've been avoiding contributing to old threads — anything older than 2 days — please know that it's okay now. Your comments won't go up immediately, as they do with posts from the last 2 days, but I'll see the pending comment within a day (probably much sooner) and release it from limbo. I'll definitely read it too, which isn't true of the newer comments, which outpace my ability to read (though I do read a lot of them).

And let me just more generally thank you for commenting. It means a lot to me!

35 comments:

Meade said...

You're welcome. Thank you too.

Mike Sylwester said...

I wish you would do something about the Chuck-bashing.

Mikec said...

Ann, will you please restrict posters comments to TWO maximum for east topic! This would lead to a terrific improvement in the comments. If posters were limited to two, they would think about what their postings, they would avoid the silly arguments with other posters, and they wouldn't post trivial one line comments.

Dave said...

I appreciate the ability to comment here.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Mike Sylwester said...

I wish you would do something about the Chuck-bashing.

Yeah, I'm not a fan of Chuck's, but the people who keep going at him, thread after thread, are worse.

Sure, if he says something you disagree with, go ahead and respond ( to the substance ). But don't bring him up in a thread in which he has not commented, and don't bash him for what he said yesterday in today's thread.

I don't like a turd in the punch-bowl any more than the rest of you. But I can avoid that one turd and still enjoy the punch*. Why do so many seem to think it's better to have a hundred turds in the punch-bowl?

I'm not advocating the Professor ban anyone, or try to actively police the comments. And I know Chuck brings a lot of it on himself. But maybe if the Professor did more to discourage the worst of the mindless bashing, the punch would taste a little better.

*Maybe this was a bad choice of metaphor, but no turning back now...

Ignorance is Bliss said...

But, overall, thanks for the blog!

Richard said...

Commenting after two days is one of those imponderables. If someone comments on a thread after two days and no one reads it, does it make a difference?

tcrosse said...

and they wouldn't post trivial one line comments.

Please don't penalize those who take the pains to make their comments concise

Ignorance is Bliss said...

mike c said...

Ann, will you please restrict posters comments to TWO maximum for east topic!

I strongly disagree. The best comment threads include a lot of back-and-forth. I would hate to lose that. ( Just think, based on that rule, you would have missed out on this comment! )

traditionalguy said...

Where else could we comment? You are the much loved Auntie Mame of the Blogs to us.

tim in vermont said...

Sounds like somebody should get their own blog...

Ann Althouse said...

I don't even have a method for controlling the number of comments per person per post.

Are you picturing me monitoring everything, reading and counting and deleting. How would I write the blog if I had to do that?

As I've said many times, the problem is going back and forth with somebody. Some commenters are very good at attracting personal responses and then when they also follow the practice of responding to every response, you get a boring, stupid echo chamber. I wish you'd simply join me in seeing that dynamic and help me (and all of us) by refraining from participating in it. I sometimes delete to clean up this problem (especially if it happens early in the thread (as opposed to somewhere down in the 100s).

Be careful about responding to someone with a personal attack. Address the substance of what is said or you are part of the problem. The continual appearance of a particular name (which I'm seeing in this thread) is really bad. Don't make a celebrity out of the commenter you DON'T like.

Here's an idea: Make a celebrity out of the person you DO like. I'm tempted to name some names of the commenters I've really loved over the years. This thread begins with #1 for me, but you could probably name 3 or 4 or more names that when you see them, you know you'll read them. Why not give them a boost? Name (here) and elsewhere the people whose writing you love, and stop promoting a writer that you HATE.

Observe the overall dynamic and try to see your role in making it better. There's really no limit to how great the comments could be. But grumbling over the things you don't like, and imagining big government as a solution, is not the answer. Think about how you can make things better.

Big government in this case means me moderating, deleting, making rules, and enforcing rules. I have to remain fresh to write new posts and, also, to be a contributor in the comments. That's me at my best. That other version of me is a figment of your imagination. Stop waiting for Big Sister Ann to fix everything. It's not going to happen. I couldn't be Althouse if I had to be that person. Fortunately, I don't. It's not my orientation, not my forte, and if it were, I wouldn't be the blogger you (presumably) know and love.

J. E. Malthaus said...

I once somewhat seriously considered going back to the very first Althouse post and then proceed to make a comment in every Althouse post all the way up to now.

My idea was to make it a serialized story, a sentence or two at a time, prompted by the Althouse subjects.

I then realized I would be climbing Everest, and be sucking wind by the first base camp.

--LWL

J. E. Malthaus said...

"Stop waiting for Big Sister Ann to fix everything"

This made the Velvet Underground song "Sister Ray" start playing in my head.

An odd juxtaposition, but then again sometimes the comment section can be like the milieu of that song, so.

-LWL

Ignorance is Bliss said...

...you could probably name 3 or 4 or more names that when you see them, you know you'll read them. Why not give them a boost?

Laslo Spatula
The Germans Have A Word For That.
Loren W Laurent

Jim Gust said...

Commenting is the least we can do to show our appreciation for this outstanding blog. Buying through the Amazon portal is the most we can do.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Jim Gust said...

Commenting is the least we can do to show our appreciation for this outstanding blog.

Never let it be said that I don't do the least that I can do!

rehajm said...

I’m here in no small part for the ‘trivial’ one line comments. It’s the logorrheic who never say anything or have their own agendas are the ones to skip.

Ray - SoCal said...

Chuck bashing I have mixed feelings on.

He gives as good as he gets, and he does deliberately troll at times, but then he also does amazing posts that add a lot to the conversation.

There are other posters that make commment threads unreadable.

wwww said...

"Some commenters are very good at attracting personal responses and then when they also follow the practice of responding to every response, you get a boring, stupid echo chamber."


Don't respond to bullies who miss the 8th grade name-calling lunchroom.

Some commenters hope to get that personal back and forth going. They bait with off-topic, non-substantive personal responses. It's Jr. High School level stuff. Important to ignore.

Delete your response if you respond to name-calling. Else you are contributing to the problem.

Once commenters engage with the adolescent nonsense, the thread gets destroyed, boring, no-one can read it!

Fabi said...

I don't wish to be part of the problem, but it's my nature to mock losers and whiners as frequently as possible. I'll do so elsewhere. Thank you for all you do, Ann -- you and Meade are interesting people. Best wishes for many more years of daily blogging. Adios.

-- Fabi

tim maguire said...

I avoid commenting on threads with over 100 comments. By then, it's usually just an argument between a few people and not worth getting involved in.

tim maguire said...

As for naming your favorite commenters, I'd rather not as I don't think I could do the list justice.

There are commenters I always disagree with but respect. They deserve kudos even if they're not among my favorites. There are commenters I generally agree with but also stand out as being thoughtful, fair, and decent. They deserve kudos.

Some truly brilliant performance artists have come and gone over the years.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Are you picturing me monitoring everything, reading and counting and deleting. How would I write the blog if I had to do that?

I know that it doesn't exist, but I wonder if there would be a market for a blogging platform that could require micro-payments to post comments, with the rates adjustable per user.

So to set up an account, a user might need to put $1 in an account. The blog might default to charging a penny per comment, but upon seeing that a commenter was acting in good faith, the admin could set their rate to 0, and even refund past payments. People who comment in counter-productive ways could have their rate upped to 5 or 10 cents per comment. People who repeatedly comment in bad faith could have their rate upped to $10 per comment.

Such a platform would need good tools to manage this. In particular, you would need to be able to easily identify new commenters and move them to zero rate quickly.

Birches said...

#makeFreemanacelebrity

traditionalguy said...

Commenting can become a challenge here. The Fact Checker Force is strong. But it has been said somewhere, "Never Surrender."

rightguy said...

Thank you Professor for all you do. I daily read most of your entries -as well as many of the responses,-and occasionally compose a few declarative sentences that are (hopefully) on topic. Yes, the loop threads can be a boring waste. You can only chase your tail responding to generic insults that come your way. The solution is problematic as its hard to imagine fully grown adults to (spontaneously) stop being who they are.

Wilbur said...

Wilbur gets to read only a few AA posts and resultant comments daily, and comments on few, usually with a one-sentence observation. There are a few commenters for whom I've learned just to skip over, as they obsessively say the same thing in every post, ranging from anti-Chuck to abortion to just unintelligible nonsense.

I never read posted song lyrics or poetry, just an idiosyncrasy.

The quality of commenters here is generally very high, in my view.

cubanbob said...

As the saying goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". The blog is just fine the way it is. Why take chances?

Ann Althouse said...

"if it ain't broke, don't fix it"

Yes, if you try to set up some system with rules and an enforcement mechanism, some good people would go away, and some bad people would figure out how to work the rules in their favor and make it even worse for the good people, sending even more away.

I'm for small government because I tend to think about change like that.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

merci to Our Most Gracious Host

@Fabi-- dont go.

Mr. Spatula-- please come back!

langford peel said...

Can you ban Jon Ericson?

He is a moby.

Fernandinande said...

Wilbur said...
I never read posted song lyrics or poetry, just an idiosyncrasy.


Good man. I hate pomes.

A meta haiku
Syllables wrongly counted
Rhyme are belong to us.

Bad Lieutenant said...

I'm for small government because I tend to think about change like that.


The funny thing is though that you want to run everybody's life down to the smallest detail while rebelling against any restrictions on yourself. Shorts? Straws? Oh yah, you're just telling us what you think, how it looks. How well does "that's not a good look" work on you? Do you take it as well-meant advice that you should maybe heed? Shurrr you do. Maybe you think you're subtle. Like a fart in a phone booth!

K said...

I don't often comment, but when I do I enjoy knowing it's appreciated!