Blog Policies

CHANGE IN COMMENTS POLICY EFFECTIVE September 1, 2009

As listed below, commenters must choose a “handle”. Any name is fine.

Any commenters leaving the “name” blank and showing “Anonymous” will have their full IP number inserted in place of a name.

Up to you…

Hi Folks,

As a result of numerous requests from our readers, we’re going to make a change to our comments policy. Commenters will now have to use a “handle” (ie: a chosen, fake name).

As always, your comments will still be anonymous – we don’t need or want to know who you are.

We’ve just had so many folks leaving the name blank – which ends up showing as “anonymous” when the comment is posted. This makes it difficult to have discussions when people don’t know if they are addressing this anonymous person or that one.

So…

Choose a “handle” (a fake name) for your comments please.

Comments that are left blank will be deleted. -(

… and only one handle per user please. Folks who post under multiple identities will be deleted. (well… their comments will be deleted) ;-)

Repeat of a March 11, 2007 BFP article…

Comment Moderating – Don’t Get Your Knickers In A Knot

Some of our readers get all upset when their comments are held in moderation for hours. They take it as a personal slight and even accuse us of favouring one commenter over another, or of favouring one side of a discussion etc etc etc.

One fellow even accused us of helping out the BLP over the DLP and of being in bed (figuratively, of course) with the General Secretary of the BLP, Dr. Duguid.

I guess we must be doing a good job when both DLP and BLP supporters are accusing us of favouring the other side!

It looks like it’s time to again remind our readers of how a blog works, how moderation works, why it is necessary and what we can and cannot control.

So to those of you who are upset that your comment didn’t make it to the blog for a few hours… quit pounding your desk, wipe that froth off your mouth and breathe deeply while Uncle Marcus explains the facts of life about comment moderation…

1/ What is Comment Moderation and Why Is It Necessary?

Some blogs allow readers to leave comments, and some do not. We encourage our readers to leave comments and participate in discussions – but it is not a free-for-all.

There are various levels of control available to blog administrators to help strike the desired balance between freedom to post and prevention of abuse of the comments section. If the comment section is left wide open for anyone to post any comment without any controls or moderation at all, it soon becomes useless due to a combination of spam advertising, garbage and profanity.

Persons will also attempt to hijack a popular blog like Barbados Free Press to reach thousands of readers who would not normally read their warped ideas. As an example of this hijacking, earlier Barbados Free Press had two persons who attempted to use the blog to propagate their warped ideas that a/ Jews are evil, and b/ The 9/11 attacks were engineered by the President of the United States with the full participation and knowledge of hundreds of Americans who all conspired together to murder thousands of other Americans in the World Trade Centre.

These people tried to post these ideas dozens of times to the point where we simply banned them from posting under their own names, and also blocked any comments from their IP numbers.

But they are nothing compared with automatic internet robots…

Every day automatic internet robots attempt to post dozens or even hundreds of advertisements as comments on our blog. In the last year, we have had to sort through OVER 40,000 SPAM COMMENTS on this blog. Various automatic filters are used to keep these spam comments from appearing on the blog, but each one eventually has to be looked at by a real person.

There are only five of us – and we can’t be here all the time, so we use an automatic filter to hold suspicious comments until we can look at them. We look at every comment and it is a big job that takes hours every day.

2/ Why do some of my comments get held and some don’t?

We use an automatic spam filter to try and sort legitimate comments from the spam. Mostly it works, but sometimes it grabs your comment and holds it until we read it. Other times it lets spam through onto the blog, which is why you sometimes see advertisements for everything from drugs to naked women posted in the comments section. We clean it out when we find it, but sometimes we miss it for days or even weeks if it is on an old post.

The spam filters have their own minds, and also have a list of suspicious words, triggers and IP addresses. For instance, anything coming from Russia gets held for moderation (Russia is the spam king of the world), as will common spam words or phrases such as “viagra”, “drugs”, “hot sex”, “cars for sale”, “blackjack”, “incest”, “loan” and hundreds of other words from the lists.

If you use one of those words in your comment, or you include more than two linked URLs, your comment is held until we get to it. So some of your comments will make it straight to the blog, and some will not.

We don’t like it either, but that’s reality.

3/ Why are comments sometimes held for hours or even overnight?

There are only five of us, and we’re not always here. This is a part time blog staffed by volunteers who have children, real jobs and bills to pay. We get sick. We get tired. We travel. One of us works steady nights. Sometimes we even get fed up and cranky for a day.

You will see the character of the blog changing depending upon who is looking after spam that day, or who is away for a week and not posting articles.

So if your comment doesn’t get approved for 12 hours or a day, or we don’t answer your email or act on your tip, you’ll just have to understand. We are doing the best that we can, and we sure don’t deserve the abuse and innuendo that some folks toss our way when they don’t get service right away.

If you don’t like it – you can head over to http://www.wordpress.com and start your own blog for free in about 10 minutes.

4/ Why are my comments ALWAYS moderated?

Some folks and their IP numbers get themselves put on the “always moderate” list because they have abused the comments section by posting profanities, bad words or being off-topic. Only one person is banned by name on this blog because he repeatedly violated our requests not to post on one specific topic. We told him that his name would never appear on BFP again, and we set the filter to dump that name into the garbage automatically.

But that is the only person who is banned from BFP. So far, every other violator is merely set to “always moderate” – so they can post, but we have to look at their comments first. If we edit a comment, we say so clearly in the comment.

We can’t always list our standards, but when a poster starts to change the feel of the blog or is starting to drive away other readers, we step in. We all saw what happened a while ago when a group of persons conspired to use foul language and bad words to interrupt the mood of Barbados Free Press. All those IP numbers are now moderated all the time.

5/ Can I Be Removed From the “Always Moderate” List?

Sure – if every comment you post is being held moderated, say so in a comment or email and we’ll give you a second chance if you promise to be a good boy or girl. Sometimes IP numbers switch in the normal course of the internet, and you will be assigned an IP that used to belong to an abuser. It happens automatically so we don’t know about it until you tell us – so let us know and we’ll take that IP off the “always moderate” list.

All Comments On This Article Are Now Going To Be Posted

Just so everybody can see what happens when there is no moderation at all – we’re going to approve all comments on this article for the next few days.

You’ll soon see what we mean.

Anyone need any Viagra, Cialis, Sex, Gambling or Hot Sluts? (Watch what happens when the robots get hold of those words!)

Cheers,

Marcus

UPDATED: Comments Now Closed On This Post

OK FOLKS…

Time to shut it down.

See how quickly things deteriorate without comment moderation? Less than an hour and look what happened. If you let it go for two days, you can just imagine!

Even regular readers get dragged down. (Shame on you Jerome Hinds and Curiously Amused)

So that’s it for comments on this post.

I think we’ve made our point.

Marcus

40 responses to “Blog Policies

  1. obserivng

    Thanks for the explanation

    I understand.

  2. rumboy

    One should read Cuba’s Foreign Minister’s reprimand of Bush’s speech to the UN. Go to granma.cu and read it in full. Interesting.

  3. Colin L Beadon

    We’ve just read the book by Shirin Ebadi who won the Nobel prize last year for Peace. Her book is called ‘ Iran Awakening .’ Here is a woman, a mother and a dis-allowed Judge, jailed, marked for assassination, who still loves her country Iran, and her religion, Islam, both of which have been hijacked by cleric extremists.

  4. blpfatefuls

    owen authur has a better track record than thompson.thompson is an intellectual fool

  5. blpfatefuls

    is thompson really serious,softwood and termites .my man you getting overbearing on tv and in the nation.they like they does work for you but after the next election you gine back to either st lucia or england.de bajan public fed up of thompson.the man is disgraceful and missing parliament at that.would yuh beleive it de man beleive that being in parliament 20 years entitles him to be a pm lolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

    dont worry thompy or pinkiede blp aint gun trash that hard they might allow you to get two seatsyou and kelly and by the way is it true that you asked kelly to resign maybe the public should know that you want to stop the only real man on your team from speaking

  6. Sentinel

    Fellow Barbadians,
    Forget the fluff. Forget the “comess”. Forget the unsubstantiated rumours and cross talk. Stop letting people wave things in your faces and have them tell you to take their word for it. Stop letting other people think for you. Forget the talk about whose vote will be wasted if they vote where or for whom. You are an intelligent person.
    Look at the names on your ballot and choose the one that you think will best represent YOU.
    YOU, the voter, have no real control over who will be Prime Minister. YOU, the voter, have no real control over which party gets a majority. But YOU, the voter, do have control over who sits in your Constituency’s seat in the Parliament.. Forget party, forget who the leader is, because each of them could quite realistically lose his seat in this race.
    WE, the voters, must install smart and independent thinkers who show a clear interest in responsibly representing the interests of their constituency, and not persons who will always put SELF, party or their leader first. Are there such people fitting that description in this election? YOU, and YOU alone, must make this choice for self, family and future of this country.
    Yes! God can make the choice, but He needs YOU to use YOUR “X” for His will to be done. Our fore-parents slaved, toiled and suffered for it. Now it’s up to you to use your “X”. It is YOUR right; use it RESPONSIBLY AND WISELY.

  7. I understand the need to have a moderator but how much is out of fear of abuse and howmuch it out of fear of barbadian libel laws.
    I have written extensively on this subject and have years experience discussing with local attorney’s how you subvert the libel laws to say what you want to saw. It is very tricky, but as a blog under barbados law how can you protect yourself from a law suit by the attorney general.
    I have had wind of a former attorney Generals deliberation as to whether or not to sue us as writers for libel, and it was instructive to how things get decided (i am speaking of David Symmonds) so i am interested i understand the spammers and such, the abuser and annoyers, but i wonder if you take any steps to protect yourself legal and this moderartion if in fact one of them, for the things i write about are very weighty and have effect in their message in the sense that we have written 70, 000 word essays on Pele, 90,000 word pieces on Mark Stokes, etc. very substantial pieces of work that are clearly documented and substantiated to hold up in a law court from many angles.

    Yours sincerely Gary Cole aka Tatanka Yotanka

  8. frankology

    I am quite annoyed with BFP refusing my comments, whilst others are giving a free reign to abuse officials, individuals and commenters who are just stating views and in my case, being neutral with my comments. You lambasted the ‘fourth estate’ for suppressing information during the election run-up, but you are doing the same thing. You accused me of being someone else, you spoke of me being banned already. But all those things are all lies, I am 100% bajan with a love for my country, I am not Mascoll, I am not affiliated with any party, I can freely state, I work closely with Hartley Henry, Reudon Eversley and these two individuals will be surprise about this writer.

    Your stopping my post is an orchestrated effort to stifle my writing since I am well researched with things I write about. You all are simply afraid of my writing in these last days.

    I wish all of you the best in your endeavours and hope that you will remove your partisan moderation after Jan 15.

    The real FRANKOLOGY

    ****************

    BFP Comments

    Frankology… we have not been holding your posts any more than any others. We are forced to moderate everyone due to those who post foul and threatening comments. You are not receiving any special consideration. Please read the tab about moderation at the top.

    thanks!

  9. Summer

    I must comment on the situation that is taking place in Guyana at this monemt, its a disgrace to see the President and his cabines is just sitting back and doing nothing.

    Innocent people are being slaughter for some reason or the other.

    If you ask me I think its all drug related and someone is trying very hard to get back at the government by taking the lives of innocent people.

    Its amazing how spent shells from all these murders over the years seems to match up to the same fire arm frankly speaking that’s exactly what one will see in the press after the police have dont their test ” the police force don’t even have a forensic lab”.

  10. Tell me Why

    Your blog states about “Anonymous writers”, see Thompson and the private jet blog, but you surely have double standards. Talk it today…forget it tomorrow.

  11. Tell me Why

    ….and that’s my last post on this blog.

  12. simply staying aware

    What about the “travel agency” contact that the Ghana flight organizers had here in Barbados? Do they share in any of the responsibiliy of the African brothers being stranded here in Bim?

    Or did they just recieve a “facilitation fee” commission and not be responsible for looking after these clients?

    When I travelled on a charter to Canada in 2005 the agency call two days after my return to find out if evergthing had gone well on my trip. I will be travelling with them again.

    There has been trememdous interest created by this direct flight to Africa, but I would want to find out the responsible persons on both ends before I get on this charter.

  13. ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID

    Thanks for the explanation on comment moderation!!

  14. anon99

    In memory of Anna Druzhinina, the beautiful Russian 16-yr-old who was murdered Nov 8, 2008, in Barbados, her friends created a memorial website for her at http://www.facebook.com under the name
    “R.I.P. Anna Druzhinina”.

    videos celebrating her life, posted by friends:

    http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=95642885303&oid=44483756564

    http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=33717284303&oid=44483756564#/video/video.php?v=95600110540&oid=44483756564

    Anna was loved and her friendship truly cherished by all who knew her. As you will see in these videos, her friendships cut across all cultural, ethnic, and racial boundaries.

    Anna Druzhinina was murdered in her home at Palmer’s Plantation House, Saturday night, Nov. 8, 2008, the day after her 16th birthday. Her accused Guyanese murderer, Teerath Persaud, 41, and accomplice, Christopher Omar McCollin, 26, are in policy custody (in prison), and were charged Nov. 17 with murder and arson. They will appear again before the District C Magistrate, Dec. 10, 2008.

    Teerath Persaud was a trusted employee of Anna’s parents for 8 years and worked (and lived) as the security guard for their business, Solo Trading in Blackrock, St. Michael, Barbados, for the last two years.

    He was familiar with the Palmer’s property, where he used to work, and well known to the large watch dogs. He recently rented a room walking distance from Palmer’s House in St. John.

    The police are preparing the case for presentation to the court. After presentation to the Magistrate, District C, the case will then go to the Barbados High Court. Either a jury trial or “paper committal” will happen, depending on the accused’s formal pleas, followed by sentencing.

    Barbados still has the death penalty, but it has not been enacted since 1979 when the former Prime Minister’s grandmother was murdered.

  15. Avatar Gurl

    @ anon99

    And it WILL NOT be enacted, my dear, because we are WUSSIES!

    Look at Trinidad, look at Jamaica. They hung people up to the 1990′s. At least they had BALLS!

    We have a lot of laws on the statute books that we don’t even use…and break a lot of laws that AREN’T on the statute books!

    Look, if we have a law for hanging, USE IT! If we don’t use it, then LOSE IT! GET IT OUT!

  16. Alicia Kirton

    Dear Barbados Free Press,

    I am wondering if the person who has information on “Tones” death could actually give me information on that or even information on the DVD cause this thing still haunts me….Please if you know of anything about this DVD please contact me……..at l_ivi@live.com. Alicia is the name….

  17. Diana Clarke

    I am trying to get in touch with Robert Best. I have known him for many years. Please ask him to
    to contact me at wbbc@cogeco.ca. He used to be my teacher and I know his family quite well.

  18. Camper

    Explain to me BFP, why the comments by “Wuh” over the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary – or any other topic – are now not moderated but obliterated? Simply because Wuh exposed your connections with Allard? And that you are financed by him to peddle misinformation?

    I believe in democracy but I am quite disturbed that Wuh’s comments have been refused.

    It make a mockery of your boast about the blog being free and your committment to publishing what the newspapers don’t!

    *********************

    BFP say:

    Talk nonsense all you like and once in a while (like now) we’ll let it stand just to show our values for free speech. Talk nonsense endlessly and we’ll ask you to get your own blog and your own audience. Capiche?

  19. PiedPiper

    BFP: I have supported your blog for quite some time now. Very occasionally, I have disagreed with your position on certain issues but, for the most part, I applaud your dedication to seeking and printing the truth on important matters pertaining to Barbados.
    I also agree with this policy printed at the top of the page: “As a result of numerous requests from our readers, we’re going to make a change to our comments policy. Commenters will now have to use a “handle” (ie: a chosen, fake name).”
    I would like to see this policy applied not only to posts that are left blank but also to those who deliberately choose the handle “Anonymous”. I, and many other posters to this blog, have consistantly used the same handle when expressing our views and opinions with the full knowledge that they may be unpopular views and may in fact offend some but as adults, if you can not stand behind your beliefs openly, without hiding behind anonymity, does your post have any value or merit?

  20. Elombe

    What is the difference between “Anonymous” and ” Pied Piper”? Aren’t both of you hiding behind a pseudonym? Use at least one of your names!

  21. PiedPiper

    That is my point exactly, Elombe. There are those who use there normal handle until they wish to post something they don’t want to take responsibility for.

  22. Diggit

    Oh, heavens, Elombe – you gone and put yuh foots right in it! Now I going get accuse of being “Elombe”!

  23. PiedPiper

    What exactly do you mean “use at least one of your names”? I have been using the handle “PiedPiper” since the day I found this site which is going on 2 years now.

  24. PiedPiper

    Oh, heavens, Elombe – you gone and put yuh foots right in it! Now I going get accuse of being “Elombe”!

    “Tell Me Why”, “Frankology”, “Thistle” and of course the multi purpose, generic “Anonymous” just to name a few ;)

    It’ amazing what you can dig up by going back into the archives of both BFP and the DLP Blog……simply amazing.

  25. Something needs to be done about the home repair business. I cannot believe that Bajans are putting with such poor customer service from the manufacturers and tradesmen. They never deliver on service and have a very poor regard for the customer needs. Instead of satisfying the customer, and having a chance at being recommended for future work, they just focus on doing the bear minimum and taking people’s money without completing the job.

    What happening to customer service in Barbados? The tradesmen only want BIG jobs and therefore have little regard for the average homeowner. Only when the BIG jobs dry up that they take on the small jobs. I cannot believe that no one provides free estimates… They assume if you call them they have the job…

  26. Anonlegal

    I suspect that I have been placed on the “Always moderate” list. If so, I am requesting to be removed from that list.

    Thanks

  27. BFP

    You haven’t been placed on the list Anonlegal. Sometimes it grabs you sometimes not otherwise your comment wouldn’t appear here. Spam filters are imperfect but the alternative is no good.

  28. Musiker

    First, I couldn’t find another place for feedback or to contact this blog owner, so am relegated to trying this.

    Second, and the reason for posting—My Barbados Blog—found on your roll of Bajan Blogs and Chats has not been updated since 6/10/08. Is there another similar blog out there or is that just a lost resource? I’m trying to read and research all things Barbados before a planned visit in the fall.

    Thanks!

  29. BFP

    Hi Musiker

    Linda’s blog is getting a little past due, isn’t it?

    We left it up because it does have some great resources and stories, but perhaps it is time to replace it with a more current blog.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  30. Wily Cayote

    Just clarification. I thought Anonymous was not permitted as the name of a poster. Yet I see many on recent threads.

  31. Living in Barbados

    I guess you should modify the Sept 1 policy to flag that you will cite IP addresses in place of ‘anonymous’.

  32. BFP George not signe in

    Hi LIB

    Why should the policy be modified? Has something changed?

  33. Living in Barbados

    @BFP/George: The policy says “Comments that are left blank will be deleted.” but I recall reading in one thread that you would insert IP addresses in place of ‘anonymous’, and I see some IP-addressed comments. Maybe you are deleting comments where the name is left blank but it would help to clarify what you are doing when citing IP addresses. Those making comments have not necessarily read this policy or any other commentary on naming.

    *****************************
    from BFP george

    Hi LIB

    we might miss one or two but if we find a anonymous commenter we fill in the IP like it says. that is the usual and we try to do it.

    the policy is front and center at the top tab “blog policies”

  34. Expose The Hypocrisy

    There has been much made, recently, by certain individuals at BU about “freedom of speech” and unfettered discussion no matter how offensive or inaccurate that speech may be. Many of those same individuals took it very personally when BFP chose to remove BU from it’s sidebar. I would like those individuals to take a look at this comment posted by the host of BU, when the decision was made to remove “Notes From The Margin” from BU’s sidebar.

    David/ March 12, 2008 at 6:47 AM
    “Sam Gamgee we understand that your comment may be nothing more than to engender strife. We delisted notes on the margin because he has blogs in his sidebar which are owned by someone who threatened the life of Adrian Loveridge and also who were very abusive on the BFP and BU blogs during the elections period. Please do not hide the facts.There is one thing for notes in the margin to encourage freedom of expression but at BU we also believe in standing up against what is wrong.”

    Now, what is at issue here, is not the reasons for David “delisting” Notes From The Margin but the very last sentence of his statement. Just how did David arrive at HIS definition of “wrong” as compared to anyone else’s definition of “wrong”. Is BFP’s definition of “wrong” not as worthy of BU’s definition of “wrong”? BFP and many of it’s readers thought that calling a white Canadian woman, who was murdered, while on vacation in Babados, “white trash” was “WRONG” and therefore made the decision to remove BU from it’s sidebar. Is anyone else here seeing the hypocrisy and how the definition of “free speech” vacillates from day to day?

  35. You still should make whatever changes you can. ,

  36. Squeezed Out

    Can anyone define whether coastal conservation policy includes the Cattlewash beachfront which provided a close access to the beach to Joes River Sugar Estates Ltd. puchasers at Atlantic Park. In 2005 this beachfront was described in the land use section of the valuation as for bay houses. Does this mean that there was approval for bayhouses to be constructed on the beachfront contrary to conservation objectives? Otherwise, how can a tax demand of $20 000 per annum plus be fair and justified when born Bajans will be forced to drop their claim or go into debt to satisfy the tax demands? One might also ask who can benefit from a 3 million plus beachfront prohibited to building if it goes to Public Auction and is sold for less than $50 000?

  37. pope perry@jerrry tim

    living in BARBADOS is so much fun because u get to hear people talk about the DLP & BLP and it so foolish people want to fight because of it.

  38. Fast news is bad news, get the FACTS first

    Both parties are deep in covering fraud , need to vote for all new persons , it cant get any worse ,even the PM and the AG need to go….. freedom of information is not a true,,, Ask them where the Plantation deeds are ,,,, All things in Barbados deal land ,,, when you see how the land moves with out deeds you will see why all things out of wack

  39. Mahammed

    “woe to them that plan iniquity, that scheme wickedness upon their beds; in the morning light they act upon it; for it is in the power of their hands. they covet fields and seize them, houses and take them away. they defraud a man and his household, the person and his inheritance………………..
    Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, against this family do i devised an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil.
    In that day shall one take up a parable against you, and lament with a doleful lamentation, and say, we be utterly spoiled: he hath changed the portion of my people: how hath he removed it from me! turning away he hath divided our fields.
    therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast a cord by lot in the congregation of the Lord
    Prophesy ye no, say they to them that prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, that they shall not take shame.
    o thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the Spirit of the Lord straitened? are these his doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh upright?
    Even of late my people is risen up as an enemy: ye pull off the role with the garment from them that pass by securely as men averse from war.”
    to the gods of materialism, to the gods of chemistry, to the gods of ………….
    the song of the huntsman. out hope for creative living in this world, means that we have inherited lies and it is in our ability to reestablish the ends of our lives in personal character and social justice. without this spiritual and moral reawakening we shall destroy ourselves with the misuse of our own instruments. I he referring to our sexual behavior? Barbados is the cosmic window and our window is dirty, DARKNESS. Who will, who will?
    To all those who make money and positions their gods.
    Man has failed and failed miserably, time to wake up, not woke up,rise awaken, awaken arise. because of your souls slumbers have been profound, we are all passengers on this oversize boat called EARTH, weather we sink, swim or survive, depend on how well we paddle together, if all is selfishness, we will drown together. but if brother hood and sisterhood prevail one of our crew members will gladly rescue us, life is not a one man or one woman cruise,( life is a game and we must learn how to play it). out divine creator is the only CAPTAIN of the plane called EARTH. so be prepared for a rough ride, the earthquakes, the tsunami, the tornado, the floods and the killer hurricanes will not stop. its man’s realization to CHANGE CHANGE CHANGE!
    THE INJUSTICES MUST STOP!

  40. Great compilation. There were loads of new things I
    got to know via this post.

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