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…
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.
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…
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!)
UPDATED: Comments Now Closed On This Post
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.