Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 9, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

COMMENTING POLICY....I guess the topic du jour is whether we should have a blogger code of conduct. Spare me. But since comments are part of the latest go-around in this ever popular navel-gazing game, I thought I'd let everyone know my commenting rule. I only have one. Here it is:

If I or my moderators get sufficiently annoyed with you, we will delete your comments. If you don't like it, tough.

That said, I'll add that I believe a free-ranging comment section, warts and all, is a valuable thing to have. Using the kind of language deployed around millions of water coolers every day doesn't bother me, and neither I nor the site moderators are easily annoyed. Still, our patience isn't unlimited.

(On the flip side, of course, is this: if the comments here or anywhere else are too strident for your taste, then don't read them. Sheesh.)

So that's that. Now, which ISO committee do I apply to to have this rule made into an international standard?

Kevin Drum 3:09 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (92)

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Comments

I'm guessing you mean "MAY delete your comments." Otherwise, we would have to assume that we don't annoy you yet.

Posted by: DR on April 9, 2007 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

"Now, which ISO committee do I apply to to have this rule made into an international standard?"

Strangely enough, it's under the jurisdiction of the MPEG committee.

Posted by: Petey on April 9, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

It sure does seem to me that most of the outcry to rein in blogs comes from the Right.

Could this have something to do with the fact that they're, frankly, shitty at blogging? And they don't have anywhere near as many readers as lefty or even moderate blogs?

Posted by: K on April 9, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Where is my Easter Bonnet?

While some may see the blogosphere and the behavior of its participants as a new phenomenon, it isn't difficult to find an appropriate predecessor model. That model is found on the streets of any metropolitan area and it is called traffic and the prevalence of road rudeness...or in its extreme...road rage.

Granted, personal attacks and snark on the internet are not likely to lead to fatalities, but if computers had wheels, it certainly would.

The problem on the highway or the internet isn't going to be resolved through a badge system. Did anyone attend Easter mass yesterday and witness the value of symbols...no not the crucifix behind the altar or the statue at the entrance; I'm talking about the pretty new Easter outfits...complete with bonnets and bow ties. These are the outfits worn by the same people who also attend Christmas mass every year without fail...and then get into their shiny clean vehicle and race out of the parking lot without ever yielding to the old woman walking to her car that is parked in the back row because she forgot that it was Easter Sunday and foolishly arrived at the same time she does each and every Sunday.

Read more on the relationship between blog civility and Easter Bonnets...here:

www.thoughttheater.com

Posted by: Daniel DiRito on April 9, 2007 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

"May" implies consent, or at least some ambiguity ... I believe he should have said simply, "we delete your comments."

Otherwise he's implying that sometimes they get annoyed but do not delete the comments. Given that he believes a free-ranging comment section is a valuable thing, he (and his moderators) should only get annoyed by comments that deserve removal.

Or "annoyed" is not the word he's searching for.

Posted by: Cal Gal on April 9, 2007 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

only time I get annoyed is those occasions when I respond to a stupid remark and find it's been deleted. and once or twice I've wished you would delete something I've written in the heat of the moment, and you don't.

of course, if you ever delete one of MY remarks, you're clearly the Antichrist.

Posted by: thersites on April 9, 2007 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you and Dagwood are the only people I know of who use the word "Sheesh." Did you read the funnies a lot when you were a kid?

Posted by: buddy66 on April 9, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

I've wished you would delete something I've written ...of course, if you ever delete one of MY remarks....

I contradict myself? very well, I contradict myself.

Posted by: thersites on April 9, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

(On the flip side, of course, is this: if the comments here or anywhere else are too strident for your taste, then don't read them. Sheesh.)

Ha! Too many of these sob sisters can't begin their day until they have something to complain about!

Seriously--if you don't read the comments, you can't have the better aspects of life explained to you by me. Do yourself a favor--archive and save the comments for future reference.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 9, 2007 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Someone who posts a substantive comment that "annoys" Drum or the moderator is highly likely to be on the other side. And, I guess someone could really "annoy" Drum by pointing out all the ways he's wrong.

The bottom line about deleting "annoying" comments is that this site is going to become even more of an echo chamber. And, if Drum makes a mistake and that's pointed out, there's a good chance that no one else will realize that because the comment "annoyed" Drum or the moderator.

And, another unstated part of Drum's rules is that he or the moderator has a habit of editing comments without noting they were edited.

And, they do that all while many older WM - and Calpundit - entries are clogged with spam of the worst sort. I dropped my links to Calpundit when I realized that by linking to them I was linking to pages filled with links to some really bad sites. I don't want search engines to think I'm part of that "bad neighborhood" (google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769).

Posted by: TLB on April 9, 2007 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

If we have nothing to respond to it's just preaching to the choir and we get soft and lazy.

And deleting transparently dishonest crap hides the transparent dishonesty and gives these idiots ammunition to cry about leftists censoring free speech.

Posted by: cld on April 9, 2007 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

TLB, I followed your link, and you appear to be complaining about fairly standard anti-spam measures and trying to make it sound like an evil plot.

My proposal to clean things up would be to make commenters register, so people can't fake their handles anymore.

Posted by: Joe Buck on April 9, 2007 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

If only that was your grrlfriend Ann Althouse's policy! Just what do you see in her anyway?

Posted by: jerry on April 9, 2007 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

You have by far the worst comments of any blog I read.

Posted by: abe on April 9, 2007 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, I sincerely think you have a great policy and I vastly prefer having to wade through trolls than listening to an echo chamber.

Posted by: jerry on April 9, 2007 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

TLB is a blog whore. He deliberately posts here with a link so he can draw some of the traffic this blog receives to his own futile, hateful attempt to show that Americans should start hating Mexicans.

Well, I am a Republican and I love the Mexican people. The more who come here to work, the merrier. We should build a wall between us and Mexico; we should build a safe and dependable walkway with free donuts and water.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 9, 2007 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

And it is very true that many of the "trolls" on the net are honestly, sincerely, trying to have a conversation and dialogue in the finest hegelian manner, and we ALL discourage and suppress them at our peril.

Posted by: jerry on April 9, 2007 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Excellent, Kevin, Succinct, ambiguous, and totally arbitrary. I love it.

Though I think you would have been bettered served to just keep us guessing.

Posted by: Disputo on April 9, 2007 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

We should build a wall between us and Mexico; we should build a safe and dependable walkway with free donuts and water

If I were competent today, that would read:

We should NOT build a wall between us and Mexico; we should build a safe and dependable walkway with free donuts and water

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 9, 2007 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

If only that was your grrlfriend Ann Althouse's policy! Just what do you see in her anyway?

Ann has an open bar. And a nice rack.

Posted by: Roger Ailes on April 9, 2007 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, good lawd TLB. I've had links posted that got scrambled as well; this especially seems to be true after using preview. Don't conflate buggy sw and alien conspiracies. And what makes you think that you are immune to typos?

And good gawd, I've had several posts deleted -- probably more than I realize since I tend to post and run -- and you won't ever catch me whining like a school girl her just skinned her knee. How about you try having a little respect for private property?

Posted by: Disputo on April 9, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

If only that was your grrlfriend Ann Althouse's policy! Just what do you see in her anyway?

Ann Althouse is the female version of Ann Coulter.

Posted by: Disputo on April 9, 2007 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Good point! A very nice salary too if you want to be kept.

Posted by: jerry on April 9, 2007 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

We should NOT build a wall between us and Mexico; we should build a safe and dependable walkway with free donuts and water.

That's a good idea - why should Norman buy his donuts when he can fill his pie-hole for free on the government dime?

Posted by: NSA Mole on April 9, 2007 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

I always liked a nice bar and a open rack.

Posted by: R.L. on April 9, 2007 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

If I or my moderators get sufficiently annoyed with you, we will delete your comments. If you don't like it, tough.

Awesome. So, if it's just an 'annoying' basis, why is it only conservative comments get deleted, and not-- for instance-- the endless abuse of liberal democrat Mickey Kaus?

Posted by: Just Curious on April 9, 2007 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

There is a very easy resolution for anyone who does not like Kevin's policy.

Posted by: none on April 9, 2007 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

That said, I'll add that I believe a free-ranging comment section, warts and all, is a valuable thing to have.

That'd be swell, Kevin, if one of the "warts" is an evidently coordinated effort to spew bogus right-wing talking points in your comment thread, no matter how many times they've been debunked. You ought to be sending the RNC a bill for your bandwidth.

(On the flip side, of course, is this: if the comments here or anywhere else are too strident for your taste, then don't read them. Sheesh.)

Which is why I've long advocated putting the name of the poster first, so we can discount the predictable bullshit from "ex-liberal" and his fellow propaganda robots in advance.

Posted by: Gregory on April 9, 2007 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

That said, I'll add that I believe a free-ranging comment section, warts and all, is a valuable thing to have.

That'd be swell, Kevin, if one of the "warts" is an evidently coordinated effort to spew bogus right-wing talking points in your comment thread, no matter how many times they've been debunked. You ought to be sending the RNC a bill for your bandwidth.

(On the flip side, of course, is this: if the comments here or anywhere else are too strident for your taste, then don't read them. Sheesh.)

Which is why I've long advocated putting the name of the poster first, so we can discount the predictable bullshit from "ex-liberal" and his fellow propaganda robots in advance.

Posted by: Gregory on April 9, 2007 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Buck: You might want to watch what you call "spam". Modifying a post left by someone who's been posting comments here at WM and at Calpundit since 2002 or 2003 and not noting they were edited is not a "fairly standard anti-spam measure".

Disputo: Kevin Drum confirmed in an email that my comment was deliberately "scrambled", and said it "probably" wouldn't happen again. Needless to say, it did.

And, I believe the comments left here (tinyurl.com/2gej9o) will confirm that Norman Rogers is just being "cute" (jonswift.blogspot.com style) above.

Posted by: TLB on April 9, 2007 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

"...why is it only conservative comments get deleted..."

Have you read Al the robo-troll's posts? The bar for getting deleted here is almost unvaultably high, regardless of ideology.

I assume the chinese spam guy gets deleted sometimes, though. I doubt that's about politics.

Posted by: Lt. Governor Mondale on April 9, 2007 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Just Curious, TLB: you're wrong.

Just yesterday, a fellow who is definitely left of the divide got deleted. Why? Because he was annoying.

One question: Is Norman Rogers one of the moderators?

Posted by: skeg on April 9, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

And, I believe the comments left here (tinyurl.com/2gej9o) will confirm that Norman Rogers is just being "cute" (jonswift.blogspot.com style) above.

No, sorry, you hateful little toady. I'm being "an American."

And if you're looking to the likes of "rmck1" for guidance in life, be prepared to wash your shame down your throat with an extra helping of dirty puddle water and a dose of pathos.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 9, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Which is why I've long advocated putting the name of the poster first...

No, don't do this. It's aesthetically displeasing.

Posted by: skeg on April 9, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

The bottom line about deleting "annoying" comments is that this site is going to become even more of an echo chamber.

Speaking of annoying, it's annoying indeed to have the kind of RNC bullshit propaganda justified by appeals to preventing an "echo chamber."

Example? Check out the threads regarding Terri Schaivo when a bunch of GOP propaganda victims kept posting falsehoods no matter how many times they'd been debunked. I realize there's no honest means of defending the mendacity, incompetence and corruption of Bush and his neocon administration, but that hardly obliges Kevin to play host to a bunch of (paid?) propaganda drones. To justify this claptrap in the name of preventing an "echo chamber" is sheerest nonsense; thse comments hardly perpetuate good-faith debate, since they are not made in good faith.

Make no mistake about it: the bullshit posted by the likes of "American Hawk" and the various incarnations of Al adds no value at all to these forums, and indeed detracts from the lively comment forums that Kevin cites as his goal. Which is, no doubt, precisely the point.

Posted by: Gregory on April 9, 2007 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

"If I or my moderators get sufficiently annoyed with you, we will delete your comments. If you don't like it, tough."

What a perfect rule for a liberal to have. Nothing objective that sets forth what kind of comments will get censored, just whatever "sufficiently annoy[s]" you will be enough to subject one to censorship.

Too bad you didn't go to law school. With a judicial philosophy like that, you could be on the short list of SC nominees in the next Dem administration. LOL

Posted by: Chicounsel on April 9, 2007 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Just yesterday, a fellow who is definitely left of the divide got deleted. Why? Because he was annoying.

And pathetic. And was, in fact, you, I might add.

One question: Is Norman Rogers one of the moderators?

No, but I damned well should be. Things would get straightened out around here in a hurry.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 9, 2007 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Confusing Conservative with Neo-con there buddy,Big diffrence.Neo-con/Libratarian trolls are the worst parasites on this site.Al, Norm,Am Hawk.Hell they should all go hunting with Cheney let him delete there poor hell bound souls.

Posted by: john john on April 9, 2007 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Make no mistake about it: the bullshit posted by the likes of "American Hawk" and the various incarnations of Al adds no value at all to these forums, and indeed detracts from the lively comment forums that Kevin cites as his goal. Which is, no doubt, precisely the point.

And you double posting and whining adds what, exactly, to the threads?

You know what adds value to the threads, you sob sisters: talent.

Talent and skill and creativity. I have boatloads of these things and the vast, unwashed majority of you have you whiny little complaints and your tin-pot arguments and your pseudo-cereberal analysis of things that are already figured out.

When you figure out that simply posting the same drivel over and over again is not accomplishing anything at all, you might find yourself bathing in a refreshing and exciting bathtub, full of wonder and excitement. But try not to share that bathtub with too many people--you'll leave a ring around the edge, a ring made of scum.

Bwah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah!

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 9, 2007 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Nope, not me. But sure neighborly of you to lash out like that.

Posted by: skeg on April 9, 2007 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

And it is very true that many of the "trolls" on the net are honestly, sincerely, trying to have a conversation and dialogue in the finest hegelian manner

Okay, jerry, I'll bite: irrespective of the rest of the 'net, which "trolls" here at Kevin's site are honestly, sincerely, trying to have a conversation and dialogue in the finest hegelian manner? Hell, you lost most of them at "honestly".

It's aesthetically displeasing.

Well, I respect your honest, sincere, Hegelian disagreement, but I would contend that the recycled bullshit of "American Hawk" et al is much more so. :)

Posted by: Gregory on April 9, 2007 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

What a perfect rule for a liberal to have. Nothing objective that sets forth what kind of comments will get censored, just whatever "sufficiently annoy[s]" you will be enough to subject one to censorship.

It's Kevin's -- and the WaMo's -- blog, Chicounsel. He's under no obligation to post your GOP bullshit, although you're usually lame enough that smacking your propaganda down is somewhat amusing.

Of course, now's a good to point out how few conservative blogs allow unmoderated comments.

Which, incedentally, explains how pathetic the Bush Cultists who post here are -- the blogs whose bullshit they ingest know their ideas won't stand up to challenge, and sure enough, when these poor fools repost the crap they read on PowerLine or whatever, down it goes.

Posted by: Gregory on April 9, 2007 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

Go Fuck yourself! You know who I mean.

Posted by: Leahy on April 9, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

And you double posting and whining adds what, exactly, to the threads?

Well, the double posting alerts the moderators that there's a bug somewhere. ;)

No whining here, though. It's interesting, though, to see how uncomfortable having bullshit called on them makes the Bush Cultists who pose as conservatives...

Posted by: Gregory on April 9, 2007 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Note that the discussion of a code of conduct started when someone was on the receiving end of death threats. The issue is not as trivial as Kevin's post makes it sound.

Posted by: amk on April 9, 2007 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

If only that was your grrlfriend Ann Althouse's policy! Just what do you see in her anyway?

She's the breastest blogger on the Internet.

Posted by: kc on April 9, 2007 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

If you're getting into it with some nitwit who obstinately will not understand what you're saying to them, it's wrong to simply insult them.

Universally this kind of person will be making juvenile and uninformed arguments bathed in pomposity, egotism and malice, but, still, you shouldn't insult them because there will be a lot of people skimming through who have never been here before and who may, in genuine confusion, have exactly these kinds of questions and points they would look for an answer to.

It's to those people you speak, not the troll.

Posted by: cld on April 9, 2007 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

I think at times the evidence was that tbrosz was actually trying to engage in a conversation?

But I can't separate out the rest of the net from here. I don't want the washingtonmonthly to become another troll hunting/troll deleting echo chamber of the sort that got Pandagon and Althouse into so much trouble due to unchecked egos.

The other issue is the type i/type ii error problem. I have experienced here, having comments deleted because someone egged the moderator on, and the moderator didn't understand there was satire (and not just trollery) at play.

I would prefer more false negatives than false positives.

Posted by: jerry on April 9, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, now you've got me curious. What are the "annoying" deleted comments like? Are they just trolls saying the same stupid think over and over again? Are they illiterate and filled with profanity? Are they off-topic non sequiturs? I don't think any of my comments have ever been deleted even though they are usually shallow, uninsightful, and quite frankly, uninteresting.

How about posting some of the deleted comments for our amusement, amazement, and edification.

aa

Posted by: aaron aardvark on April 9, 2007 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

I saw the article in the NY Times this morning and wondered if it might spur Mr. Drum to communicate Political Animals' comment policy.

Thank you Mr. Drum.

Posted by: Brojo on April 9, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

sweet geebus ! ! !

a sane, adult, civilized, stalwart defense of Really Free Speech and someone doesn't crap in their panties over 'dirty' words ! ? ! ? ! ?

fuckin' a...

carry on...

art guerrilla
aka ann archy

eof

Posted by: art guerrilla on April 9, 2007 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

We would like to apologize.

Norman had an unfortunate incident with the canned spaghetti at lunch break today and he was understandably cranky. He'll be fine. We got him cleaned up and safely back to his room where he's trying to learn the "Chaconne" on his Fisher-Price Plunk'n'Play.

Posted by: 5th floor staff on April 9, 2007 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, this was very funny!


Ann Althouse is the female version of Ann Coulter.

Posted by: Disputo on April 9, 2007 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Trollhattan on April 9, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Ann Althouse is the female version of Ann Coulter.

That is indeed very funny, but comments like that will get Kevin called on the carpet by Pandagon, Feministe and Feministing. I mean seriously, just ask TBogg and Sadly, No! There really is thought police out there on teh intart00bs, and they claim to be liberals.

Posted by: jerry on April 9, 2007 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

It sure does seem to me that most of the outcry to rein in blogs comes from the Right.

Could this have something to do with the fact that they're, frankly, shitty at blogging? And they don't have anywhere near as many readers as lefty or even moderate blogs?

It could also have to do with the fact that conservatives, in general, favor a return to a mythic "golden age", where computers basically don't exist for anyone but gigantic business, and the military.

When the internet's collective voice stops cracking from puberty, it will tell the "elites" of the world that they aren't nearly as important as they think they are.

The clock turns forward, not backward.

Posted by: Jim on April 9, 2007 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, Kev and the mods have a pretty broad definition of acceptable speech...From what I can see, you're pretty free to post comments unless you are persistently and intentionally being a dishonest dumbass in your commentary.

And, yes, that annoys the hell outta me, too.

Posted by: grape_crush on April 9, 2007 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

I created a greasemonkey script that implements a killfile for Kevin's blog. This allows you to filter out people you don't like yourself.

You need firefox and greasmonkey of course. Details are in comments in the script. Enjoy.

Posted by: stand on April 9, 2007 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

Not that anybody cares, but over at our blog we pretty much only delete comments that are abusive, hostile or threatening (not that we get enough comments to go deleting any of them, but still.)
I really, really hate it when blogs ban people just because they vociferously disagree with the blog writers or friendly commentators on a regular and vociferous basis. And yes, liberal blogs do that all the time, just like conservative blogs do. At the same time, if you don't like getting banned because you think somebody over at DailyKos is an idiot and you told them so repeatedly, then best to get your own blog like I did.

Posted by: Xanthippas on April 9, 2007 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

And another part of the problem is that you're all a bunch of mardy bums.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 9, 2007 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

Chicounsel: What a perfect rule for a liberal to have. Nothing objective that sets forth what kind of comments will get censored, just whatever "sufficiently annoy[s]" you will be enough to subject one to censorship.

Funny that Princess Bush and conservative blogs have even more onerous and subjective policies about what gets censored and what doesn't, yet it doesn't seem to bother Chicounsel in the slightest!

Too bad you didn't go to law school.

And yet you did and apparently learned nothing from doing so!

With a judicial philosophy like that, you could be on the short list of SC nominees in the next Dem administration.

Judges can't have philosophies, remember Chicounsel; they merely apply the law as written and intended, without any independent thought.

What an idiot - you contradict one of the major tenets of your own political philosophy, just to try to get a rise out of Kevin!

Pathetic!

I love it!


Posted by: anonymous on April 9, 2007 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

In the few discussions I have been involved in, mostly between rmck1 and myself, here at PA about enforcing a comment policy, it has always been my opinion that no moderator or censorship was desriable. Partly it was selfishness on my part to develop a hostile voice I knew annoyed the platitude challenged that I did not want moderated, but mostly because "the kind of language deployed around millions of water coolers every day doesn't bother me."

There were only two times I thought moderation of comments desirable, one was the Thomas2.0/Charlie hijacking of comments with long postings of copies of text and the other was when a certain objector to all things liberal was hijacking the first comments of every new thread with his drivel. Make it three times. I asked the moderator to delete some comments that offended me recently.

I didn't like it when one of my comments was deleted, but it was written to offend, so I could hardly complain about it, except that I could not copy it into my journal. The resulting discussion was worth the deletion. Overall, moderation has not done too much to stifle normal commenting, I think, but I do not know what all has been deleted, so cannot say with certainty.

I find it amusing rmck1, who advocated so vociferously for moderation, has stopped commenting here. I suspect he may be a moderator or his roomate finally got him. The anti-Semitic postings have also stopped. Although I of course did not think they had any value discourse-wise, I did think they were a good reminder of the kinds of hateful prejudice that exists.

Posted by: Brojo on April 9, 2007 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

"It sure does seem to me that most of the outcry to rein in blogs comes from the Right."

As a possible example, I suggest Yahoo & their erstwhile comment section. Yahoo, imho, has a long history of making their headlines right-biased and choosing right wing slanted articles. I think it is no coincidence that they stopped their comment section when the wind started blowing the other way. For years they tolerated extreme RW comments that were hate and threat filled. The level of commentary was so vile as to shake one's faith in humanity. As soon as the majority of comments were anti-Bush, although no where near as extreme(in general), they closed down their comments.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O/F in 08! on April 9, 2007 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

So many reactions. So little attention span. Whatever.

I agree that the poster's screen name should appear before the comment. That way it would be easier to ignore Hawk & Al entirely. Of course, we all recog-noise egbert from his patronizing, "Ah, Kevin."

I don't know about the silent editing, but I have noticed that when a poster is deleted or banned, Kevin is right up front about it. Personally, I would like to see personal attacks deleted & a limit of one post per topic. Perhaps people would think about what they say before spouting off thoughtlessly.

But what do I know? Often I just skip the comments entirely due to lack of time or wanting to avoid aggravation. I generally appreciate Kevin;'s point of view & his choice of topics, as well as some of the comments which make me think. But often it isn't worth going through all the fly s**t to find them.

Posted by: bob in fl on April 9, 2007 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

It's to those people you speak, not the troll.

CLD - I have said the same thing often.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 9, 2007 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

I think that frankly most good blogs, even the ones currently attacking the code of conduct idea-do al;ready have a code of conduct similar to Reilly's efforts.
Virtually no blogger-even the so called First Amendment absolutists-are OK with death threats or the liberal use of the C word or the N word. Even Jeff Jarvis-after a ringing condemnation of O'Reilly code - later admitted that he does delete some comments.
my guess is that some version of the O'Reilly code will become the de facto standard for major blogs, even if they vociferously deny that they are enforcing any standards. Hypocrisy runs both ways in the blogosphere.

Posted by: stonetools on April 9, 2007 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS AKA GC, Thanks for your help Mike, Cyntax, et al. I know better than to try to debate one who insists at looking through a microscope at the big picture, but it isn't about converting him.

It is about not letting the bullshit go unchallenged because political blogging is not about the fifty or so of us who comment regularly; it is about the thousands of lurkers who never comment but who none the less form their opinions in part by reading ours.


I knew I'd read it before somewhere.

Posted by: cld on April 9, 2007 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

Heh. I just chalk it up to great minds.:)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 9, 2007 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

Thats political thinking at a fuedal medieval level. Marking yr territory like a low form of political animal but as we all know the comments section is easily the best part of this lamer leftist losers pathetic blog.
I'd like to see an appeals process for stricken comments with fair play and due process. There would be a suspension period following a warning before any jury meeted executions.
That would be thoughtful, progresive and forward looking so I expect someone other than the large loud hollow vessel above will take it up if they haven't already.
Things happen fast these days and real political life goes on without you Drum

Posted by: professor rat on April 9, 2007 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

Mahalo to Kevin & WaMo for being so sane (and true to American ideals).

aaron aardvark >"...How about posting some of the deleted comments for our amusement, amazement, and edification."

A separate thread for deleted comments. Great idea but it sounds like a lot of extra work.

"...it's the ideas that count, not the number of trees you kill to print them." - Phil Carter@intel-dump.com

Posted by: daCascadian on April 9, 2007 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

Now we know what the H stands for when people say Jesus H. Christ.

In the eighth century, the archbishop of Crete, one Andreas Hierosolymitanus, quoted a description of Jesus Christ which (he said) could be found in a version of Josephus extant at that time. Andreas' report is startling. Jesus, he said, was a dark-skinned hobbit-sized hunchback with a big nose, thinning hair, a patchy beard, and eyebrows that joined in the center in a monstrous fashion.

Posted by: cld on April 9, 2007 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

Here's an idea. Have two comment boards per article. One would be the "on topic" board, and moderates should delete everything that isn't constructively discussing the topic raised by the article. The second would be a "open thread" board, where people could post about anything, on topic or not, unmoderated.

Posted by: bobb on April 9, 2007 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

People criticize me all the time, and I don't recall a single instance where the criticism was so outlandish that it had to be deleted, or I thought it had to be deleted (is that a cue? I hope not.) Since Kevin started moderating, the amount of worthless spam has decreased, and I think it's a better place. I think it's unlikely that this will become an echo chamber.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 9, 2007 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

" I think it's unlikely that this will become an echo chamber."

I would argue that the moderating actually helps in this, in that those who seriously argue a contrary view will no longer automatically be assumed to be trolls and will no longer bear the brunt of the irritation at the trolls.

Posted by: PaulB on April 9, 2007 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

I think at times the evidence was that tbrosz was actually trying to engage in a conversation?

That's it? One example? And a piss-poor one at that -- I have often acknowledged that tbrosz was *capable* of debating honestly. Unfortunately, at all other times the evidence was that tbrosz *chose not to* debate honestly. If at times he wanted to drop the bullshit water carrying for the GOP and "engage in a conversation," since when did he deserve a free pass for the bullshit he slun 99% of the time? Not at all, in my book.

And jerry? Would you please give your beef with Pandagon or whatever a freakin' rest?

Posted by: Gregory on April 9, 2007 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

People criticize me all the time

You don't say...

Posted by: Gregory on April 9, 2007 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately, at all other times the evidence was that tbrosz *chose not to* debate honestly.

What you mean to say is--

"...when we were able to gang up on Tom Brosz and humiliate him, he was capable of debating honestly..."

BUT

"...when Tom Brosz handed our lunch to us and called us on our faux progessive liberal bullcrap and made strong arguments against us, he was incable of debating honestly..."

Relax, chumley. I get the same thing all the time, so don't fret. You dishonest little secrets about who can debate honestly and who cannot debate at all are safe with me.

A word to you liberals--none of you are as smart as you thought you were before you read this post.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 10, 2007 at 12:19 AM | PERMALINK

[Comments with multiple links are held for approval by Kevin or a moderator before publishing. That feature has eliminated the link-spam.]

Posted by: Mod Squad on April 10, 2007 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

Hee, Hee. I try to engage in a conversation with you Gregory, and explain:

a) I can't separate out the rest of the net from here.

and

b) I would prefer more false negatives than false positives.

And about all you can do is act like a bully: "ban this guy, ban that guy, give it a freakin rest already, fugedabout it!"

Like I said, around the net I've found those accused of being "trolls" a lot more interesting and insightful than the loyal horde. Gregory included.

About Pandagon? Sorry, no. Marcotte is a bully. She lies. She misrepresents. She refuses to take responsibility for her actions. She blames others, and hurts them, including many people that I care about. Her behavior shows she has very little in common with progressive liberals and much more in common with right wing authoritarians. The liberal blogosphere and feminists do itself no favor in not calling her out on her bullshit, and she showed this amply in the very well-predicted Edwards' fiasco.

Posted by: jerry on April 10, 2007 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

Drum, you tool! You NEVER delete Demoncraps. And you NEVER delete Republicans. You wouldn't delete a troll if he squashed your cats.

Posted by: Al on April 10, 2007 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, whatever you do, keep on doin' it. Most comment threads out there suck.

Not sure why I don't comment as regularly as I used to, but I still read everything you post and much of the comments.

PS Where is tbrosz these days? I miss the old coot. I suppose we'll have to wait until "Deathly Hallows" to hear from him again?

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on April 10, 2007 at 3:17 AM | PERMALINK

I try to engage in a conversation with you Gregory

Oh, is that what you were doing?

a) I can't separate out the rest of the net from here.

Sure you can. This isn't Pandagon, nor it is Little Green Footballs or Powerlame -- and thank goodness for that.

Again, as far as I can tell, jerry, what you mean by "can't separate out the rest of the net from here" is that you bitch about Pandagon everywhere you go -- Yglesias' blog, here, etc. Your paranoia and obsessiveness is boring, quite frankly, not to mention off-topic.

b) I would prefer more false negatives than false positives.

What does that mean? One thing's for sure, as far as trolls are concerned, we don't have many "false negatives" aroung here, jer. We don't get honest conservatives here, in case you hadn't noticed -- at least not those interested in debate (we do get maybe a couple that engage in drive-by posting).

And about all you can do is act like a bully: "ban this guy, ban that guy, give it a freakin rest already, fugedabout it!"

Okaaaaaaay, jer, your paranoia is starting to show again. You complain about dishonesty and misrepresentation, and you post that. I defy you to support this characterization by my statements in this thread. And no, saying that tbrosz or any other conservative who pushes straw men and other dishonest bullshit deserves a free pass when they feel like discussing honestly for a change.

One gets a reputation, jerry, and that reputation can cause one's comments to be dismissed out of hand. Some people may object to my calling bullshit on the intellectual dishonesty pushed by the Bush apologists; so be it. You might want to take that as a hint.

Like I said, around the net I've found those accused of being "trolls" a lot more interesting and insightful than the loyal horde. Gregory included.

Well, jerry, I can't say I find your paranoia and obsessiveness all that interesting, nor do I find reflexive contrarianism so. Nor, I might add, do I find the easilty-debunked arguments, flatly false or at least unsupported assertions, and imperviousness to new data of those who come here to defend Bush (or recite the mantra of loony libertarian faith) either interesting or convincing.

But listen to yourself, jerry -- your posts are as full the of stereotyping and misrepresentations you complain about. Glass houses, jerry ol' buddy, glass houses.

Posted by: Gregory on April 10, 2007 at 5:50 AM | PERMALINK

Relax, chumley. . .

A word to you liberals--none of you are as smart as you thought you were before you read this post.


That's spelled 'cholmondely'.

Posted by: cld on April 10, 2007 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

If I remember correctly, you have at least one other rule. No one else can use the screen name...

Posted by: Kevin Dru.. on April 10, 2007 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory, read Atrios today on how the "very important members of the political and media establishment give [Imus] their stamp of approval."

That's why I call out Marcotte's bullshit on her enabler's sites.

Yglesias, Klein, et. al., will link to her when they support their position, but they will never call her out on bullshit that I can't believe they actually support. I think they are scared of the backlash.

I think it's wrong to let bullies stand unopposed.

While the trolls here may be full of shit and may have easily rebutted arguments, they actually make the threads here much more interesting, educational and on topic, as we all learn the actual facts, and learn ways to deal with people that dissent. Now your preferred approach is apparently through bans to keep you from having to hear anything at all contrary. I prefer an interesting argument.

I actually think Drum's threads are some of the most interesting and useful on the net entirely because of the trolls. Atrios has so much internal community talk on his threads that while I love his posts, his threads are virtually useless as a place for discussion. Most of the other sites just don't have enough traffic to have an interesting and ongoing conversation. TPM Cafe is a bit stuffy. Drum actually has managed to thread the needle pretty damn well. Interesting posts with interesting and lively discussions that bring up good arguments and frankly, that's probably in part thanks to the stupidity that is/was tbrosz and al and american hawk.

But if you prefer bans all the more power to you.

Posted by: jerry on April 10, 2007 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Other than spam, Kevin, I am surprised to learn that you have deleted any comments. I would be interested in learning what types of comments you have deleted since they seem to be deleted without notice.

I think your policy, as it appears to me, is just about optimal. That you delete so few comments is a credit to this site, and it is one of the reasons I still read your blog every day and avoid others of both political persuasions.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on April 10, 2007 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

I guess I do miss the self-appointed comments host. He kept many threads going and never missed an opportunity to disagree, with anyone, which has a lot of resemblance to me.

Posted by: Brojo on April 10, 2007 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

That is a fine and fair rule, one I wish more siteowners would adopt.

Posted by: Mooser on April 10, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

While the trolls here may be full of shit and may have easily rebutted arguments, they actually make the threads here much more interesting

I couldn't disagree more with this statement. Are you seriously saying "American Hawk"'s GOP blast-fax bullshit is interesting?

Now your preferred approach is apparently through bans to keep you from having to hear anything at all contrary.

I challenged you before to show where I express a preference for bans. Instead you merely repeat your assertion and add a slur on the motives. And you complain about dishoensty...?

I prefer an interesting argument.

I wish you'd make one, then. As it is, your implication that WaMo's trolls -- as opposed to trolls in general, mind you -- make the discussions here interesting is an assertion lacking evidence.

I actually think Drum's threads are some of the most interesting and useful on the net entirely because of the trolls.

Okaaaaaaayyyy...

But if you prefer bans all the more power to you.

I'd prefer you not dishonestly attribute to me opinions I haven't expressed -- especially since you bich about your own complaints obsessively hither and yon.

I think we're done, jerry.

Posted by: Gregory on April 10, 2007 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

I have always appreciated the wide open nature of the comment threads here, even when it meant having to wade through some of the nonsense the Trolletariat spews here. The only change I have ever thought needed to be made was one already suggested in this thread and many others prior, that being placing the name of the commentator on the top instead of the bottom to make scrolling past known Trolletariat and dishonest/disingenuous fools an easier task.

jerry:

You are not having a "discussion" when you are attributing false positions to someone as you have been doing with Gregory and the topic of banning. I have known Gregory at this blog for years, and I have a good understanding of his views, and you are clearly misrepresenting them. Especially when you are unable to point to prior examples of Gregory's so called predilection for calling for banning people, which means something here since this blog is set up that once you comment you cannot edit or delete it, only the blog administrators/moderators have that ability.

As for your contention regarding the trolls here offering value here, like Gregory I disagree overall, but not as intensely. For I can see some merit in having the talking points and rebuttal tactics on display of the GOP/conservative Trolletariat operations and the spin they mutually use with the more traditional GOP/conservative operatives in the traditional media. That though does not in my view balance the amount of disruption they tend to cause, and therefore there is no way I can agree that they actually improve the discourse and content here.

As for your fixation with Pandragon, you made it clear that this is personal for you and that because of that you have no problem making everyone else in the blogosphere where you go have to listen to your personal issues. Yet you appear surprised that there are those that think you are wrong or that you are overly fixated apparently because of that personal issue of yours and ask you to take it elsewhere.

Sorry jerry, you have done nothing here but further undercut your own credibility. As Gregory said one develops a reputation over time and once it is developed it can be very hard to change it from a negative to a positive whereas it is fairly easy to go from respected/credible to not.

Gregory:

Hope you did not mind the assist. I was following along the whole way and decided to chime in my agreement. Whether jerry is simply being dishonest/disingenuous or is so emotional about these things that he is not reading clearly what someone else (you in this case) has said and is instead more caught up in his assumptions and interpretations instead of what you actually are saying the end result is the same in terms of result. While you and I have agreed on many things and I believe occasionally disagreed on others we have never misrepresented each others positions when doing so. It is this tendency of many to paraphrase instead of quoting directly that I think causes a lot of this problem in the online blogging community. This is one of the main reasons I quote in full whatever I am going to specifically challenge, to prevent that sort of misinterpretation and also to leave those I challenge less wriggle room by removing the claim something is out of context or is not what I am claiming it is by having it present and in context.

Well, I just stopped by for now; I am getting caught up on a long weekend away with family. We will see you around no doubt.

P.S. I recently had cause to skim through some of the Schiavo threads again, and boy are you accurate in your descriptions of them and the amount of nonsense clearly fake personas supporting the GOP side in this was staggering. I also recall just how much you and I and a few others spanked those fools repeatedly, harshly, and definitively and how they would yet come for more. Now that whole affair, and especially the political hay the GOP Congress and Presidency tried to make from it was truly one of the most revolting domestic atrocities committed by the GOP and Bush IMHO. I also think still now as I did then that it was the first real "crack" (as in clear break) in the public's confidence in Bushco/GOP rhetoric/positions being honest ones, not to mention just how diametrically opposed to traditional GOP political positions on the rights of the individual vs the State this was, capped off with how writing any law for the benefit of one single and specific individual was clearly an abuse of power and government. Especially when they come back from vacation to do so with, the President breaks his vacation at Crawford to sign it in Washington (first time he'd ever done that) and a GOP strategy memo complete with talking points (which despite their attempts to claim otherwise was an authentic memo from that person) is leaked discussing the political advantages for the GOP in taking those positions and actions would be. Take care!

Posted by: Scotian on April 10, 2007 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

The only comment I've ever had deleted was an appeal to anti-French prejudice -- can't be too p.c. these days. But I do want to say I find this my favorite site to comment on, and I think Kevin does a fairly good job of taking as good as he dishes. Whatever happened to rmck1, I miss his contribution?

Posted by: minion w/out a rove on April 10, 2007 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory,

Since you appear incapable of letting a single post by Matthew Marler go by without making a derisive comment, you really shouldn't be taking someone else to task for harping on a particular personality.

I remember the Schiavo threads, and I was sickened by some of the attacks on her husband, and would gladly have seen wholesale deletions there. In addition, I'm more than pleased that Charlie/ Thomas seems to have disappeared (or have been effectively filtered out), but I think it's foolish to argue that the trolls (and not just the people with whom I disagree) never lead to interesting discussions. Recall Tom Brosz's stupid claim that the U.S. didn't attack Japan after the Pearl Harbor attack, and Charlie's ongoing "defense" of the remark.

Tom never retracted his claim, but he didn't try to defend it either; he just ignored it. Charlie dug himself in deeper and deeper... but we got plenty of interesting information about the early days of U.S. involvement in World War II.


as far as I can tell, jerry, what you mean by "can't separate out the rest of the net from here" is that you bitch about Pandagon everywhere you go -- Yglesias' blog, here, etc. Your paranoia and obsessiveness is boring, quite frankly, not to mention off-topic.

b) I would prefer more false negatives than false positives.

What does that mean? One thing's for sure, as far as trolls are concerned, we don't have many "false negatives" aroung here, jer. We don't get honest conservatives here, in case you hadn't noticed -- at least not those interested in debate (we do get maybe a couple that engage in drive-by posting).

Oh, grow up. Either you know what he meant and are dishonestly trying to score trivial points, or you're really obtuse. And you're wrong that we don't get honest conservatives here. We may not get many, and you may not agree with those who do post here, but neither of those things is the same as what you said.

And no, saying that tbrosz or any other conservative who pushes straw men and other dishonest bullshit deserves a free pass when they feel like discussing honestly for a change.

To quote you, "what does that mean?" Are you suggesting that arguments are made valuable by those who present them, and not by the content of the arguement itself? If TLB posts an honest and interesting question (I know, it's a pure hypothetical), then it deserves to be discussed on its own merits, not filtered through some prism of his past writings. There's no moral or behavioral aristocracy here, whose arguments are automatically more worthy.

One gets a reputation, jerry, and that reputation can cause one's comments to be dismissed out of hand. Some people may object to my calling bullshit on the intellectual dishonesty pushed by the Bush apologists; so be it. You might want to take that as a hint.
Posted by: Gregory on April 10, 2007 at 5:50 AM |

Reputation or not, if you dismiss comments out of hand, regardless of what those comments actually say, you're a fool. And if you insist that the moderators or community here at P.A. follow your policy of out-of-hand dismissal, then you're a bully as well.

Posted by: keith on April 11, 2007 at 6:29 AM | PERMALINK

two thoughts:

1)a number of people have suggested you also put the poster's name at the top of the post so you can quick read or skip posts you strongly suspect
you will not find of interest-----i think this is a good idea and it doesn't really infringe on
anybody.

2)in general it seems to me the moderators are doing a pretty good job-----some of the stuff you leave up, it seems to me, would take the patience of a hindu holy man not to delete-----
but better to moderate too little than too much.

Posted by: wschneid25 on April 11, 2007 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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