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I understand that commenting on my articles and in the threads below is something of a problem for a good many of you in a way that I wish it wasn’t. And I do understand everybody’s position on this. I also witness threads being hijacked in a number of different ways. I might have something of a workable solution but I’m still thinking about it.

I think I might create a post in the next few days concerning the insurrection and whether it was, indeed, an insurrection, in response to some discussion in another post. This will be an opportunity for all the right-wingers to splurge the board with ridiculous claims, and for people like me to rationally rebut them, only for them to stick their heads in the sand. However, with every other mention of the insurrection thereafter in other articles, any such comments that deny the insurrection as a thing will be deleted because I have already set out my case previously.  That is, any subsequent article will take my original article as its axiom. If you want to debate the axiom, go back to that original piece and debate it there. But any further debate on the insurrection in the subsequent posts, in this particular example, will be deleted.

It’s not that I am deleting things on account of shutting down particular positions, content and debate, it’s just that I want it to happen in the right place to make the threads more conducive to discussing the actual points at hand (in this case, particular details involving the insurrection but not whether it was, indeed, an insurrection).

I will try to do this for various subject topics.

Now, this is not perfect. For example, I like to think that I can change my mind if I am convinced robustly that I am wrong. However, after a short while, I’m less likely to go back to older posts to review the discussion threads. I am one person who is trying to do a whole bunch of different things. That is, write blog articles sometimes twice a day, work, write books, publish, do YouTube videos, have a life, parent my children, partner my partner, deal with my health problems, and so on. I literally cannot review and moderate what are sometimes thousands of comments a day as a single human (with MS). I have the wonderful Jim Jones who is helping me moderate, but that is down to his goodwill and patience. Bert, although he is a moderator, generally doesn’t moderate and that is not his remit.

Of course, if anyone else wants to help moderate, be my guest, though it will be under the sort of remit I am generating. That said, I am playing around with some ideas at the moment is to keep discussion threads healthy and useful.

This is a time of experiment as a precursor to a formalised comments policy in the near future.

Let me know your thoughts here. But any other content that I deem irrelevant or unworthy. I don’t mind off-topic comments, but my goodwill for these is usually generated by good-faith actors. For instance, I don’t see certain commenters as good faith commenters, so when they whine that their OT comments are deleted whereas someone else’s aren’t, they probably need to look at their own behaviour before coming whingeing to me.

I allow you here – this is my house. I am generally very hospitable – too much so for some people, but don’t push your luck.

As Lark62 said:

Commenters without content should be removed. Otherwise it is just too hard to find any actual discussion.

Likewise comments where the only purpose is to get a reaction and derail actual discussion – off topic racist statements are a biggie here. If someone says great things about Nazis and the mods don’t step in, the rest of us have two choices. To challenge it, and derail the discussion or leave it unchallenged. Neither choice is acceptable.

Moderation should not prevent discussion or block dissenting views. Moderation should enhance discussion by removing steaming piles of bovine excrement from the dance floor….

It is the difference between banning someone for content one disagrees with – an act generally to be avoided unless the content is egregiously racist, sexist or abusive – and banning someone for dozens upon dozens of comments that contain no content.


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Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...