Comments are back on – but with a twist

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As many of you know, I turned off comments about a week ago due to the increasing number of hostile and nonconstructive comments. Since then I’ve been researching other comment options that would encourage community and discussion while – to put it simply – keeping the jerks out.

I think I’ve found a solution that will work, but I’ll need your help for it to be successful. The new system is much like the old one, except for two main differences.

First, you have to log in to leave a comment. You can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google, Discus or OpenID account. From what I gather, this reduces the overall number of comments by about 50% but more importantly reduces the spam/hate comments to close to 0%. I guess people who leave comments that make them look like a jackass prefer to remain anonymous. Go figure.

Second, any comment that is flagged will be put into the moderation queue. This is where I’m depending on your help. The reality is, if someone is really intent on acting like a jerk, there’s no comment system that can stop them. Anyone can create a fake Gmail address and use it for this type of thing. That’s why we needed a second level of security: user moderation. Any logged-in user can flag a comment for moderation. This will place the comment in the moderation queue and notify me so I can review it and delete if necessary.

So what comments should be flagged?

  • Personal attacks of any kind
  • Inappropriate subject matter not relevant to the post
  • Attempts to “hijack” the thread with a personal agenda
  • “Troll” comments intended only to start an argument – not a civil discussion

My hope is that these two measures will strike the balance I think we’re all looking for. Thanks for your help in keeping the discussion available to those who genuinely want to participate.

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  1. Anonymous says

    Sorry – this is somewhat off-topic but really – town-meeting? If that isn’t a bride coming down that center aisle, I’ll eat my hat (which I’m sure isn’t a healthy thing to do . . .)

    Anyone? Anyone?

    • Anonymous says

      That is how town hall meetings used to be. Just like going to the ball game used to be a suit-and-tie affair.

  2. says

    I am glad you thought this thru differemtly. I would have been happy to offer to help you with comments moderation.

    Thanks for reconsidering keeping the comments going.

    Clare in Tassie

  3. Anonymous says

    Sounds like a plan. The whole disqus thing smacks of community. There are a couple of other blogs I read that idea it too and it is a real unifier.

  4. Swan9 says

    Glad that the comment section is back. On the other hand I understand that you are fed up with nasty comments. I would delete the crap immediately. Anonymus cowards are worst. I like the solution that the crossfit mailforum found: you have to post with your real name. That improves behaviour dramatically. :-)
    Never argue with idiots. I onle argue with smart people whom I respect. Everything else is a waste of my precious time. Why poisoning the world with hostility and trolling? Keep up the good work.
    Best regards from Germany

  5. says

    I’m glad u r back, Chris. I’m a fan and visit this site everyday. Its’s nice to know I can contribute in what ever way that I can again. Its hard to not engage with someone that is attacking. In the end its choice…even if they are disguiseing their attack with a question. If there is something that you don’t like on your blog just delete and block it. Being here is like having a drivers liscense, its a privlige, not a right. You know the term beer muscles, people get internet muscles, and feel that they can say things that they would NEVER say to someone’s face…its frusterating, just disengage them. Pull the weeds..lets the flowers bloom…in cutting off the sun everyone suffers.

    REALLY looking forward to the paleonu podcast!!!!!!!!!!!! Hurry :)

  6. says

    Hi Chris.

    Sad to see this arrangement making it more onerous to comment, but I can see your perspective.
    I had used my real name and I would not be a “jerk”, because life is too short to make it more difficult.
    I do have a suggestion to you and everyone else, who is interested to educate themselves about a truly scientific medical paradigm. It is the most humane way of finding out what ails you and how to cure yourself. Best of all, it does not cost much at all. > http://learninggnm.com >

    Harald.

  7. says

    Hopefully this will help keep the discussions intelligent. I’m happy that you are trying to keep the comments going because sometimes that is where we can learn even more.

  8. says

    Very nice podcast. I’m a real anti leaky gut freak. Wrote several posts about it. Did not involve stress a possible cause for permeability up until now. I’ll surely dive into now. Thnx Hans Keer

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