Disqus comments FAIL

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Well, that didn’t work.

Those of you who’ve been around for a while know that I recently switched from WordPress to Disqus for commenting. I explained why in more detail here, but the gist of it was that I was getting overwhelmed with moderating the number of spammy, “trolly” (is that a word?), hostile and unproductive comments.

Disqus seemed to be a perfect solution. It would allow comments, but people would have to register first – which would dramatically cut down on spammers and trolls. It would also allow readers to flag an inappropriate comment, and after two flags the comment would be automatically deleted.

Sounds good, right? The only problem is Disqus sucks. It’s totally unreliable, doesn’t sync with WordPress well, often duplicates comments and is just harder to work with overall.

So I’m going back to standard WordPress comments. New visitors will have to have their first comment moderated, which I hope will reduce some of the nonsense.

I’d still appreciate your help in flagging inappropriate comments. There’s no way to do this automatically, so you can just send me an email through the contact form.

I’m not checking in on comments as much as I used to simply because of how busy I am. I do try to respond to genuine questions when I’m able.

Thanks for your understanding and support!

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  1. says

    Wow, that’s too bad you had problems with Disqus. I’m using it on my blog without issue, although I can appreciate that everyone’s experiences can be different. I’m just happy you still have comments, as I find them one of the more enjoyable and sometimes even informative parts of websites.

  2. says

    Dsiqus can be a PITA sometimes. There are some anti-spam techniques for the WP comments. You could also ultimately install a captcha. None of these offer you full protection thou. You need to hire a VA or someone you know and willing to help to go through those and comb it down a bit. and only left relevant content. I dont have this problem on my blog (yet) but I’m already planning for it…

  3. says

    My husband David Chu is a web developer. Here’s what he has to say:

    Here’s what we’re using on our blogs. It’s beautifully simple, and has stopped about 6000 spambots on one blog since mid-March. The only small downside is that the developer has recently announced that it will not be updated regularly anymore. But it works great and even lowers traffic on your blog. I will be using it until I find something better.

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/nospamnx/

  4. says

    Hi Chris,

    I loathe Disqus and Intense Debate as well. Gave us no end of trouble on client sites. Using either service, you are compromising page load speeds and your Google rankings.

    Decided to do something about it and wrote Thoughtful Comments:

    * gets rid of abusive commenters
    * lets you moderate comments in the front end
    * no slowdown
    * invisible to users

    Works a treat, even on very busy political sites.

    You could add FV Antispam and you won’t even face any more machine spam to wade through

    PS. Richard Nikoley of FreeTheAnimal.com sent us. Thoughtful Comments is in action on his site as a replacement for another failed Disqus experiment.

      • says

        Jon,

        I’d recommend you do your own testing then.

        On a properly configured site on good hosting, WordPress built-in comments will outpace Disqus and Intense Debate by a large factor.

        Making the web work for you, Alec

  5. says

    Hi Lonnie,

    NoSpamNX and FV Antispam are the best of the simple antispam plugins. It’s a pity NoSpamNX won’t be developed anymore. FV Antispam will. So if you ever run into issues, with NoSpamNX feel free to try FV Antispam.

    Making the web work for you, Alec

  6. says

    I switched to disqus recently and it has been great. I didn’t have any issues although I don’t have a many comments on my blog as you do.

  7. Missy says

    I googled Disqus sucks to see if anyone else is having problems with them & came across your page.
    The Toronto Sun online news was such a pleasure posting comments on and when they switch over to
    Disqus it’s been nothing but a nightmare. Our comments disappear even tho there is not one word of malice in them. We were blaming the moderators or other flagging us, but no, it’s Disqus.
    The Sun has lost many of its readers to user friendly news commenting site bcos of nightmare with comments thru Disqus.
    I suggest you really think 3 times before using this product.
    Just thought you should now.
    Sharing is caring. :)

  8. says

    Having problems with Disqus too, and my Windows PC for that matter, Installed linux but it’s so Geeky, why can’t things just be made simple, surely one of the central ideas of technology is to make our lives easier, instead, I often get the impression some developers, not all, deliberately create Software that is overly complex as a way of ‘proving’ how clever they are at making what ought to be something very simple into something unnecesarily complex.
    There is a psychological motive to do that, OK, rant over, Merry Christmas to All

  9. says

    We recently started to use Disqus and have noticed, not so much with our users, but with our own personal comments on other sites that the comments disappear. Like others have stated, we are not spamming nor including links. Sometimes it’s just one line of comment and then …

  10. says

    True, Disqus started as something that would manage spam as only registered users can comment, but spammers are way to clever and registered themselves with multiple identities and what have we? Spam comments.

  11. Crankcase says

    A comment is automatically erased after two flags? That’s dumb. All it takes is one idiot who doesn’t like a comment to give it a flag from each of two accounts. Who needs free speech when the public can censor at will anyway?

  12. says

    I went all the way from WP comments, to Disqus, to “all comments moderated” to – finally – “no comments at all”… for precisely the reason you mentioned. None of the alternatives work as well to block spam. I’m coming around to the theory first voiced by Seth Godin – that if anyone wants to comment on a post I make, they can do it… on THEIR blog. Then ping me, so I can come, take a look, and join the conversation, albeit it on my blog :)

  13. says

    Hi Karen,

    Great to hear another report from the field. I’m still really enjoying “all comments moderated”. I’m wondering if it isn’t from using Thoughtful Comments from the beginning. We’ve never been overwhelmed by nuisance comments (bots are stopped dead, troublemakers are flagged right away and excluded). I get a lot of value for instance in the comments on either http://juancole.com or the Guardian. And on our own sites, many of the comments can be very useful.

  14. says

    A blog like this one engenders healthy conversation. There are others, though, that just invite drive-by spam comments. I guess the better (and more proactive) solution is to become the kind of blog where discussants want to engage in an online conversation.

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