Thursday, 28 June 2007

No comments on Left Turn

Idiot/Savant has given up on on comments at his No Right Turn blog, joining a slew of others who've shut down feedback. I/S blames "an influx of trolls, who have established a toxic and abusive atmosphere and progressively drowned out those commenters who actually have something interesting to say." The last straw seems to have been this thread. "Some of you," he says, "may be unhappy with this decision. I'll simply point out that this is my blog, and that if you don't like the way I run it (or what I say on it), you are perfectly free to start your own."

Fair enough; it's entirely his decision -- even if it does remove one of the most useful parts of blogging, which is the ability to be apprised of and to correct mistakes (something demonstrated on that very thread that offended him). For myself, it's worth recalling that free speech doesn't require that you provide your attackers with a microphone, and I have to say that in the main I've been very lucky with my commenters here. Most of you do need a lot of work, though. :-)


  1. Actually, this has been brewing for well over a month, and the arrival of some of the higher profile sewer dwellers simply clinched it (you may also want to look here for an example of the behaviour I am unhappy with, or here where I signalled well over a year ago that I would not tolerate seeing NRT's comments turn into a Kiwiblogs).

    Unfortunately, this deprives me of useful feedback from people who do have a contribution to make (I'm particularly going to miss the contributions from Graeme, who has corrected me on a number of occassions and always has something useful to say). OTOH, the thugs and bullies have already driven most of those people out, so its actually not much of a loss. People with useful feedback can always email. Meanwhile, the trolls can go and fling their shit somewhere else.

    Hopefully, they won't come here.

  2. There is a tendency for people to take extreme positions when commenting on blogs. I guess they want to put their point across with some impact and so they comment in a way that is controversial or designed to shock and upset. In real life they are probably as sweet as anything.

    Although the examples given above seem pretty mild to me. I made a mental note to myself long ago not to be abusive of other commenters. It’s a bit like road rage and is not very uplifting.

  3. What actually happened to the sewer/Sir Humphreys? They just disappeared one night.

    I feel sorry for serious bloggers who get masses of trolling. All that time and effort into doing something intelligent, just to get school children taunts back. How sad.

  4. There's an obvious half way house here, in which users ask the permission of a blog owner for the right to post comments. Blog owner withdraws permission as and when trolling occurs. The blog owner could fairly-easily launch the system by granting permission to selected posters who have already posted agreeable comments.

  5. Commenting here is bad for your political future, so most of the would be trolls tend to stay away!

  6. Trolls affect all blogs from time to time. We on the right have our fair share too. It's a matter of perspective.

    But a blanket "sewer" label cheerily writes off all right wing commentary with the a certain passive-aggressive opinionated moan that is ready to take umbrage if some-one disagrees with the sweeping generalizations.

    Of course, deleting comments from people that are primarily there to provoke, rather than advance an argument as to why their opinion differs only earns the predictable abuse from others of the same disposition shouting "echo chamber" in their outrage.

    It's a tough call, but I think Idiots blog will suffer less than others, because his posts are generally well thought out. Overall though, I think his quality will suffer because the advantage of a blog is hearing different opinions rather than accepting a well served piece of inherit bias.

    The solution in the future may well be to rely on RSS feeds that collate the interesting posts and selected comments (RSS with comment filter exclusions!) to gain a better appreciation of the spin being applied to any issue.

    For example, as tough may it be for Idiot to have his stance compared on the flak the EB's got with the outrage he feels over Tizard being called a witch, there is an interesting indicator of how bias affects opinion. As one commenter said prior to the shutdown, how come Lange gets away with calling Thatcher a witch? Maybe it was simply interpreted in good humour, regardless of the impropriety.

  7. It's all a pathetic hissy fit that he will eventually back down on.

    If you out yourself out there and encourage debate with the kinds of stuff he writes about then he has to deal with the debate it encourages. Trolls or whatever you just got to roll with it or stop being such a sook.

    I give him 3 months max.

  8. I just had a look at the offending comments.

    It was only that little turd Millsy!

    Do what the rest of us have done in the past and have some sport with him. He never stays for long.

  9. What idiot is cranky about is that he overwhelmingly lost the argument on mysogyny. Coleman wasn't being sexist with his remark: he was just holding Judith Tizard to account for being a stupid bitch. That is the job of an opposition member.

    The only troll he could point to was Millsy. When it came to the crunch, he couldn't cite a single right-wing "sewer dweller", despite his own frequency to post outlandish flames that should attract them.

  10. I/S is of the left and acts according to his programming.

    Thus all conservatives are ‘racists’ or ‘bigots’ (as are uppity white people in general).

    Thus any debate or opposition to leftist ideas in general creates a ‘toxic’ enviorment, and those doing the opposing are doing so from the blackest (ooh another racist slur!) and basest of motives.

    Thus when a man is nasty to a woman he is a ‘misogynist’ (never mind that the the insult in question was directed at just one woman and not all women in general - it’s always a collective in the far-left world view).

    And so on, it’s all so predicable really.

    (Very nice touch calling Sir H's 'the sewer' too)



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