Montana Politics

Commenting Tweak in Action

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I am currently working on the comments section, installing a new system to reduce the moderation necessary and get posts approved more quickly.

Old comments will appear to have vanished for awhile, but new comments will show up–and be saved by the system.

Feel free to comment away in the meantime.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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  • I read a while back about a comment suppression system that would allow a host to make it appear to the commenter that his posts were going though even as they were not. The comment would appear on the screen of the commenter, but nowhere else, and the commenter would not know it.

    That’s not pretty, kind of ugly really. But when you tell us you are tweaking your comment moderation system, and knowing how the comments trouble you when they are not in line with your general outlook …

    Nah. But I have to ask you why you are so concerned about comments. They are easy to regulate. I get the impression that it is the thoughts behidn that comments that trouble you, and that is what you want to control. You need a surface explanation for regulating the thoughts of those who comment here, and that, I have to admit, can be both difficult and troubling.

    Hope everyone enjoys this comment before it disappears.

    • Mark, if we are to be at all realistic then it is indigenous for yet another accusation of ‘moderation by agreement’. Very few Montana websites, right or left, have ever altered or deleted comments based solely on political agreement or issue based philosophy. I would never argue that hasn’t happened at every website (including yours), but almost almost invariably that disagreeable comment carried with it a personal attack.

      I’ve actually been impressed that this website, more than most, does not tend to draw the comments that require moderation, and posit two reasons: 1) The culture is one of debate and not confrontation. Despite the CW on the topic, debate is not “I’m right and you’re wrong (poopyhead!)” A debate culture does not tend to attract the people who most need moderation. A culture of confrontation … yeah, I think we’ve recently seen where that leads, now haven’t we? When a web author consistently screams “Burn the witch!”, they are going to attract a whole bunch of folks with torches wanting to burn any witch they can accuse, and a whole lot of accused witches who’d rather fight then fry. 2) The people who read here are generally those who have some respect for the web authors. One of the things many of us respect is that if you act like a jerk here, moderation is usually swift. So, as you so slyly did up there, Mark, people only tend to comment things here they know won’t get deleted.

    • As is the norm, your “impression” is incorrect. I was trying to clean up the automatic moderation software, which was flagging too many legitimate comments as spam and holding them for moderation. I thought it would be polite to let people who were engaged in discussion know that.

      • It was tongue-in-cheek. There’s a rule in writing, say a letter to the editor, that one should never be sarcastic because the sarcasm is stripped in print and readers take it at face. Readers have to be warned in advance that they are reading sarcasm, which makes is boring. Same with tongue-in-cheek – we have to use those little emoticons, which it despise. 😉

        And Don, you’ve twisted yourself in knots trying to come up with a moderation system that allows you to delete comments or ban people for what appear to be your real reasons: 1) I don’t like what you say, 2) I don’t like you. But you can delete comments, you are free not to like people and ban people just because of those reasons. people get pissed and indignant and want to strangle you, but so what. We’re all a little egocentric anyway.

        Ergo, three nice gentlemen who have their own style and who are progressives and at political odds with you catch it – JC, Lizard and Mathew. And there I wonder if it is the surface effects – the fact that their comments make it obvious that you are not a progressive, that rubs you. Democrats like to call themselves pwoggies in the face of contrary evidence., and just demand that they are so because they say so. From an authoritarian standpoint, the ability to make one’s own truth and make it stand by force is central.

        With me I’m always on the edge of being banned everywhere, most often by Democrats because I am disrespectful of Democrats, often saying things that are true about them. (Cowgirl even took me off the blog roll, a super-ban saying “don’t go there).) As Bertrand Russell said, if you are going to do that, you’d better smile and make a joke of it …. A Democrat and a right-winger walk into a bar – “hey,” one said to the other, “I’m alone, just carrying a mirror.”

        Are we all laughing now?

        • Let me be clear: no one moderates your comments because you are “telling the truth.”

          Here, I moderate your comments because of the unholy trinity of rudeness, repetitiveness, and irrelevance.

          In seven years of writing this blog, I have probably moderated very few comments. That you are so often moderated says more about your comments than this site.

          And, once again, in the name of telling the truth, it’s important to point out that those two nice gentlemen JC and Lizard run a site that bars you from commenting. I don’t do that, but they have for years.

          I’d sure love to hear more about that.

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