No football in this article, so bounce away if you're after the latest ITK or nonsensical Sherwood dart board.
For the blog regulars, its regarding this:
Admin stuff, please read -
The comments section of this blog seems (for some) to take the lack of censorship as a license to abuse and inflame. Forums and message boards are easier to police, with sin bins and guidelines and the ability to ban individuals. Blogs tend to be more like the wild west. Hate to be the gun happy sheriff here but I've had far too many complaints and can not ignore this any longer. Some regulars no longer post because of the attitude of others. I don't mind argumentative discussions. However, anonymity for some seems to inspire them to troll for the sake of it. It's all very unproductive.
Not saying you shouldn't have a bit of passion and opinion. Also not saying that you can't flaunt and tease some comedy. But ease up on the heckling. Some of you take it too far. Probably to gauge this sort of reaction.
So here are the options:
1) If anything anti-Semitic/racist/threatening/homophobic is posted - use the option to flag the comment so I can see it and delete it. If any one individual is persistently posting the same thing that keeps getting flagged - then I'll persistently delete anything he or she posts.
2) I re-introduce the 'sign up to post comments' option for the blog and make it members only. Last time that happened hardly anyone bothered to sign up an account. In some ways - this is pretty effective. 10 posts of solid conversation is better than 250 posts of people trying to **** each other off.
3) All posts go into post-moderation, meaning I have to approve every single post as they came in. Downside to this, I'm not always on-line.
4) I get rid of the comments section completely.
5) I stop writing. I could do with being more productive away from all of this. Says a lot if I avoid reading comments on my own website because I'll be disheartened with some of the petty BS that gets shared.
So, what to do?
When you post a comment, currently there's an option to do so as a guest or you can sign-up a Squarespace account or log-in via a social media account. I suggest everyone seeks to create an account thus making you a member (and removing the necessity for you to guest blog).
If in time all regulars have accounts then if problems persist, guest posting can be disabled.
When signing up, you don't need to use your real name in the two boxes provided.
Reporting/flagging a comment is only possible if you have an account. You won't be able to flag a comment if you are posting as a guest. Use it for the reasons given above (anti-Semitic/racist/threatening/homophobic comments etc). If it's warranted, it will get removed.
I will read all comments going forward so if I see anything that needs removing, it goes. I'm hoping there won't be any need for deletions but if someone persistently trolls, I'm just going to nuke 'em.
Like I said, there is nothing wrong with passionate conflicts of opinions. Spamming the board with attempts to spike in-fighting/trolling isn't the same thing - and rival fans frequenting the forum should probably be self-aware enough to back off as Spurs fans prefer to hate on each other more than visiting gooners.
Posting anything inflammatory for the same reasons isn't acceptable either. Still, if someone annoys you or is persistent with their own agenda, deal with it by ignoring it if it bothers you that much. They are just words on a website.
Remember, if you do sign up only flag for reasons stipulated and not because you simply disagree with someone. Love or hate Levy or whatever given subject matter, the beauty of discussion is having someone disagree with you, so retain the passion, just don't get stabby with the discourse.
Hopefully the debate sparked by all of this renders any need to change the system null and void and we can just get on with it without complicating it further.
If people truly do not want to register or for whatever technical quirk can't - then if you want to report any comments - email me: spooky @ dearmrlevy.com - with a copy of the comments and the blog article they are from.