UPDATE: Thanks for all your comments. We will be working on the technological end of these options and launch a new policy shortly.
By Tim Redmond
Hi, folks, I am getting a lot of complaints about the comments here, mostly from people who feel that a couple of very active trolls are dominating the discussion so aggressively (and sometimes, so nastily) that nobody else wants to join in.
I have made it clear from the start that I don’t want to censor comments just because I disagree. I want lively debate. But as Markos says on DailyKos, if you have so much to say that you’re taking over the thread, you should start your own blog.
I am trying to develop 48hills into a progressive daily newspaper, which involves reporting and writing and fundraising and a lot of other work, and frankly, I don’t want to spend hours every day going back and deleting comments that don’t meet our policy. Besides, some of you can post far faster than I can delete.
I am considering several options, and am open to feedback. But the current system where a couple of people shut everyone else up and out — and where some people pretend they are other people — isn’t going to continue.
Option 1: Limit all commenters to one or two comments per post. Honor system at first, but if some won’t go along, I will block those addresses.
Option 2: You can post all you want – but you have to use your real name. No more anonymous anything. And NO NO NEVER can you post stuff under someone else’s name to mock them. You post a real, verifiable, first and last name and you can go to town. Otherwise: We block you.
Option 3: Registration. This is what Kos does, and it keeps the trolls in check. You want to post on the site, you have to register (with a real name and email address). When I get the time, I approve you, and only then can you comment. You become a pain in the ass, and I kick you off.
Option 4: I turn the comments off completely and start a “letters to the editor” section where you can say what you want, but I will edit and choose the ones that get posted.
Again: I will not censor comments because I disagree with them. But you all know Gresham’s Law – bad money drives out good money – and I’m not going to let a few people so dominate the talk that it drives others away.