...my comments are automatically posted. GET IN....er....wasn't it?
The Register operates a hybrid moderation policy. Here's how it works. The vast majority of comments will appear on the site automatically. This is because we trust you to follow the house rules. But just in case ... we have a mechanism for readers to report comments. The moderators will continue to deal with any comments and …
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Whilst I appreciate the issue that some people like Microsoft and others prefer Fruity tin and you don't want fanboy flame wars (that is what ZDnet is for) you cannot be seriously trying to say that there is no astroturf on el Reg?
I have read (and commented on) quite a few articles which look suspiciously like the stuff that my corporate PR agency pay "journalists" to write and then pimp round various outlets. These are very easy to spot once you are familiar with the method, they talk about a technology or a product category without any reasonable balance and in entirely credulous and uncritical terms (thinking of a particular article on retail payment tech here). The article will only obliquely name the sponsor, if at all, but will clearly be trying to create the impression that the sponsor's product or service is meeting a deeply important and necessary need and should be welcomed with open arms.
As for the infestation of "corporate reputation management" slime in the comments, it is well above zero and we all know this, when will el-Reg face up to this obvious reality and provide an astroturf icon for these posters to be clearly labelled with, tis easy, just add to the Vote Up / Vote Down a "Vote Astroturf" option then it takes a reasonable number of people rather than just one basement dwelling fanboy...
Our five per three month rule catches 99 per cent of spammers, shillers and astroturfers. Very occasionally people report someone who is an astro-turfer - we zap their account. But most imputations of bad faith are made by commentards with their own fanboi axe to grind.
As for The Register - we published 13000 articles and produced a couple of dozen sponsored webcasts in 2011. We try very hard to make all our content editorially valuable. If we fail, you guys let us know via the comments pages.
Did you just make those numbers up, or did you actually run them? Since you're sitting on the data, you might as well grace us with actual statistics.
On that note, I was wondering what the new policy would entail. I've learned to (mostly) write things that don't get zapped in the meantime, but I've had things rejected a few times too. It sounds a bit more lenient than pre-moderation of everything, but is it? Would, say, this account have survived? Just out of curiosity of a habitual double-checker, mind.
Oh and I do recall a couple times where I really have no clue what was so offensive. Have you added a way to actually attach a note to the rejection pointing out what was wrong? As in, occasionally it's useful and even just a single line ("rejected by moderator because..." for the case where there is a note) would document the reason right with the comment. I can't quite be arsed to go out of my way to write something worthy of rejection to find out, but it would be a useful feature. In fact, I consider it a bit overdue.
Guideline #5 says: No spam, no links to porn – don't pimp your own website, blog or business. If you're linking to something that may be seen as naughty, help your fellow commenters by adding a NSFW note.
But as far as I can see there is no way to link to any website - no html - or am i missing something?
Some articles will never be commentable e.g. a report of an ongoing criminal case in the UK.
Some articles will have comments switched off if the debate gets out of hand e.g. a flamewar
Some articles may be pre-moderated from get-go, although we do not do this at the moment e.g. a report of an ongoing criminal case in the UK. And - this is what you are getting at - articles which many commentards use as platforms for ad homs against the authors.
I will not countenance anyone attacking our staff. It really is very simple - kick the ball not the player.
"And - this is what you are getting at - articles which many commentards use as platforms for ad homs against the authors.
I will not countenance anyone attacking our staff. It really is very simple - kick the ball not the player."
Not at all - I have no real idea why this author has chosen to go non-commentable. It's just a noticeable difference from all the other authors.
For heaven's sake, he can't be ALL bad, for he likes Verity Stob!
and from my limited perspective, seems to be working well. But Drew, will your excellent admonition to «kick the ball not the player» apply not only to us lay commentators, but also to members of the staff ? I do not think it would be difficult to find instances in which certain article authors (nota bene, by no means a majority of Reg contributors) missed the ball rather badly and, it could reasonably be argued, with malice aforethought....
Trying to decrypt your message 'initially-alphabetic author' . hmmmm
Aardvark? or maybe .... Adrian.... Alan...... Andrea.... nope can't think or any more names starting with A or an O for that matter.
And certainly not one that soap boxes about squeezes every penny out of its customers.
There was an interesting article on the BBC which said that British Film took £1billion last year or something like that. Guess that doesn't fit with the agenda of the media industry being on its knee's due to downloading.
"The first group includes people who have previously had comments removed"
Assuming that plural means "two or more comments removed" (that would be me :-) ... Logically, the longer a poster continues to "contribute to the lively nature" of this forum, the more likely he or she is to have a comment(s) removed, for whatever reason. In other words, most folks who have been here for several years aren't self moderated.
Hardly seems like a logical approach (I'd pick a percentage, personally), but it's your forum. Your rules. Carry on, all :-)
... but going back on the last several years of my posts, it looks like I have had roughly one out of 75 nixed (rejected) [mostly capriciously, which I have no problem with, I see that as more the nixer's issue than mine], and maybe one out of 2000 "removed from view" after being allowed by another moderator.
I also see a couple of my posts that were nixed, then allowed, then nixed, and then allowed again ... where does that stand in the great scheme of things? At one point, I asked Sarah Bee in email if moderators moderating immoderately was copacetic. She emailed me back with one word ... "blush".
Note that I personally don't give a rat's ass if I'm self moderated or not ... If all y'all at ElReg feel a need to read my commentardary before the rest of the planet has a go at me, I'm cool with it. But I do wonder if ElReg is perhaps spending time & money moderating folks who don't really need moderation.
In the previous iteration of our modding system, moderators had to deal with well over 1000 comments a day.
To help them do this, some commentards were flagged - sometimes because they were libellous, sometimes because they were indulging in vicious ad homs against other commentards, or maybe because they are xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic or racist. But mostly because they were directing barrages of fanboi insults, usually anonymously.
However, many commentards were flagged simply so to alert the mods to read their posts more carefully. Maybe there were overly rude a few times, maybe they were involved a flame war or two. Maybe the moderator was having a bad day.
I am unflagging this category of commentard.
Also we are considering fine-tuning "flagging" e.g. letting commentards know that they have been flagged for pre-moderation, why they have been flagged and telling them how long they will be flagged.
Does this mean that we may get some feedback about why some comments are deemed unpublishable.
I had a long exchange with Sarah on the last comments rule article about wanting to be told why some comments were rejected. I try to self moderate, but I do have comments rejected on an infrequent basis.
I know that what you have said here is not quite that, but it's a step in the right direction IMHO.
I miss Sarah. It's just not the same trying to bait the rest of you to jump into a comment trail!
Sarah talked with some of us. Sarah isn't here anymore. This is ElReg's forum, not Sarah's, so ElReg's rules apply. I'm only in this thread to figure out what "the 2012 rules" really mean, on a day to day basis. My gut feeling for folks like you & I is to be yourself. It's always worked, why change it?
Yes, feedback on nixed posts would be nice. But it's hardly necessary.
I just wanted to point out that I had a visible (on the forums) conversation with the The Register's then most celebrated moderator about having the reason for comments being rejected made known. What has been detailed in the new rules may go some way to getting what I asked for. IIRC, Drew was also in on the exchange, which should still be visible.
I didn't have to mention The Moderatrix's name, but I wanted to express my continued feeling of loss of the witty banter that typified us the commentard's collective exchanges with her.
by posting a stream of inoffensive low level drivel, just to keep above the 5-per-3-mo line.
Some random questions along those lines:
- If you post AC and it's accepted, does that accrue to your account's total?
- If you post AC and it's accepted, then flagged/reported by a bunch of users and eventually removed, does *that* come out of your account's hide?
- Finally, if you have posted several messages before the moderator got to any of them; and one of those causes you to reach the 5-per-3 threshold, do the rest of your queued posts suddenly self-moderate?
5 per 3 is an admittedly arbitrary line in the sand - which we drew while figuring out this stuff. It is easy for us to change and we may change this.
We considered percentages, but that does not account for the otherwise sensible person who comes out with occasional libellous or homophobic diatribe, say.
When "flagging" or accepting a commentard, we - the staff moderators -do not distinguish between anonymous and handle posts.
Yes - the queued posts self moderate if one causes you to reach the 5-per-3 threshold. We will review this if spammers try to game it.
The trick is gaming it in your own favo(u)r ... All y'all have details on us commentards. The question is, which of us are most cost-effective in the great scheme of things? (I'm probably more a hindrance than a help ... I can live with that ;-)
Agree that percentages aren't the only answer ... Individual posting history should be a factor. And ALL of us are guilty of getting nasty, occasionally. That shouldn't be a deal-breaker in an ASCII-only forum ... unless it's a consistent thingy with any particular commentard.
Note that most habitual ACs don't know what an IP address is ;-)
5-3 threshold ... Gut feeling is that those numbers won't work in the real world. Probably a better way to handle it is to start self-moderation after a couple-three dozen moderator approved posts, without any nixes.
Not my forum, I don't make the rules. But I do have opinions.
5 per 3 sounds like it will punish people like me who don't post very often. I would prefer if, once 5 posts have been accepted, we're considered OK until we do something wrong. Penalising newbies should only be done to reduce spamming. Once I've established I'm not a spammer, I shouldn't have to suffer. Ironically, if I have to make extra posts to maintain my non-spammer status, those posts are less likely to be worth reading compared to posts where I actually have something to say..
I suppose changing it to 5 per 12 would do almost as well. I have about 23 posts in 2011, so I'm above 5 per 3 on average, but it'd be easy for me to slip below.
I have no idea what my posting history is like over that period. You might consider adding something about it to the "My Account" pages.
I wasn't asking how the moderators handle anon posts, but how the scoring system does.
When an anon post is accepted, rejected, or removed after acceptance, that's a scoring action that *could* accrue to the actual commentard account that created the post. If the database keeps track of that, etc.
Or anon posts could be truly anon (at least in that regard), i.e. their ownership could be completely whitewashed as soon as they were injected into the review queue, leaving no way for the system to accrue the score.
I guess for liability reasons, if nothing else, you probably need to hold onto who posted what, even anonymously. So I'll venture a guess that anon posts do accrue to your score...?
[I thought I posted this but can't find it in either the forum or "my posts"... going senile...]
I wasn't asking about how moderators handle anon posts, but whether the <i>system</i> retains knowledge about who posted each anon post and whether the resulting scores accrue to the real poster. Then I decided you probably had to retain authorship information for various legal reasons; and it really would make sense to charge people for their anonymous misbehavior. So I probably answered my own question, but still seek confirmation.
Plus I get to check myself for HTML Super Powers...
Seems like it should be more sophisticated than that. I seem to have posted 57 times since April 2007, so that's what, 58 months, almost exactly one a month. Sporadically, of course.
You should either have a "lifetime achievement flag", or do it in terms of good:bad ratio over the commentard's entire posting life span.
Hmph. Commentard (and hmph) not in Opera's dictionary.
... the icon is not about the comment, it's about you, then?
Personally I don't have a problem with figuring out who's AC and who isn't regardless of icon. In fact, plenty of posts I've made AC and without any icon on purpose. If the icon was an avatar then forcing the icon would make sense, but in this system, not so much.
She was a damn good seam bowler with a *very* nasty line in occasional and well disguised short pitched deliveries. If you weren't careful she was fully capable of quite literally handing you your head. A really nice girl, great company in the pub afterwards but she was a bitch on the pitch (so to speak!).
I'm with you on this ... When I was at Berkeley, we played a charity game between the baseball team & the softball team. The Lady Bears smoked us guys ... We had no hits or runs, they had 18 Ks, and scored twice. Was ugly, but a whole lot of fun :-)
As a side note, I married my counterpart. Catchers need to stick together.
I've seen some posts appear immediately and others go through moderation for a couple of weeks now. It appears my posts are still being moderated so either I'm on the naughty list or it's not been changed yet... if the former should I have been told about the posts that were naughty?
JDX, I have reviewed our moderation history for your account. I can say definitively that you are not on our naughty chair and have never been on our naughty chair.
We don't have an elegant mechanism for informing people when and why they are on the naughty chair. Currently we risk moderators and commentards getting into protracted and / or ill-tempered email exchanges.
But as I said <a href="http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/1303269", we are mulling over:
(a) how to make this more transparent and
(b) to work out time limits for the naughty chair e.g. hours, days, weeks, ever and a day
I also experienced some lag in comments being "approved", then some days they would be on the page the moment I clicked submit.
I just assumed all posts were moderated, and the moderator was busier some days more than others... or was I naughty? I don't know, I don't think I've had anything pulled.
I also find sometimes my upvotes and downvotes not being registered - can't be moderating these can you?
I'm very pleased to see the amount of care that goes into filtering your posts. Without it the trash level would clearly rise to become unacceptable.
I am curious about the RATING system because I do not understand and cannot discover whether the Rating applies to the form or to the subject of the original article. Much of the reporting is good and some excellent; is THAT what I am rating ??
Some of the proposals/ideas/policies being discussed in articles are rubbish and some are sound; is the raw subject matter of the article what I am rating ??
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glad to see it isn't.
The changes to policy don't really affect me (I hope), but I like the "make writer aware of correction required" feature, sometimes commentards correcting in the comments was a littel tedious. Other times, of course, it led to some of the better comment-threads here...
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I failed to make clear enough that my questions were not about Thumbs but about the 'slider' and whether it should be applied to the >form< or the >content< of the article. I understand thumbs but don't know WHO or WHAT one is Dis/Approving with the slider; the reporting, or the subject of the report.
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Guideline number 7 seems a bit off. There are plenty of people who are paid to act on behalf of many organisations, in order to promote their goods, services, or act as online reputation managers. Not quite sure why it would be that this is something which is not permitted to be said.
All that guideline number 11 needs is "and no Daily Mail readers" added to it, and it could be out of any sixth form college debating guide.
Michelle, We have had this policy in place for a long time. It is meant to deter people who sign up to The Reg simply to promote their own blog. Or more usually to link to some spam site.
I don't have a particular beef with people who link to articles that they have written elsewhere. But of course if this facility is abused we will send people to the naughty chair for a very long time.
Can we have automatic 'naughty step' placement for the following crimes against humanity:
1: Using "your" instead of "you're" [UR should incur the death penalty]
2: Using "their" or "there" instead of "they're"
3: Any other grammatical howlers that they used to teach in primary school, when I was a nipper
So you're wanting to ban some of the non-English first language commentards, as well as those not as educated as yourself?
Whilst I find it difficult to read some of the comments written in poor English, I have known many people with very valid technical information and comments who do not have English as their first language. I think I can put up with poor grammar so long as the comment has substance.
I think that those who use bad grammar as a reason to shout down a comment they don't like is just as bad as gratuitous use of poor English.
If your comment was tongue-in-cheek , then might I suggest that you use the Joke Alert! icon, rather than the Troll icon.
[quote]If we suspect that your comment may be libellous, we will reject it. We err on the side of caution. Remember we are subject to *UK* libel laws.[/quote] (Emphasis added)
But Scots law is different to that in England and Wales. Does El Reg operate as if regulated by *English* law?
changing your handle will make a difference for moderation. The mods will identify the account by the login name, not the handle.
I don't know what their policy is on registering two accounts against different email addresses. I thought I read somewhere that it was either discouraged, or maybe that it was enough to get the accounts suspended.
The FT has a policy that when you change your handle - all your previous posts change along with that handle.
Our policy is that you change your handle and all published non-anonymous posts after that have the new handle. But you lose your old handle - and no-one else can nab it. I think the FT policyh is sensible but I don't have a strong view on this.
It would be nice if ALL Articles allowed Comments.
I'm looking at you Mr A O.
As we are discussing comments here, it might be nice if you dropped by and explained once and for all why you don't like comments on your posta (well, a good % anyways)
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I don’t know what the planned future direction is for HTML elements in comments — whether it will eventually be granted to all commenters in good standing, or whether it will remain the preserve of the Blessèd Hundred — but it would be nice if at least the style-oriented elements (or at bare minimum, a span element with only a style attribute) would be available to commenters in general.
I have never had a problem being polite on any commentary or forum platform, indeed on occasion I have been positively helpful. But I am only an occasional contributor to any of my several interests, whether El Reg, simulation or computing fora. I enjoy 'The Register' and read it most days - when my internet connection (under discussion ) lets me - but I only comment occasionally. I don't think I have ever had any comment rejected, but I would need to start cranking them out much more frequently to get inside the 5 in 3 months rule.
As my late Auntie put it - politeness costs nothing. Apart from anything else, it is not difficult to be really insulting and terribly polite at the same time, but life is too short.
That really is going to appeal a certain sort of person, probably the sort of serial downvoter that sees red for every pro/anti apple/MS fanboi ejaculation. A kind of grumpy nerd version of the Neighbourhood Watch Whitehouseian curtain twitcher minus the blue rinse but probably still with the Daily Mail sub on their fondleslab. Nothing appeals to yer basic human instincts better than watching someone else get an 'official kicking' in the metaphorical gonads.
Out of curiosity, what about folks who decide to serial-down-vote a given handle, regardless of content of commentardary? I appear to have picked up one of same, and have received 50 down-votes in a short period of time (probably corresponding to the first page of my posting history) a couple of times now ... Personally, I don't give a rat's ass ... But this attempt at bullying can and does keep folks from commentarding over the long-haul, and tends to kill conversation.
Perhaps... "accepted" but being held by the moderator while he comments on them? That's cheating, you know :)
All three of my recent set of blather read "Accepted by moderator at [time stamp]" on my posts page. Plus my three from yesterday. It seems like the 6th, at least, should have qualified easily under the "5 happy posts in 3 months" rule.
Therefore, apparently it prints "Accepted by moderator" whether it's referring to a human or an automated system.
I'd prefer if it said "Accepted by automoderation" or something like that. Perhaps with a nice link to the guidelines anchored on "automoderation".
Can't you find a more mathematically rigorous concept for determining regular readers/commentards? That is a computer you are using and not a civil servant I assume. And, those of us on the other side of the big pond [which includes everyone not on your island] tend to post when the night crew is working.
Here's hoping the moderator is working from the pub or home....
We considered more rigorous formulae but that does not scoop for the otherwise sensible person who is drunk dialling in the middle of the night - or for the hate-filled rant.
However, the five comments in three months was simply a stake in the ground while we assessed impact of automodding. The answer I think is to simply lower the limits - say five articles in six months or one year.
"Currently we allow posts of up to 2,000 characters, which is quite a bit longer than most forums, [...]."
First, it used to be 4000 or so, which I'll buy might qualify for the "quite a bit longer" claim, but AFAIK 2000 is more or less what everybody else does, modulo the mainly old print gone web2.0 bunch that insist on playing Scrooge here. Worse, I tend to run into the limit and I'm certainly not the only one. So, at least stop making boisterous claims how doing the same as everybody else is somehow better than everybody else. But really I'd prefer to see the old limit reinstated. Why'd you feel the need to dial it down, anyway?
The Reg is making a big mistake in publishing explicit rules. Games (and fora) are addictive only if they contain a reasonable level of arbitrariness. Take that away and we'll quickly get bored!
So please flag and ban whoever you want, but don't be dickheads and tell us why! (Dickhead, in the sense of 'Schwachkopf', is, of course, in no way meant to be insulting to monolinguists.)
May I say you just broke your own rule. Just because you are a racist does not make you an arsehole. That is an opinion not a rule. And as for that porcine remark, are you Isl**ic or something? Sorry can't say that.
As for giving me a bronze badge. Thank you, but it will not improve my performance.
Since Channel items also appear on the main Reg front page when can't you just make a comment thru the usual forum? I am sure I am not alone in not wanting to sign up for more stuff arriving in my inbox, preferring instead just to browse thru the Reg when I have a spare moment.
I mean come on :-
share comments on http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/2/2012/02/01/register_comments_guidelines/
so why can't other stories as well?
Just wanted to mention that my post was rejected because I pointed out that 3.6 square kilometres is not 1,179 times the size of Belgium, as the Reg Hack had suggested.
Is this the first step in a campaign of disinformation by El Reg? Will they, as the only remaining online source after the coming of the BT Filter, gradually persuade us that the whole of Europe will fit into the average garden shed, then use that misconception to get us all checking our sheds to see whether this fairisle land has been invaded by Johnny Foreigner, while crack teams of SPB operatives break into our homes while we're distracted and steal all our shiney?
Or was it because of my gratuitous use of the word 'Belg**m'?
Inquiring minds need to know.
Note that the anti-GLBT crowd ALWAYS derides GLBT.
GLBT almost never derides the straight population (radicals are ... well, radical).
The wife & I are het. The gay guys on the other side of our rose garden are ... uh, gay. And a couple of our best friends.
Methinks that your "agenda" is in your mind, not reality. What are you afraid of?
"I resent being censored"
Me too, but nobody's stopping you running a blog with your own comments guidelines and expressing your opinions. The difference is that you're in El Reg's virtual living room and they can decide who gets to sit on their sofa and bad mouth their neighbours, just like you can at your house. So good news, you're not being censored.
Apple CEO Tim Cook: My well-known gayness is 'a gift from GOD'
Bringing religion into the discussion about sexual orientation might just offend some people. Just sayin'
Really? What part of the terms am I violating? Or is the moderator just having a bad day?
Was a direct quote from the original version of Iain whatsisname's article, it is more than a little cheap to delete my comment on it.
Not that I am terribly upset, but it is a form of rewriting reality to pretend that it never happened, especially since the article had many more blunders, I truly enjoyed the idea of a capsule carrying a worm form from the ISS.
It is a little cheap to delete a post that was only a direct quote from the original article. Not a problem with my language, problem was entirely with the reg. writer.
Actually, I like the skeptical slant of the reg. Or rather I used to like the skeptical slant until I was censored for attempting to note in public that one of your staff members has ZERO credibility on a particular issue and that his tedious and repeated rants on that issue are a waste of time.
You see, the problem is that once you have established you are a bunch of censorious bastards, then there is no reason to believe anything you say on such silly topics as free speech or the open exchange of ideas. Not even sure how many of my prior comments may have been disappeared, since I trusted the reg and wasn't looking over my shoulder to see if you were looking over my shoulder.
Having broken that trust, I'd be a damn fool to spend more time on the website. It might make me want to say something, eh?
Anyway, your financial model is already driving you into the ground, and I expect to hear about your collapse at some point, but at least I will get some schadenfreude out of it.
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I haven't posted that often, and I rarely check on 'My Posts', but I was puzzled to see that two of my posts (one in 2011 and another in 2012) were rejected. Rereading them, I can't see why they might have been.
Is there any way, or plan, to find out why a post was rejected?
As the saying goes;
"If you don't tell me what I've done wrong, I'm liable to do it again, often and in public."