Sunday, June 21, 2009

Comment moderation policy at off to slow start

(Update Monday, June 22: Most of the final exchanges listed here have been removed. If is going to enforce a moderation policy after the fact, they will need to spend the money to have 24/7 coverage so that the posts won't remain up more than a few seconds.)

The new moderation policy at is not exactly off to a stellar beginning. Here is the latest give and take between two posters on a line about thie hiring of digital journalists. It's easier to prevent this type of give and take if you hold the comments in moderation and then review them before they go up.

Masters Sullivan in June 19, 2009 3:15 PM

They look like real people to me...

Jenny in June 19, 2009 3:56 PM
Good move hiring David Jesse.

Brit Satchwell in June 19, 2009 4:02 PM

Mr. Jesse's hiring will provide the community with continuity in local education reporting. Nice to know that AA will have somebody already familiar with the local trails as our journalistic edu-guide. Great also that .com was able to retain Ms. Reed (same reasons).

Katrina in June 19, 2009 7:29 PM

Ms. Reed's work will be a valuable asset to your new initiative. What beat will she be covering?
Amalie Nash in June 19, 2009 7:41 PM

Thanks – we think Tina will be a great asset, too. She'll be covering health and the environment for
Amalie Nash, News Director

Jake in June 19, 2009 8:35 PM

Smart to put the woman's info/photo at the bottom this time. Best to avoid the wrath of the feminists.

Dave Poulson in June 20, 2009 8:22 AM

Nice to see Tina Reed covering the most important beat at this news organization. Her drive, skill, curiosity and the fact that she gets digital media will transcend any friction of being a Spartan in Wolverine country.

Tony Dearing in June 20, 2009 4:44 PM

Wenalway and Wenalway'sBane, we want to give people plenty of latitude here, but when we have two people going after each other with a string of personal attacks that have nothing to do with the post they're commenting on, we'll remove that. We've taken down your comments. We ask that your future comments be directed at the post you are discussing.

Wenalway in June 20, 2009 11:50 PM

And Victory No. 1 goes to the anonymous person making a personal attack as a response. There will be many, many more, I suspect.
As long as you moderate that way, people can get the removal of any comment they disagree with.
Might want to revisit that policy, there, sport.

Wenalway'sBane in June 21, 2009 9:27 AM

David and Tina are indeed talented journalists. I live in Washtenaw Couny, unlike some of the other posters here, so I know their work and am interested in what happens with It's nice to see the discussion focus on them instead of seeing anonymous rants on the evils of feminism (!?). I hope such moderation continues. It would result not in the removal of any comment that generates disagreement, but in the removal of any comment that is pointlessly insulting and completly off topic.

Wenalway in June 21, 2009 2:07 PM

The brilliant moderation continues.
I predict a rapid decline if this continues. Now anyone knows all they have to do is come up with a personal insult, and any post they disagree with can be removed.
Weak. Very weak. But what else should we expect from people who embrace fools like Patrick Thornton?

Wenalway'sBane in June 21, 2009 2:55 PM

It is my hope that sensible moderation will force the "trolls" to spew their bile elsewhere -- some other place that they haven't already been banned from, that is. It would be nice if could become a place for people to converse about the topics at hand, rather than a forum for people to vent their completely off-topic vitriol. It is my hope that Mr. Dearing will Google "wenalway" and/or "rknil," if he hasn't already, to gain some insight into what he's dealing with and to see how some other blog sites have coped with Mr. Knilands.

Wenalway in June 21, 2009 3:25 PM

Again, we have an anonymous poster who wants to name people but doesn't want to name himself. There's a word for that: Cowardly.

Wenalway in June 21, 2009 3:30 PM

Also, I inadvertently reneged on my pledge to restore previously deleted material every time an anonymous clown is allowed to make a personal attack.
Journalism feminists = people who are too cowardly (much like this clown) to address real issues, so they concentrate on acting like unprofessional shrews in the workplace.

Wenalway'sBane in June 21, 2009 4:40 PM

To recap, I made a personal attack on no one.
1.) I expressed admiration for David and Tina.
2.) I voiced support for moderation that would remove vicious, off-topic rants.
3.) And I pointed out, indirectly, that moderation on other Web sites has led to bans on comments from Mr. Knilands, who happens to live nowhere near Washtenaw County.

Wenalway in June 21, 2009 4:48 PM

Your name itself is an insult. Your continuing need to try to sound smart by naming people and citing entirely unrelated incidents while hiding behind anonymity shows what a truly tiny, pathetic person you are.
Sign with a name, coward, or continue to be insulted.
Also, to continue with my pledge of restoring deleted material every time an anonymous jackass is allowed to post an insult:
Journalism feminists: Often destructive to their organizations. They should be treated as the poor performers they are.

Wenalway in June 21, 2009 5:15 PM

I am sorry if I offended anyone. I didn't mean what I said. Sorry.

Wenalway in June 21, 2009 5:22 PM

And now the clones begin...


Snarky said...

Tony should hire you as a consultant, Jim. You didn't have to convene a community meeting to figure out that content should be moderated, and you broke a significant news story on your blog.

Maybe Tony thought that the quality of online coversations would improve in Ann Arbor. But the anonymous haters blogging from the basement (probably with no pants on)are no less hateful than they are in Flint or Muskegon.

Hey, speaking of Muskegon, did you see that Paul Keep is the new editor of the Grand Rapids Press?

Jim of L-Town said...

I did not, but I'll find it and put it up.

Edward Vielmetti said...

Wenalway is an interesting character. He has his own web site ( and here's an interview that the Syracuse paper did with him:

lumping him with the "anonymous haters" does everyone a disservice; he's been booted from a number of sites, but not for being anonymous.

rknil said...

The real disservice, though, is people not trying to get all the facts.

The point was, and is, that as long as people can hurl personal attacks to get the removal of posts they dislike, then they'll keep doing so.

In this case, the opinion that sparked the ire focused on the silliness of people gauging whether a post's placement of mug shots would meet the approval of feminists. The site already explained that it hadn't posted mug shots for two male employees because it didn't have good versions of them, but that logical explanation has since been trampled by the standard Internet morons who long ago separated themselves from the concept of logic.

rknil said...

Also, Edvard, I don't think that interview appeared in the print version of the Syracuse paper. I'm not even sure that guy's blog is officially part of the paper, but I could be wrong.