Regular readers know that I had to disable anonymous comments for awhile because I was simply being overrun with spammers. Now, this blogsite is moderated,meaning that no comments automatically are posted to be seen without review, but the spammers, who were doing everything from a link dump to trying to sell stuff on here, were ubiquitious.So I disabled anonymous comments while I tried to figure out how best to allow for them while cutting down on spammers. The new anonymous comments seem to have succeeded pretty well, and, while there\'s a little spam, it\'s manageable at the back end. i put a disclaimer when one posts that says
New poster comments are moderated. Be patient-we have lives outside this blog, so it might take awhile You want to be rude? totally stupid? inappropriate? Flame war baiter? Your post may be deleted. Spammers or people posting pretend interest comments but really wanting to hawk their latest book or sell stuff or govt propaganda flacks won\'t see their posts published.
When it\'s been a comment that is promoting a website or business, I have very politely or at least firmly on more than a few occasions let some of the people who post these types of messages know that they are welcome to contact us to find out about what we would charge for advertising. Here\'s an example of that from Jan 12, 2009.
I also added, in my changes, a requirement for someone to put in an email. The email doesn\'t show, and in fact, if someone WANTS others to email him or her, he or she would have to explicitly put the email in the body of the message. The reason I want the email or an email, let\'s say, is to give me another avenue in case I have to ban a spammer. I also like to think it slows down robo-spammers.
A few minutes ago, I looked and there was another one of those posts that pretend to be from people who are interested in the subject but actually want to do a link dump. It\'s going to be deleted.
I\'ve found, interestingly enough, that people are more apt to comment when they can do so anonymously, without logging in. I\'m not sure why that is, but, after I enabled anonymous comments again, I\'ve been getting regular comments on various topics. I don\'t know if it\'s the immediate grafitication, spur of the moment "I want to make a comment" factor, but whatever, it\'s defintely a trend.
The other night. a local business person posted a comment. In the comment was a paragraph that was essentially advertising for what it would cost for a service, and was unsolicited, of course. Since we do not post (and we say so, on the comment disclaimer) advertising, I did not post it, but politely sent a confidential to indicate that the person was welcome to contact us to find out our rates for advertising on this blog. (I have since removed my comment for reasons you\'ll understand in a moment.)That did not sit well with the person who was commenting, who sounded a little enraged and wrote back.
salon, i am not surprised by your comment. i provided you with the rate information that you wanted. now you can compare the rates and blog about it some more! that will be fun for you! i signed my real name because i want you to know who i am. i dont feel the need to make up a blogging name. nothing confidential, blog away!
Since I didn\'t ask for the information, I was a little bemused. and it seemed to me that the poster was spoling for a fight which I saw no reason to engage in. But the poster did reply with a name and an email, so I decided to email that person directly to ask what was up, and why that person was so angry. When I did, the person whose email it was (understand, this is the email that was put into the comment that was posted, I would have no way of knowing this personal email otherwise) wrote me back and told me that s/he didn\'t know what I was talking about. I was a little taken aback, as it seemed funny that the diatribe written by the commenter would be using someone else\'s name and email whilst complaining about the usernames here on this site, but that\'s how it apparently was. Ah, life\'s little ironies. I don\'t know why the person at that business was using someone else\'s email and posting under another name not his or her own. I spoke some more over email with the person whose email it WAS and s/he told me...
I think it is best just to leave things as they are. I\'m not sure exactly what is going on, but I think this is coming from an outside source that has an agenda
All in all very weird, but I figured if it doesn\'t bother the real person that someone is posting as them with their private email on websites, then it won\'t bother me either. That\'s also, though, why I deleted MY comment back to the original commenter that referenced her name, because it\'s obvious the real person knew nothing about it.
P.S. Because this is the internet, bloggers who post here, and there are a number of them, post using a username they pick themselves. Anyone who has more than a passing knowledge of the internet knows this is conventional. I do think, at least speaking about me and hub, a lot of people know anyway who we are because we attend quite a few public meetings and record them. So, while we do protect privacy in general and respect others wishes regarding their usernames, we don\'t consider ourselves hiding in this community and believe that would be pretty impossible in a county of this size.