Friday, December 19, 2008
A few words about Comments
I'd like to start by thanking my readers who leave comments about posts they find interesting. Your feedback is very much appreciated, and it's good to know I'm not the only one with a warped sense of humor!
That said, I had to start moderating comments on this blog when the controversy over The High Road erupted a few months ago. I've posted about it on four occasions, and I'm preparing another update that I'll publish soon. Some trolls decided that since the truth of the message was beyond question or challenge, they'd rather attack the messenger. Regrettably, many of them - not all - couldn't even do that in a civilized manner. Their vocabulary was of the gutter, and their grammar and spelling weren't much better! Needless to say, no such comments are welcome here. Disagreements are fine, provided we can be civilized in discussing them. If not - no discussion at all.
Over the past two months in particular, there's been a growing flood of 'spam' comments from IP addresses in India (mostly) and other Middle and Far Eastern countries. Most appear innocuous on the surface, but they invariably contain links to Web sites advertising various products. Some are infected with viruses and other nasties. I've tracked back all I detect, and deleted them, of course. I've also reported their IP addresses and other details to the appropriate authorities.
Unfortunately, I don't always have time to follow up every link in every comment. This means I'll have to introduce a new policy. If you've commented here before, and I know you, I'll accept that any links in your comments are likely to be OK, and publish your comment with them. However, if you post anonymously, or using a name I don't know, and there's a link in your comment, it's going to be deleted without further ado. I can't risk exposing my valued readers to spam or infectious computer code.
Also, there are some commenters who seem to have no reason at all for posting their replies. I've had a couple by visitors identifying themselves by a first name (which links to another site if you click on it), and a one-word comment like "Hi" or "Hello". They don't have anything to say about the post to which they're responding. I can only assume that the Web site to which their name links is also either a spam site, or one with infectious code: so such comments will also be summarily deleted.
I'm sorry if this policy means difficulties for anyone. I invite and encourage comments, and I think most of us enjoy reading them. However, I'm not prepared to let this blog become a gateway for spammers and crooks. That means I have to take these precautions.