And it came to pass an excellent, not or not constantly moderated blog was disrupted for weeks on end by the usual – possibly only one – suspects. The comments are now suspended as the blog owner examines ways to improve things.
The platform I use does not leave one with many choices. You can’t, for example, say “some commenters get in the moderation queue, others are free to write”. What you can do is to moderate everyone or no one, and obviously allow some names to get directly in the rubbish bin.
I do not know what other platforms allow, and I do not care because what I have now is perfectly fitting for my tightly monitored blog. But if I were to allow unmoderated comments I would use the following policy:
1. Make clear to my readers I go through the comments possibly every day, every second day at the maximum. This would have to be put in the line inviting people to comment.
2. When I do so, I delete all comments of disrupters, and all comments of those who react to them. Without exception, and in full.
As a result, every conversation two or more days old would be guaranteed troll-free. But those messages that feed the trolls would be deleted too, and they would be deleted even if a great part of the message was not about the troll.
Everyone would soon understand real troll feeding is wasted time, and actually even an oblique reference to the troll causes all the work to be lost. The troll is left alone, with a stage that will go on for some hours. The lurkers will soon notice almost no one reacts to the troll, and certainly no one of the frequent posters. Those who do – and some would, for the fun of it – would post short, copy and paste messages like “this will soon be deleted together with your reaction, so just ignore it”, or very short funny remarks about the message about to die, and so on. Those who don’t learn to react appropriately and actually answer to the troll quickly learn it wasn’t the smart thing to do. Trolls are immediately put in the spam list with their email address – which the blog owner can always read -, so they will need a new email for every trolling exercise.
Of course, if one has better technical options at his disposal this can be different.
But I think this can be enough of control – and a useful training to self discipline and humour concerning trolls – to allow blogs not to be highjacked by them.
Just a thought.
As for my little effort, nothing will change.
No “Ganganelli” here, either.