Cool Solutions

Moderating comments


December 2, 2006 1:01 pm





Full Trash
A few months ago, Martin Buckley posted a blog post about “Comments and our editorial policy”, within his post Martin indicated we try to be very open with our comments – and our policy on accepting comments. Moderating the blog comments mainly means taking out the Spam posts that we get in, fortunately many of these are recognized automatic but still we take out a fair amount of spam posts manually.

Besides spam, our general policy is to be very open in allowing people to provide their comments. It’s important to have people with different opinions providing feedback, some people might like a certain decision while others might disagree. Feedback is useful as it shows us what people think about what we do, however sometimes I question what to do with comments people provide. I just saw the following comment:

Stupid Novell, you’ll pay the price you deserve!

This specific comment was one of the comments that got in as a reaction on the “Ubuntu’s Open Week – and openSUSE” post from Andreas Jaeger. I understand people might have different opinions on certain issues, people have different backgrounds, different jobs, different culture, different thoughts about what happens at Novell. Does this justify a post like this? I don’t think it does.

If you disagree with something, explain why you disagree. If you just want to rant, wait for another day and tell us why you wanted to do so.

Comments please……

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  1. By:Ian

    It’s a touchy subject, the MS/Novell deal. I’m going to generalize here, but the OSS user community and part of the developer community got up in arms while most of the Novell admins out there probably slapped their foreheads, shook their heads, and are in a wait and see mode. The comment was probably from the former rather than the latter. The comment was probably someone who isn’t a stake holder in Novell by any stretch. I think the moderating here is fine. I know I was very critical about the deal from the start, but I’d like to think I constructed my posts in somewhat of a civil matter, despite being negative towards Novell on their own site. My posts weren’t stamped out.

  2. By:Ron van Herk

    It sure is a touchy subject, but does that change anything in the way we should communicate?

    Especially on these kind of subjects I believe that a mud-fight isn’t how we get any further. The strength of open source is the fact that many different individuals work together to create some great products, Linux came to the level it is right now due to the fact that many people have invested time and/or money because they all believe in the story behind open source. There are many different parties involved with open source software and they all have their own interest, and with their interest they just might have different thoughts about how Linux can grow in the next few years.

    I just saw a nice article that relates to this, it discusses what Microsoft gets out of this deal and it discusses what “the open source community” actually is. Interesting reading, have a look at:

    Ian, I sure appreciate your feedback, yes I share the concern you highlighted in your comments on the “Winners and losers in the New Linux World” post. How do we make people understand that this deal isn’t about patent licenses but it’s about working together with Microsoft on some areas where we have a shared interest. I think we are working on that, but only time will tell if we can get the message to the people.
    Let’s see if we can have a beer at BrainShare in March and see how thing’s moved forward 😉


  3. By:Alex

    Have you considered doing a type of peer-rating system, a la Digg? Thumbs up or thumbs down for other user’s comments.

  4. By:locsmif

    So you were almost censoring a post you didn’t like?
    Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
    Oh and btw, what Novell has done is absolutely unforgiveable.

    regards, locsmif

  5. By:Ron van Herk

    Indeed, I was about to delete the post, not for the fact that it was negative against Novell but because it was just a rant without any additional feedback. In my opinion comments are about providing feedback on the topic discussed within the post, this comment didn’t provide any feedback at all and as such I was questioning what to do with it.

    Regarding your comment, what is it that is absolutely unforgivable? I assume this has to do with the MS agreement, yes there are different opinions but some of these are also based on misunderstanding. Without explaining why you think something is unforgivable it’s difficult to provide some feedback.

  6. I think comments that should be deleted include the following:

    1) obscenities
    2) anything that is truly libelous
    3) excessive name calling (tougher one)
    4) repeated pointless posts from same individuals

    I would leave general rants such as the one listed. I would try to be very open as you have been.

    BTW, what up w/ Hula? Whoever made that decision (political or not) had bad bad bad timing.