A persistent problem on the FM website is the number of belligerent commenters. They make big statements, usually laced with insults (sometimes nothing but insults). When called on their statements, they usually disappear (often to appear again on another thread, repeating this behavior). When I email them, asking for a response — the email address they gave proves to be a fake.
The most recent case are comments by “Steel Rain” (a great nome de plume). After insults in 5 comments, he at last gave a few specifics to which I responded with considerable detail. 36 hours later, still no response. As usual, I emailed a copy to him — receiving a notice “Delivery to the following recipients failed.”
So I have activated the “comment registration” feature, commonly used by active websites. Perhaps this will either screen these people out, or force them to back up their statements. We’ll see.
- Of those people posting the nine thousand comments during the past 12 months, I’ve taken the extreme step of banning only two.
- The opposite kind of comments are treasured (if not always treated here as well as they deserve). People like Oldskeptic, Atheist, and FxConde. They are willing and able to back up their statements, often devastatingly so (as I painfully learned!).
- These two sets of characteristics have no relation to their politics. Both sets of behaviors appear among with politics both of the left and right.