It seems that it is time to remind a small set of readers that comments left on our articles should be “clean”, on topic and in keeping with decorum.
There are quite a few websites that have either moved away from reader comments entirely or require you to use a Facebook profile, and we wouldn’t like to do either. But divisive comments with name-calling must stop.
More than 3 million spam comments were caught, and close to two million attempts to break into our WordPress installation.
It is occasionally difficult to get the tone right when you reply to a comment, and sometimes it is due to English being not always being the native language of readers or writers. Then there are the keyboard warriors just looking to stir the pot and cause havoc.
Akismet and Disqus have filtered millions of spam comments (mainly links) without any action from us. I tend to have a look at the comments left on Disqus daily and take action if required. You can flag a comment by voting it down.
A reader who always leaves very thorough comments sent me a message in December that they haven’t left any lately because of personal attacks and nasty comments, and I felt that we need to act.
There is no need for us always to agree. However, you have lost the point if you start calling someone else nasty names or trying to diminish them. Fulsome debate is always welcome and encouraged, but ad hominem attacks are not.
I really like the comments that the majority of our readers leave. They are thoughtful, on the topic, and sometimes fun too!