Tuesday, August 14, 2007

anonymous trolls are blog defilers

If you allow anonymous comments on your blog, without moderating them, you're enabling malicious trolls to use your blog as a free message board.

Allowing anonymous comments to be automatically posted to your blog? You open your blog to all kinds of mayhem and trouble. And you may end up losing readership, in droves.

When you submit a comment to a blog, there are generally three fields of data to fill in, aside from the comment text: (1) name (2) email (3) web site URL.

When your comment is published, your name will be a link to your web site or blog. That enables people to visit your site. They may become regular readers, if your comment was intelligent and relevant, and your site contains more high quality content.

Trolls are people who post comments that are abusive, disruptive, pornographic, racist, mean-spirited, or just plain crazy. They aren't expressing an honest opinion in an aggressive manner. They simply want to cause others to feel bad. They're sadistic, misanthropic, and have nothing better to do.

Trolls almost never have a web presence, or if they do, they don't want you to know it.


Because then you, or your blog readers, could go over to his site and retaliate. Thus, they're cowards. They can dish it out, but can't take it. Trolls want to pollute your blog with their hate, but you cannot return the "favor".

I call it "drive-by commenting" with no accountability.

Anonymous trolls are not contributing to the conversation. They're posting their filth and animosity just to make you look bad. Or to hurt the feelings of legitimate comment posters.

I assert: Anonymous, webless trolls have no right to express their "opinion" on the web.

Sure, democracy and free speech are precious, sacred rights for all people.

But there are rational limits. You can't yell "Fire!" in a crowded theatre. You can't incite others to perform illegal acts. And you should not let irresponsible abusers spread their venom all over your blog.

Why let these cyber bullies use your blog as a free venue?

Why let these anonymous trolls make your blog an offensive, vile, disgusting place that your loyal, good-hearted, mentally balanced readers will begin to feel uncomfortable in?

It's really not fair to your readers.

Many blogs have a Comment Policy that states that all abusive, irrelevant, or purely commercial PayPerPost type spam comments will not be published.

I strongly suggest you consider what I'm saying.

Start using comment moderation, to weed out the anonymous, webless, cowardly, hostility-driven trolls.


Jimi said...

I agree with you VtG and think it a decent strategy, which I practiced. But even when your suggestions are followed, a few Peoria bloggers still feel the need to ban - for whatever reasons. It is disappointing.

My 0.02 cents.

Geoff_Livingston said...

Anonymous commenters must die! Seriously, if you don't have the guts to say it with your name attached...

However, one caveat. Federal blogging has such a fear induced culture (I'm in DC). Gov. workers who comment really need to CYA if they want to keep their jobs. I think their situation maybe different.