MO Comment Policy

This has been on the comments form for some time:

MO Comments Policy: I make it up as I go along.

Basically, I don’t mess with them unless you’re out of line or spamming. The definition of “out of line” is “whatever I feel is out of line” but is generally limited to truly hateful stuff. Don’t make a fool out of yourself.

I post it here so that I can link to it when I feel the need.

Also, the blogosphere seems to be under a wide-scale comment spam attack. I use MT-Blacklist, and it seems to be holding up quite well. However, in the process of clearing out large numbers of spams, I appear to have accidentally added my own domain to my blacklist. This means that I probably deleted some of my own comments inadvertently. The problem is now fixed, but I don’t know what, if anything, was lost. For all I know, I’ve also accidentally deleted other “real” comments in the process of trying to keep ahead of the spam. If I’ve done so, I apologize.

No particular individual commenters (not even Mystery Poster) have been banned from commenting on MO. The only banning (besides adding search strings to MT-Blacklist) that I’ve ever had to implement was blocking a few IP addresses that seemed to be auto-attacking me after I posted the Nick Berg video last spring.

If you cannot post a comment for some reason, email me and I’ll look into it.

For the record, as of this writing ZERO comments have been deleted for failure to comply with my policy. A couple have been close, but I’ve elected not to pull the trigger. I hope that this streak will continue. I want my little corner of the internet to be a place where ideas, thoughts, and crackpot ideas can all Come Together. Right now. Over me.

UPDATE 12/02/2004: A couple of modifications to the comments policy:

  • I will try to delete duplicate comments if possible.
  • If I delete a comment for reasons other than spam or duplication, I will replace the deleted text with [comment deleted] and remove the email and URL (if any) of the poster
  • If a comment is accidentally deleted during de-spamming, I will repost it later (if I can) with a note about the original time and date
  • If you think a legit comment has been deleted or removed, feel free to email me about it

I’ve had a lot of problems with comment spam lately and I know I’ve accidentally deleted at least three legit comments. My apologies.


  1. I’ve been getting a lot of spam comments on the blogs I co-edit. MT Blacklist is helping, but there’s always a few that creep through. Can we drop a JDAM on these guys?

  2. C’mon Fred! JDAM on spam? (Sounds like a sandwich…) You can’t declare war on a NOUN! Spam isn’t a PLACE! It’s an IDEA. You can’t use the military against a loose network like spammers. This is totally a law enforcement and intelligence issue. For every spammer we JDAM, two more will step up to take his place. We’d be in a blogmire faster than you can say ‘poker’.

  3. There goes Fred yet again, advocating a reckless rush to war without a coalition or an exit strategy. We need to give the SPAM inspectors time to do their jobs. There is no real proof that SPAM exists, and as far as I’m concerned, until the Internet shuts down from it, we need to assume that it doesn’t exists and pursue peaceful options. Don’t let the hawks destroy the internet!

  4. There is no real proof that SPAM exists’ Says KTLA I’m not so sure. I saw dozens of cans of SPAM of he shelf at Harris Teeters just the other day!

  5. I don’t think the real issue is the *existence’ of SPAM. I think the real issue is how to deal with the SPAM that already exists. Despite the fact that some have already used SPAM on their own citizens, this isn’t a simple question to answer. Some, as represented by Fred above, believe that the military response is the correct solution to SPAM proliferation. I think, instead, that inspectors simply need to be given more time. Unanswered still, though, is the question of what to do about so-called ‘dual use’ facilities. There are places with totally legitimate uses (say, dog food factories or Superfund cleanup sites) that could *easily* be converted to SPAM production on a moment’s notice. It’s the weaponization of SPAM that is hard to control. Once that genie’s out of the bottle, we’ll never get it back in…

  6. I saw that you were The Spanish Inquisition. That’s great! Much better than ‘I am ‘nimrod’.’ And this appears to belong on the ‘Exilir’ post but is on the ‘MO Comments Policy’ post. Did something weird happen when you commented? This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this problem on my site. Let me know if you noticed anything weird…