Comments on DeSmogBlog now tightly moderated

People have been emailing over the last few weeks about DeSmogBlog’s comment section.

Most are wondering why their comments are not posting even if they’re registered as a user. A few, from people I am sure you can guess, are accusing us of censorship, and a few more (sure you can guess those too) are saying its indicative of a drop in visitors.

Of course, the conspiracy theorists in the latter two categories are wrong as they usually are.

The truth of the matter is that the comment sections on DeSmog were turning into useless flame wars that did little to advance the dialogue we want to have here on the site. So, for the time being comments will remain tightly moderated and we will turn them back on to allow registered users to post directly to the site after an adequate cool down period.

We are also developing new functions that will hopefully help the community self-moderate the comments.

So stay tuned.



You keep on moderating! It’s fun for me to just read the blogs.

I am looking forward to readers discovering that the comments sections may be looked to for thoughtful discourse. The quagmire that they had become was a decidedly un-inviting place to invest precious time. Thanks.

I finally just stopped bothering to post anything. The situation is very frustrating, given what the polls are showing all over the place – it appears that the “flame fight” and tactics of the sceptics are making inroads in public opinion.

Meanwhile did anyone notice what should have been the top story in Canada today? David Barber’s report on the state of summer Arctic sea ice is pretty sobering, but the news coverage didn’t make the obvious connection with Flaherty & the G7 in Nunavut playing with dog sleds and eating seal meat. Oh, and BTW the NSIDC graph tracking sea ice coverage is showing it neck & neck with the lowest on record …

Fern Mackenzie

I hope that other websites follow your example. The overabundance of inane and often libellous comments posted under articles on just about every news or special-interest site has come close to shaking my faith in humanity. I look forward to some intelligent discussion.

Ian Hanington

Thank you. The dust from pulverised dead equines was beginning to affect the planet’s albedo.

The comment threads up to now have been 90 percent noise - not just repetitious spouts of contrarian talking points, but outright snark and irrelevancy.

I support allowing opposing views on condition that they speak to the point of the original post, are at least minimally civil, and dont just use the comment thread as a soapbox for calling everyone concerned about climate change lying warmist morons.

Some bloggers have taken to creating a separate discussion area for posts that are deemed inappropriate for the original post under which they appear. This could blunt the charges of “censorship” (a bogus complaint, in general, as censorship implies prohibiting you from publishing your views at all, while comment moderation fits squarely in the established tradition that a periodical has the right to have an editor decide what runs and what doesnt. You right to be free of censorship means you can start your own blog - it does not mean I have to include your opposing views on mine.

It might be worthwhile writing up a statement of principles on how you plan to moderate, posting it and linking to it beside the buttons for “read comments” after each story.

P.S. Is there some kind of punctuation filter in effect? I couldnt type percent-sign nor single-quote while entering this.

I think that it is a good move to discard spammers from your site . But doing this might also harm many loyal users to leave the site and find some other site where they can blog in freely . I think instead of blocking all the comments section the admin should have actually created a targeted email marketing program . Due to which the users will stay active and within the site .