Improvements to DeSmog Comment Forum And Reminder About Comment Policy

I know that many regular DeSmog readers are frustrated with the comment forum, which has been increasingly polluted by anti-science trolls and clever spammers.  Today we are implementing a new comment system that will alleviate some of this.  We will no longer allow anonymous comments.

We are also implementing the Janrain Social Authentication system. Readers will now have two ways to login to DeSmogBlog and leave comments: via their social networks like Twitter and Facebook, or via a regular DeSmogBlog account with a real name and a legitimate email address.

Users with existing DeSmogBlog accounts don’t need to do anything other than continue to login as usual. If you like, you may switch to logging in via a social network as well. Click here to login or click here to register now.  We also give you the opportunity to login at the bottom of each post.

We will continue to rely on our readers to help us in policing the comment forum using the community moderation tools that allow readers to classify comments in a number of ways, and if enough people vote a comment as ‘trolling’ for instance, it gets hidden from view. Registered users may moderate comments on the site by selecting from the dropdown list. Comments that receive too many negative ratings will be buried.

Please contact us with any questions.

Here again is DeSmogBlog’s comment policy, which remains the same as before:

DeSmogBlog does not censor comments based on political or ideological points of view. However, we will delete comments that are abusive, off-topic or use offensive language.

When speaking to the state of climate change science, we encourage commenters to include links to supporting information as this helps enrich the conversation. Users who make unsubstantiated claims can expect their posts to be deleted and, if they persist, their account to be deactivated.

Petty name-calling and/or a pattern of disrespect towards other DeSmogBlog users will also result in account deactivation.


I think it only proper that people have a little skin in the game on this blog. Too easy to sound off like a jerk when anonymous. Welcome to the new world, trolls.

The petty name calling you must admit is often just an echo from the other side.

Will this be an effort to raise the level of civility or will it just be used to stifle dissent.

Stifling dissent is perfectly okay on a blog of course. just wondering how its going to go.

Is it “stifling dissent” for a space exploration blog to ban people claiming the moon landing was faked?

Is it “stifling dissent” for a national security blog to ban 9/11 truthers? How about a blog on autism banning people still peddling the thoroughly debunked anti-vaccine dreck from Dr. Wakefield?*

In other words, screw “civility” toward liars, cranks, shills, and conspiracy theorists. The damage they’ve done is horrendous, and I’m in no mood to coddle their precious little feelings. Fact-based ridicule and the “emperor has no clothes” treatment is exactly what they deserve.


“Will this be an effort to raise the level of civility ”

Where was the civility from the deniers like anonymous, recyclenot & plantfood?

voted Phil down and myself up, because I tend to agree with myself.

Apostrophe (‘)  problem fixed!  - took a few years but you got it done.

As to the original topic, I’m glad to see these changes. But where are the “community moderation” tools you refer to? When I look at comments, all I see is the commenter’s name, a link to reply, the timestamp, and the little chain-like icon in the top-right corner which gives you the anchor link for a particular comment.

I see no options like “report this comment”, “rate this comment”, etc. I do see things like (Score: 1), but no option to score a comment myself? Do you need to make a certain number of comments yourself before these options appear?

“There is a risk or things getting boring here again.”

Oh yes, 20 denier comments that said it was all over, it’s all a scam, we need more CO2, Al Gore is to blame, it’s all a Liberal scam was so conducive to a good argument or discussion.

Just the word ‘skepticism’ got kidnapped by denialists of reality who want to dictate you what is reality instead. It would be a sight if those people got skeptic about gravity and tried to fly from a ten story building. But then, they’d probably get ‘skeptic’ at the existence of the building or whether there are ten stories.

‘Seriously, whatever happened to healthy skepticism??’

Still out there amongst the >97% of scientists who understand that anthropogenic warming is real and has many signatures and also by those of us who understand their various messages and support their conclusions.

We also have healthy scepticism about the motives of those few would be scientists that try to make out that the main contributor to current warming is anything other than CO2, or make out that climate sensitivity is low or that a rise in CO2 and resultant warming is going to be good for us. We could call such would be scientists deniers, at the very least they are misguided.

For those that try to indicate that warming has stopped we have a name - denier.

For those that manipulate graphs to indicate that warming has stopped we also have some names - charlatan, cheat, snake-oil-salesman, liar, mountbank, trickster.

Do you get the drift now?

At last some sanity around here.

“Why is any view that does not tow the party line considered a ‘denial’?”

Which party would that be? The conservatives in Germany who have a carbon tax & are now supplying 20% of their countries power from renewables & who have a head of state who is a scientist that believes in AGW & is doing something about it?

Or is it the Conservatives in NZ with their carbon tax, or maybe the conservatives in the UK with their new renewables targets?

Denial is an absolute refusal to look at the facts despite the evidence.

Please read below:

“There is a difference between a sceptic and a denier:
•Scepticism is part of the scientific process of observation and experimentation; good scientists are sceptics. Good sceptics are willing to be lead by the facts, wherever they lead in the spirit of open inquiry. Good sceptics are motivated by the desire to advance our knowledge in a particular field and are open to changing their minds in light of compelling evidence.

•Denialism is driven by ideology where the need to maintain the belief takes precedence over the evidence. A denier has decided their position in advance and looks through the data with the aim of confirming their pre-existing beliefs, ignoring the rest of evidence. A denier is not motivated by the desire to improve our understanding; many appear motivated by the desire to promote confusion and doubt about climate change. They are often linked in this case to the fossil fuel lobby or vested interests. “

Like your UK is in fuel poverty because of renewables? Also, why not just go to another right wing publication of Murdochss like fox?

Issues raised on this board deserve serious consideration and discussion. It has been frustrating to see trolls divert the conservations into the twilight zone.

The anons and the guys that were hijacking names were ridiculous.

Post the objective truths as best as possible.  You aren’t catering to inform the trolls (a lost cause), but to the sensible and rational citizens of the world who are genuinely curious yet uninformed.   Keep on investigating, guys.