Thursday 18 December 2008

For Fawkes sake: moderating politico blogs

Guido Fawkes reveals today that he is going to take action to try to moderate comments on his blog. Guido Fawkes, like many political blogs, attracts foul mouthed abuse and allegations aimed at politicians which if published in a newspaper would lead straight to the libel courts.
Guido says he will not be bringing in pre-moderation or registration but says: "Things will be changing in the New Year, you will still be able to say what you like (within somewhat arbitrary inconsistent limits) without pre-moderation or registering. However there will be incentives for those who produce better quality commentary based on a new element of co-conspirator community rating.
"Good comments will be more prominently displayed, disliked comments will be less prominent. The biggest innovation is that it will be possible for readers to set their own tolerance thresholds. Poorly rated comments will be invisible to those who set their preferences accordingly.
"If you only want to see comments judged by co-conspirators to be witty, amusing or illuminating, set your threshold to "Recommended". Don't want to read foul language? Set your threshold to "U". Want to see all and any comments no matter how foul? Set your threshold to "XXX".
"If your commentary is consistently recommended your comments will automatically be more prominent in the future and may even get highlighted on the frontpage. Will it work? That is up to you."
Guido adds: "Iain Dale has had enough of window-lickers in his comments and introduced registration, he told Guido he realised he had to when he himself was no longer interested in reading the blog comments."
He also notes that pre-moderation of comments on national newspaper websites can cost a six-figure sum a year.

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