Quick note about comments

As the number of people using OpenSim grids rises, emotions seem to be rising, as well.

I’ve been seeing it the comments on posts lately, and have had to moderate comments or close comments altogether.

I want Hypergrid Business to be a place where people debate things in a nice, calm, civilized way. But I also don’t want to go around deleting comments because they are rude or disagreeable. What’s rude to one person is just the blunt truth to another.

In addition, we don’t have the money to hire someone to moderate comments full-time. By the time I’ve seen a comment — especially an inflammatory one — it will have been commented on and debated on by several people. At that point, deleting the original comment would be unproductive and leave the replies without anything to reply to.

Now, there are certain things that automatically get a comment sent to the moderation queue, where it will sit until someone looks at it, and, most likely, deletes it. That includes spam and bad language, and when a reader flags a comment as inappropriate.

I urge people to use the flag feature if you see a comment that doesn’t belong on Hypergrid Business. It will send the comment to the moderation queue. So far, this feature has rarely been used. Maybe people don’t know about it. If I see it abused, I have the option to change the point at which a comment is sent to moderation — after three flags, for example, or more.

The other feature that our Disqus comment system now has is the ability to vote comments up and down. I urge people to take advantage of this, as well. Unproductive, nasty, or off-topic comments can be pushed to the bottom, where nobody has to read them unless they really really really want to.

Disqus doesn’t make it easy to figure out how to flag or vote on comments. To flag a comment as inappropriate, you have to mouse over a blank area at the top right of a comment, click on the down arrow, and then click on “Flag as inappropriate.”

To vote a comment up or down, look to the bottom left of a column, where you’ll see a down arrow and an up arrow. Voting a comment up will move it up higher in the comments, voting it down will move it lower.

By default, viewers see the best comments first. If you want to see the latest comments first, there’s an option at the top of the comments section called “Discussion.” Clicking on it gives you the choice of “Best,” “Newest,” and “Oldest.”

And please remember — if I leave a comment up it’s not because I agree with it. It’s either because it stops short of being unprintable, because I haven’t seen it yet, or because a lot of people have already responded to it.