The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Banning Commenters and Adding Contributors
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As regular readers of our webzine have probably discovered, I’m very reluctant to ban any commenters, regardless of how many crazy or stupid things they say. Among other reasons, a tendency to ban often becomes a slippery slope, and if I banned everyone who said things I regarded as crazy or stupid I might soon be alone here, talking to myself.

Furthermore, there are numerous important beliefs that I regarded for decades as absolutely crazy and stupid, but have come to believe were indeed absolutely true, with the American government cover-up of the Vietnam War POW/MIAs being the most notable. So perhaps it is the views of the commenters whom I might condemn that are correct and my own present ones that are mistaken.

However, although I do not wish to ban commenters myself, I have done my best to make it very easy for commenters to ban each other. Near the top of every comment thread is a “Commenters to Ignore” popup button, allowing readers to provide a list of commenters whose discordant views they wish removed from their sight. This list is permanently saved in a browser-device cookie, and automatically suppresses the comments of those tainted individuals across all comment-threads, though each particular such comment may still be displayed if desired.

On a different matter, I’m very pleased to see that more and more readers are beginning to use the Agree/Disagree buttons that I recently added and enhanced, which allow readers to provide one-click comment endorsement or opposition without leaving a full comment. Since this system relies upon a commenter’s name, it is only available to those commenters who are using the “Remember My Information” option for their Name and Email information. To ensure that commenters avoid overuse of this feature, use is restricted to once per hour. In addition, a minor enhancement I recently added maintains the existing blue-tinting of new comments when these Agree/Disagree buttons are used or an actual comment left.

Given that these and many other aspects of the webzine rely so heavily upon commenters having specific “names” (i.e. handles), I very strongly urge that reasonably distinctive ones be selected and kept, with the hidden email allowing authentication and protecting commenters against being “false flagged” with damaging comments by their opponents. Since commenters may sometimes forget their invented “emails,” this is another reason to use the “Remember My Information” option. Engaging in “sock-puppetry”—namely using multiple commenter handles in order to conceal one’s identity—is regarded as a very severe offense on this webzine, and among the easiest ways to get ones comments regularly trashed or even suffer an outright ban. If commenters wish to occasionally submit comments without using their regular name, the handles “Anonymous” or “Anon” are always available and exempt from all restrictions.

There are a few cases of commenters whose names have evolved over time, apparently because they forgot their emails or discovered another commenter was using an identical handle. I am planning to resolve this confusion by consolidating those aggregate comments under what seems to be the most appropriate name used for that commenter.

 

Meanwhile, I’m pleased to have now republished the bulk of Eamonn Fingleton’s archives, including his more two hundred past articles and columns in Forbes, The American Conservative, The American Prospect, and numerous other publications, with a current total of a quarter-million words and more still to come. We will also be soon releasing additional pieces from the archives of Ilana Mercer and James Petras.

Although our roster of regular columnists has now reached to the two dozen mark, with further coming additions in the near future, any potential unwieldiness has been addressed via software. On the Home Page, readers may use their mouse to drag-and-drop these columnists into whatever order their choose, elevating the interesting and important ones and condemning the useless and ignorant to the basement, with each visitor making different choices in this regard, and this ordering being saved in a permanent browser-device cookie and reflected on all pages. Furthermore, I have now extended this drag-and-drop feature to touch-controlled smartphones and tablets as well.

 
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  1. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Yes, the comments section often becomes a nest of trolls, often opposing ones. Yet, some comments can be helpful or even enlightening. So this method is certainly worth a try.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
    Sharing Comment via Twitter
    http://www.unz.com/announcement/banning-commenters-and-adding-contributors/#comment-1052132
    More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  2. Dear Mr Unz,

    I would like to thank you for your” top notch” website.
    All the wonderful, thoughtful and intelligent writers you have provided here have done a tremendous service to any who seek commentary that is informative, incisive, and cuts to the quick of whats really going on in the United States, Washington and the world.

    The comments section you have provided is a fantastic forum….I have never seen so many active minds seeking to learn, impart, exchange ideas, and share their viewpoints .

    The writers articles serve as a “springboard” for that interaction..which is , indeed, the heart of all learning.

    The Unz Review is very ,very” hot” right now !

    Thank you for it…and I will certainly make a contribution in the future.

    Keep up the great work !

    Read More
  3. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    There might be too many columnists. It’s now a herd. Some suck even. Do some culling.

    Top 4 very good columnists who should be elevated to a Tier 1 category: Stever Sailer, Razib Khan, Peter Lee, and Anatoly Karlin.

    Read More
  4. Vote system? Prepare for an influx of IPs from Tel Aviv voting in concert.

    Read More
  5. What about the columnists that are trolls themselves, like Ask A Mexican?
    What about columnist who are apologists for illegal immigration but are rich enough to insulate themselves from its consequences?
    What about all the anti-semitic columnists?
    If you want to increase the quality of your website look inside first.

    BTW Ban the most offensive, crude and blatantly hateful commenters as well.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    Why ban anybody? If somebody isn't worth reading don't. If somebody makes stupid comments refute them. I am even against any moderation although I agree that things can get ugly when you don't. Having someone like Ask a Mexican is useful for letting brainwashed millennials know what their saintly immigrants really think of the US. Define "offensive, crude and blatantly hateful" so we all know who to ban.

    How many of these so called conservative sites became nothing but neocon sounding boards once they became moderated to remove the "anti-Semites"?

    If Unz is paying these people then he has a business decision to make. That should be the only consideration.
    , @Existential Confusion

    Furthermore, there are numerous important beliefs that I regarded for decades as absolutely crazy and stupid, but have come to believe were indeed absolutely true
     
    It is worth being occasionally offended, to stay open to new ideas - you never know when you will find a pearl among the swine droppings. :)
    , @TWS
    I simply don't click or read 'Ask a Mexican'. Both of us are happier. I am surprised that Unz gives him a platform for his trolling non-informative articles but maybe he believes some comedy is needed.
  6. @Retired
    What about the columnists that are trolls themselves, like Ask A Mexican?
    What about columnist who are apologists for illegal immigration but are rich enough to insulate themselves from its consequences?
    What about all the anti-semitic columnists?
    If you want to increase the quality of your website look inside first.

    BTW Ban the most offensive, crude and blatantly hateful commenters as well.

    Why ban anybody? If somebody isn’t worth reading don’t. If somebody makes stupid comments refute them. I am even against any moderation although I agree that things can get ugly when you don’t. Having someone like Ask a Mexican is useful for letting brainwashed millennials know what their saintly immigrants really think of the US. Define “offensive, crude and blatantly hateful” so we all know who to ban.

    How many of these so called conservative sites became nothing but neocon sounding boards once they became moderated to remove the “anti-Semites”?

    If Unz is paying these people then he has a business decision to make. That should be the only consideration.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Retired
    I'll bet David Duke or Wesley Clark's writings would bring in some coin. Heck Duke would be mainstream on this site.
    , @tbraton
    "Why ban anybody? If somebody isn’t worth reading don’t. "

    You and I are on the same page, Markin. When I first started posting on Yahoo Finance message boards back in early 2003, when traffic was quite heavy, I was always amused by a poster's threat "to put on ignore" (a feature of the Yahoo boards) another poster whose comments he found offensive. (Or, even worse, threatening to report the offending poster to Yahoo to get him barred from posting.) It always struck me as eminently silly. If you found another poster's comment offensive, just don't read him and just don't respond to him. It's not rocket science or brain surgery. Apparently some people can't seem to grasp the very simple proposition that you don't have to read every message that is posted. Being a strong believer in free speech, I believe that Mr. Unz should continue the present, prudent policy of exercising a very light hand (based on my experience) when it comes to "moderating" comments. My feeling is that the comment thread is pretty much self-regulating, since most people can recognize the worthless posters and learn to avoid them. There may be a few instances where a poster exhibits a clear pattern of posting worthless, insulting messages which would justify barring him from posting, but I would think that such instances are rare (maybe I am being naïve and the "moderation" has produced the result I see in the comments sections).

    BTW I think I should mention my experience at The American Conservative where I posted from 2010 to 2014 (posting is limited to subscribers) and where Ron Unz served as publisher to the end of 2013. I don't believe Mr. Unz bore any responsibility for the action, but, about a year or two after I started posting, TAC changed its policy to allow each blogger to "moderate" the messages that were posted. Anybody familiar with my messages posted on unz.com knows that, for the most part, I am a straightforward and informative poster. I was the same way at TAC. But I soon found with the new policy that, after I had spent some time researching and composing a particular message, it wouldn't appear in the comments section. That happened often enough that I started saving my messages before hitting the "send" button. The frustration of having wasted time composing messages of substance and not having them posted finally convinced me not to renew my subscription to TAC and to totally ignore their repeated appeals for money. Finally, my multi-year subscription expired, and I lost my right to post. Their loss, as far as I was concerned, not mine. I consider myself to have been one of the best posters they ever had on TAC. That is the danger of having a vigorously applied "moderation" policy. In the end, it does little other than to suppress speech imo.
    , @Wilkey
    "Why ban anybody? If somebody isn’t worth reading don’t. If somebody makes stupid comments refute them."

    While I am staunchly in favor of free speech, I don't think many people appreciate how horrifically bad a comment thread can become without some small amount of adult supervision.
    , @AndrewR
    "durrr... millennials are stupid! I, having been born like three years before the arbitrarily chosen cutoff date to be a millennial, am sooooooooooooooooooooooooo much smarter than those silly kids!"
  7. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    This new drag-and-drop columnists feature is awful. It’s like the New Coke of Unz.com. It makes Unz.com unusable on the iPhone 6 Plus, which I now use for most of my internet/website reading. You can longer scroll down– you just keep shifting columnists to higher ranks.

    Re: sockpuppetry and handles, commenters sometimes use funny, inside-joke, clever handles in response to blog posts. These handles are themselves a form of commentary. Unz’s bizzare and obsessive intolerance toward sockpuppets will only constrain the cleverness and commentary in handles.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    This new drag-and-drop columnists feature is awful. It’s like the New Coke of Unz.com. It makes Unz.com unusable on the iPhone 6 Plus, which I now use for most of my internet/website reading. You can longer scroll down– you just keep shifting columnists to higher ranks.
     
    That's a reasonable point. Touch-based drag-and-drop works fine on tablets, but the screen is so narrow on smartphones it prevents scrolling, so I've now disabled it there (don't forget to refresh your browser to load the new Javascript). If there's popular demand, I can add an option in User Settings that allows it to be temporarily activated, just in case people do want to occasionally reorganize the Columnists.
  8. “Furthermore, there are numerous important beliefs that I regarded for decades as absolutely crazy and stupid, but have come to believe were indeed absolutely true …”

    Well said. I’m sure we have all had this experience. It can be quite humbling.

    Read More
  9. Retired Said:

    “What about the columnists that are trolls themselves, like Ask A Mexican?
    What about columnist who are apologists for illegal immigration but are rich enough to insulate themselves from its consequences?
    What about all the anti-semitic columnists?
    If you want to increase the quality of your website look inside first.”

    “Anti-Semitic” is an old-timey political phrase to try to silence criticism of the cultural aspects of Jews that appear to be a pattern. Grow up, retiree, or go back to the Huffington Post. They’ll like you there.

    Jews are human. They make mistakes. Their organizations make political mistakes. I have a right to bring it up, if I notice this. Your “escape from the body snatchers” wailing and pointing is stupid and boring. It doesn’t work, anymore, so quit being intellectually lazy, and give it up.

    “Ask a Mexican” is tired troll-bait, and I don’t even believe the author is earnest in half of his posts. Sometimes I believe he’s just trying to be funny. It’s not funny. It’s pathetic. It’s old political tripes from 10 years ago, that have been debunked, and aren’t even considered valid points to consider any longer, which is why he almost always fails to provide citations related to his tire political propaganda. I don’t think he even enjoys writing it any longer.

    Do the man a favor, and cut him loose. If he had anything worthwhile to challenge what I believe I know on the subject, I’d love to keep him around, since that’s why I like this website. I like to be challenged. I love rational debate.

    He doesn’t, and it isn’t.

    He’s qualifiably not up the the job. Why propose limiting annoying, intellectually lazy commenters, while maintaining his intellectually lazy column? Do him and us a favor, while maintaining the intellectual integrity of your website, as you propose. Let him go.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Oh no don't let him go before I've gone back and tried finishing the one article I've tried reading....
  10. My compliments to Ron for the continued improvements on this site. I’d like to be able to sort comments by usefulness (particularly when there are 200 in a thread) but admit that voting can sometimes be manipulated. However, the Disqus sites I frequent don’t seem to be susceptible to that.

    One thing I always recommend (but have never seen implemented!) is that if enough regular members put a given user on ‘ignore’ that user gets booted from the site. The webmaster can determine the threshold, and I’m sure it would be high if ever implemented here.

    No doubt there would be objections, but it would also rid us of the few worst malefactors. NB: I have no one specific in mind because I haven’t seen that level of abuse here, and hope never to.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ex Machina

    One thing I always recommend (but have never seen implemented!) is that if enough regular members put a given user on ‘ignore’ that user gets booted from the site.
     
    I don't necessarily endorse this particular idea, but I like the line of thinking--i.e., something to help eliminate clutter in the comments section. The commentary here is typically every bit as good as--if not better than--the original article, but it's not without its chaff. So in that spirit, another idea might be to utilize the agree/disagree buttons to develop some sort of ranking algorithm similar to, say, Amazon--e.g., based upon commenters you agree with, it would suggest other comments that those commenters agreed with, etc.

    Of course, though it seems nice in [inchoate] theory, I somehow doubt the climb would be worth the view.
    , @keypusher
    One thing I always recommend (but have never seen implemented!) is that if enough regular members put a given user on ‘ignore’ that user gets booted from the site. The webmaster can determine the threshold, and I’m sure it would be high if ever implemented here.

    A form of that has been done at a hobby website I frequent -- if enough people put the user on ignore, he's limited to two posts per day. It's worked like a charm there for one particularly persistent troll.

  11. @Anonymous
    @Ron Unz

    This new drag-and-drop columnists feature is awful. It's like the New Coke of Unz.com. It makes Unz.com unusable on the iPhone 6 Plus, which I now use for most of my internet/website reading. You can longer scroll down-- you just keep shifting columnists to higher ranks.

    Re: sockpuppetry and handles, commenters sometimes use funny, inside-joke, clever handles in response to blog posts. These handles are themselves a form of commentary. Unz's bizzare and obsessive intolerance toward sockpuppets will only constrain the cleverness and commentary in handles.

    This new drag-and-drop columnists feature is awful. It’s like the New Coke of Unz.com. It makes Unz.com unusable on the iPhone 6 Plus, which I now use for most of my internet/website reading. You can longer scroll down– you just keep shifting columnists to higher ranks.

    That’s a reasonable point. Touch-based drag-and-drop works fine on tablets, but the screen is so narrow on smartphones it prevents scrolling, so I’ve now disabled it there (don’t forget to refresh your browser to load the new Javascript). If there’s popular demand, I can add an option in User Settings that allows it to be temporarily activated, just in case people do want to occasionally reorganize the Columnists.

    Read More
    • Replies: @PandaAtWar
    Ron,

    Panda has commented 4 or 5 times in total in different entries of Razib Khan's section.

    Panda just decided not to comment in his section anymore, as this young man comes across like a very rude and arrogant prick to be honest. And he's threatening to ban Panda anyway. See here (http://www.unz.com/gnxp/south-chinese-north-chinese-vietnamesedai/)

    So, is Panda getting banned in Unz.org as well?

    , @Wizard of Oz
    Ron I have a mixture of unashamed complaint and suspicion that I may have missed something. Plus a suggestion.
    I usually read and comment on my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android smartphone which has a big screen. It scrolls quite fast if I am dextrous. But I haven't found a way of returning to the top of the page instantly, or back to the bottom without using Find On This Page as a workaround (I search for "Unz" to get to the top...). Could some faint mark be added to whatever page one is reading that would allow a Return to Top - or better - one tap for half the way back and two taps for the whole way? And may be three taps to go to the bottom.

    Back to my firstmentioned problems: I don't seem to be able to get Remember My Information to remember that I have clicked it. It always comes up again without a tick.
    And just now I clicked on the light italicised "Why?" under "Remember My Information" and then couldn't close the window or stop it obscuring other material until I did a major exit and reopen.
  12. I like the buttons for “agree”: I am using the button sometimes for people who I agree with, sometimes for people who make me laugh, sometimes for people who have taken the time to respond to me, etc. Formerly there was no way to issue an “acknowledgement” without making another post. So this is great, Thank you.

    Read More
  13. @Ron Unz

    This new drag-and-drop columnists feature is awful. It’s like the New Coke of Unz.com. It makes Unz.com unusable on the iPhone 6 Plus, which I now use for most of my internet/website reading. You can longer scroll down– you just keep shifting columnists to higher ranks.
     
    That's a reasonable point. Touch-based drag-and-drop works fine on tablets, but the screen is so narrow on smartphones it prevents scrolling, so I've now disabled it there (don't forget to refresh your browser to load the new Javascript). If there's popular demand, I can add an option in User Settings that allows it to be temporarily activated, just in case people do want to occasionally reorganize the Columnists.

    Ron,

    Panda has commented 4 or 5 times in total in different entries of Razib Khan’s section.

    Panda just decided not to comment in his section anymore, as this young man comes across like a very rude and arrogant prick to be honest. And he’s threatening to ban Panda anyway. See here (http://www.unz.com/gnxp/south-chinese-north-chinese-vietnamesedai/)

    So, is Panda getting banned in Unz.org as well?

    Read More
  14. Thanks again Ron. Would it also be possible to preserve the greying?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    Would it also be possible to preserve the greying?
     
    That's actually much more difficult. The blue-tinting is controlled by a cookie, which can be temporarily saved and remapped, while the gray-tinting is generated on-the-fly by jQuery commands when comment-popups open, and isn't saved anywhere.
  15. @Harold
    Thanks again Ron. Would it also be possible to preserve the greying?

    Would it also be possible to preserve the greying?

    That’s actually much more difficult. The blue-tinting is controlled by a cookie, which can be temporarily saved and remapped, while the gray-tinting is generated on-the-fly by jQuery commands when comment-popups open, and isn’t saved anywhere.

    Read More
  16. @MarkinLA
    Why ban anybody? If somebody isn't worth reading don't. If somebody makes stupid comments refute them. I am even against any moderation although I agree that things can get ugly when you don't. Having someone like Ask a Mexican is useful for letting brainwashed millennials know what their saintly immigrants really think of the US. Define "offensive, crude and blatantly hateful" so we all know who to ban.

    How many of these so called conservative sites became nothing but neocon sounding boards once they became moderated to remove the "anti-Semites"?

    If Unz is paying these people then he has a business decision to make. That should be the only consideration.

    I’ll bet David Duke or Wesley Clark’s writings would bring in some coin. Heck Duke would be mainstream on this site.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    anti-Semitism, anti-Semitism, anti-Semitism, blah, blah, blah, get new material already.

    Besides, if Unz wants to put Duke on this site that is entirely his business. If you don't like it don't read it. If the howler monkeys on the left don't like it that is their problem.

    Unz has his beliefs and the writers have theirs. The idea that somehow what somebody else writes is supposed to mean something about Unz if Unz links to it is what is wrong with America today.
  17. @Retired
    What about the columnists that are trolls themselves, like Ask A Mexican?
    What about columnist who are apologists for illegal immigration but are rich enough to insulate themselves from its consequences?
    What about all the anti-semitic columnists?
    If you want to increase the quality of your website look inside first.

    BTW Ban the most offensive, crude and blatantly hateful commenters as well.

    Furthermore, there are numerous important beliefs that I regarded for decades as absolutely crazy and stupid, but have come to believe were indeed absolutely true

    It is worth being occasionally offended, to stay open to new ideas – you never know when you will find a pearl among the swine droppings. :)

    Read More
  18. Dear Sir
    My knowledge of you is limited at best. But let me thank you for providing Steve the chance to write under a more professional seeming format. Having said that. Please consider banning Pat Buchanan. I say this in jest but also in seriousness.

    Thanks much.

    Read More
    • Disagree: Vendetta
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    Having said that. Please consider banning Pat Buchanan. I say this in jest but also in seriousness.
     
    Well, if you really dislike Buchanan so much, why not just use Drag-and-Drop to stick him in the basement of your personal Columnist layout, where you keep all the moldy old magazines and other junk?...
  19. @Kyle McKenna
    My compliments to Ron for the continued improvements on this site. I'd like to be able to sort comments by usefulness (particularly when there are 200 in a thread) but admit that voting can sometimes be manipulated. However, the Disqus sites I frequent don't seem to be susceptible to that.

    One thing I always recommend (but have never seen implemented!) is that if enough regular members put a given user on 'ignore' that user gets booted from the site. The webmaster can determine the threshold, and I'm sure it would be high if ever implemented here.

    No doubt there would be objections, but it would also rid us of the few worst malefactors. NB: I have no one specific in mind because I haven't seen that level of abuse here, and hope never to.

    One thing I always recommend (but have never seen implemented!) is that if enough regular members put a given user on ‘ignore’ that user gets booted from the site.

    I don’t necessarily endorse this particular idea, but I like the line of thinking–i.e., something to help eliminate clutter in the comments section. The commentary here is typically every bit as good as–if not better than–the original article, but it’s not without its chaff. So in that spirit, another idea might be to utilize the agree/disagree buttons to develop some sort of ranking algorithm similar to, say, Amazon–e.g., based upon commenters you agree with, it would suggest other comments that those commenters agreed with, etc.

    Of course, though it seems nice in [inchoate] theory, I somehow doubt the climb would be worth the view.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hippopotamusdrome


    develop some sort of ranking algorithm similar to, say, Amazon–e.g., based upon commenters you agree with, it would suggest other comments that those commenters agreed with, etc.

     

    You could allow users to write their own algorithms. Everything could be put in a sql database. Then there could be a page where users could type in their own custom sql queries and get back a page with the results. Popular queries could be shared.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    Why not

    (a) allow commenters to discover how many bannings have been applied;
    (b) allow for a two level ban to be applied - that is one where one can specify that one doesn't even want to see the name of the commenter listed as having commented (some missing numbers would continue to indicate that there had been such comments);
    (c) to (possibly) reduce the chance of a blocked commenter replying to one's comment and that reply appearing as an email in the blocker's Inbox a warning could be given "you are about to reply to someone who has blocked your comments: do you wish to continue?"

    It is a long time since I have bothered with filters for my emails but I suppose one could use them to perfect one's blocking....
  20. @Retired
    I'll bet David Duke or Wesley Clark's writings would bring in some coin. Heck Duke would be mainstream on this site.

    anti-Semitism, anti-Semitism, anti-Semitism, blah, blah, blah, get new material already.

    Besides, if Unz wants to put Duke on this site that is entirely his business. If you don’t like it don’t read it. If the howler monkeys on the left don’t like it that is their problem.

    Unz has his beliefs and the writers have theirs. The idea that somehow what somebody else writes is supposed to mean something about Unz if Unz links to it is what is wrong with America today.

    Read More
  21. My only concern about having the commenters vote on who to ban is that a sort of mob-rule mentality could take over and prevent views that might be informative from being read. As long as the option to still access these “banned” comments remains presumably that would solve the problem.

    All I do, frankly, is to skip over the commenters who in my humble opinion don’t add much to the discussion. The same for certain contributors. After awhile you get to know who is marching to an entirely different and extremely weird tune.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hippopotamusdrome
    The problems with up-vote spamming could be solved. Allow up-vote groups to be created. An individual would be responsible for choosing who could be a member of the group. Users can then subscribe to an up-vote group to be able to "see" the votes of that group. Different groups would have different tastes and you can pick the one you like.
  22. Great stuff Mr U! At the risk of sounding like a kiss-ass, I love this site. You can just dip in and out of sophisticated discussions on any number of topics. And the crazies in the comments are often hilarious

    Read More
  23. @Kyle McKenna
    My compliments to Ron for the continued improvements on this site. I'd like to be able to sort comments by usefulness (particularly when there are 200 in a thread) but admit that voting can sometimes be manipulated. However, the Disqus sites I frequent don't seem to be susceptible to that.

    One thing I always recommend (but have never seen implemented!) is that if enough regular members put a given user on 'ignore' that user gets booted from the site. The webmaster can determine the threshold, and I'm sure it would be high if ever implemented here.

    No doubt there would be objections, but it would also rid us of the few worst malefactors. NB: I have no one specific in mind because I haven't seen that level of abuse here, and hope never to.

    One thing I always recommend (but have never seen implemented!) is that if enough regular members put a given user on ‘ignore’ that user gets booted from the site. The webmaster can determine the threshold, and I’m sure it would be high if ever implemented here.

    A form of that has been done at a hobby website I frequent — if enough people put the user on ignore, he’s limited to two posts per day. It’s worked like a charm there for one particularly persistent troll.

    Read More
  24. test

    Read More
    • Disagree: Wizard of Oz
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I have just clicked on Disagree :) But I don't see my name there although the Agree and Disagree buttons have disappeared. And, despite past checking, Remember My Information is unchecked.... I hope Ron picks this up
  25. Apparently “banning” is one of those incendiary words which interfere with reading comprehension.

    Commenters to ignore (each on separate line)
    Panda@War
    schmenz

    Read More
  26. @Sailer has an interesting life
    Dear Sir
    My knowledge of you is limited at best. But let me thank you for providing Steve the chance to write under a more professional seeming format. Having said that. Please consider banning Pat Buchanan. I say this in jest but also in seriousness.

    Thanks much.

    Having said that. Please consider banning Pat Buchanan. I say this in jest but also in seriousness.

    Well, if you really dislike Buchanan so much, why not just use Drag-and-Drop to stick him in the basement of your personal Columnist layout, where you keep all the moldy old magazines and other junk?…

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    There is not enough room at the bottom; we need a pit down there.
    , @tbraton
    Methinks the poster iffen just wants to bar Pat Buchanan from posting. He is trying to be a censor. I can only guess at his motivation, but I realize that Pat Buchanan has generated many enemies over the years as a result of his outspoken, controversial views. This gets back to the point I made in an earlier message in this thread: if you don't want to read someone, don't. It's not that complicated. Iffen wants to take it to the next step. Not only does he not want to read Pat Buchanan himself, but he doesn't want anybody else to read him either. I can speculate about iffen's motivation, but I won't. I've gone to the trouble of reviewing some of his prior posts, but I couldn't detect a clear reason for his dislike of Pat Buchanan. I'll just say his suggestion is a rotten idea and should be totally ignored.
  27. I’d like to offer some feedback on the reordering feature for the columnists. While I enjoy having this option, its current implementation on the mobile version is making it extremely difficult to scroll up and down the page.

    You have to touch and drag to scroll the page up and down, and that’s the system that’s used for reordering the columns. Unfortunately, the columnist’s bars go across the entire page and leave little if no blank space to use for scrolling – three times out of four I’m just dragging one columnist’s name above the others when I’m trying to scroll down to reach someone lower – and in the process I’m making a complete mess out of any order I was trying to maintain.

    Is there a way you can keep this feature but leave some dead space for me to scroll with when I’m accessing the site on my phone?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    I’d like to offer some feedback on the reordering feature for the columnists. While I enjoy having this option, its current implementation on the mobile version is making it extremely difficult to scroll up and down the page.
     
    Actually, if you'll look upthread, you'll see that someone else already raised exactly the same point and I therefore disabled drag-and-drop as the default on the mobile version. However, you'll need to refresh your browser to load the new Javascript that implements that:

    http://www.unz.com/announcement/banning-commenters-and-adding-contributors/#comment-1053007
  28. @MarkinLA
    Why ban anybody? If somebody isn't worth reading don't. If somebody makes stupid comments refute them. I am even against any moderation although I agree that things can get ugly when you don't. Having someone like Ask a Mexican is useful for letting brainwashed millennials know what their saintly immigrants really think of the US. Define "offensive, crude and blatantly hateful" so we all know who to ban.

    How many of these so called conservative sites became nothing but neocon sounding boards once they became moderated to remove the "anti-Semites"?

    If Unz is paying these people then he has a business decision to make. That should be the only consideration.

    “Why ban anybody? If somebody isn’t worth reading don’t. ”

    You and I are on the same page, Markin. When I first started posting on Yahoo Finance message boards back in early 2003, when traffic was quite heavy, I was always amused by a poster’s threat “to put on ignore” (a feature of the Yahoo boards) another poster whose comments he found offensive. (Or, even worse, threatening to report the offending poster to Yahoo to get him barred from posting.) It always struck me as eminently silly. If you found another poster’s comment offensive, just don’t read him and just don’t respond to him. It’s not rocket science or brain surgery. Apparently some people can’t seem to grasp the very simple proposition that you don’t have to read every message that is posted. Being a strong believer in free speech, I believe that Mr. Unz should continue the present, prudent policy of exercising a very light hand (based on my experience) when it comes to “moderating” comments. My feeling is that the comment thread is pretty much self-regulating, since most people can recognize the worthless posters and learn to avoid them. There may be a few instances where a poster exhibits a clear pattern of posting worthless, insulting messages which would justify barring him from posting, but I would think that such instances are rare (maybe I am being naïve and the “moderation” has produced the result I see in the comments sections).

    BTW I think I should mention my experience at The American Conservative where I posted from 2010 to 2014 (posting is limited to subscribers) and where Ron Unz served as publisher to the end of 2013. I don’t believe Mr. Unz bore any responsibility for the action, but, about a year or two after I started posting, TAC changed its policy to allow each blogger to “moderate” the messages that were posted. Anybody familiar with my messages posted on unz.com knows that, for the most part, I am a straightforward and informative poster. I was the same way at TAC. But I soon found with the new policy that, after I had spent some time researching and composing a particular message, it wouldn’t appear in the comments section. That happened often enough that I started saving my messages before hitting the “send” button. The frustration of having wasted time composing messages of substance and not having them posted finally convinced me not to renew my subscription to TAC and to totally ignore their repeated appeals for money. Finally, my multi-year subscription expired, and I lost my right to post. Their loss, as far as I was concerned, not mine. I consider myself to have been one of the best posters they ever had on TAC. That is the danger of having a vigorously applied “moderation” policy. In the end, it does little other than to suppress speech imo.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I would say Agree with three curtain calls and encores if I hadn't used up my allowance with a wholly frivolous Disagree.
  29. @Ex Machina

    One thing I always recommend (but have never seen implemented!) is that if enough regular members put a given user on ‘ignore’ that user gets booted from the site.
     
    I don't necessarily endorse this particular idea, but I like the line of thinking--i.e., something to help eliminate clutter in the comments section. The commentary here is typically every bit as good as--if not better than--the original article, but it's not without its chaff. So in that spirit, another idea might be to utilize the agree/disagree buttons to develop some sort of ranking algorithm similar to, say, Amazon--e.g., based upon commenters you agree with, it would suggest other comments that those commenters agreed with, etc.

    Of course, though it seems nice in [inchoate] theory, I somehow doubt the climb would be worth the view.

    develop some sort of ranking algorithm similar to, say, Amazon–e.g., based upon commenters you agree with, it would suggest other comments that those commenters agreed with, etc.

    You could allow users to write their own algorithms. Everything could be put in a sql database. Then there could be a page where users could type in their own custom sql queries and get back a page with the results. Popular queries could be shared.

    Read More
  30. @schmenz
    My only concern about having the commenters vote on who to ban is that a sort of mob-rule mentality could take over and prevent views that might be informative from being read. As long as the option to still access these "banned" comments remains presumably that would solve the problem.

    All I do, frankly, is to skip over the commenters who in my humble opinion don't add much to the discussion. The same for certain contributors. After awhile you get to know who is marching to an entirely different and extremely weird tune.

    The problems with up-vote spamming could be solved. Allow up-vote groups to be created. An individual would be responsible for choosing who could be a member of the group. Users can then subscribe to an up-vote group to be able to “see” the votes of that group. Different groups would have different tastes and you can pick the one you like.

    Read More
  31. @Vendetta
    I'd like to offer some feedback on the reordering feature for the columnists. While I enjoy having this option, its current implementation on the mobile version is making it extremely difficult to scroll up and down the page.

    You have to touch and drag to scroll the page up and down, and that's the system that's used for reordering the columns. Unfortunately, the columnist's bars go across the entire page and leave little if no blank space to use for scrolling - three times out of four I'm just dragging one columnist's name above the others when I'm trying to scroll down to reach someone lower - and in the process I'm making a complete mess out of any order I was trying to maintain.

    Is there a way you can keep this feature but leave some dead space for me to scroll with when I'm accessing the site on my phone?

    I’d like to offer some feedback on the reordering feature for the columnists. While I enjoy having this option, its current implementation on the mobile version is making it extremely difficult to scroll up and down the page.

    Actually, if you’ll look upthread, you’ll see that someone else already raised exactly the same point and I therefore disabled drag-and-drop as the default on the mobile version. However, you’ll need to refresh your browser to load the new Javascript that implements that:

    http://www.unz.com/announcement/banning-commenters-and-adding-contributors/#comment-1053007

    Read More
    • Replies: @Vendetta
    Thank you Ron for taking the time to read and respond to your commenters and for wasting no time in correcting mistakes. You set a high bar for other site administrators to follow.
  32. @Ron Unz

    Having said that. Please consider banning Pat Buchanan. I say this in jest but also in seriousness.
     
    Well, if you really dislike Buchanan so much, why not just use Drag-and-Drop to stick him in the basement of your personal Columnist layout, where you keep all the moldy old magazines and other junk?...

    There is not enough room at the bottom; we need a pit down there.

    Read More
  33. @Anonymous
    There might be too many columnists. It's now a herd. Some suck even. Do some culling.

    Top 4 very good columnists who should be elevated to a Tier 1 category: Stever Sailer, Razib Khan, Peter Lee, and Anatoly Karlin.

    I would add Frost to this list.

    Read More
  34. @Ron Unz

    I’d like to offer some feedback on the reordering feature for the columnists. While I enjoy having this option, its current implementation on the mobile version is making it extremely difficult to scroll up and down the page.
     
    Actually, if you'll look upthread, you'll see that someone else already raised exactly the same point and I therefore disabled drag-and-drop as the default on the mobile version. However, you'll need to refresh your browser to load the new Javascript that implements that:

    http://www.unz.com/announcement/banning-commenters-and-adding-contributors/#comment-1053007

    Thank you Ron for taking the time to read and respond to your commenters and for wasting no time in correcting mistakes. You set a high bar for other site administrators to follow.

    Read More
  35. I’m finding this experimentation by Ron Unz to be interesting. If there’s one thing the world needs now is a better commenting system for political websites. There has been great progress made in making the web far more useful for people collaborating on projects but the comments section of political sites are a whole other thing. Basecamp, Github and similar sites don’t have to deal with the stupidity, malice and monomania of anonymous political commentators. I wish Mr. Unz luck.

    Read More
  36. There should be another “HOME” button, or even that entire menu bar, placed at the bottom of every page, so that one need not scroll back up, to virtually the top of the page, to have access to that bar, especially at the end of reading a long thread of comments.

    Read More
  37. It’s a great site, thank you. Every site has trolls but at least this provides the full spectrum. The big difference is your trolls are smarter than typical trolls, brains is the big difference on this site, I think it will sort itself out.

    Read More
  38. @hbm
    Vote system? Prepare for an influx of IPs from Tel Aviv voting in concert.

    Ban this man! how dare he speak the truth.

    Read More
  39. I don’t have a problem with my comments being moderated, if something I say gets rejected on whatever grounds, too bad.

    Read More
  40. I have a question, if it has been answered then please excuse this:
    Who moderates the comments? The author of the article or someone working for Unz.com?

    Read More
  41. If we all claim to be high IQ commentators then by virtue of that role, then no other action is needed since we all would be decent enough to refrain from foolish, stupid and vile language in the degredation of our fellow human beings while being of civil character.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Truth

    If we all claim to be high IQ commentators then by virtue of that role, then no other action is needed since we all would be decent enough to refrain from foolish, stupid and vile language in the degredation of our fellow human beings while being of civil character.
     
    Dude, Shut the Fuck up.








    Baaahaahaa, just kiddin' with you Buddy!
    , @AndrewR
    You must be new here....
  42. There are a few cases of commenters whose names have evolved over time, apparently because they forgot their emails or discovered another commenter was using an identical handle. I am planning to resolve this confusion by consolidating those aggregate comments under what seems to be the most appropriate name used for that commenter.

    Evil Neocon. There can be only one.

    If we all claim to be high IQ commentators then by virtue of that role, then no other action is needed since we all would be decent enough to refrain from foolish, stupid and vile language in the degredation of our fellow human beings while being of civil character.

    Wait wut?

    Read More
  43. I don’t see the point of hiding the comments of posters I disagree with, per se, but hiding comments from spam-artists, kooks, and the behaviorally (as opposed to ideologically) repugnant does have its appeal.

    Read More
  44. Depends on the blog though. Steve seems to have a heavier hand, and I almost never see anything there I would have censored myself. Actually, more like never, period. The kooks come out in other blogs’ comments.

    Read More
  45. I think you should give serious thought to whether you want to give space to polemics like that of James Petras today. I say that as a person who finds the analysis of Kevin McDonald or Walt & Mearsheimer to be worthwhile contributions to the public discussion of American-Israeli relations.

    His screed is the type one gets from some loon carrying a sign on a street corner or that which was lampooned by Monty Python. I know you want to give space to voices that are not often heard, but shouldn’t there be some semblance of analysis or thought involved, not just screeching at enemies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    I think you should give serious thought to whether you want to give space to polemics like that of James Petras today. I say that as a person who finds the analysis of Kevin McDonald or Walt & Mearsheimer to be worthwhile contributions to the public discussion of American-Israeli relations.

    His screed is the type one gets from some loon carrying a sign on a street corner or that which was lampooned by Monty Python. I know you want to give space to voices that are not often heard, but shouldn’t there be some semblance of analysis or thought involved, not just screeching at enemies.
     
    Well, that's not an unreasonable perspective...

    But on the other hand, Prof. Petras did hold a named Chair for decades at a respectable academic institution, and is the author of some 62 books, published by top presses, along with over 600 peer-reviewed academic articles, while also being the winner of numerous scholarly and journalistic awards.

    So perhaps some particular "loon carrying a sign on a street corner...which was lampooned by Monty Python" or "screeching at enemies" might have stronger credentials or credibility than the typical one...
  46. @another fred
    I think you should give serious thought to whether you want to give space to polemics like that of James Petras today. I say that as a person who finds the analysis of Kevin McDonald or Walt & Mearsheimer to be worthwhile contributions to the public discussion of American-Israeli relations.

    His screed is the type one gets from some loon carrying a sign on a street corner or that which was lampooned by Monty Python. I know you want to give space to voices that are not often heard, but shouldn't there be some semblance of analysis or thought involved, not just screeching at enemies.

    I think you should give serious thought to whether you want to give space to polemics like that of James Petras today. I say that as a person who finds the analysis of Kevin McDonald or Walt & Mearsheimer to be worthwhile contributions to the public discussion of American-Israeli relations.

    His screed is the type one gets from some loon carrying a sign on a street corner or that which was lampooned by Monty Python. I know you want to give space to voices that are not often heard, but shouldn’t there be some semblance of analysis or thought involved, not just screeching at enemies.

    Well, that’s not an unreasonable perspective…

    But on the other hand, Prof. Petras did hold a named Chair for decades at a respectable academic institution, and is the author of some 62 books, published by top presses, along with over 600 peer-reviewed academic articles, while also being the winner of numerous scholarly and journalistic awards.

    So perhaps some particular “loon carrying a sign on a street corner…which was lampooned by Monty Python” or “screeching at enemies” might have stronger credentials or credibility than the typical one…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    See my reply to Ex Machina for suggestions his comment prompted...
    , @Wizard of Oz
    Hi Ron

    I'm using a Reply to your last response simply to make sure my two stage discovery of the bleeding obvious can be most surely brought to the attention of others who may have struggled to see the obvious.

    When the comments column is long and scrolling can take too long on a phone, phablet or tablet the way to get to the top quickly, as previously noted, is to go to Find On This Page and enter "Unz".

    What about the other direction?

    Just begin typing in your true or false identifying email address....

    I haven't got a Patent No. yet and rather suffer the indignity of rejection on the ground (rare these days of forelog tugging at the Patents Offices) of obviousness I offer a free licence to all Unz Review commenters and columnists.

  47. @Retired
    What about the columnists that are trolls themselves, like Ask A Mexican?
    What about columnist who are apologists for illegal immigration but are rich enough to insulate themselves from its consequences?
    What about all the anti-semitic columnists?
    If you want to increase the quality of your website look inside first.

    BTW Ban the most offensive, crude and blatantly hateful commenters as well.

    I simply don’t click or read ‘Ask a Mexican’. Both of us are happier. I am surprised that Unz gives him a platform for his trolling non-informative articles but maybe he believes some comedy is needed.

    Read More
  48. @Allen J
    Retired Said:

    "What about the columnists that are trolls themselves, like Ask A Mexican?
    What about columnist who are apologists for illegal immigration but are rich enough to insulate themselves from its consequences?
    What about all the anti-semitic columnists?
    If you want to increase the quality of your website look inside first."


    "Anti-Semitic" is an old-timey political phrase to try to silence criticism of the cultural aspects of Jews that appear to be a pattern. Grow up, retiree, or go back to the Huffington Post. They'll like you there.

    Jews are human. They make mistakes. Their organizations make political mistakes. I have a right to bring it up, if I notice this. Your "escape from the body snatchers" wailing and pointing is stupid and boring. It doesn't work, anymore, so quit being intellectually lazy, and give it up.

    "Ask a Mexican" is tired troll-bait, and I don't even believe the author is earnest in half of his posts. Sometimes I believe he's just trying to be funny. It's not funny. It's pathetic. It's old political tripes from 10 years ago, that have been debunked, and aren't even considered valid points to consider any longer, which is why he almost always fails to provide citations related to his tire political propaganda. I don't think he even enjoys writing it any longer.

    Do the man a favor, and cut him loose. If he had anything worthwhile to challenge what I believe I know on the subject, I'd love to keep him around, since that's why I like this website. I like to be challenged. I love rational debate.

    He doesn't, and it isn't.

    He's qualifiably not up the the job. Why propose limiting annoying, intellectually lazy commenters, while maintaining his intellectually lazy column? Do him and us a favor, while maintaining the intellectual integrity of your website, as you propose. Let him go.

    Oh no don’t let him go before I’ve gone back and tried finishing the one article I’ve tried reading….

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  49. @Ron Unz

    This new drag-and-drop columnists feature is awful. It’s like the New Coke of Unz.com. It makes Unz.com unusable on the iPhone 6 Plus, which I now use for most of my internet/website reading. You can longer scroll down– you just keep shifting columnists to higher ranks.
     
    That's a reasonable point. Touch-based drag-and-drop works fine on tablets, but the screen is so narrow on smartphones it prevents scrolling, so I've now disabled it there (don't forget to refresh your browser to load the new Javascript). If there's popular demand, I can add an option in User Settings that allows it to be temporarily activated, just in case people do want to occasionally reorganize the Columnists.

    Ron I have a mixture of unashamed complaint and suspicion that I may have missed something. Plus a suggestion.
    I usually read and comment on my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android smartphone which has a big screen. It scrolls quite fast if I am dextrous. But I haven’t found a way of returning to the top of the page instantly, or back to the bottom without using Find On This Page as a workaround (I search for “Unz” to get to the top…). Could some faint mark be added to whatever page one is reading that would allow a Return to Top – or better – one tap for half the way back and two taps for the whole way? And may be three taps to go to the bottom.

    Back to my firstmentioned problems: I don’t seem to be able to get Remember My Information to remember that I have clicked it. It always comes up again without a tick.
    And just now I clicked on the light italicised “Why?” under “Remember My Information” and then couldn’t close the window or stop it obscuring other material until I did a major exit and reopen.

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  50. @Ex Machina

    One thing I always recommend (but have never seen implemented!) is that if enough regular members put a given user on ‘ignore’ that user gets booted from the site.
     
    I don't necessarily endorse this particular idea, but I like the line of thinking--i.e., something to help eliminate clutter in the comments section. The commentary here is typically every bit as good as--if not better than--the original article, but it's not without its chaff. So in that spirit, another idea might be to utilize the agree/disagree buttons to develop some sort of ranking algorithm similar to, say, Amazon--e.g., based upon commenters you agree with, it would suggest other comments that those commenters agreed with, etc.

    Of course, though it seems nice in [inchoate] theory, I somehow doubt the climb would be worth the view.

    Why not

    (a) allow commenters to discover how many bannings have been applied;
    (b) allow for a two level ban to be applied – that is one where one can specify that one doesn’t even want to see the name of the commenter listed as having commented (some missing numbers would continue to indicate that there had been such comments);
    (c) to (possibly) reduce the chance of a blocked commenter replying to one’s comment and that reply appearing as an email in the blocker’s Inbox a warning could be given “you are about to reply to someone who has blocked your comments: do you wish to continue?”

    It is a long time since I have bothered with filters for my emails but I suppose one could use them to perfect one’s blocking….

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  51. @Ron Unz

    I think you should give serious thought to whether you want to give space to polemics like that of James Petras today. I say that as a person who finds the analysis of Kevin McDonald or Walt & Mearsheimer to be worthwhile contributions to the public discussion of American-Israeli relations.

    His screed is the type one gets from some loon carrying a sign on a street corner or that which was lampooned by Monty Python. I know you want to give space to voices that are not often heard, but shouldn’t there be some semblance of analysis or thought involved, not just screeching at enemies.
     
    Well, that's not an unreasonable perspective...

    But on the other hand, Prof. Petras did hold a named Chair for decades at a respectable academic institution, and is the author of some 62 books, published by top presses, along with over 600 peer-reviewed academic articles, while also being the winner of numerous scholarly and journalistic awards.

    So perhaps some particular "loon carrying a sign on a street corner...which was lampooned by Monty Python" or "screeching at enemies" might have stronger credentials or credibility than the typical one...

    See my reply to Ex Machina for suggestions his comment prompted…

    Read More
  52. @SolontoCroesus
    test

    I have just clicked on Disagree :) But I don’t see my name there although the Agree and Disagree buttons have disappeared. And, despite past checking, Remember My Information is unchecked…. I hope Ron picks this up

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  53. @tbraton
    "Why ban anybody? If somebody isn’t worth reading don’t. "

    You and I are on the same page, Markin. When I first started posting on Yahoo Finance message boards back in early 2003, when traffic was quite heavy, I was always amused by a poster's threat "to put on ignore" (a feature of the Yahoo boards) another poster whose comments he found offensive. (Or, even worse, threatening to report the offending poster to Yahoo to get him barred from posting.) It always struck me as eminently silly. If you found another poster's comment offensive, just don't read him and just don't respond to him. It's not rocket science or brain surgery. Apparently some people can't seem to grasp the very simple proposition that you don't have to read every message that is posted. Being a strong believer in free speech, I believe that Mr. Unz should continue the present, prudent policy of exercising a very light hand (based on my experience) when it comes to "moderating" comments. My feeling is that the comment thread is pretty much self-regulating, since most people can recognize the worthless posters and learn to avoid them. There may be a few instances where a poster exhibits a clear pattern of posting worthless, insulting messages which would justify barring him from posting, but I would think that such instances are rare (maybe I am being naïve and the "moderation" has produced the result I see in the comments sections).

    BTW I think I should mention my experience at The American Conservative where I posted from 2010 to 2014 (posting is limited to subscribers) and where Ron Unz served as publisher to the end of 2013. I don't believe Mr. Unz bore any responsibility for the action, but, about a year or two after I started posting, TAC changed its policy to allow each blogger to "moderate" the messages that were posted. Anybody familiar with my messages posted on unz.com knows that, for the most part, I am a straightforward and informative poster. I was the same way at TAC. But I soon found with the new policy that, after I had spent some time researching and composing a particular message, it wouldn't appear in the comments section. That happened often enough that I started saving my messages before hitting the "send" button. The frustration of having wasted time composing messages of substance and not having them posted finally convinced me not to renew my subscription to TAC and to totally ignore their repeated appeals for money. Finally, my multi-year subscription expired, and I lost my right to post. Their loss, as far as I was concerned, not mine. I consider myself to have been one of the best posters they ever had on TAC. That is the danger of having a vigorously applied "moderation" policy. In the end, it does little other than to suppress speech imo.

    I would say Agree with three curtain calls and encores if I hadn’t used up my allowance with a wholly frivolous Disagree.

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  54. @Renoman
    It's a great site, thank you. Every site has trolls but at least this provides the full spectrum. The big difference is your trolls are smarter than typical trolls, brains is the big difference on this site, I think it will sort itself out.

    Agree.

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  55. @Ron Unz

    Having said that. Please consider banning Pat Buchanan. I say this in jest but also in seriousness.
     
    Well, if you really dislike Buchanan so much, why not just use Drag-and-Drop to stick him in the basement of your personal Columnist layout, where you keep all the moldy old magazines and other junk?...

    Methinks the poster iffen just wants to bar Pat Buchanan from posting. He is trying to be a censor. I can only guess at his motivation, but I realize that Pat Buchanan has generated many enemies over the years as a result of his outspoken, controversial views. This gets back to the point I made in an earlier message in this thread: if you don’t want to read someone, don’t. It’s not that complicated. Iffen wants to take it to the next step. Not only does he not want to read Pat Buchanan himself, but he doesn’t want anybody else to read him either. I can speculate about iffen’s motivation, but I won’t. I’ve gone to the trouble of reviewing some of his prior posts, but I couldn’t detect a clear reason for his dislike of Pat Buchanan. I’ll just say his suggestion is a rotten idea and should be totally ignored.

    Read More
    • Agree: Wizard of Oz
    • Replies: @iffen
    I have reviewed some of your prior posts and I am impressed. I will definitely start paying closer attention when I see a comment by you.
    , @iffen
    Wait a minute. sailer has an interesting life wanted to ban PB, I just wanted to be able to drop columnists into a pit which would not affect your ordering.
  56. Ron, is there a way for me to change my commenting name / handle to something else? When I click on my handle in a comment, I’m taken to a list of past comments, but I realize that some of these comments were written by another user with the same handle.

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  57. @tbraton
    Methinks the poster iffen just wants to bar Pat Buchanan from posting. He is trying to be a censor. I can only guess at his motivation, but I realize that Pat Buchanan has generated many enemies over the years as a result of his outspoken, controversial views. This gets back to the point I made in an earlier message in this thread: if you don't want to read someone, don't. It's not that complicated. Iffen wants to take it to the next step. Not only does he not want to read Pat Buchanan himself, but he doesn't want anybody else to read him either. I can speculate about iffen's motivation, but I won't. I've gone to the trouble of reviewing some of his prior posts, but I couldn't detect a clear reason for his dislike of Pat Buchanan. I'll just say his suggestion is a rotten idea and should be totally ignored.

    I have reviewed some of your prior posts and I am impressed. I will definitely start paying closer attention when I see a comment by you.

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  58. @tbraton
    Methinks the poster iffen just wants to bar Pat Buchanan from posting. He is trying to be a censor. I can only guess at his motivation, but I realize that Pat Buchanan has generated many enemies over the years as a result of his outspoken, controversial views. This gets back to the point I made in an earlier message in this thread: if you don't want to read someone, don't. It's not that complicated. Iffen wants to take it to the next step. Not only does he not want to read Pat Buchanan himself, but he doesn't want anybody else to read him either. I can speculate about iffen's motivation, but I won't. I've gone to the trouble of reviewing some of his prior posts, but I couldn't detect a clear reason for his dislike of Pat Buchanan. I'll just say his suggestion is a rotten idea and should be totally ignored.

    Wait a minute. sailer has an interesting life wanted to ban PB, I just wanted to be able to drop columnists into a pit which would not affect your ordering.

    Read More
    • Replies: @tbraton
    "Wait a minute. sailer has an interesting life wanted to ban PB, I just wanted to be able to drop columnists into a pit which would not affect your ordering."

    Iffen, my sincere apologies. Your post caused me to go back and check the thread, and, for some reason I cannot explain, I confused "sailer has an interesting life" with you. It was he who wanted to ban Buchanan, not you. That's why I expressed my confusion about why you wanted to ban Buchanan since my review of your prior posts revealed nothing that would explain any animus toward Buchanan. As you can see, I am perfectly willing to own up to my mistakes when they are pointed out to me. Once again, my sincere apologies for misattributing that suggestion to you. My mistake, not yours.
  59. @MarkinLA
    Why ban anybody? If somebody isn't worth reading don't. If somebody makes stupid comments refute them. I am even against any moderation although I agree that things can get ugly when you don't. Having someone like Ask a Mexican is useful for letting brainwashed millennials know what their saintly immigrants really think of the US. Define "offensive, crude and blatantly hateful" so we all know who to ban.

    How many of these so called conservative sites became nothing but neocon sounding boards once they became moderated to remove the "anti-Semites"?

    If Unz is paying these people then he has a business decision to make. That should be the only consideration.

    “Why ban anybody? If somebody isn’t worth reading don’t. If somebody makes stupid comments refute them.”

    While I am staunchly in favor of free speech, I don’t think many people appreciate how horrifically bad a comment thread can become without some small amount of adult supervision.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    Some moderation of specific comments is acceptable to improve things but not the banning of commentators. Even I sometimes think I have a good comment now and then regardless of what anybody else may think. I think you can say the same thing about anybody - that whole stopped clock thing and all.
  60. “When I click on my handle in a comment, I’m taken to a list of past comments, but I realize that some of these comments were written by another user with the same handle.”

    That has never happened to me, fortunately. But how does something like this happen? Rather than focus on and waste time on subsidiary issues like rating posters and other such nonsense, shouldn’t you be concentrating your efforts on preventing someone from stealing the name of another poster? That seems somewhat basic to me.

    P.S.–I hate to bring up my experience on Yahoo Finance, but I believe they were a trailblazer in this kind of thing, so there is something to learn there. I seem to recall that, when I first started posting on Yahoo Finance back in early 2003, they had a mechanism in place where you could “rate” a particular post if you thought it was worthy. The idea was that you could judge the value of a particular post by seeing how many “recommendations” it got, sort of a rating system based on stars for restaurants or movies. Whatever. The problem was that I was a fairly prolific poster on Yahoo, and I am a pretty good judge of the quality of my posts. Imagine my chagrin when what I considered an excellent post received few recommendations, while a lesser post received an astounding number of recommendations. I don’t believe that my spot on post of March 17, 2003 stating my opposition to the impending Iraq war got even one recommendation (even though my “guess” of 5000 American deaths was remarkably close to the mark. To draw an analogy from a topic currently in the news, would anyone buy Ta-Nehesi Coates’s book based on all the gushing reviews he has received by prominent white intellectuals apparently suffering from severe cases of white guilt? I have read enough of his blogs to make up my own mind that I will pass on his book. A rating system of comments on unz.com would not serve a useful purpose in my opinion.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    The New York Times has the number of recommendations and has a list of their editor's favorites, the public's favorites, and all the comments. When the subject is related to immigration or social justice warrior issues the editors and public favorites list usually let you go right to the nut cases for entertainment.
  61. @iffen
    Wait a minute. sailer has an interesting life wanted to ban PB, I just wanted to be able to drop columnists into a pit which would not affect your ordering.

    “Wait a minute. sailer has an interesting life wanted to ban PB, I just wanted to be able to drop columnists into a pit which would not affect your ordering.”

    Iffen, my sincere apologies. Your post caused me to go back and check the thread, and, for some reason I cannot explain, I confused “sailer has an interesting life” with you. It was he who wanted to ban Buchanan, not you. That’s why I expressed my confusion about why you wanted to ban Buchanan since my review of your prior posts revealed nothing that would explain any animus toward Buchanan. As you can see, I am perfectly willing to own up to my mistakes when they are pointed out to me. Once again, my sincere apologies for misattributing that suggestion to you. My mistake, not yours.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Good to see such civility at #63
    , @iffen
    I appreciate the correction. The apology is accepted. I can see that it was unintentional. Besides, I once made a mistake myself.

    Operating on the idea that honesty is the best policy, I do admit that under another ID, I previously asked that PB be dropped as a contributor. (I made a onetime change in the name de plum.)

    No BS, you make some good comments.
  62. @Wilkey
    "Why ban anybody? If somebody isn’t worth reading don’t. If somebody makes stupid comments refute them."

    While I am staunchly in favor of free speech, I don't think many people appreciate how horrifically bad a comment thread can become without some small amount of adult supervision.

    Some moderation of specific comments is acceptable to improve things but not the banning of commentators. Even I sometimes think I have a good comment now and then regardless of what anybody else may think. I think you can say the same thing about anybody – that whole stopped clock thing and all.

    Read More
  63. @tbraton
    "When I click on my handle in a comment, I’m taken to a list of past comments, but I realize that some of these comments were written by another user with the same handle."

    That has never happened to me, fortunately. But how does something like this happen? Rather than focus on and waste time on subsidiary issues like rating posters and other such nonsense, shouldn't you be concentrating your efforts on preventing someone from stealing the name of another poster? That seems somewhat basic to me.

    P.S.--I hate to bring up my experience on Yahoo Finance, but I believe they were a trailblazer in this kind of thing, so there is something to learn there. I seem to recall that, when I first started posting on Yahoo Finance back in early 2003, they had a mechanism in place where you could "rate" a particular post if you thought it was worthy. The idea was that you could judge the value of a particular post by seeing how many "recommendations" it got, sort of a rating system based on stars for restaurants or movies. Whatever. The problem was that I was a fairly prolific poster on Yahoo, and I am a pretty good judge of the quality of my posts. Imagine my chagrin when what I considered an excellent post received few recommendations, while a lesser post received an astounding number of recommendations. I don't believe that my spot on post of March 17, 2003 stating my opposition to the impending Iraq war got even one recommendation (even though my "guess" of 5000 American deaths was remarkably close to the mark. To draw an analogy from a topic currently in the news, would anyone buy Ta-Nehesi Coates's book based on all the gushing reviews he has received by prominent white intellectuals apparently suffering from severe cases of white guilt? I have read enough of his blogs to make up my own mind that I will pass on his book. A rating system of comments on unz.com would not serve a useful purpose in my opinion.

    The New York Times has the number of recommendations and has a list of their editor’s favorites, the public’s favorites, and all the comments. When the subject is related to immigration or social justice warrior issues the editors and public favorites list usually let you go right to the nut cases for entertainment.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    On a blog which may collect several hundred recommendations or condemnations there is a possible side benefit for some readers in being alerted to a possible state of opinion that they weren't aware of or in being prompted to work out where the preferences were coming from in every sense.
  64. @tbraton
    "Wait a minute. sailer has an interesting life wanted to ban PB, I just wanted to be able to drop columnists into a pit which would not affect your ordering."

    Iffen, my sincere apologies. Your post caused me to go back and check the thread, and, for some reason I cannot explain, I confused "sailer has an interesting life" with you. It was he who wanted to ban Buchanan, not you. That's why I expressed my confusion about why you wanted to ban Buchanan since my review of your prior posts revealed nothing that would explain any animus toward Buchanan. As you can see, I am perfectly willing to own up to my mistakes when they are pointed out to me. Once again, my sincere apologies for misattributing that suggestion to you. My mistake, not yours.

    Good to see such civility at #63

    Read More
  65. @MarkinLA
    The New York Times has the number of recommendations and has a list of their editor's favorites, the public's favorites, and all the comments. When the subject is related to immigration or social justice warrior issues the editors and public favorites list usually let you go right to the nut cases for entertainment.

    On a blog which may collect several hundred recommendations or condemnations there is a possible side benefit for some readers in being alerted to a possible state of opinion that they weren’t aware of or in being prompted to work out where the preferences were coming from in every sense.

    Read More
  66. @jack shindo
    If we all claim to be high IQ commentators then by virtue of that role, then no other action is needed since we all would be decent enough to refrain from foolish, stupid and vile language in the degredation of our fellow human beings while being of civil character.

    If we all claim to be high IQ commentators then by virtue of that role, then no other action is needed since we all would be decent enough to refrain from foolish, stupid and vile language in the degredation of our fellow human beings while being of civil character.

    Dude, Shut the Fuck up.

    Baaahaahaa, just kiddin’ with you Buddy!

    Read More
  67. @Ron Unz

    I think you should give serious thought to whether you want to give space to polemics like that of James Petras today. I say that as a person who finds the analysis of Kevin McDonald or Walt & Mearsheimer to be worthwhile contributions to the public discussion of American-Israeli relations.

    His screed is the type one gets from some loon carrying a sign on a street corner or that which was lampooned by Monty Python. I know you want to give space to voices that are not often heard, but shouldn’t there be some semblance of analysis or thought involved, not just screeching at enemies.
     
    Well, that's not an unreasonable perspective...

    But on the other hand, Prof. Petras did hold a named Chair for decades at a respectable academic institution, and is the author of some 62 books, published by top presses, along with over 600 peer-reviewed academic articles, while also being the winner of numerous scholarly and journalistic awards.

    So perhaps some particular "loon carrying a sign on a street corner...which was lampooned by Monty Python" or "screeching at enemies" might have stronger credentials or credibility than the typical one...

    Hi Ron

    I’m using a Reply to your last response simply to make sure my two stage discovery of the bleeding obvious can be most surely brought to the attention of others who may have struggled to see the obvious.

    When the comments column is long and scrolling can take too long on a phone, phablet or tablet the way to get to the top quickly, as previously noted, is to go to Find On This Page and enter “Unz”.

    What about the other direction?

    Just begin typing in your true or false identifying email address….

    I haven’t got a Patent No. yet and rather suffer the indignity of rejection on the ground (rare these days of forelog tugging at the Patents Offices) of obviousness I offer a free licence to all Unz Review commenters and columnists.

    Read More
  68. I find Ask a Mexican to be back of beyond tedious.

    Fortunately for anything I’d ever want to Ask a Mexican, there’s Fred Reed, and he generally anticipates the questions.

    Read More
  69. AndrewR [AKA "Aiden"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @MarkinLA
    Why ban anybody? If somebody isn't worth reading don't. If somebody makes stupid comments refute them. I am even against any moderation although I agree that things can get ugly when you don't. Having someone like Ask a Mexican is useful for letting brainwashed millennials know what their saintly immigrants really think of the US. Define "offensive, crude and blatantly hateful" so we all know who to ban.

    How many of these so called conservative sites became nothing but neocon sounding boards once they became moderated to remove the "anti-Semites"?

    If Unz is paying these people then he has a business decision to make. That should be the only consideration.

    “durrr… millennials are stupid! I, having been born like three years before the arbitrarily chosen cutoff date to be a millennial, am sooooooooooooooooooooooooo much smarter than those silly kids!”

    Read More
  70. AndrewR [AKA "Aiden"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @jack shindo
    If we all claim to be high IQ commentators then by virtue of that role, then no other action is needed since we all would be decent enough to refrain from foolish, stupid and vile language in the degredation of our fellow human beings while being of civil character.

    You must be new here….

    Read More
  71. @tbraton
    "Wait a minute. sailer has an interesting life wanted to ban PB, I just wanted to be able to drop columnists into a pit which would not affect your ordering."

    Iffen, my sincere apologies. Your post caused me to go back and check the thread, and, for some reason I cannot explain, I confused "sailer has an interesting life" with you. It was he who wanted to ban Buchanan, not you. That's why I expressed my confusion about why you wanted to ban Buchanan since my review of your prior posts revealed nothing that would explain any animus toward Buchanan. As you can see, I am perfectly willing to own up to my mistakes when they are pointed out to me. Once again, my sincere apologies for misattributing that suggestion to you. My mistake, not yours.

    I appreciate the correction. The apology is accepted. I can see that it was unintentional. Besides, I once made a mistake myself.

    Operating on the idea that honesty is the best policy, I do admit that under another ID, I previously asked that PB be dropped as a contributor. (I made a onetime change in the name de plum.)

    No BS, you make some good comments.

    Read More
  72. Just noting with this post that my “agree” function is not working, hopefully this post will reinforce the relevant cookie, or something. The “agree” button is showing up, but when I click it I am told that I need at least ten approved comments, and that makes no sense (not only here, but at Sailer’s where I comment daily.)

    Read More
    • Agree: tbraton
    • Replies: @tbraton
    I have only used the "agree" button a couple of times, and I have never gotten that message about the 10 comments. I just hit the "agree" button on your message, and I got the same reaction as always: there is a delay in the "agree" appearing. Why should that be? Is there moderation involved when you hit "agree"? That makes no sense to me. It's also very frustrating because that means you have to come back to the message just to make sure the "agree" appeared.
  73. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    A number of pages on the Saker’s section redirect to some WordFence thing claiming that there has been too much activity on them or something.

    One is the page about France’s …

    Read More
  74. @SPMoore8
    Just noting with this post that my "agree" function is not working, hopefully this post will reinforce the relevant cookie, or something. The "agree" button is showing up, but when I click it I am told that I need at least ten approved comments, and that makes no sense (not only here, but at Sailer's where I comment daily.)

    I have only used the “agree” button a couple of times, and I have never gotten that message about the 10 comments. I just hit the “agree” button on your message, and I got the same reaction as always: there is a delay in the “agree” appearing. Why should that be? Is there moderation involved when you hit “agree”? That makes no sense to me. It’s also very frustrating because that means you have to come back to the message just to make sure the “agree” appeared.

    Read More
    • Replies: @tbraton
    A couple of minutes after posting the prior message I went back to check on the "agree." It hadn't appeared so I hit it again. And again I got no instant response. Whether it will appear later is anyone's guess.
  75. @tbraton
    I have only used the "agree" button a couple of times, and I have never gotten that message about the 10 comments. I just hit the "agree" button on your message, and I got the same reaction as always: there is a delay in the "agree" appearing. Why should that be? Is there moderation involved when you hit "agree"? That makes no sense to me. It's also very frustrating because that means you have to come back to the message just to make sure the "agree" appeared.

    A couple of minutes after posting the prior message I went back to check on the “agree.” It hadn’t appeared so I hit it again. And again I got no instant response. Whether it will appear later is anyone’s guess.

    Read More
    • Replies: @tbraton
    I was on Steve Sailer's blog, and I noticed that he didn't have an "Agree"/"Disagree" button. Then I went and checked Pat Buchanan and Ilana Mercer and saw they also lacked the A/D button. Then I hurried back to Ron Unz's post to report the news and discovered that Agree/Disagree option had been deleted there as well. Well, I also see that my "Agree" has appeared on SPMoore8's message (#74 above) so I want to lay claim to having posted the last "Agree" on a Ron Unz Review blog. I hope that qualifies me for some mention in the Guinness Book of Records, for that has long been my dream.
  76. @tbraton
    A couple of minutes after posting the prior message I went back to check on the "agree." It hadn't appeared so I hit it again. And again I got no instant response. Whether it will appear later is anyone's guess.

    I was on Steve Sailer’s blog, and I noticed that he didn’t have an “Agree”/”Disagree” button. Then I went and checked Pat Buchanan and Ilana Mercer and saw they also lacked the A/D button. Then I hurried back to Ron Unz’s post to report the news and discovered that Agree/Disagree option had been deleted there as well. Well, I also see that my “Agree” has appeared on SPMoore8′s message (#74 above) so I want to lay claim to having posted the last “Agree” on a Ron Unz Review blog. I hope that qualifies me for some mention in the Guinness Book of Records, for that has long been my dream.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    Like I said, I like to use the agree button for a variety of purposes; but, 24 hours later, all is well. However, I can't agree with you today because I agreed with someone else and I only get to agree once an hour. Which, BTW, is fine. I agree with that policy.
  77. Well, I’ve been totally preoccupied the last few days with adding some enormous new archives to the website, but glancing over these comments here are a few quick responses:

    @Wizard:

    I use the Apple iPad and iPhone, and in iOS it’s very easy to return to the top of the screen just by touching the uppermost part. I’d assume the Android system must have something very similar. And once your at the top, clicking the “Reply” link takes you to the bottom.

    And the “Remember My Information” checkbox only needs to be checked the first time you want it remembered. There’s no need to “remember” it again, unless you want to change something. The easiest way to close the “Why?” popup window is just to reclick the “Why?” link, which generally works rule for popup windows.

    @Adam

    The problem with using a very ordinary commenting handle is there’s a good chance someone in the past may have used it as well, which is why I recently added the “authentication” feature based on your email to prevent that. I’ve now changed the name on all your old comments to “Adam1″ and you should henceforth use it (or suggest a different name for me to apply instead).

    It looks like the Agree/Disagree button was temporarily broken, but I’ve now fixed it. I’ll try to hunt down the underlying cause when I have a chance.

    @Fourth doorman of the apocalypse

    A few people have complained over the last couple of weeks about intermittent Wordfence problems, but I can’t seem to replicate them or locate the problem.

    Under normal circumstances, all the pages are cached and therefore until a few minutes have gone by and the cache expires your Agree/Disagree will not appear. When you leave a regular comment, the cached pages are temporarily ignored, and I’ll see about trying to hook that up to the Agree/Disagree feature as well.

    Also, to avoid a flood of Agree/Disagrees the system allows you only one per hour and the buttons disappear until that waiting period expires.

    Read More
    • Replies: @D. K.
    I use iOS (8.4.1) on an old iPad 2 (among using other devices, none of which uses iOS). When I touch the top of the screen, it merely presents me with the bar for the Web address, along with the ability to do a few other tasks, like e-mailing the page, opening another window, or seeing my bookmarks. The only navigation key visible to me is to go back a page (unless I have gone back, one or more pages, in which case I see a forward arrow, along with the backward arrow)-- which might or might not take me to the site's main page, depending upon how I got to where I am, at any given moment. Simply touching the top of my screen, under iOS, does not return me to the top of the current page that I am viewing. Thus, my earlier suggestion.... (Using OS X, on either my Mac laptop or desktop, I likewise am left having to scroll to the top of the page, often after my having viewed a long thread of comments, to hit the "HOME" button-- although, that is not quite as arduous as having to flick the screen, over and over, with my finger, dodging the ever-present threat of inadvertently hitting a live link to Zeus-knows-where, as on this iPad 2!)
    , @Wizard of Oz
    Thanks Ron. I sometimes find strange things happening on my Android phablet's screen which I put down to my clumsiness but I don't think Android devices automatically allow a tap at the top to return the screen to the top or have any other effect. So I commend my workarounds of going to Find On Page and using "unz" to get to the top and, maybe, the first few letters or digits of one's email address to get to the bottom - though I can see why clicking in Reply might be better.
  78. @tbraton
    I was on Steve Sailer's blog, and I noticed that he didn't have an "Agree"/"Disagree" button. Then I went and checked Pat Buchanan and Ilana Mercer and saw they also lacked the A/D button. Then I hurried back to Ron Unz's post to report the news and discovered that Agree/Disagree option had been deleted there as well. Well, I also see that my "Agree" has appeared on SPMoore8's message (#74 above) so I want to lay claim to having posted the last "Agree" on a Ron Unz Review blog. I hope that qualifies me for some mention in the Guinness Book of Records, for that has long been my dream.

    Like I said, I like to use the agree button for a variety of purposes; but, 24 hours later, all is well. However, I can’t agree with you today because I agreed with someone else and I only get to agree once an hour. Which, BTW, is fine. I agree with that policy.

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  79. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    I don’t understand why using multiple handles is a bad thing. It allows people to remain anonymous while allowing readers to identify commenters on a post in comparison with using anonymous as a handle. I understand that using multiple handles in one post to create the illusion of more than one commenter is disengenuous and should be disallowed. So why not just prevent the same user from posting under more than one handle in the same post instead of banning users who use different handles in different posts? I don’t want to have to use the same handle all the time. I don’t want some one to look up the commenting history of my politically incorrect comments on multiple posts. My job could survive a one time un-PC comment but a history of them? Bye bye job. No thanks.

    At the risk of being a hypocrite: Thanks for the commenters to avoid function. I never have to deal with bs of Twinkie Truth Bayonet or whatever he calls himself now.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    At the risk of being a hypocrite: Thanks for the commenters to avoid function. I never have to deal with bs of Twinkie Truth Bayonet or whatever he calls himself now.
     
    Exactly. But how can people block commenters they consider worthless if the latter keep changing their names around? Furthermore, when commenters realize they have a permanent "return address" and also that any contradictory statements they might easily be located, they're more likely to be polite, rational, and generally honest, thereby reducing the need for external censorship. If someone feels he desperately needs to make totally anonymous remarks, he may freely use "Anonymous" or "Anon" as his temporary or permanent name, since those are exempt from the restrictions.

    As for random commenters being fearful of unmasking by the PC-Stasi, I've honestly never heard of a single case of that ever happening, except to a tiny handful of very prominent individuals, like top corporate executives or celebrities. And even in those cases, 99% of the time they're purged because of some controversial public Tweet they sent out to their 50,000 followers. The only time controversial comments get into the newspapers is generally after the commenter has gone berserk and massacred a whole bunch of people, after which the media goes "Tsk, Tsk." about his un-PC comments...
    , @David
    The thirty (and counting) comments excreted by Truth and Flower under Fred's latest post drove me to use the block-commenter feature for the first and second time in one day.
  80. @Anonymous
    I don't understand why using multiple handles is a bad thing. It allows people to remain anonymous while allowing readers to identify commenters on a post in comparison with using anonymous as a handle. I understand that using multiple handles in one post to create the illusion of more than one commenter is disengenuous and should be disallowed. So why not just prevent the same user from posting under more than one handle in the same post instead of banning users who use different handles in different posts? I don't want to have to use the same handle all the time. I don't want some one to look up the commenting history of my politically incorrect comments on multiple posts. My job could survive a one time un-PC comment but a history of them? Bye bye job. No thanks.

    At the risk of being a hypocrite: Thanks for the commenters to avoid function. I never have to deal with bs of Twinkie Truth Bayonet or whatever he calls himself now.

    At the risk of being a hypocrite: Thanks for the commenters to avoid function. I never have to deal with bs of Twinkie Truth Bayonet or whatever he calls himself now.

    Exactly. But how can people block commenters they consider worthless if the latter keep changing their names around? Furthermore, when commenters realize they have a permanent “return address” and also that any contradictory statements they might easily be located, they’re more likely to be polite, rational, and generally honest, thereby reducing the need for external censorship. If someone feels he desperately needs to make totally anonymous remarks, he may freely use “Anonymous” or “Anon” as his temporary or permanent name, since those are exempt from the restrictions.

    As for random commenters being fearful of unmasking by the PC-Stasi, I’ve honestly never heard of a single case of that ever happening, except to a tiny handful of very prominent individuals, like top corporate executives or celebrities. And even in those cases, 99% of the time they’re purged because of some controversial public Tweet they sent out to their 50,000 followers. The only time controversial comments get into the newspapers is generally after the commenter has gone berserk and massacred a whole bunch of people, after which the media goes “Tsk, Tsk.” about his un-PC comments…

    Read More
    • Agree: Kyle McKenna
    • Replies: @tbraton
    I hate to bore everyone with my experience on Yahoo Finance message boards, but here goes. When I first started posting in early 2003, I used one screen name, but I soon encountered an absolute loon who devoted his life to pestering me. The reason for the animosity at least was easy to explain: he was a bear on the stock and I was a bull. As easy as it is to say one should just ignore such freaks, it is a lot easier said than done, at least when you first start posting. I then adopted the practice of using a different screen name for each stock where I posted on the message board to avoid the prospect of having this demented individual pursuing me and posting on other message boards. But sometimes, in the heat of the moment, I would use my different screen name on the wrong board, and it would be obvious from my message that I was the same poster using a different name. Yahoo then made it easy to look up each poster to determine which message boards he posted on, which I assume is still the case. In later years, I acquired a stock near its low, loaded up and started posting on its message board to educate myself. I ran into another difficult poster (I concluded he was, to use an old-fashioned term, a queer) and had frequent disagreements with him. Once I made a mistake of using a different screen name from years back, and this jerk followed me to the other board where I had been posting for six years to inform them about my "true" nature. I then felt obligated to my old board to post a message laying out in detail the whole story about this new poster. Since I had acquired the stock around $4 and sold in the upper 20's and had posted regularly, I was fully known to the old board---I had a track record---and the interloper slinked away realizing that trying to damage my reputation there was a fruitless task.

    To sum up from my experience, I regard this site, "The Unz Review," as essentially one stock. Therefore it has been my practice to use only one screen name (which is not my real name) to post regardless of whose blog I am responding to. It seems to me that such practice, one screen name only on The Unz Review, should be the policy used here. That affords each poster a degree of privacy, but it permits other posters to check to see whether this poster's views are consistent with his other messages, at least on The Unz Review. A nice balance imo.

    P.S.--I would note that certain publications, such as the WS Journal, now have a policy of requiring you to post under your real name, or at least the name you used to subscribe.
    , @Chris Mallory
    The blacklist doesn't seem to be working for me. I have a name added to it and the poster is still showing up in the comments.
  81. o why not just prevent the same user from posting under more than one handle in the same post instead of banning users who use different handles in different posts?

    At the risk of being a hypocrite: Thanks for the commenters to avoid function. I never have to deal with bs of Twinkie Truth Bayonet or whatever he calls himself now.

    LOL! Yo Twinkie, how come everyone always links you to Me…uh…that asshole “Truth?”

    Read More
  82. @Ron Unz

    At the risk of being a hypocrite: Thanks for the commenters to avoid function. I never have to deal with bs of Twinkie Truth Bayonet or whatever he calls himself now.
     
    Exactly. But how can people block commenters they consider worthless if the latter keep changing their names around? Furthermore, when commenters realize they have a permanent "return address" and also that any contradictory statements they might easily be located, they're more likely to be polite, rational, and generally honest, thereby reducing the need for external censorship. If someone feels he desperately needs to make totally anonymous remarks, he may freely use "Anonymous" or "Anon" as his temporary or permanent name, since those are exempt from the restrictions.

    As for random commenters being fearful of unmasking by the PC-Stasi, I've honestly never heard of a single case of that ever happening, except to a tiny handful of very prominent individuals, like top corporate executives or celebrities. And even in those cases, 99% of the time they're purged because of some controversial public Tweet they sent out to their 50,000 followers. The only time controversial comments get into the newspapers is generally after the commenter has gone berserk and massacred a whole bunch of people, after which the media goes "Tsk, Tsk." about his un-PC comments...

    I hate to bore everyone with my experience on Yahoo Finance message boards, but here goes. When I first started posting in early 2003, I used one screen name, but I soon encountered an absolute loon who devoted his life to pestering me. The reason for the animosity at least was easy to explain: he was a bear on the stock and I was a bull. As easy as it is to say one should just ignore such freaks, it is a lot easier said than done, at least when you first start posting. I then adopted the practice of using a different screen name for each stock where I posted on the message board to avoid the prospect of having this demented individual pursuing me and posting on other message boards. But sometimes, in the heat of the moment, I would use my different screen name on the wrong board, and it would be obvious from my message that I was the same poster using a different name. Yahoo then made it easy to look up each poster to determine which message boards he posted on, which I assume is still the case. In later years, I acquired a stock near its low, loaded up and started posting on its message board to educate myself. I ran into another difficult poster (I concluded he was, to use an old-fashioned term, a queer) and had frequent disagreements with him. Once I made a mistake of using a different screen name from years back, and this jerk followed me to the other board where I had been posting for six years to inform them about my “true” nature. I then felt obligated to my old board to post a message laying out in detail the whole story about this new poster. Since I had acquired the stock around $4 and sold in the upper 20′s and had posted regularly, I was fully known to the old board—I had a track record—and the interloper slinked away realizing that trying to damage my reputation there was a fruitless task.

    To sum up from my experience, I regard this site, “The Unz Review,” as essentially one stock. Therefore it has been my practice to use only one screen name (which is not my real name) to post regardless of whose blog I am responding to. It seems to me that such practice, one screen name only on The Unz Review, should be the policy used here. That affords each poster a degree of privacy, but it permits other posters to check to see whether this poster’s views are consistent with his other messages, at least on The Unz Review. A nice balance imo.

    P.S.–I would note that certain publications, such as the WS Journal, now have a policy of requiring you to post under your real name, or at least the name you used to subscribe.

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  83. Whole lotta cloak-and-dagger among certain users here. If you have multiple screen names on one site, you need to get outside and breathe some fresh air. IMHO.

    Full disclosure: I did post a couple times as “Anonymous” from my tablet when I couldn’t remember my password/email!

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  84. @Ron Unz
    Well, I've been totally preoccupied the last few days with adding some enormous new archives to the website, but glancing over these comments here are a few quick responses:

    @Wizard:

    I use the Apple iPad and iPhone, and in iOS it's very easy to return to the top of the screen just by touching the uppermost part. I'd assume the Android system must have something very similar. And once your at the top, clicking the "Reply" link takes you to the bottom.

    And the "Remember My Information" checkbox only needs to be checked the first time you want it remembered. There's no need to "remember" it again, unless you want to change something. The easiest way to close the "Why?" popup window is just to reclick the "Why?" link, which generally works rule for popup windows.

    @Adam

    The problem with using a very ordinary commenting handle is there's a good chance someone in the past may have used it as well, which is why I recently added the "authentication" feature based on your email to prevent that. I've now changed the name on all your old comments to "Adam1" and you should henceforth use it (or suggest a different name for me to apply instead).

    It looks like the Agree/Disagree button was temporarily broken, but I've now fixed it. I'll try to hunt down the underlying cause when I have a chance.

    @Fourth doorman of the apocalypse

    A few people have complained over the last couple of weeks about intermittent Wordfence problems, but I can't seem to replicate them or locate the problem.

    Under normal circumstances, all the pages are cached and therefore until a few minutes have gone by and the cache expires your Agree/Disagree will not appear. When you leave a regular comment, the cached pages are temporarily ignored, and I'll see about trying to hook that up to the Agree/Disagree feature as well.

    Also, to avoid a flood of Agree/Disagrees the system allows you only one per hour and the buttons disappear until that waiting period expires.

    I use iOS (8.4.1) on an old iPad 2 (among using other devices, none of which uses iOS). When I touch the top of the screen, it merely presents me with the bar for the Web address, along with the ability to do a few other tasks, like e-mailing the page, opening another window, or seeing my bookmarks. The only navigation key visible to me is to go back a page (unless I have gone back, one or more pages, in which case I see a forward arrow, along with the backward arrow)– which might or might not take me to the site’s main page, depending upon how I got to where I am, at any given moment. Simply touching the top of my screen, under iOS, does not return me to the top of the current page that I am viewing. Thus, my earlier suggestion…. (Using OS X, on either my Mac laptop or desktop, I likewise am left having to scroll to the top of the page, often after my having viewed a long thread of comments, to hit the “HOME” button– although, that is not quite as arduous as having to flick the screen, over and over, with my finger, dodging the ever-present threat of inadvertently hitting a live link to Zeus-knows-where, as on this iPad 2!)

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  85. @Ron Unz
    Well, I've been totally preoccupied the last few days with adding some enormous new archives to the website, but glancing over these comments here are a few quick responses:

    @Wizard:

    I use the Apple iPad and iPhone, and in iOS it's very easy to return to the top of the screen just by touching the uppermost part. I'd assume the Android system must have something very similar. And once your at the top, clicking the "Reply" link takes you to the bottom.

    And the "Remember My Information" checkbox only needs to be checked the first time you want it remembered. There's no need to "remember" it again, unless you want to change something. The easiest way to close the "Why?" popup window is just to reclick the "Why?" link, which generally works rule for popup windows.

    @Adam

    The problem with using a very ordinary commenting handle is there's a good chance someone in the past may have used it as well, which is why I recently added the "authentication" feature based on your email to prevent that. I've now changed the name on all your old comments to "Adam1" and you should henceforth use it (or suggest a different name for me to apply instead).

    It looks like the Agree/Disagree button was temporarily broken, but I've now fixed it. I'll try to hunt down the underlying cause when I have a chance.

    @Fourth doorman of the apocalypse

    A few people have complained over the last couple of weeks about intermittent Wordfence problems, but I can't seem to replicate them or locate the problem.

    Under normal circumstances, all the pages are cached and therefore until a few minutes have gone by and the cache expires your Agree/Disagree will not appear. When you leave a regular comment, the cached pages are temporarily ignored, and I'll see about trying to hook that up to the Agree/Disagree feature as well.

    Also, to avoid a flood of Agree/Disagrees the system allows you only one per hour and the buttons disappear until that waiting period expires.

    Thanks Ron. I sometimes find strange things happening on my Android phablet’s screen which I put down to my clumsiness but I don’t think Android devices automatically allow a tap at the top to return the screen to the top or have any other effect. So I commend my workarounds of going to Find On Page and using “unz” to get to the top and, maybe, the first few letters or digits of one’s email address to get to the bottom – though I can see why clicking in Reply might be better.

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  86. @Anonymous
    I don't understand why using multiple handles is a bad thing. It allows people to remain anonymous while allowing readers to identify commenters on a post in comparison with using anonymous as a handle. I understand that using multiple handles in one post to create the illusion of more than one commenter is disengenuous and should be disallowed. So why not just prevent the same user from posting under more than one handle in the same post instead of banning users who use different handles in different posts? I don't want to have to use the same handle all the time. I don't want some one to look up the commenting history of my politically incorrect comments on multiple posts. My job could survive a one time un-PC comment but a history of them? Bye bye job. No thanks.

    At the risk of being a hypocrite: Thanks for the commenters to avoid function. I never have to deal with bs of Twinkie Truth Bayonet or whatever he calls himself now.

    The thirty (and counting) comments excreted by Truth and Flower under Fred’s latest post drove me to use the block-commenter feature for the first and second time in one day.

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  87. @Ron Unz

    At the risk of being a hypocrite: Thanks for the commenters to avoid function. I never have to deal with bs of Twinkie Truth Bayonet or whatever he calls himself now.
     
    Exactly. But how can people block commenters they consider worthless if the latter keep changing their names around? Furthermore, when commenters realize they have a permanent "return address" and also that any contradictory statements they might easily be located, they're more likely to be polite, rational, and generally honest, thereby reducing the need for external censorship. If someone feels he desperately needs to make totally anonymous remarks, he may freely use "Anonymous" or "Anon" as his temporary or permanent name, since those are exempt from the restrictions.

    As for random commenters being fearful of unmasking by the PC-Stasi, I've honestly never heard of a single case of that ever happening, except to a tiny handful of very prominent individuals, like top corporate executives or celebrities. And even in those cases, 99% of the time they're purged because of some controversial public Tweet they sent out to their 50,000 followers. The only time controversial comments get into the newspapers is generally after the commenter has gone berserk and massacred a whole bunch of people, after which the media goes "Tsk, Tsk." about his un-PC comments...

    The blacklist doesn’t seem to be working for me. I have a name added to it and the poster is still showing up in the comments.

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    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    That's odd. It works fine for me and has for various other people.

    It does use Javascript, so it won't work if you've disabled that. Also, make sure you put each commenter name on a separate line and also include spaces, dashes, etc.

    If you're still having problems, could you be a little more specific about your browser, device, name you're banning, etc.?
  88. @Chris Mallory
    The blacklist doesn't seem to be working for me. I have a name added to it and the poster is still showing up in the comments.

    That’s odd. It works fine for me and has for various other people.

    It does use Javascript, so it won’t work if you’ve disabled that. Also, make sure you put each commenter name on a separate line and also include spaces, dashes, etc.

    If you’re still having problems, could you be a little more specific about your browser, device, name you’re banning, etc.?

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  89. I notice that the time granted to amend a comment has been increased from five minutes to eight minutes, which I think was a wise move. Unfortunately, I have just encountered the same problem under the 8-minute rule that I encountered a few times under the old 5-minute rule. I just finished posting a comment on Steve Sailer’s last blog, and, after rereading the finished product, I decided to add two short sentences. Although I completed the task with about 4-5 minutes remaining on the clock, I got a message saying “the time for editing has expired.” That was the same message I got when I attempted to amend well within the prior 5-minute deadline when I posted comments earlier. Something is wrong here and needs to be changed.

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