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Just a few days ago I’d published an Announcement noting the millionth comment at our small webzine, and mentioning that stylistic standards would henceforth be tightened up a bit for commenters. In particular, poor spelling, grammar, or punctuation might cause comments to be trashed, as would the use of profanity or ethnic/racial slurs. We do allow the expression of highly controversial sentiments, but I see no reason why these cannot be couched in reasonably respectable language, with proper use of spelling and punctuation, if only out of respect to the writers and your fellow commenters.

I’m pleased to see that there seems to have been a considerable improvement in these two areas since that notice appeared, though obviously the length of time involved is too short to draw any firm conclusions.

However, despite these stylistic improvements, numerous commenters have also been complaining about the substance of comments, namely how worthless, crazy, or troublesome other commenters tend to be. Given all the extremists and fanatics that our webzine attracts, some of these difficulties may simply be insoluble. Often, it’s exactly the same commenters who simultaneously decry the censorship of their spewings on other websites and then criticize this one for failing to censor their opponents. Frankly, we’re a small operation and given the enormous volume and length of our comment-flow, if we took time to judiciously weigh the censorship of too many comments, we’d never be able to get any serious work done. Anyway, our software system allows readership to set up their own personal “censorship lists,” partly ameliorating the problem.

  • Flagging Trolls to Discourage Misbehavior

However, given all the complaints, some not unreasonable, I’ve added a new feature that may partly address this problem. There are widespread complaints about “trolls,” namely commenters who deliberately seek to provoke or annoy as many other commenters as possible, while adding little useful content of their own. Therefore, along with the previous Agree/Disagree/LOL buttons, I’ve also added a “Troll” option, that allows regular commenters to flag such “trolls,” in effect “responding” to them but in a way that doesn’t otherwise clutter up a comment-thread. Commenters who are particularly badly behaved or irritate their fellows may similarly attract these “Troll” warnings.

Although these “Troll” markings would have no direct effect, if a particular named commenter receives too many of them, especially by established, substantive commenters, the individual might receive various sanctions. The easiest to implement would be to “muzzle” all his accumulated comments for a day or two, in effect defaulting them to appear on everyone’s “Ignore” list. They could still be read, but each would require a positive action. Continued, serious misbehavior might result in longer-term or possibly even permanent “muzzling.”

Since the “troll” flag would be indicated by the name of accuser, it would be relatively easy to distinguish egregious misbehavior from people being falsely accused by their particular enemies, and false or widespread accusations would themselves constitute misbehavior.

  • An End to Shape-Shifting Commenters

Checking a bit through the records, I’ve discovered that quite a number of commenters have made a habit of repeatedly changing their handles to hide their identity, which is NOT acceptable behavior. I repeat: Commenters must pick a SINGLE handle and stick to it, or use Anonymous/Anon whenever they choose. Using a single handle prevents “drive-by attacks” from disrupting discussions, thereby assuring better behavior. Furthermore, it allows readers to “ignore” particularly annoying or worthless commenters, as well as supporting the new “global ignore” feature I may be implementing in conjunction with my new Troll button.

I get a sense that some commenters seek to make up for the lack of original or interesting thinking in the body of their comments by attempting to transfer their creativity to their handles. This is NOT acceptable. Handles should preferably be short and simple, utilitarian in design. Your handles and other commenting information can easily be saved by using the “Remember/Update My Information” checkbox.

I think the easiest means of deterring false-flagging and other handle misbehavior is simply for me to correct it by unifying all of a commenter’s handles into a single one, and I’m planning to start doing this, including for all the accumulated comments of the last year or two. Commenters have been endlessly warned to use a single handle, and have only themselves to blame if others discover all the things they’re previously said under their false handles.

  • Avoiding Perennial Topics on Unrelated Threads

As numerous readers have noted, this webzine offers commenters the opportunity to discuss all sorts of highly controversial topics that would typically get them banned at most other places on the web. I don’t have a problem with that, but it is sometimes irritating when particularly fanatic commenters choose to raise those same issues on almost every comment-thread, even those for which their is little connection. For example, on my most recent TWA Flight 800 article, much of the commentary instead focused on 9/11 leading a longtime commenter called “Rurik”—who himself greatly enjoys discussing the 9/11 attacks—to make these thoughtful points:

at the risk of every thread even remotely related to conspiracies or government cover ups being skewed into 911 debates, perhaps there could just be a running thread on 911, where all the people interested in that stuff could hammer out the ‘no planes’ theories and other such chafe, because all the minutia regarding that particular theory is just that- minutia. And can all too easily be a distraction, and also distract from the point of the threads, like this one on flight 800.

* * *

(I wouldn’t normally presume to make suggestions to the esteemed Mr. Unz and his team, but it seems to me a separate 911 (perhaps Holocaust too) running thread might be a positive thing to help clean up the other threads?).

Perhaps this suggestion of providing permanent “open threads” on 9/11 and other perennial topics would be a good means of preventing such discussion from cluttering up the discussion of other, generally unrelated articles.

  • Your Thoughts and Reactions

The Troll Button is already available, but before I begin implementing these other ideas, I’d welcome your thoughts and reactions. In particular, I’m VERY annoyed at the number of commenters who have been regularly violating the One-Handle rule, but before I begin going through and “unifying” the handles of all their past comments as a combined form of correction and punishment, I’d be glad to hear if anyone can think of a reason that important step should not be taken.

 
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  1. Most of the 9/11 and Holocaust “commentary” is limited to a few authors’ foreign policy articles. Open threads on these topics might give visitors incorrect impressions of this site.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Pat Casey
    Holocaust denial definitely would. I think 9/11 is basically an open lie at this point. I mean, two words: free fall.

    I gotta say though, all this cracks me the eff up. Ron Unz is Daddy, and he's got a bunch of moron kids pullin pranks around the neighborhood all day because even the smartest man in america can't control these idiot hellions LOL

    Seriously I don't even understand exactly what the "sock puppets" do or what a "drive by" is. But I will tell ya this much: I know exactly which group does that stuff. Think about it for ten seconds and you might be able to see it crystal clear. Yeah you're seein it---them slitty eyes: we know these guys. It's effin crazy asians. They think that kind of stuff is the funnest thing in the world you could possibly ever do. They put one sock puppet and make a little move with the finger mouth like he's warmin up to chomp, then the left hand comes up already sweatin ready, and they do the sock puppet smash face finger battle while them slitty eyes get to cringin ya know. And so his hands play with each other for a couple rounds, and then he laughs on his back for like an hour at what he just did, because look, I know these crazy asians, and when they pull stupid pointless stunts to entertain themselves, you have to understand, they can't help themselves, from feeling like they played a trick on the entire world, and this is why that is: because no one actually saw them do it. I'm tellin you, its a thing with these crazy effin asians, if they pull an internet stunt, secluded behind their computers, this registers to them as if the entire world got tricked because, as they say, "its pure trick"--no one saw them do it. It pure trick, It pure trick, It pure trick---thats their motto sorta, when their braggin to the young ones about em, and they lap it up the youngins do, because that's the ultimate program for them, pullin them pure tricks. I don't know Ron you might want to look into, like, addressing these crazy effin asian vandals because it is, but then, its not, a game to them. It pure trick.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
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  2. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    , I’m VERY annoyed at the number of commenters who have been regularly violating the One-Handle rule

    Unless you can do browser fingerprinting better than a major government, you have no idea how many commenters are violating the One-Handle rule.

    I respect your achievements in many areas, but network security is not one of those areas.

    How can you tell the difference between what I post from this OS and this IP and what I post from other OSs, other hardware MACs, and other IPs?

    If I make some annoying comment as one handle, you would probably misclassify it as belonging to one of your long-term trolls.

    You’re smart, but you’re not as smart as a state-sponsored spook bureau.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kyle a
    A state-sponsored spook.... Are those the folks that use anonymous as a handle?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  3. Hacienda says:

    How about having the option of a face pic, next to handles? Not an icon, though, which would make the site messy and add nothing of value. But a face pic would help fill in the lacuna of information that is a part of person-to-person interactions- age, sex, weight, looks, ethnicity, race, even disposition. And personally, I’d like to know what the commentariat here looks like.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Olorin
    Why?

    It's called an "avatar," and as the Sanskrit (avatarana, "descent") implies, people choose them not in the Renaissance European sense of representation of one's essence, in your words to reassure others on the "age, sex, weight, looks, ethnicity, disposition" biases of others, but rather as Neal Stephenson used it. (In, IIRC, 1992 or thereabouts, in "Snowcrash.")

    I for instance am in reality many-armed Vishnu wearing Bavarian Illuminati Motorcycle Club colors and riding a Yamaha R3000 painted in ArmaLite black.

    But I'll be clucked if I'm going to spend a bunch of time finding the right photographer to capture that...when I can be reading the comments section at iSteve instead.

    Besides, I don't need my screen cluttered up with more visual distraction. This isn't television, praise Unz. It's the lost liberal arts realm of excogitation represented, which is to say approximated, in prose.

    , @Anonymous
    "How about having the option of a face pic, next to handles?"

    If Ben Franklin could publish critiques anonymously then why can't we?

    Anonymity would really allow freedom of speech but, unfortunately, true anonymity is not possible because the Web is thoroughly watchdogged.

    I can't speak for you guys but if I make a truthful comment about Jews or blacks here or at e.g. Taki's, then even though I have always avoided any site that advocates violence or that worships Nazi's etc., my computer becomes unusable until I do a software update and a reset all. So, by means of these irritating disablements, the censors on the Web have succeeded in limiting and thereby controlling my access.

    Are we to avoid reading any articles that discuss the rise of Jewish influence in America? It seems to me that this is an objective phenomenon and therefore fair game for sociological study. And if so, then are the beliefs and practices of those who suppress access to material critical of them compatible with a society that honors the right to freedom of speech?

    Earlier, we WASPs questioned the wisdom of allowing Roman Catholics into America because it was commonly held that their belief in the Pope's infallibility would prevent them from ever embracing Democratic Ideals. Does the Jewish religion also prevent its practitioners from understanding and practicing such rights as freedom of speech?

    Personally, I believe that most religious beliefs and practices are inimical to a free society. Religion is too often the province of fanatical fools. And though I personally don't need a transcendent God to tell me what is right and what I should do, I recognize that some persons, weaker in Libido and character, do. And so, like most Enlightened thinkers, I am tolerant of religion for the weak-minded and believe it has a limited salutary effect on them and for them. So I am not calling for suppression of religion, just a cordoning off--as indeed did the Founding Fathers.

    The secular Jews whom I have known were fine people. I don't know anything about the goofy caps Jews wear or any of their rituals, nor do I care to. That stuff's a bunch of superstition and hooey. To the extent they believe in it and practice it, to that extent they are no different than snake-handling Southern Baptists. They're free to do it in the privacy of their own castle, but get that goddamned Menorah off the White House Front Lawn.

    To all you newcomers to America, I will tell you how to get along:

    "Mind Your Own Business".

    And, stop telling others what they can and may do.

    Finally, allow other people to have their say, even if you disagree with it.

    These three simple rules will make everyone's lives easier.

    To mind your own business, you must have one, so get busy and do whatever it is you were put here on this Earth to do. If you don't know what that is, go discover it. Or invent it.

    Then, secondly, doing the first, you won't have so much time to be minding other people's business and so won't be inclined to tell them what they can and may do.

    And finally, speak about only that about which you are knowledgeable, to whit, your business. Be quiet about that about which you know nothing.

    This rambled a bit, didn't it?
    , @Peter Crawford
    It is not a particularly sound idea to invite commentators to post photos of themselves because:

    1) They might be shy and secretive types who don't want their real identities all over the internet so will post a false or disguised image which leaves nobody any the wiser as to who they really are.

    2) They might be plain but vain and will therefore post an image culled from the web of some toothsome looking individual (there are thousands out there) but of course it isn't them.

    3) They might be Anthony Wiener and if you invite him to post a photo of himself you're asking for trouble.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  4. Who has the largest number of different handles?

    How many have changed their handles on each subsequent comment?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  5. Olorin says:
    @Hacienda
    How about having the option of a face pic, next to handles? Not an icon, though, which would make the site messy and add nothing of value. But a face pic would help fill in the lacuna of information that is a part of person-to-person interactions- age, sex, weight, looks, ethnicity, race, even disposition. And personally, I'd like to know what the commentariat here looks like.

    Why?

    It’s called an “avatar,” and as the Sanskrit (avatarana, “descent”) implies, people choose them not in the Renaissance European sense of representation of one’s essence, in your words to reassure others on the “age, sex, weight, looks, ethnicity, disposition” biases of others, but rather as Neal Stephenson used it. (In, IIRC, 1992 or thereabouts, in “Snowcrash.”)

    I for instance am in reality many-armed Vishnu wearing Bavarian Illuminati Motorcycle Club colors and riding a Yamaha R3000 painted in ArmaLite black.

    But I’ll be clucked if I’m going to spend a bunch of time finding the right photographer to capture that…when I can be reading the comments section at iSteve instead.

    Besides, I don’t need my screen cluttered up with more visual distraction. This isn’t television, praise Unz. It’s the lost liberal arts realm of excogitation represented, which is to say approximated, in prose.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hacienda
    It would help level the playing field by flesh and blood. The commentariat doesn't have to be a empty, vaporized essence of thoughts and imaginings, even as great as your imaginings are.

    If the pics are cluttering, possibly there are workarounds- like mouseovers. Nothing lost, something gained.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. iffen says:

    Perhaps this suggestion of providing permanent “open threads” on 9/11 and other perennial topics would be a good means of preventing such discussion from cluttering up the discussion of other, generally unrelated articles.

    You could have permanent open thread with the title: The Jews What Done It, but the 88s won’t use it, they will still weigh in on every article.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kyle a
    Them 88ers don't need 9/11 as an excuse. The history of this country from 1947 is all the confirmation they need.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. Hacienda says:
    @Olorin
    Why?

    It's called an "avatar," and as the Sanskrit (avatarana, "descent") implies, people choose them not in the Renaissance European sense of representation of one's essence, in your words to reassure others on the "age, sex, weight, looks, ethnicity, disposition" biases of others, but rather as Neal Stephenson used it. (In, IIRC, 1992 or thereabouts, in "Snowcrash.")

    I for instance am in reality many-armed Vishnu wearing Bavarian Illuminati Motorcycle Club colors and riding a Yamaha R3000 painted in ArmaLite black.

    But I'll be clucked if I'm going to spend a bunch of time finding the right photographer to capture that...when I can be reading the comments section at iSteve instead.

    Besides, I don't need my screen cluttered up with more visual distraction. This isn't television, praise Unz. It's the lost liberal arts realm of excogitation represented, which is to say approximated, in prose.

    It would help level the playing field by flesh and blood. The commentariat doesn’t have to be a empty, vaporized essence of thoughts and imaginings, even as great as your imaginings are.

    If the pics are cluttering, possibly there are workarounds- like mouseovers. Nothing lost, something gained.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  8. BenjaminL says:

    As for the one-handle rule, I’m curious whether, once the “outing” takes place, the comments will display as all coming from the main identity i.e. as “comment by OneTrueHandle,” or whether there will be an indication of the subterfuge.

    I.e. would they display as “comment by OneTrueHandle [previously appearing as SneakyAlternateHandle]”

    Not sure I asked that clearly, but hopefully it makes sense…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    As for the one-handle rule, I’m curious whether, once the “outing” takes place, the comments will display as all coming from the main identity i.e. as “comment by OneTrueHandle,” or whether there will be an indication of the subterfuge.

    I.e. would they display as “comment by OneTrueHandle [previously appearing as SneakyAlternateHandle]”
     
    Well, given that the volume of multiple-handle commenters was much greater than I expected, I'd probably go with the less vindictive approach. Even though I've been emphasizing the One Handle requirement forever, it's very possible some of the lazier commenters never noticed my endless fulminations.

    But can anyone think of a good reason I *shouldn't* retroactively unify all these old comments under single handle, other than the possible embarrassment to the various people who've been playing sneaky games all these many months, hoping that no one would ever notice?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  9. Marcus says:

    Solid list of improvements

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  10. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Hacienda
    How about having the option of a face pic, next to handles? Not an icon, though, which would make the site messy and add nothing of value. But a face pic would help fill in the lacuna of information that is a part of person-to-person interactions- age, sex, weight, looks, ethnicity, race, even disposition. And personally, I'd like to know what the commentariat here looks like.

    “How about having the option of a face pic, next to handles?”

    If Ben Franklin could publish critiques anonymously then why can’t we?

    Anonymity would really allow freedom of speech but, unfortunately, true anonymity is not possible because the Web is thoroughly watchdogged.

    I can’t speak for you guys but if I make a truthful comment about Jews or blacks here or at e.g. Taki’s, then even though I have always avoided any site that advocates violence or that worships Nazi’s etc., my computer becomes unusable until I do a software update and a reset all. So, by means of these irritating disablements, the censors on the Web have succeeded in limiting and thereby controlling my access.

    Are we to avoid reading any articles that discuss the rise of Jewish influence in America? It seems to me that this is an objective phenomenon and therefore fair game for sociological study. And if so, then are the beliefs and practices of those who suppress access to material critical of them compatible with a society that honors the right to freedom of speech?

    Earlier, we WASPs questioned the wisdom of allowing Roman Catholics into America because it was commonly held that their belief in the Pope’s infallibility would prevent them from ever embracing Democratic Ideals. Does the Jewish religion also prevent its practitioners from understanding and practicing such rights as freedom of speech?

    Personally, I believe that most religious beliefs and practices are inimical to a free society. Religion is too often the province of fanatical fools. And though I personally don’t need a transcendent God to tell me what is right and what I should do, I recognize that some persons, weaker in Libido and character, do. And so, like most Enlightened thinkers, I am tolerant of religion for the weak-minded and believe it has a limited salutary effect on them and for them. So I am not calling for suppression of religion, just a cordoning off–as indeed did the Founding Fathers.

    The secular Jews whom I have known were fine people. I don’t know anything about the goofy caps Jews wear or any of their rituals, nor do I care to. That stuff’s a bunch of superstition and hooey. To the extent they believe in it and practice it, to that extent they are no different than snake-handling Southern Baptists. They’re free to do it in the privacy of their own castle, but get that goddamned Menorah off the White House Front Lawn.

    To all you newcomers to America, I will tell you how to get along:

    “Mind Your Own Business”.

    And, stop telling others what they can and may do.

    Finally, allow other people to have their say, even if you disagree with it.

    These three simple rules will make everyone’s lives easier.

    To mind your own business, you must have one, so get busy and do whatever it is you were put here on this Earth to do. If you don’t know what that is, go discover it. Or invent it.

    Then, secondly, doing the first, you won’t have so much time to be minding other people’s business and so won’t be inclined to tell them what they can and may do.

    And finally, speak about only that about which you are knowledgeable, to whit, your business. Be quiet about that about which you know nothing.

    This rambled a bit, didn’t it?

    Read More
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  11. To be very frank if The Unz Review is serious about moving away from “throwaway commenting,” then it might as well adopt an existing commenting system like Disqus which is built for precisely that.

    Advantages:

    (1) Downvote buttons means the bad trolls and Single Issue Fanatics go to the bottom because most people are ultimately reasonable. Upvote buttons means effortposts go to the top.

    (2) The “troll” feature proposed above is functionally pretty much a downvote button, except that it needs more individual monitoring.

    (3) Sometimes – well, virtually always – people don’t have the energy to trawl through dozens or hundreds of comments to find the gems, and just want to see the two or three best responses.

    (4) Unz will no longer have to spend his time constantly tweaking the commenting software. This is especially pertinent because with the recent changes, its converging to the functionalities you see in standard commenting packages anyway.

    And to preempt some possible concerns:

    (1) You can be as anonymous as you like on Disqus. You don’t even need an email or social account to use it, you can just create an independent Disqus account directly from their website using whatever fictitious information you want.

    (2) Comments made on Disqus are also automatically saved to WordPress, so if Disqus deteriorates (goes bankrupt; goes premium; becomes cucked and starts independent censorship of its own) it should be easy to go back.

    The only instance I’m aware of in which Disqus ended up withdrawing service to a website is wrt The Daily Stormer, and you have to admit that that is a pretty damn extreme edge case.

    (3) There are concerns that there will be cliques upvoting each others’ posts to the top and in effect seizing control of the discourse. Obviously I can’t state with any absolute certainty that this will not happen, but in practice I have never observed this on any sites that adopted Disqus.

    Read More
    • Replies: @eggheadshadhisnumber
    Doing this would mean the top 50-200 comments on most articles would be about Jews and 9/11, irrespective of topic. No thanks.
    , @German_reader
    Disqus is horrible, not conducive to the kind of intelligent discussion that at least occasionally happens in comment threads around here. I find it to be much clunkier and harder to use than the system here.
    , @RobinG
    The Unz system is so superior to Disqus that it's not even worth talking about. Your suggestion is both absurd and ungrateful.
    , @tomv
    Another vote against Disqus. Despite its glitches, the comment system here works better than anything I've seen from Disqus.
    , @Pat Hannagan
    100% agree with RobinG: The Unz system is so superior to Disqus that it’s not even worth talking about.

    Ron should market the system. Vastly superior to anything I've experienced in social media.
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  12. @Hacienda
    How about having the option of a face pic, next to handles? Not an icon, though, which would make the site messy and add nothing of value. But a face pic would help fill in the lacuna of information that is a part of person-to-person interactions- age, sex, weight, looks, ethnicity, race, even disposition. And personally, I'd like to know what the commentariat here looks like.

    It is not a particularly sound idea to invite commentators to post photos of themselves because:

    1) They might be shy and secretive types who don’t want their real identities all over the internet so will post a false or disguised image which leaves nobody any the wiser as to who they really are.

    2) They might be plain but vain and will therefore post an image culled from the web of some toothsome looking individual (there are thousands out there) but of course it isn’t them.

    3) They might be Anthony Wiener and if you invite him to post a photo of himself you’re asking for trouble.

    Read More
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  13. Jason Bayz says: • Website

    Here’s an idea I have: there’s disagreement about which format is better, having nested comments or not having them. I would prefer nested comments, constantly having to jump around the page gets annoying. But some prefer non-nested comments, so maybe Unz could implement an individual user preference, displaying the comments in two possible ways.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    I would prefer nested comments, constantly having to jump around the page gets annoying. But some prefer non-nested comments, so maybe Unz could implement an individual user preference, displaying the comments in two possible ways.
     
    Actually, the system already attempts to provide essentially that option, and has for the last year or so.

    If you just click the "This Thread" button on a comment, only the particular thread containing that comment will remain visible, effectively producing a nesting effect. I deliberately designed the system to attempt to include both nested and non-nested benefits.

    A serious problem with Disqus and external systems is that they're completely inflexible and can't be modified. And I personally can't stand the Disqus nesting approach...
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  14. @Anatoly Karlin
    To be very frank if The Unz Review is serious about moving away from "throwaway commenting," then it might as well adopt an existing commenting system like Disqus which is built for precisely that.

    Advantages:

    (1) Downvote buttons means the bad trolls and Single Issue Fanatics go to the bottom because most people are ultimately reasonable. Upvote buttons means effortposts go to the top.

    (2) The "troll" feature proposed above is functionally pretty much a downvote button, except that it needs more individual monitoring.

    (3) Sometimes - well, virtually always - people don't have the energy to trawl through dozens or hundreds of comments to find the gems, and just want to see the two or three best responses.

    (4) Unz will no longer have to spend his time constantly tweaking the commenting software. This is especially pertinent because with the recent changes, its converging to the functionalities you see in standard commenting packages anyway.

    And to preempt some possible concerns:

    (1) You can be as anonymous as you like on Disqus. You don't even need an email or social account to use it, you can just create an independent Disqus account directly from their website using whatever fictitious information you want.

    (2) Comments made on Disqus are also automatically saved to WordPress, so if Disqus deteriorates (goes bankrupt; goes premium; becomes cucked and starts independent censorship of its own) it should be easy to go back.

    The only instance I'm aware of in which Disqus ended up withdrawing service to a website is wrt The Daily Stormer, and you have to admit that that is a pretty damn extreme edge case.

    (3) There are concerns that there will be cliques upvoting each others' posts to the top and in effect seizing control of the discourse. Obviously I can't state with any absolute certainty that this will not happen, but in practice I have never observed this on any sites that adopted Disqus.

    Doing this would mean the top 50-200 comments on most articles would be about Jews and 9/11, irrespective of topic. No thanks.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  15. Ron Unz says:
    @Jason Bayz
    Here's an idea I have: there's disagreement about which format is better, having nested comments or not having them. I would prefer nested comments, constantly having to jump around the page gets annoying. But some prefer non-nested comments, so maybe Unz could implement an individual user preference, displaying the comments in two possible ways.

    I would prefer nested comments, constantly having to jump around the page gets annoying. But some prefer non-nested comments, so maybe Unz could implement an individual user preference, displaying the comments in two possible ways.

    Actually, the system already attempts to provide essentially that option, and has for the last year or so.

    If you just click the “This Thread” button on a comment, only the particular thread containing that comment will remain visible, effectively producing a nesting effect. I deliberately designed the system to attempt to include both nested and non-nested benefits.

    A serious problem with Disqus and external systems is that they’re completely inflexible and can’t be modified. And I personally can’t stand the Disqus nesting approach…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    A serious problem with Disqus and external systems is that they’re completely inflexible and can’t be modified. And I personally can’t stand the Disqus nesting approach…
     
    Fair enough. I personally like the Disqus nesting system, but this is your site. :)

    RobinG,

    Absurd possibly, but ungrateful? How does that compute. I consider the Unz system to be far superior to most alternatives (e.g. default WordPress, or the horror that is Facebook commenting) and am basically fine with it despite a marginal preference for Disqus.

    German_reader,

    I've heard this argument made but I never really understood it. Is there something about Disqus that makes it more difficult to write quality comments?

    , @Honesthughgrant

    "A serious problem with Disqus and external systems is that they’re completely inflexible and can’t be modified. And I personally can’t stand the Disqus nesting approach…
     
    Exactly. I've given up reading or commenting on many Disqus threads because you can't tell who is responding to who.
    , @Lot
    Since you say you are in a programming phase, here are some other site suggestions:

    Move inactive authors to an "author archive." Seeing the same headline on the sidebar for 3 years is kind of strange and makes the site look a little out of date.

    The comment system is basically OK. Steve and Razib do the best job moderating. And Razib's hostility to some of his commenters is always amusing.

    For Unz.org, make it easier to download PDF's. Downloaded PDFs are much nicer to read than page-by-page on screen on every computer, mobile device, and OS I have ever used.

    I am guessing the reason you do this is to prevent mass downloading, but I think an easier way would be to just have download quotas. That's 1973 network technology! If the reason is license restrictions, hopefully this could be partially done. I think Google Books has a partial system like this.

    For content, Jason Bayz had a great blog, and the large amount of daily anti-Israel/Pro-Putin articles is kind of tiresome. I like Cockburn Jr. and Mercer a lot too.

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  16. I agree with the title of this post. Threads have vastly improved since I began commenting.
    That said, as Karlin said, use Disqus.

    Read More
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  17. @Anatoly Karlin
    To be very frank if The Unz Review is serious about moving away from "throwaway commenting," then it might as well adopt an existing commenting system like Disqus which is built for precisely that.

    Advantages:

    (1) Downvote buttons means the bad trolls and Single Issue Fanatics go to the bottom because most people are ultimately reasonable. Upvote buttons means effortposts go to the top.

    (2) The "troll" feature proposed above is functionally pretty much a downvote button, except that it needs more individual monitoring.

    (3) Sometimes - well, virtually always - people don't have the energy to trawl through dozens or hundreds of comments to find the gems, and just want to see the two or three best responses.

    (4) Unz will no longer have to spend his time constantly tweaking the commenting software. This is especially pertinent because with the recent changes, its converging to the functionalities you see in standard commenting packages anyway.

    And to preempt some possible concerns:

    (1) You can be as anonymous as you like on Disqus. You don't even need an email or social account to use it, you can just create an independent Disqus account directly from their website using whatever fictitious information you want.

    (2) Comments made on Disqus are also automatically saved to WordPress, so if Disqus deteriorates (goes bankrupt; goes premium; becomes cucked and starts independent censorship of its own) it should be easy to go back.

    The only instance I'm aware of in which Disqus ended up withdrawing service to a website is wrt The Daily Stormer, and you have to admit that that is a pretty damn extreme edge case.

    (3) There are concerns that there will be cliques upvoting each others' posts to the top and in effect seizing control of the discourse. Obviously I can't state with any absolute certainty that this will not happen, but in practice I have never observed this on any sites that adopted Disqus.

    Disqus is horrible, not conducive to the kind of intelligent discussion that at least occasionally happens in comment threads around here. I find it to be much clunkier and harder to use than the system here.

    Read More
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  18. RobinG says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    To be very frank if The Unz Review is serious about moving away from "throwaway commenting," then it might as well adopt an existing commenting system like Disqus which is built for precisely that.

    Advantages:

    (1) Downvote buttons means the bad trolls and Single Issue Fanatics go to the bottom because most people are ultimately reasonable. Upvote buttons means effortposts go to the top.

    (2) The "troll" feature proposed above is functionally pretty much a downvote button, except that it needs more individual monitoring.

    (3) Sometimes - well, virtually always - people don't have the energy to trawl through dozens or hundreds of comments to find the gems, and just want to see the two or three best responses.

    (4) Unz will no longer have to spend his time constantly tweaking the commenting software. This is especially pertinent because with the recent changes, its converging to the functionalities you see in standard commenting packages anyway.

    And to preempt some possible concerns:

    (1) You can be as anonymous as you like on Disqus. You don't even need an email or social account to use it, you can just create an independent Disqus account directly from their website using whatever fictitious information you want.

    (2) Comments made on Disqus are also automatically saved to WordPress, so if Disqus deteriorates (goes bankrupt; goes premium; becomes cucked and starts independent censorship of its own) it should be easy to go back.

    The only instance I'm aware of in which Disqus ended up withdrawing service to a website is wrt The Daily Stormer, and you have to admit that that is a pretty damn extreme edge case.

    (3) There are concerns that there will be cliques upvoting each others' posts to the top and in effect seizing control of the discourse. Obviously I can't state with any absolute certainty that this will not happen, but in practice I have never observed this on any sites that adopted Disqus.

    The Unz system is so superior to Disqus that it’s not even worth talking about. Your suggestion is both absurd and ungrateful.

    Read More
    • Agree: Lot
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  19. Ron Unz says:
    @BenjaminL
    As for the one-handle rule, I'm curious whether, once the "outing" takes place, the comments will display as all coming from the main identity i.e. as "comment by OneTrueHandle," or whether there will be an indication of the subterfuge.

    I.e. would they display as "comment by OneTrueHandle [previously appearing as SneakyAlternateHandle]"

    Not sure I asked that clearly, but hopefully it makes sense...

    As for the one-handle rule, I’m curious whether, once the “outing” takes place, the comments will display as all coming from the main identity i.e. as “comment by OneTrueHandle,” or whether there will be an indication of the subterfuge.

    I.e. would they display as “comment by OneTrueHandle [previously appearing as SneakyAlternateHandle]”

    Well, given that the volume of multiple-handle commenters was much greater than I expected, I’d probably go with the less vindictive approach. Even though I’ve been emphasizing the One Handle requirement forever, it’s very possible some of the lazier commenters never noticed my endless fulminations.

    But can anyone think of a good reason I *shouldn’t* retroactively unify all these old comments under single handle, other than the possible embarrassment to the various people who’ve been playing sneaky games all these many months, hoping that no one would ever notice?

    Read More
    • Replies: @FKA Max

    But can anyone think of a good reason I *shouldn’t* retroactively unify all these old comments under single handle
     
    Not really...

    Tabula Rasa. Tough Love.
    , @Elsewhere
    My suggestion is to simply have the top line list two handles, the one originally given by the author and the author's most common one. Like this:

    ThrowawayTrollIdentity aka MyUsualName says:

    Both would be clickable. All of the throwaway handles linked with this author would be labeled with "aka" this way, so clicking MyUsualName would aggregate everything that this person has ever written, under any handle.

    This would also allow people to use one-off creative handles without any suggestion of subterfuge, like this:

    FunnyCreativeHandle aka MyUsualName says:
    , @NickG

    But can anyone think of a good reason I *shouldn’t* retroactively unify all these old comments under single handle,
     
    Go ahead Ron, just do it.
    , @Buzz Mohawk
    I'd actually find it interesting to see which comments and handles have been coming from the same persons. I'm in favor of that.

    BTW I've sometimes mashed up my keys when quickly, carelessly typing in my fictional email address. My comments have posted with my correct handle, but sometimes without being tagged by the complete, consistent email address. I don't know if this caused any problems for you. (I just need to slow down my keystrokes.)

    Also, I've wondered if some of my short, silly comments were more annoying then entertaining. I don't know, but I will respectfully adapt to whatever feedback your improvements provide.

    Additionally, I've wondered if sometimes I should avoid responding to some off-topic comments (9/11 for example) or tangential items that touch on subjects dear to me. The temptation is great to argue and correct what one sees as faulty logic or misinformation.

    I think you have good ideas about improving the comment threads.

    Thank you for your service.
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  20. tomv says:

    I get a sense that some commenters seek to make up for the lack of original or interesting thinking in the body of their comments by attempting to transfer their creativity to their handles.

    Sometimes the handle is part of the comment. Usually employed for humor, this device can be very effective. I can’t think of a specific example right now (having never used it myself) but you can imagine how a curt response to an article about the Vatican from “Pontifex” or “Pope Emeritus Benedict” can be entertaining. There’s no deception here, for no one actually believes it’s a pope behind the keyboard.

    I’ve been meaning to proffer this to you as an innocent reason for someone’s using multiple handles. Perhaps it’s not worth the price of sockpuppetry, which does deserve to be cracked down on. And it would surely present a problem if the pontiff ever wanted to comment on The Unz Review in his official capacity. Still, if you don’t manage to stamp out all multiple-handle usage, here’s a reason not to get too worked up about it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Honesthughgrant

    I’ve been meaning to proffer this to you as an innocent reason for someone’s using multiple handles.
     
    Seriously, I doubt 1 person in a 100 are doing multiple handles to be "funny".
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  21. Polearm says:

    Have you thought about incorporating a simple forum/message board into the site? Advantages:

    1) OT article comments could be converted to forum topics
    2) Users can start their own threads
    3) Open discussion of perennial interests without the discussion being “tied” to an article

    Particularly popular or interesting threads could be promoted on the front page. Indeed, you could probably integrate article commenting and commenting on articles from other sites with a message board.

    Read More
    • Agree: iffen
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  22. Corvinus says:

    “Although these “Troll” markings would have no direct effect, if a particular named commenter receives too many of them, especially by established, substantive commenters, the individual might receive various sanctions. The easiest to implement would be to “muzzle” all his accumulated comments for a day or two, in effect defaulting them to appear on everyone’s “Ignore” list. They could still be read, but each would require a positive action. Continued, serious misbehavior might result in longer-term or possibly even permanent “muzzling.””

    The problem with this “Troll” feature is that pithy comments or contrary opinions will be generally labeled by “established, substantive commenters” as a result of their own confirmation biases. It amounts to censorship based on plausible deniability on your part–”Hey, I’m not the one discouraging freedom of speech, I’m giving readers the tools to decide for themselves which comments are deemed troll-worthy. And since they made this determination, I have no choice but to muzzle the offender given their status”. An echo chamber is more than likely the created outcome.

    Read More
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  23. tomv says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    To be very frank if The Unz Review is serious about moving away from "throwaway commenting," then it might as well adopt an existing commenting system like Disqus which is built for precisely that.

    Advantages:

    (1) Downvote buttons means the bad trolls and Single Issue Fanatics go to the bottom because most people are ultimately reasonable. Upvote buttons means effortposts go to the top.

    (2) The "troll" feature proposed above is functionally pretty much a downvote button, except that it needs more individual monitoring.

    (3) Sometimes - well, virtually always - people don't have the energy to trawl through dozens or hundreds of comments to find the gems, and just want to see the two or three best responses.

    (4) Unz will no longer have to spend his time constantly tweaking the commenting software. This is especially pertinent because with the recent changes, its converging to the functionalities you see in standard commenting packages anyway.

    And to preempt some possible concerns:

    (1) You can be as anonymous as you like on Disqus. You don't even need an email or social account to use it, you can just create an independent Disqus account directly from their website using whatever fictitious information you want.

    (2) Comments made on Disqus are also automatically saved to WordPress, so if Disqus deteriorates (goes bankrupt; goes premium; becomes cucked and starts independent censorship of its own) it should be easy to go back.

    The only instance I'm aware of in which Disqus ended up withdrawing service to a website is wrt The Daily Stormer, and you have to admit that that is a pretty damn extreme edge case.

    (3) There are concerns that there will be cliques upvoting each others' posts to the top and in effect seizing control of the discourse. Obviously I can't state with any absolute certainty that this will not happen, but in practice I have never observed this on any sites that adopted Disqus.

    Another vote against Disqus. Despite its glitches, the comment system here works better than anything I’ve seen from Disqus.

    Read More
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  24. @Ron Unz

    I would prefer nested comments, constantly having to jump around the page gets annoying. But some prefer non-nested comments, so maybe Unz could implement an individual user preference, displaying the comments in two possible ways.
     
    Actually, the system already attempts to provide essentially that option, and has for the last year or so.

    If you just click the "This Thread" button on a comment, only the particular thread containing that comment will remain visible, effectively producing a nesting effect. I deliberately designed the system to attempt to include both nested and non-nested benefits.

    A serious problem with Disqus and external systems is that they're completely inflexible and can't be modified. And I personally can't stand the Disqus nesting approach...

    A serious problem with Disqus and external systems is that they’re completely inflexible and can’t be modified. And I personally can’t stand the Disqus nesting approach…

    Fair enough. I personally like the Disqus nesting system, but this is your site. :)

    RobinG,

    Absurd possibly, but ungrateful? How does that compute. I consider the Unz system to be far superior to most alternatives (e.g. default WordPress, or the horror that is Facebook commenting) and am basically fine with it despite a marginal preference for Disqus.

    German_reader,

    I’ve heard this argument made but I never really understood it. Is there something about Disqus that makes it more difficult to write quality comments?

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    It's my impression discussions get a lot more fragmented with Disqus, for some reason (due to the presentation?) comments also seem to be mostly short and low on information. I've also found it hard to keep an overview on what's new when I come back to a thread I had read before...you're forced to scroll through everything whereas in the system here you just have to find the point where you stopped last time and can continue reading from there onwards. Maybe I'm old-fashioned or a computer illiterate, but I much prefer the system here to Disqus.
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  25. FKA Max says:
    @Ron Unz

    As for the one-handle rule, I’m curious whether, once the “outing” takes place, the comments will display as all coming from the main identity i.e. as “comment by OneTrueHandle,” or whether there will be an indication of the subterfuge.

    I.e. would they display as “comment by OneTrueHandle [previously appearing as SneakyAlternateHandle]”
     
    Well, given that the volume of multiple-handle commenters was much greater than I expected, I'd probably go with the less vindictive approach. Even though I've been emphasizing the One Handle requirement forever, it's very possible some of the lazier commenters never noticed my endless fulminations.

    But can anyone think of a good reason I *shouldn't* retroactively unify all these old comments under single handle, other than the possible embarrassment to the various people who've been playing sneaky games all these many months, hoping that no one would ever notice?

    But can anyone think of a good reason I *shouldn’t* retroactively unify all these old comments under single handle

    Not really…

    Tabula Rasa. Tough Love.

    Read More
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  26. @Anatoly Karlin

    A serious problem with Disqus and external systems is that they’re completely inflexible and can’t be modified. And I personally can’t stand the Disqus nesting approach…
     
    Fair enough. I personally like the Disqus nesting system, but this is your site. :)

    RobinG,

    Absurd possibly, but ungrateful? How does that compute. I consider the Unz system to be far superior to most alternatives (e.g. default WordPress, or the horror that is Facebook commenting) and am basically fine with it despite a marginal preference for Disqus.

    German_reader,

    I've heard this argument made but I never really understood it. Is there something about Disqus that makes it more difficult to write quality comments?

    It’s my impression discussions get a lot more fragmented with Disqus, for some reason (due to the presentation?) comments also seem to be mostly short and low on information. I’ve also found it hard to keep an overview on what’s new when I come back to a thread I had read before…you’re forced to scroll through everything whereas in the system here you just have to find the point where you stopped last time and can continue reading from there onwards. Maybe I’m old-fashioned or a computer illiterate, but I much prefer the system here to Disqus.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Triumph104
    The comments on Disqus are short and low on information because few people read the articles and few have even a general knowledge about the subject matter. They are just responding to the headline. Disqus gives you a view of the average American's level of education. A site like TMZ will expose you to the bottom 20%,

    You make an excellent point about returning to a thread on the Unz Review, the system takes you right to the next post to be read.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  27. Elsewhere says:
    @Ron Unz

    As for the one-handle rule, I’m curious whether, once the “outing” takes place, the comments will display as all coming from the main identity i.e. as “comment by OneTrueHandle,” or whether there will be an indication of the subterfuge.

    I.e. would they display as “comment by OneTrueHandle [previously appearing as SneakyAlternateHandle]”
     
    Well, given that the volume of multiple-handle commenters was much greater than I expected, I'd probably go with the less vindictive approach. Even though I've been emphasizing the One Handle requirement forever, it's very possible some of the lazier commenters never noticed my endless fulminations.

    But can anyone think of a good reason I *shouldn't* retroactively unify all these old comments under single handle, other than the possible embarrassment to the various people who've been playing sneaky games all these many months, hoping that no one would ever notice?

    My suggestion is to simply have the top line list two handles, the one originally given by the author and the author’s most common one. Like this:

    ThrowawayTrollIdentity aka MyUsualName says:

    Both would be clickable. All of the throwaway handles linked with this author would be labeled with “aka” this way, so clicking MyUsualName would aggregate everything that this person has ever written, under any handle.

    This would also allow people to use one-off creative handles without any suggestion of subterfuge, like this:

    FunnyCreativeHandle aka MyUsualName says:

    Read More
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  28. Polymath says:

    The only exception to the one-handle rule should be people who want to make a post under their REAL NAME because they are a known authority or expert on a topic, without thereby linking themselves to their previously anonymized opinions on other topics. Because this goes in the opposite direction than other kinds of multiplying handles (reducing rather than increasing anonymity), I don’t see how this exception would do any harm.

    Read More
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  29. I prefer Disqus. Your system is unwieldy when there are hundreds of posts in a thread. That being said, I wouldn’t change it. The ability to put people on ignore has made it far easier to navigate through posts.

    I don’t agree with the troll button, but it is already here… The ignore feature is far more effective. Public flagging will just lead to public bickering, “Why did you flag me?”. I assume the columnists/bloggers read comments; they should be the ones dealing with trolls not fellow posters.

    Please no vote up or down or any other mechanism to judge posters.

    Please no perennial or conspiracy threads. Hundreds other sites are already dedicated to that sort of thing. If you were to lure those type of posters here they will eventually become frequent posters in the other columns/blogs changing the dynamic of this site. I don’t look forward to multiple posts and responses about “false flags” and “crisis actors” after major news events.

    Even though I’ve been emphasizing the One Handle requirement forever, it’s very possible some of the lazier commenters never noticed my endless fulminations.

    True.

    Read More
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  30. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    I think the easiest means of deterring false-flagging and other handle misbehavior is simply for me to correct it by unifying all of a commenter’s handles into a single one, and I’m planning to start doing this, including for all the accumulated comments of the last year or two. Commenters have been endlessly warned to use a single handle, and have only themselves to blame if others discover all the things they’re previously said under their false handles.

    Mr Unz, I don’t think it will kill me if this is done, at least, I hope not, but some of us have no doubt employed a different handle on occasion in order to quarantine information that much further narrows down who they are, e.g. location, employer, and what have you. I know that I have done this in the past, and done so seriously without any attempt to troll.

    I understand that now your intent is to channel this behavior into the “anonymous” or “anon” handles. That is reasonable. And I think if you attempt to link future handles from now on (except for anon or anonymous) into the one true handle, then that is reasonable now that you have laid those ground rules out.

    I realize that there have been those who have not used the system in good faith, and it has annoyed me possibly as much as it has annoyed you. However, I think a measure to go back 1 or 2 years and retroactively link accounts will do more harm than good, so I respectfully ask you not to do so. I have also supported Steve Sailer financially over a number of years, so please take that into consideration.

    Read More
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  31. @German_reader
    It's my impression discussions get a lot more fragmented with Disqus, for some reason (due to the presentation?) comments also seem to be mostly short and low on information. I've also found it hard to keep an overview on what's new when I come back to a thread I had read before...you're forced to scroll through everything whereas in the system here you just have to find the point where you stopped last time and can continue reading from there onwards. Maybe I'm old-fashioned or a computer illiterate, but I much prefer the system here to Disqus.

    The comments on Disqus are short and low on information because few people read the articles and few have even a general knowledge about the subject matter. They are just responding to the headline. Disqus gives you a view of the average American’s level of education. A site like TMZ will expose you to the bottom 20%,

    You make an excellent point about returning to a thread on the Unz Review, the system takes you right to the next post to be read.

    Read More
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  32. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    “I think the easiest means of deterring false-flagging and other handle misbehavior is simply for me to correct it by unifying all of a commenter’s handles into a single one, and I’m planning to start doing this, including for all the accumulated comments of the last year or two. Commenters have been endlessly warned to use a single handle, and have only themselves to blame if others discover all the things they’re previously said under their false handles.”

    -Perhaps you can point out where this has been said before. Prior to an announcement in August of this year, I don’t see the use of multiple handles mentioned as something forbidden.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    Perhaps you can point out where this has been said before. Prior to an announcement in August of this year, I don’t see the use of multiple handles mentioned as something forbidden.
     
    Sure. I've been regularly denouncing the use of multiple handles---"sockpuppetry"---since the very beginning. For example, here's an example I quickly found from over two years ago, and I'm sure it wasn't the first time:

    "Record Website Traffic But Rise in Sockpuppetry"
    http://www.unz.com/announcement/record-website-traffic/

    I am very pleased at the readership, distribution, and impact of our articles, as well as the 6500 comments we have so far received in August, likely headed for a monthly record. However, I have also noticed an unfortunate recent increase in sock-puppetry, which I hope does not continue. The standard WordPress Comment Administrator always shows the IP address of a commenter, along with his name-handle, and the same one or two IP addresses are regularly used for a considerable number of different handles, which may therefore mislead other commenters and reduce the possibility of honest and sustained long-term dialogue.

    Although this behavior will not necessarily prevent any such comments from being approved, I would urge that the individuals involved curb this behavior before such harsh measures become necessary. Selecting a single handle and generally sticking to it is hardly an unreasonable request on a website that allows such free-wheeling discussion on all sorts of controversial issues.
     
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  33. Ron Unz says:
    @Anonymous
    "I think the easiest means of deterring false-flagging and other handle misbehavior is simply for me to correct it by unifying all of a commenter’s handles into a single one, and I’m planning to start doing this, including for all the accumulated comments of the last year or two. Commenters have been endlessly warned to use a single handle, and have only themselves to blame if others discover all the things they’re previously said under their false handles."

    -Perhaps you can point out where this has been said before. Prior to an announcement in August of this year, I don't see the use of multiple handles mentioned as something forbidden.

    Perhaps you can point out where this has been said before. Prior to an announcement in August of this year, I don’t see the use of multiple handles mentioned as something forbidden.

    Sure. I’ve been regularly denouncing the use of multiple handles—”sockpuppetry”—since the very beginning. For example, here’s an example I quickly found from over two years ago, and I’m sure it wasn’t the first time:

    “Record Website Traffic But Rise in Sockpuppetry”

    http://www.unz.com/announcement/record-website-traffic/

    I am very pleased at the readership, distribution, and impact of our articles, as well as the 6500 comments we have so far received in August, likely headed for a monthly record. However, I have also noticed an unfortunate recent increase in sock-puppetry, which I hope does not continue. The standard WordPress Comment Administrator always shows the IP address of a commenter, along with his name-handle, and the same one or two IP addresses are regularly used for a considerable number of different handles, which may therefore mislead other commenters and reduce the possibility of honest and sustained long-term dialogue.

    Although this behavior will not necessarily prevent any such comments from being approved, I would urge that the individuals involved curb this behavior before such harsh measures become necessary. Selecting a single handle and generally sticking to it is hardly an unreasonable request on a website that allows such free-wheeling discussion on all sorts of controversial issues.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I had always been under the impression that sockpuppetry meant using different handles in the same thread, not on the same website days or weeks apart. I frequently make up a handle that clarifies my age, gender, location, profession, etc if that characteristic is relevant to the comment I'm making. I don't post often enough that I would expect anyone to remember who I am if I just used a name, so I thought this would be helpful. Also, other commenters complain if a thread is full of different people all calling themselves anonymous.

    I would prefer you not unify handles retroactivity, as I would not have listed all my different characteristics if I knew they would be collected together - I've probably uniquely identified myself if you put it all together. Frankly I am rather shocked that you are mulling changing the rules retroactivity in this fashion. I try to balance engaging with others online and protecting my privacy, and am shocked that you are contemplating upending that balance so casually.
    , @U. Ranus
    "Sockpuppetry" conventionally refers to operating multiple handles at the same time in order to fool people, to make them infer more support for one "side" than really exists.

    On the other hand, serial use of infrequently changing handles is more akin to an emulation of normal human interaction in a hostile environment.

    Memory fades over time. Normal humans in conversation don't hold you to verbatim quotes of everything you casually said three years ago, but political operatives hanging around online venues are known to love this, just because they can. So you change handles once in a while and keep things human.
    , @Anonymous
    "“Record Website Traffic But Rise in Sockpuppetry”

    http://www.unz.com/announcement/record-website-traffic/"

    I think you're missing the point. You know about this article, because you wrote it. Would most website visitors know about it? Most readers are going to go to the website out of interest in topics or writers and go to those, not spend the time reading announcements on rising website traffic that they might feel they received all the info they need from the headline, or not interested in. I don't think the announcement box, the way it is, is an effective way of communicating something that you consider important.

    Its not about being lazy, its about making sure that rules you feel are important are posted in a way that most people would notice. Even your recent notice a month or two ago, I only by chance happened to see.

    And also, basically you are saying that your readers have been increasingly complying to points you requested but you still intend on going through anyway.
    , @Veracitor
    I promise to stick to a single handle going forward, just as you request.

    But I ask you not to try to retrospectively merge all "my" old posts using different handles.

    (For one thing, you might accidentally merge some other writer's remarks with mine. I often post from corporate networks which use the same public IP address for traffic from many people.)

    If you wish I will send you in confidence a list of the handles (five or so, one main and the others very occasional) I've used over the years here, or in some cases, not here but on sites whose contents you have since assimilated. I think you would not classify me as a troll or fanatic.

    I have several concerns which I would ask you to respect.

    One is that several years ago I switched from using my real name to a handle, because I need a job to support my family and would rather not be excluded from hiring consideration by some HR staffer who doesn't agree with me about some matter of intellectual inquiry. Please don't merge my old comments back into a threat to my livelihood.

    Second, I arrived here in Steve Sailer's train and you picked up and indexed a lot of his old comment threads. I would rather you didn't punish me for using different handles on someone else's website!

    Which relates to another big problem. When I stopped using my real name, I adopted some different handles on different sites in case I might be outed on any one of them. Since then I have occasionally used my handle for one website (such as Econlog) for the odd comment to a directly-related thread on another site, such as iSteve here. I wasn't trying to troll anyone but rather to help readers find my related remarks on the other site. I took your admonitions:

    ...I have also noticed an unfortunate recent increase in sock-puppetry, which I hope does not continue. ... [T]he same one or two IP addresses are regularly used for a considerable number of different handles, which may therefore mislead other commenters and reduce the possibility of honest and sustained long-term dialogue.

    Although this behavior will not necessarily prevent any such comments from being approved, I would urge that the individuals involved curb this behavior before such harsh measures become necessary. Selecting a single handle and generally sticking to it is hardly an unreasonable request on a website that allows such free-wheeling discussion on all sorts of controversial issues.
     
    to forbid exactly what you mentioned-- sock-puppetry and/or frequent use of many handles-- neither of which have I ever engaged in. Please don't use some mindless script to merge all my comments because you're angry with folks who've abused your hospitality.

    Respectfully yours,

    Veracitor
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  34. @Ron Unz

    I would prefer nested comments, constantly having to jump around the page gets annoying. But some prefer non-nested comments, so maybe Unz could implement an individual user preference, displaying the comments in two possible ways.
     
    Actually, the system already attempts to provide essentially that option, and has for the last year or so.

    If you just click the "This Thread" button on a comment, only the particular thread containing that comment will remain visible, effectively producing a nesting effect. I deliberately designed the system to attempt to include both nested and non-nested benefits.

    A serious problem with Disqus and external systems is that they're completely inflexible and can't be modified. And I personally can't stand the Disqus nesting approach...

    “A serious problem with Disqus and external systems is that they’re completely inflexible and can’t be modified. And I personally can’t stand the Disqus nesting approach…

    Exactly. I’ve given up reading or commenting on many Disqus threads because you can’t tell who is responding to who.

    Read More
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  35. @tomv

    I get a sense that some commenters seek to make up for the lack of original or interesting thinking in the body of their comments by attempting to transfer their creativity to their handles.
     
    Sometimes the handle is part of the comment. Usually employed for humor, this device can be very effective. I can't think of a specific example right now (having never used it myself) but you can imagine how a curt response to an article about the Vatican from "Pontifex" or "Pope Emeritus Benedict" can be entertaining. There's no deception here, for no one actually believes it's a pope behind the keyboard.

    I've been meaning to proffer this to you as an innocent reason for someone's using multiple handles. Perhaps it's not worth the price of sockpuppetry, which does deserve to be cracked down on. And it would surely present a problem if the pontiff ever wanted to comment on The Unz Review in his official capacity. Still, if you don't manage to stamp out all multiple-handle usage, here's a reason not to get too worked up about it.

    I’ve been meaning to proffer this to you as an innocent reason for someone’s using multiple handles.

    Seriously, I doubt 1 person in a 100 are doing multiple handles to be “funny”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @tomv
    Here's a comment on a recent iSteve post about Alicia Muchado.

    leave alicia alone! says:
    September 30, 2016 at 12:10 am GMT
    you’re victim blaming you misogynist!
     
    Not that funny, but this kind of contextual handle is not sockpuppetry, nor is it that uncommon.
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  36. Ron Unz says:

    It looks like almost all of the discussion has been on the commenter-handle issue. Would a few more people like to weigh in on the question of having a “perennial topics” category section on the Home page, so as to discourage the 9/11 people and such from cluttering up every other comment-thread with their debates?

    As it happens, I was in a programming mood and my software architecture is well-designed, so while I was waiting for feedback, I just went ahead and easily built those additional sections, but now have to decide whether or not to release the enhancements.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    'Perennial topics' sounds at first like a good idea, but I wonder if it will do what it is designed primarily intended to do- to reduce OT commentary from article comment threads.

    I suspect many people who jump into discussions with these kinds of OT comments (about 9-11 for instance), wouldn't move to a Perennial topics thread, because they are linking it into current events to keep it interesting/current.

    Also, if they get into their OT discussion on a current thread with someone, its likely they'd want to keep the momentum going; switching threads might end the discussion, so it seems unlikely they'd stop once it started going on a current thread.

    Anyway, you always can give it a shot and see how it goes. Maybe it will improve things. Doubt it could hurt.
    , @Twinkie

    Would a few more people like to weigh in on the question of having a “perennial topics” category section
     
    What is the value-added for having a category that is so value-less that it is segregated into a "cranks-only" part of the site?

    Why not simply enforce the commenting policy more strenuously and discourage these "perennial topics"?
    , @Pat Hannagan
    Yes please.

    It would be a very handy resource to go to for information on various subjects.

    Would there be some input from readers as to what topics should be included?

    , @40 Acres and A Kardashian
    I'm all for the perennial topics idea, and would like to add another suggestion - an open thread every day. Many threads go OT not because of 9/11 or JFK theories, but because one or more people post links to stories that are of interest to many readers, but have absolutely nothing to do with the topic of the article being commented on.

    Also, what happens if we don't abuse the system, stick with the same name for all comments, but at some point decide we'd like to change our screen name, for whatever reason?

    This is one of the best sites on the web, by the way. I really appreciate all the hard work and money you've put into building it.
    , @Ivan K.
    You might use those enhancements for Open Threads. That way, it would be the commenters themselves who would choose what deserves to be talked about, time and again. Edit: Oh, I see it's been already suggested.
    , @Bill
    I don't think this idea is workable. Put yourself in the shoes of the people you are trying to control. They think that their idee fixe is insufficiently discussed. They think everybody else is asleep. They are evangelists. They don't want a free speech box where their sayings can be read only by other crazed evangelists. If 9/11 Truthers want to talk only to other 9/11 Truthers, there are already places to do that. They specifically want to bring up their topic in front of people who aren't interested, to "wake them up."

    The problem with responding to this with something like "What about people who don't want to be woken up?" or "Your ideas are crazy" is that waking people up to stuff they don't want to be woken up to is one of the points of free speech (not that I'm in favor of free speech, but you are).

    I'd also suggest a somewhat different way of thinking this stuff through. Right now, the changes seem to be driven mostly by "stuff Ron Unz finds annoying." Obviously, it's your website, and you can do whatever you want, including stamping out things you find annoying. On the other hand, the way us rational actor model geeks tend to think these things through might be helpful here.

    Maybe start by thinking about 1) what Unz.com is for and 2) how the comments section is supposed to serve that mission. The tagline in the banner-headline-thingy-whatever-web-designers-call-it says "A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media" Taking that as the mission statement (je 1), it's not all that clear what the comments section is for. I mean, the articles serve that purpose, right?

    Maybe the comments section is there to engage the reader with the excluded ideas? Maybe the comments section is there to provide a forum for airing excluded ideas Ron Unz hasn't thought of? Maybe the comments section is there to foster a sense of community and shared purpose among the more engaged readers of Unz.com? Maybe it's there to get leftoids who hate capitalism because of inequality and rightoids who hate capitalism because of cultural marxism to engage with one another? Maybe something else? Answering "It's all those things" is a way of saying that you haven't thought about it and don't want to. Which is your prerogative, obviously.

    I don't much like the emphasis on spelling, grammar, and a lack of "profanity." For example, " banner-headline-thingy-whatever-web-designers-call-it" is awful grammatically and stylistically. For example, "I dunno" contains a spelling error. I assume "you are shitting up the comments section again, Whiskey" counts as profanity. I don't see why you would want to suppress any of these things, though. Violating the rules of grammar and decorum is a communicative act, itself.
    If you want to start a scholarly journal or a policy journal or whatever, then do that.

    Oh, Unz.com is great, and thank you for creating it.

    , @Buzz Mohawk
    Ron and others here, such as Steve Sailer, have been very good at posting articles and columns that touch on subjects as they arise on the site. They seemingly do this when they get ideas from commenters.

    I think this very responsive approach could cover most topics that arise in comment threads. Ron and his contributors can just continue doing this. I find it uplifting when I see it done here.

    You don't need 9/11, JFK, and moon hoaxes permanently cluttering up your very smart page. Address them when you feel like it by posting something about them. A fine example is Linh Dinh's article at the top today.

    Also, I would allow one or two tangential comments to survive, when they appear, and then cut that tangent if it continues.
    , @Lot
    Dedicated pages for 9/11 and holocaust truthers will bring more of them to the site, and thus more to the other pages that are cross-promoted.

    As Bill says, there are already plenty of sites where they can talk to each other, but Unz.com is a uniquely good chance to evangelize.
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  37. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Ron Unz
    It looks like almost all of the discussion has been on the commenter-handle issue. Would a few more people like to weigh in on the question of having a "perennial topics" category section on the Home page, so as to discourage the 9/11 people and such from cluttering up every other comment-thread with their debates?

    As it happens, I was in a programming mood and my software architecture is well-designed, so while I was waiting for feedback, I just went ahead and easily built those additional sections, but now have to decide whether or not to release the enhancements.

    ‘Perennial topics’ sounds at first like a good idea, but I wonder if it will do what it is designed primarily intended to do- to reduce OT commentary from article comment threads.

    I suspect many people who jump into discussions with these kinds of OT comments (about 9-11 for instance), wouldn’t move to a Perennial topics thread, because they are linking it into current events to keep it interesting/current.

    Also, if they get into their OT discussion on a current thread with someone, its likely they’d want to keep the momentum going; switching threads might end the discussion, so it seems unlikely they’d stop once it started going on a current thread.

    Anyway, you always can give it a shot and see how it goes. Maybe it will improve things. Doubt it could hurt.

    Read More
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  38. TheBoom says:

    Only issue I have with the comment section is that they need to stay at least loosely related to the topic(s) of the post. It is fine if there is a logical connection but too many times the topic is just an excuse to rant about a pet issue.

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  39. @Anatoly Karlin
    To be very frank if The Unz Review is serious about moving away from "throwaway commenting," then it might as well adopt an existing commenting system like Disqus which is built for precisely that.

    Advantages:

    (1) Downvote buttons means the bad trolls and Single Issue Fanatics go to the bottom because most people are ultimately reasonable. Upvote buttons means effortposts go to the top.

    (2) The "troll" feature proposed above is functionally pretty much a downvote button, except that it needs more individual monitoring.

    (3) Sometimes - well, virtually always - people don't have the energy to trawl through dozens or hundreds of comments to find the gems, and just want to see the two or three best responses.

    (4) Unz will no longer have to spend his time constantly tweaking the commenting software. This is especially pertinent because with the recent changes, its converging to the functionalities you see in standard commenting packages anyway.

    And to preempt some possible concerns:

    (1) You can be as anonymous as you like on Disqus. You don't even need an email or social account to use it, you can just create an independent Disqus account directly from their website using whatever fictitious information you want.

    (2) Comments made on Disqus are also automatically saved to WordPress, so if Disqus deteriorates (goes bankrupt; goes premium; becomes cucked and starts independent censorship of its own) it should be easy to go back.

    The only instance I'm aware of in which Disqus ended up withdrawing service to a website is wrt The Daily Stormer, and you have to admit that that is a pretty damn extreme edge case.

    (3) There are concerns that there will be cliques upvoting each others' posts to the top and in effect seizing control of the discourse. Obviously I can't state with any absolute certainty that this will not happen, but in practice I have never observed this on any sites that adopted Disqus.

    100% agree with RobinG: The Unz system is so superior to Disqus that it’s not even worth talking about.

    Ron should market the system. Vastly superior to anything I’ve experienced in social media.

    Read More
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  40. Twinkie says:
    @Ron Unz
    It looks like almost all of the discussion has been on the commenter-handle issue. Would a few more people like to weigh in on the question of having a "perennial topics" category section on the Home page, so as to discourage the 9/11 people and such from cluttering up every other comment-thread with their debates?

    As it happens, I was in a programming mood and my software architecture is well-designed, so while I was waiting for feedback, I just went ahead and easily built those additional sections, but now have to decide whether or not to release the enhancements.

    Would a few more people like to weigh in on the question of having a “perennial topics” category section

    What is the value-added for having a category that is so value-less that it is segregated into a “cranks-only” part of the site?

    Why not simply enforce the commenting policy more strenuously and discourage these “perennial topics”?

    Read More
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  41. @Ron Unz
    It looks like almost all of the discussion has been on the commenter-handle issue. Would a few more people like to weigh in on the question of having a "perennial topics" category section on the Home page, so as to discourage the 9/11 people and such from cluttering up every other comment-thread with their debates?

    As it happens, I was in a programming mood and my software architecture is well-designed, so while I was waiting for feedback, I just went ahead and easily built those additional sections, but now have to decide whether or not to release the enhancements.

    Yes please.

    It would be a very handy resource to go to for information on various subjects.

    Would there be some input from readers as to what topics should be included?

    Read More
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  42. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Ron Unz

    Perhaps you can point out where this has been said before. Prior to an announcement in August of this year, I don’t see the use of multiple handles mentioned as something forbidden.
     
    Sure. I've been regularly denouncing the use of multiple handles---"sockpuppetry"---since the very beginning. For example, here's an example I quickly found from over two years ago, and I'm sure it wasn't the first time:

    "Record Website Traffic But Rise in Sockpuppetry"
    http://www.unz.com/announcement/record-website-traffic/

    I am very pleased at the readership, distribution, and impact of our articles, as well as the 6500 comments we have so far received in August, likely headed for a monthly record. However, I have also noticed an unfortunate recent increase in sock-puppetry, which I hope does not continue. The standard WordPress Comment Administrator always shows the IP address of a commenter, along with his name-handle, and the same one or two IP addresses are regularly used for a considerable number of different handles, which may therefore mislead other commenters and reduce the possibility of honest and sustained long-term dialogue.

    Although this behavior will not necessarily prevent any such comments from being approved, I would urge that the individuals involved curb this behavior before such harsh measures become necessary. Selecting a single handle and generally sticking to it is hardly an unreasonable request on a website that allows such free-wheeling discussion on all sorts of controversial issues.
     

    I had always been under the impression that sockpuppetry meant using different handles in the same thread, not on the same website days or weeks apart. I frequently make up a handle that clarifies my age, gender, location, profession, etc if that characteristic is relevant to the comment I’m making. I don’t post often enough that I would expect anyone to remember who I am if I just used a name, so I thought this would be helpful. Also, other commenters complain if a thread is full of different people all calling themselves anonymous.

    I would prefer you not unify handles retroactivity, as I would not have listed all my different characteristics if I knew they would be collected together – I’ve probably uniquely identified myself if you put it all together. Frankly I am rather shocked that you are mulling changing the rules retroactivity in this fashion. I try to balance engaging with others online and protecting my privacy, and am shocked that you are contemplating upending that balance so casually.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Elsewhere
    This is a well-reasoned post, and it deserves careful consideration by Ron Unz.

    If someone isn't a troll, using a different handle for each thread (but consistent within a thread) is a very savvy use of the anonymity that this forum allows.

    Sockpuppet trolling is a misuse of it.

    Do we throw out the baby with the bathwater by restricting everyone to a single handle?

    Perhaps that is a good tradeoff, but I'm now convinced that doing anything retroactive is dangerous.
    , @Anonymous
    I don't know whether you consider me to be baby or bathwater, Mr. Unz, but you have successfully thrown me out. I am just not going to comment on a website whose proprietor feels free to change the rules at any time, retroactively.

    And change them in an unprecedented fashion. It is very common for blogs to ban uncooperative commenters, and very rarely bloggers will strip anonymity from a commenter at the heighth of a vicious flame war. But I can't recall any blog ever going back and adding more identifying information to masses of comments as a group punishment. If the ground rules for your website permit you to use whatever information you have on commenters to punish them whenever you see fit in whatever way occurs to you at any time, then I think maybe I will bow out of this game.

    Out of curiosity, what are the ground rules for people who merely read your website but don't comment?

    , @Daniel Williams

    I ... am shocked that you are contemplating upending that balance so casually [by retroactively linking commentors' handles on Unz.com]
     
    Yeah, Unz clearly hasn't put a lot of thought into this decision or sought the opinions of people likely to be affected.
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  43. @Ron Unz
    It looks like almost all of the discussion has been on the commenter-handle issue. Would a few more people like to weigh in on the question of having a "perennial topics" category section on the Home page, so as to discourage the 9/11 people and such from cluttering up every other comment-thread with their debates?

    As it happens, I was in a programming mood and my software architecture is well-designed, so while I was waiting for feedback, I just went ahead and easily built those additional sections, but now have to decide whether or not to release the enhancements.

    I’m all for the perennial topics idea, and would like to add another suggestion – an open thread every day. Many threads go OT not because of 9/11 or JFK theories, but because one or more people post links to stories that are of interest to many readers, but have absolutely nothing to do with the topic of the article being commented on.

    Also, what happens if we don’t abuse the system, stick with the same name for all comments, but at some point decide we’d like to change our screen name, for whatever reason?

    This is one of the best sites on the web, by the way. I really appreciate all the hard work and money you’ve put into building it.

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  44. Also, it used to be that after you posted a comment, you had five minutes to go back and edit it for typos and such.

    Why did that go away, and can it come back?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    Also, it used to be that after you posted a comment, you had five minutes to go back and edit it for typos and such.
     
    The Comment Edit feature is still working for me and many people, but it's a third-party plugin, and apparently it's stopped working for unknown reasons on various device/OS combination. Software is mysterious. You might want to use the Comment Preview button instead.

    The suggestion of a Daily Open Thread is a reasonable one, and maybe I'll put it in somewhere.

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  45. I’m fascinated by the mention of an ignore list. How do I add the usual trolls to my ignore list the next time I see them? There’s no ignore button on the posts.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    I’m fascinated by the mention of an ignore list. How do I add the usual trolls to my ignore list the next time I see them? There’s no ignore button on the posts.
     
    At the very top of the Comments, there's a "Commenters to Ignore" button. Click on it and a small popup opens allowing you to insert/edit your list of Commenters to ignore, which is saved in a permanent cookie.
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  46. U. Ranus says:
    @Ron Unz

    Perhaps you can point out where this has been said before. Prior to an announcement in August of this year, I don’t see the use of multiple handles mentioned as something forbidden.
     
    Sure. I've been regularly denouncing the use of multiple handles---"sockpuppetry"---since the very beginning. For example, here's an example I quickly found from over two years ago, and I'm sure it wasn't the first time:

    "Record Website Traffic But Rise in Sockpuppetry"
    http://www.unz.com/announcement/record-website-traffic/

    I am very pleased at the readership, distribution, and impact of our articles, as well as the 6500 comments we have so far received in August, likely headed for a monthly record. However, I have also noticed an unfortunate recent increase in sock-puppetry, which I hope does not continue. The standard WordPress Comment Administrator always shows the IP address of a commenter, along with his name-handle, and the same one or two IP addresses are regularly used for a considerable number of different handles, which may therefore mislead other commenters and reduce the possibility of honest and sustained long-term dialogue.

    Although this behavior will not necessarily prevent any such comments from being approved, I would urge that the individuals involved curb this behavior before such harsh measures become necessary. Selecting a single handle and generally sticking to it is hardly an unreasonable request on a website that allows such free-wheeling discussion on all sorts of controversial issues.
     

    “Sockpuppetry” conventionally refers to operating multiple handles at the same time in order to fool people, to make them infer more support for one “side” than really exists.

    On the other hand, serial use of infrequently changing handles is more akin to an emulation of normal human interaction in a hostile environment.

    Memory fades over time. Normal humans in conversation don’t hold you to verbatim quotes of everything you casually said three years ago, but political operatives hanging around online venues are known to love this, just because they can. So you change handles once in a while and keep things human.

    Read More
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  47. Ron Unz says:
    @(((Owen)))
    I'm fascinated by the mention of an ignore list. How do I add the usual trolls to my ignore list the next time I see them? There's no ignore button on the posts.

    I’m fascinated by the mention of an ignore list. How do I add the usual trolls to my ignore list the next time I see them? There’s no ignore button on the posts.

    At the very top of the Comments, there’s a “Commenters to Ignore” button. Click on it and a small popup opens allowing you to insert/edit your list of Commenters to ignore, which is saved in a permanent cookie.

    Read More
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  48. Ron Unz says:
    @40 Acres and A Kardashian
    Also, it used to be that after you posted a comment, you had five minutes to go back and edit it for typos and such.

    Why did that go away, and can it come back?

    Also, it used to be that after you posted a comment, you had five minutes to go back and edit it for typos and such.

    The Comment Edit feature is still working for me and many people, but it’s a third-party plugin, and apparently it’s stopped working for unknown reasons on various device/OS combination. Software is mysterious. You might want to use the Comment Preview button instead.

    The suggestion of a Daily Open Thread is a reasonable one, and maybe I’ll put it in somewhere.

    Read More
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  49. NickG says:
    @Ron Unz

    As for the one-handle rule, I’m curious whether, once the “outing” takes place, the comments will display as all coming from the main identity i.e. as “comment by OneTrueHandle,” or whether there will be an indication of the subterfuge.

    I.e. would they display as “comment by OneTrueHandle [previously appearing as SneakyAlternateHandle]”
     
    Well, given that the volume of multiple-handle commenters was much greater than I expected, I'd probably go with the less vindictive approach. Even though I've been emphasizing the One Handle requirement forever, it's very possible some of the lazier commenters never noticed my endless fulminations.

    But can anyone think of a good reason I *shouldn't* retroactively unify all these old comments under single handle, other than the possible embarrassment to the various people who've been playing sneaky games all these many months, hoping that no one would ever notice?

    But can anyone think of a good reason I *shouldn’t* retroactively unify all these old comments under single handle,

    Go ahead Ron, just do it.

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  50. Jason Liu says:

    it is sometimes irritating when particularly fanatic commenters choose to raise those same issues on almost every comment-thread, even those for which their is little connection.

    So do you plan on banning Rehmat?He’s been making every thread about Zionists/Palestine ever since I was a kid. The guy’s a few fries short of a happy meal, I swear.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    This of yours is exactly the kind of comment many people are fed up with, isn't it?

    Also:

    I get a sense that some commenters seek to make up for the lack of original or interesting thinking in the body of their comments by attempting to transfer their creativity to their handles. This is NOT acceptable. Handles should preferably be short and simple, utilitarian in design. Your handles and other commenting information can easily be saved by using the “Remember/Update My Information” checkbox.
     
    Like all intelligent people, particularly the highly intelligent ones, you seldom stoop to offending/making claims without providing the others with the reasons behind them.

    I mean, I like fanciful and particular screen names. Maybe I want interesting thinking and original one, but it's as well possible I don't.
    How on earth does it relate with my taste in screen names?
    And actually, an originally thinking person would be more likely to project their originality in their screen names choices, wouldn't they?

    +: you really don't seem to be going to tell us why "this is NOT acceptable".
    , @frayed_thread
    Agree. Rehmat needs to be less long winded (more short-winded?). Zionists can burn in al-Megidoh for all I care, but Rehmat needs to be more entertainingly anti-Z. Brevity, bitchez.
    , @Lot
    Rehmat's Jew Issues at least are a little different than the average Unz.com commenter Stormfronter type Jew Issues.

    On at lot of articles, more than 50% of the comments are just some random mix of the same dozen Stormfronter Jewspiracy talking points, usually without even much of a hook from the article.

    Unz.com is also about unpopular/nonmainstream opinions, and Rehmat I think is the only one on here who likes and defends the Islamic Republic of Iran.
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  51. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Ron Unz

    Perhaps you can point out where this has been said before. Prior to an announcement in August of this year, I don’t see the use of multiple handles mentioned as something forbidden.
     
    Sure. I've been regularly denouncing the use of multiple handles---"sockpuppetry"---since the very beginning. For example, here's an example I quickly found from over two years ago, and I'm sure it wasn't the first time:

    "Record Website Traffic But Rise in Sockpuppetry"
    http://www.unz.com/announcement/record-website-traffic/

    I am very pleased at the readership, distribution, and impact of our articles, as well as the 6500 comments we have so far received in August, likely headed for a monthly record. However, I have also noticed an unfortunate recent increase in sock-puppetry, which I hope does not continue. The standard WordPress Comment Administrator always shows the IP address of a commenter, along with his name-handle, and the same one or two IP addresses are regularly used for a considerable number of different handles, which may therefore mislead other commenters and reduce the possibility of honest and sustained long-term dialogue.

    Although this behavior will not necessarily prevent any such comments from being approved, I would urge that the individuals involved curb this behavior before such harsh measures become necessary. Selecting a single handle and generally sticking to it is hardly an unreasonable request on a website that allows such free-wheeling discussion on all sorts of controversial issues.
     

    ““Record Website Traffic But Rise in Sockpuppetry”

    http://www.unz.com/announcement/record-website-traffic/”

    I think you’re missing the point. You know about this article, because you wrote it. Would most website visitors know about it? Most readers are going to go to the website out of interest in topics or writers and go to those, not spend the time reading announcements on rising website traffic that they might feel they received all the info they need from the headline, or not interested in. I don’t think the announcement box, the way it is, is an effective way of communicating something that you consider important.

    Its not about being lazy, its about making sure that rules you feel are important are posted in a way that most people would notice. Even your recent notice a month or two ago, I only by chance happened to see.

    And also, basically you are saying that your readers have been increasingly complying to points you requested but you still intend on going through anyway.

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  52. JackOH says:

    Free advice, Ron, from this mostly computer un-hip guy: label a permanent category as “How to Comment on Unz Review“, with suggestions for the use of various buttons, etc. a very brief style guide, date a particular change or feature was introduced and its rationale, date when a change or feature was removed, and, maybe, suggested goals for commenters. Not sure if this will be helpful; not sure it won’t be helpful.

    I’ve commented on maybe a handful of institutional and hobbyists’ blogs over the past decade. I quit commenting on one institutional blog because Disqus was a problem. I quit another institutional blog almost immediately when a blinded in-crowd commentariat whomped all over my few comments without bothering to notice I was agreeing with the articles they were praising. I quit a third because apparently it was an academics-only deal, so my very occasional comments were rejected for increasingly unpersuasive reasons.

    FWIW-I use a pseudonymous handle, I think, the same way a writer uses pseudonyms to distinguish, say, his science fiction books from his Westerns, or, alternately, to segregate my jottings here from my writing for a more general audience. I view the comments section, rightly or wrongly, as the equivalent of private club conversations, where one might reasonably expect that energetic opinions wouldn’t be used to needlessly scandalize its members. I could be wrong about that. A pseudonymous handle offers at least some safeguard that folks that don’t respect well-intended comments here won’t be given a license for mischief.

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  53. Pat Casey says:
    @eggheadshadhisnumber
    Most of the 9/11 and Holocaust "commentary" is limited to a few authors' foreign policy articles. Open threads on these topics might give visitors incorrect impressions of this site.

    Holocaust denial definitely would. I think 9/11 is basically an open lie at this point. I mean, two words: free fall.

    I gotta say though, all this cracks me the eff up. Ron Unz is Daddy, and he’s got a bunch of moron kids pullin pranks around the neighborhood all day because even the smartest man in america can’t control these idiot hellions LOL

    Seriously I don’t even understand exactly what the “sock puppets” do or what a “drive by” is. But I will tell ya this much: I know exactly which group does that stuff. Think about it for ten seconds and you might be able to see it crystal clear. Yeah you’re seein it—them slitty eyes: we know these guys. It’s effin crazy asians. They think that kind of stuff is the funnest thing in the world you could possibly ever do. They put one sock puppet and make a little move with the finger mouth like he’s warmin up to chomp, then the left hand comes up already sweatin ready, and they do the sock puppet smash face finger battle while them slitty eyes get to cringin ya know. And so his hands play with each other for a couple rounds, and then he laughs on his back for like an hour at what he just did, because look, I know these crazy asians, and when they pull stupid pointless stunts to entertain themselves, you have to understand, they can’t help themselves, from feeling like they played a trick on the entire world, and this is why that is: because no one actually saw them do it. I’m tellin you, its a thing with these crazy effin asians, if they pull an internet stunt, secluded behind their computers, this registers to them as if the entire world got tricked because, as they say, “its pure trick”–no one saw them do it. It pure trick, It pure trick, It pure trick—thats their motto sorta, when their braggin to the young ones about em, and they lap it up the youngins do, because that’s the ultimate program for them, pullin them pure tricks. I don’t know Ron you might want to look into, like, addressing these crazy effin asian vandals because it is, but then, its not, a game to them. It pure trick.

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  54. Elsewhere says:
    @Anonymous
    I had always been under the impression that sockpuppetry meant using different handles in the same thread, not on the same website days or weeks apart. I frequently make up a handle that clarifies my age, gender, location, profession, etc if that characteristic is relevant to the comment I'm making. I don't post often enough that I would expect anyone to remember who I am if I just used a name, so I thought this would be helpful. Also, other commenters complain if a thread is full of different people all calling themselves anonymous.

    I would prefer you not unify handles retroactivity, as I would not have listed all my different characteristics if I knew they would be collected together - I've probably uniquely identified myself if you put it all together. Frankly I am rather shocked that you are mulling changing the rules retroactivity in this fashion. I try to balance engaging with others online and protecting my privacy, and am shocked that you are contemplating upending that balance so casually.

    This is a well-reasoned post, and it deserves careful consideration by Ron Unz.

    If someone isn’t a troll, using a different handle for each thread (but consistent within a thread) is a very savvy use of the anonymity that this forum allows.

    Sockpuppet trolling is a misuse of it.

    Do we throw out the baby with the bathwater by restricting everyone to a single handle?

    Perhaps that is a good tradeoff, but I’m now convinced that doing anything retroactive is dangerous.

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  55. Ivan K. says:
    @Ron Unz
    It looks like almost all of the discussion has been on the commenter-handle issue. Would a few more people like to weigh in on the question of having a "perennial topics" category section on the Home page, so as to discourage the 9/11 people and such from cluttering up every other comment-thread with their debates?

    As it happens, I was in a programming mood and my software architecture is well-designed, so while I was waiting for feedback, I just went ahead and easily built those additional sections, but now have to decide whether or not to release the enhancements.

    You might use those enhancements for Open Threads. That way, it would be the commenters themselves who would choose what deserves to be talked about, time and again. Edit: Oh, I see it’s been already suggested.

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  56. iffen says:

    I like the idea of nested comments. I like to engage in dialogue with other commenters. At the same time I understand and expect that most of the other commenters are annoyed and have to skip over the dialogue. All the while I like to ignore or skip the worthless comments and get to the quality ones. You should definitely enforce your one handle rule. I have some commenters with 4-5 iterations of their handle on my CTI list. You should consider some sort of registration system. When some garbage comment appears you either have to look and see if this is the first comment under that handle, which it frequently is, or go to the trouble of adding a name to the CTI list that name not likely to appear again.

    There are excellent commenters here. I think many quality commenters shy away from entering comment threads that are sprinkled with bizarre and sometimes racist comments.

    The open thread is a much better idea than permanent topics.

    Try it out. If it doesn’t work, do away with it.

    You are the one that knows what you want out of your comment section; we are just giving our preferences with no way of knowing how that meshes with your idea of what you are trying to achieve.

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  57. Bill says:
    @Ron Unz
    It looks like almost all of the discussion has been on the commenter-handle issue. Would a few more people like to weigh in on the question of having a "perennial topics" category section on the Home page, so as to discourage the 9/11 people and such from cluttering up every other comment-thread with their debates?

    As it happens, I was in a programming mood and my software architecture is well-designed, so while I was waiting for feedback, I just went ahead and easily built those additional sections, but now have to decide whether or not to release the enhancements.

    I don’t think this idea is workable. Put yourself in the shoes of the people you are trying to control. They think that their idee fixe is insufficiently discussed. They think everybody else is asleep. They are evangelists. They don’t want a free speech box where their sayings can be read only by other crazed evangelists. If 9/11 Truthers want to talk only to other 9/11 Truthers, there are already places to do that. They specifically want to bring up their topic in front of people who aren’t interested, to “wake them up.”

    The problem with responding to this with something like “What about people who don’t want to be woken up?” or “Your ideas are crazy” is that waking people up to stuff they don’t want to be woken up to is one of the points of free speech (not that I’m in favor of free speech, but you are).

    I’d also suggest a somewhat different way of thinking this stuff through. Right now, the changes seem to be driven mostly by “stuff Ron Unz finds annoying.” Obviously, it’s your website, and you can do whatever you want, including stamping out things you find annoying. On the other hand, the way us rational actor model geeks tend to think these things through might be helpful here.

    Maybe start by thinking about 1) what Unz.com is for and 2) how the comments section is supposed to serve that mission. The tagline in the banner-headline-thingy-whatever-web-designers-call-it says “A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media” Taking that as the mission statement (je 1), it’s not all that clear what the comments section is for. I mean, the articles serve that purpose, right?

    Maybe the comments section is there to engage the reader with the excluded ideas? Maybe the comments section is there to provide a forum for airing excluded ideas Ron Unz hasn’t thought of? Maybe the comments section is there to foster a sense of community and shared purpose among the more engaged readers of Unz.com? Maybe it’s there to get leftoids who hate capitalism because of inequality and rightoids who hate capitalism because of cultural marxism to engage with one another? Maybe something else? Answering “It’s all those things” is a way of saying that you haven’t thought about it and don’t want to. Which is your prerogative, obviously.

    I don’t much like the emphasis on spelling, grammar, and a lack of “profanity.” For example, ” banner-headline-thingy-whatever-web-designers-call-it” is awful grammatically and stylistically. For example, “I dunno” contains a spelling error. I assume “you are shitting up the comments section again, Whiskey” counts as profanity. I don’t see why you would want to suppress any of these things, though. Violating the rules of grammar and decorum is a communicative act, itself.
    If you want to start a scholarly journal or a policy journal or whatever, then do that.

    Oh, Unz.com is great, and thank you for creating it.

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    • Agree: iffen
    • Replies: @(((Owen)))
    I think if you want a decent site free from 9-11 truthers and Holocaust revivalists, you just have to ask the moderators to exclude comments from them. Giving them a thread won't fix anything, as @Bill said.
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  58. @Ron Unz

    As for the one-handle rule, I’m curious whether, once the “outing” takes place, the comments will display as all coming from the main identity i.e. as “comment by OneTrueHandle,” or whether there will be an indication of the subterfuge.

    I.e. would they display as “comment by OneTrueHandle [previously appearing as SneakyAlternateHandle]”
     
    Well, given that the volume of multiple-handle commenters was much greater than I expected, I'd probably go with the less vindictive approach. Even though I've been emphasizing the One Handle requirement forever, it's very possible some of the lazier commenters never noticed my endless fulminations.

    But can anyone think of a good reason I *shouldn't* retroactively unify all these old comments under single handle, other than the possible embarrassment to the various people who've been playing sneaky games all these many months, hoping that no one would ever notice?

    I’d actually find it interesting to see which comments and handles have been coming from the same persons. I’m in favor of that.

    BTW I’ve sometimes mashed up my keys when quickly, carelessly typing in my fictional email address. My comments have posted with my correct handle, but sometimes without being tagged by the complete, consistent email address. I don’t know if this caused any problems for you. (I just need to slow down my keystrokes.)

    Also, I’ve wondered if some of my short, silly comments were more annoying then entertaining. I don’t know, but I will respectfully adapt to whatever feedback your improvements provide.

    Additionally, I’ve wondered if sometimes I should avoid responding to some off-topic comments (9/11 for example) or tangential items that touch on subjects dear to me. The temptation is great to argue and correct what one sees as faulty logic or misinformation.

    I think you have good ideas about improving the comment threads.

    Thank you for your service.

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  59. All of you critters are smarter than I, but my notions are up there with most. Then again, I did get trolled by Fred Reed. Bastard got me good on that one. This and Taki are the tip-top, but the form of the site is better here. Discus is just crude, this arrangement @ Unz is more refined.

    Cheers, and thanks to Ron Unz.

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  60. Veracitor says:
    @Ron Unz

    Perhaps you can point out where this has been said before. Prior to an announcement in August of this year, I don’t see the use of multiple handles mentioned as something forbidden.
     
    Sure. I've been regularly denouncing the use of multiple handles---"sockpuppetry"---since the very beginning. For example, here's an example I quickly found from over two years ago, and I'm sure it wasn't the first time:

    "Record Website Traffic But Rise in Sockpuppetry"
    http://www.unz.com/announcement/record-website-traffic/

    I am very pleased at the readership, distribution, and impact of our articles, as well as the 6500 comments we have so far received in August, likely headed for a monthly record. However, I have also noticed an unfortunate recent increase in sock-puppetry, which I hope does not continue. The standard WordPress Comment Administrator always shows the IP address of a commenter, along with his name-handle, and the same one or two IP addresses are regularly used for a considerable number of different handles, which may therefore mislead other commenters and reduce the possibility of honest and sustained long-term dialogue.

    Although this behavior will not necessarily prevent any such comments from being approved, I would urge that the individuals involved curb this behavior before such harsh measures become necessary. Selecting a single handle and generally sticking to it is hardly an unreasonable request on a website that allows such free-wheeling discussion on all sorts of controversial issues.
     

    I promise to stick to a single handle going forward, just as you request.

    But I ask you not to try to retrospectively merge all “my” old posts using different handles.

    (For one thing, you might accidentally merge some other writer’s remarks with mine. I often post from corporate networks which use the same public IP address for traffic from many people.)

    If you wish I will send you in confidence a list of the handles (five or so, one main and the others very occasional) I’ve used over the years here, or in some cases, not here but on sites whose contents you have since assimilated. I think you would not classify me as a troll or fanatic.

    I have several concerns which I would ask you to respect.

    One is that several years ago I switched from using my real name to a handle, because I need a job to support my family and would rather not be excluded from hiring consideration by some HR staffer who doesn’t agree with me about some matter of intellectual inquiry. Please don’t merge my old comments back into a threat to my livelihood.

    Second, I arrived here in Steve Sailer’s train and you picked up and indexed a lot of his old comment threads. I would rather you didn’t punish me for using different handles on someone else’s website!

    Which relates to another big problem. When I stopped using my real name, I adopted some different handles on different sites in case I might be outed on any one of them. Since then I have occasionally used my handle for one website (such as Econlog) for the odd comment to a directly-related thread on another site, such as iSteve here. I wasn’t trying to troll anyone but rather to help readers find my related remarks on the other site. I took your admonitions:

    …I have also noticed an unfortunate recent increase in sock-puppetry, which I hope does not continue. … [T]he same one or two IP addresses are regularly used for a considerable number of different handles, which may therefore mislead other commenters and reduce the possibility of honest and sustained long-term dialogue.

    Although this behavior will not necessarily prevent any such comments from being approved, I would urge that the individuals involved curb this behavior before such harsh measures become necessary. Selecting a single handle and generally sticking to it is hardly an unreasonable request on a website that allows such free-wheeling discussion on all sorts of controversial issues.

    to forbid exactly what you mentioned– sock-puppetry and/or frequent use of many handles– neither of which have I ever engaged in. Please don’t use some mindless script to merge all my comments because you’re angry with folks who’ve abused your hospitality.

    Respectfully yours,

    Veracitor

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  61. Complicated stuff…

    Forbidding sock puppets is tricky, a requirement that we be identifiably anonymous, or reliably pseudonymous. I’d never realized that there are levels of anonymity… I do notice that recording all my comments under one name slowly reveals who I am, each comment a stroke in an emerging picture. It doesn’t seem unreasonable for people to want to to have a few alter egos, à la Fernando Pessoa, both as protection and as an extra form of expressiveness. The problem then becomes, how do you distinguish abusive forms of sock puppetry? I’m not sure, but as the host you do have knowledge that others don’t, so perhaps there is some easy way you can still allow non-harmful split identities. Others have suggested a single identity for all comments on a single article, perhaps that’s a place to start?

    On the other topics, I suggest continuing to provide visitors with tools that let them filter in or out comments and commenters and topics they like or don’t. I suggest that you let visitors “vote with their feet” in the manner of your useful feature that lets me hide comments by someone I don’t find interesting (I wish you would make that even easier to do). I believe letting me do this in a private way is enough. You do not need to make this information public, indeed I prefer you didn’t. I may think someone is a troll but I may not want to say so publicly. But as the host, you have access to everyone’s opinions, either negative or positive.

    (I’d like an option to say, I like this commenter. When there are hundreds of comments, I could choose to see only the comments of my favorites. If I used that feature a lot, replies to comments would allow me to discover commenters not yet on my list of favorites.)

    Armed with aggregated knowledge of everyone’s likes and dislikes, you the god-like host could occasionally choose to curate the mass of visitors and comments and topics. This could be more or less silent, and “at whim” as Steve Sailer says. Maybe one day Tiny Duck would silently disappear, and few would mourn him. Or perhaps he would have the honor of finding himself in a list of castaways, only discoverable by the determined readers of this site who cherish freedom of expression and have the time to read the most contrarian and apparently pointless of commenters.

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    • Replies: @European-American
    My general ideas are (and sorry if these are obvious):

    1. You can harness the extraordinary accumulated energy that is spent on comments to make them better / more useful. Obviously not try to manually stop the flow, but construct various dams that make the flow useful and self=regulating. Provide tools that lets each user make the site more pleasant for him or herself, then use the accumulated data of each user's decisions to inform global automatic or semi-automatic editing decisions.

    2. The regulation does not need to be fully transparent. Like voting in elections, some secrecy is fine, if we can trust the host. You can publicize the rules if you like, and publicly discuss and tweak them, e.g. "someone marked troll 50% of the time by 10% of commenters will only appear in the 'show me all the dirt' mode". Or "someone marked favorite by 20% of commenters who themselves have been marked favorite often is considered good and given benefit of the doubt in scenario x". Alternatively, these rules can stay your secret sauce.

    For me, the looming danger in the commenting system is not so much Nazis or trolls or fakes, but sheer quantity. I'm sure you are well aware of this. I love reading comments when there are a few dozen. When there are hundreds it takes too much time, and I regret not having it.

    As always, Ron, thank you for your excellent work.

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  62. I also vote against Disqus; since the “show-reply on hover” feature was added, with the bonus of clicking around to follow the discussion; it’s a bit cumbersome, but I prefer my comments in linear chronological fashion – this way you can tie together something from multiple commentators before you.

    One idea to add – each comment links to any replies to it, but in the hover box, I can’t see if someone replied to a reply. If the initial reply is of good quality, sometimes I will click down to see if there is a reply to it (often not).. I don’t know if you want to have hover boxes within hover boxes, but maybe just including the links to replies to replies in the first hover box would make me happy?

    Anyway, for the grammatical side of things, I hope the editors will be lenient with non-native speakers (to the extent that they deserve).

    Also, I’m for fun I’ll ennumerate some “reasons to have multiple handles”
    1. Commenter is lazy and forgets his handle/email – would actually prefer having all the handles merged
    2. Commenter likes to make a clever joke with his handle
    3. Commenter likes to add information about himself subtly with his handle
    3. Commenter likes to have different handles for his different personalities
    4. Commenter likes to have different handles for different topics that he wants to keep separate because he likes keeping his interests (and also the commenting archives) in separate boxes
    5. Commenter likes to have different handles because he doesn’t want certain of his handles’ opinions associated with the reputation of his other handles.
    6. Commenter has different handles to attempt to manipulate conversations (sock-puppetry) for whatever reason
    7. Commenter likes to have different handles for security reasons (wth are you doing commenting on an Alt-Right blog??)

    I don’t think I missed any…?

    For #2 and #3 I have a suggestion – I think that right now one comments as “Anonymous” by typing “Anonymous” or “Anon” as the handle and leaving the email blank, which results in a grey “Anonymous” handle. What if the method of entering the anonymous handle was different? if you typed “Anonymous*FunnyHandle” the handle displayed would be Anonymous aka FunnyHandle in grey? For the #3 part, it could be that one types “Handle*_I_am_Irish” with the correct email to validate the comment, and Unz’s magical code displays the Handle*_I_am_Irish, but links the comment to the comment archive for “Handle”.

    #4 I can understand, but #5 is insulting to those of us commenters who post all of our opinions under one name. #6, well, no one is complimentary to those guys..

    Standards matter.

    I disagree with putting a banner “Conspiracy Theory Open Threads Here” front and center would serve Unz.com that much … but what about a Forum? I see that there is a Forum on Unz, but I think the format needs work to look more like a forum and less like a list of articles… Perhaps the open topics could be lightly curated with a heading article to summarize the different theories with links to the evidence etc?

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    • Replies: @StAugustine
    I have an idea for the #4 Commenter likes to have different handles for different topics whatever reason:

    It's more work for Mr Unz, but there could be a way to have multiple associated handles: say you click on a handle to go see its archive. In the title bar of the archive showing the name and the number of articles, you could add a "this commenter also comments under XZYhandle, PDQhandle, ABChandle". This keeps the archives separate. Maybe I'm interested in what you think about the other topics under other names?

    Of course Mr Unz would have to verify that your handles/IPs are actually all the same person - if you think you have this problem, you could pop him an email to clear things up :)
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  63. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Jason Liu

    it is sometimes irritating when particularly fanatic commenters choose to raise those same issues on almost every comment-thread, even those for which their is little connection.
     
    So do you plan on banning Rehmat?He's been making every thread about Zionists/Palestine ever since I was a kid. The guy's a few fries short of a happy meal, I swear.

    This of yours is exactly the kind of comment many people are fed up with, isn’t it?

    Also:

    I get a sense that some commenters seek to make up for the lack of original or interesting thinking in the body of their comments by attempting to transfer their creativity to their handles. This is NOT acceptable. Handles should preferably be short and simple, utilitarian in design. Your handles and other commenting information can easily be saved by using the “Remember/Update My Information” checkbox.

    Like all intelligent people, particularly the highly intelligent ones, you seldom stoop to offending/making claims without providing the others with the reasons behind them.

    I mean, I like fanciful and particular screen names. Maybe I want interesting thinking and original one, but it’s as well possible I don’t.
    How on earth does it relate with my taste in screen names?
    And actually, an originally thinking person would be more likely to project their originality in their screen names choices, wouldn’t they?

    +: you really don’t seem to be going to tell us why “this is NOT acceptable”.

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  64. @Ron Unz
    It looks like almost all of the discussion has been on the commenter-handle issue. Would a few more people like to weigh in on the question of having a "perennial topics" category section on the Home page, so as to discourage the 9/11 people and such from cluttering up every other comment-thread with their debates?

    As it happens, I was in a programming mood and my software architecture is well-designed, so while I was waiting for feedback, I just went ahead and easily built those additional sections, but now have to decide whether or not to release the enhancements.

    Ron and others here, such as Steve Sailer, have been very good at posting articles and columns that touch on subjects as they arise on the site. They seemingly do this when they get ideas from commenters.

    I think this very responsive approach could cover most topics that arise in comment threads. Ron and his contributors can just continue doing this. I find it uplifting when I see it done here.

    You don’t need 9/11, JFK, and moon hoaxes permanently cluttering up your very smart page. Address them when you feel like it by posting something about them. A fine example is Linh Dinh’s article at the top today.

    Also, I would allow one or two tangential comments to survive, when they appear, and then cut that tangent if it continues.

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    • Troll: Jonathan Revusky
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    I can see here now how the label of "Troll" can even become a badge of honor, like "Deplorable."

    I'm sure this is not what Ron intended when he came up with this new feature.
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  65. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous
    I had always been under the impression that sockpuppetry meant using different handles in the same thread, not on the same website days or weeks apart. I frequently make up a handle that clarifies my age, gender, location, profession, etc if that characteristic is relevant to the comment I'm making. I don't post often enough that I would expect anyone to remember who I am if I just used a name, so I thought this would be helpful. Also, other commenters complain if a thread is full of different people all calling themselves anonymous.

    I would prefer you not unify handles retroactivity, as I would not have listed all my different characteristics if I knew they would be collected together - I've probably uniquely identified myself if you put it all together. Frankly I am rather shocked that you are mulling changing the rules retroactivity in this fashion. I try to balance engaging with others online and protecting my privacy, and am shocked that you are contemplating upending that balance so casually.

    I don’t know whether you consider me to be baby or bathwater, Mr. Unz, but you have successfully thrown me out. I am just not going to comment on a website whose proprietor feels free to change the rules at any time, retroactively.

    And change them in an unprecedented fashion. It is very common for blogs to ban uncooperative commenters, and very rarely bloggers will strip anonymity from a commenter at the heighth of a vicious flame war. But I can’t recall any blog ever going back and adding more identifying information to masses of comments as a group punishment. If the ground rules for your website permit you to use whatever information you have on commenters to punish them whenever you see fit in whatever way occurs to you at any time, then I think maybe I will bow out of this game.

    Out of curiosity, what are the ground rules for people who merely read your website but don’t comment?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Max Payne

    If the ground rules for your website permit you to use whatever information you have on commenters to punish them whenever you see fit in whatever way occurs to you at any time
     
    Maybe Ron Unz is secretly Mossad and one day we'll all get unexpected visitors in the night.
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  66. Max Payne says:

    Why can’t I post anything anymore? I don’t have multiple handles… WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME RON UNZ?

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  67. Kyle a says:
    @Anon

    , I’m VERY annoyed at the number of commenters who have been regularly violating the One-Handle rule
     
    Unless you can do browser fingerprinting better than a major government, you have no idea how many commenters are violating the One-Handle rule.

    I respect your achievements in many areas, but network security is not one of those areas.

    How can you tell the difference between what I post from this OS and this IP and what I post from other OSs, other hardware MACs, and other IPs?

    If I make some annoying comment as one handle, you would probably misclassify it as belonging to one of your long-term trolls.

    You're smart, but you're not as smart as a state-sponsored spook bureau.

    A state-sponsored spook…. Are those the folks that use anonymous as a handle?

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  68. I’d be glad to hear if anyone can think of a reason that important step should not be taken.

    As far as I can tell, there is no reason not to do this.

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  69. Kyle a says:
    @iffen
    Perhaps this suggestion of providing permanent “open threads” on 9/11 and other perennial topics would be a good means of preventing such discussion from cluttering up the discussion of other, generally unrelated articles.

    You could have permanent open thread with the title: The Jews What Done It, but the 88s won't use it, they will still weigh in on every article.

    Them 88ers don’t need 9/11 as an excuse. The history of this country from 1947 is all the confirmation they need.

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  70. @StAugustine
    I also vote against Disqus; since the "show-reply on hover" feature was added, with the bonus of clicking around to follow the discussion; it's a bit cumbersome, but I prefer my comments in linear chronological fashion - this way you can tie together something from multiple commentators before you.

    One idea to add - each comment links to any replies to it, but in the hover box, I can't see if someone replied to a reply. If the initial reply is of good quality, sometimes I will click down to see if there is a reply to it (often not).. I don't know if you want to have hover boxes within hover boxes, but maybe just including the links to replies to replies in the first hover box would make me happy?

    Anyway, for the grammatical side of things, I hope the editors will be lenient with non-native speakers (to the extent that they deserve).


    Also, I'm for fun I'll ennumerate some "reasons to have multiple handles"
    1. Commenter is lazy and forgets his handle/email - would actually prefer having all the handles merged
    2. Commenter likes to make a clever joke with his handle
    3. Commenter likes to add information about himself subtly with his handle
    3. Commenter likes to have different handles for his different personalities
    4. Commenter likes to have different handles for different topics that he wants to keep separate because he likes keeping his interests (and also the commenting archives) in separate boxes
    5. Commenter likes to have different handles because he doesn't want certain of his handles' opinions associated with the reputation of his other handles.
    6. Commenter has different handles to attempt to manipulate conversations (sock-puppetry) for whatever reason
    7. Commenter likes to have different handles for security reasons (wth are you doing commenting on an Alt-Right blog??)

    I don't think I missed any...?

    For #2 and #3 I have a suggestion - I think that right now one comments as "Anonymous" by typing "Anonymous" or "Anon" as the handle and leaving the email blank, which results in a grey "Anonymous" handle. What if the method of entering the anonymous handle was different? if you typed "Anonymous*FunnyHandle" the handle displayed would be Anonymous aka FunnyHandle in grey? For the #3 part, it could be that one types "Handle*_I_am_Irish" with the correct email to validate the comment, and Unz's magical code displays the Handle*_I_am_Irish, but links the comment to the comment archive for "Handle".

    #4 I can understand, but #5 is insulting to those of us commenters who post all of our opinions under one name. #6, well, no one is complimentary to those guys..

    Standards matter.

    I disagree with putting a banner "Conspiracy Theory Open Threads Here" front and center would serve Unz.com that much ... but what about a Forum? I see that there is a Forum on Unz, but I think the format needs work to look more like a forum and less like a list of articles... Perhaps the open topics could be lightly curated with a heading article to summarize the different theories with links to the evidence etc?

    I have an idea for the #4 Commenter likes to have different handles for different topics whatever reason:

    It’s more work for Mr Unz, but there could be a way to have multiple associated handles: say you click on a handle to go see its archive. In the title bar of the archive showing the name and the number of articles, you could add a “this commenter also comments under XZYhandle, PDQhandle, ABChandle”. This keeps the archives separate. Maybe I’m interested in what you think about the other topics under other names?

    Of course Mr Unz would have to verify that your handles/IPs are actually all the same person – if you think you have this problem, you could pop him an email to clear things up :)

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  71. vinteuil says:

    Mr. Unz, may I suggest another possible improvement?

    From both a moral & a legal point of view, it is very, very unwise for the proprietor of a website to allow pseudonymous commenters to post identifying information about other pseudonymous commenters – i.e., the practice commonly known as “doxing.”

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  72. Max Payne says:
    @Anonymous
    I don't know whether you consider me to be baby or bathwater, Mr. Unz, but you have successfully thrown me out. I am just not going to comment on a website whose proprietor feels free to change the rules at any time, retroactively.

    And change them in an unprecedented fashion. It is very common for blogs to ban uncooperative commenters, and very rarely bloggers will strip anonymity from a commenter at the heighth of a vicious flame war. But I can't recall any blog ever going back and adding more identifying information to masses of comments as a group punishment. If the ground rules for your website permit you to use whatever information you have on commenters to punish them whenever you see fit in whatever way occurs to you at any time, then I think maybe I will bow out of this game.

    Out of curiosity, what are the ground rules for people who merely read your website but don't comment?

    If the ground rules for your website permit you to use whatever information you have on commenters to punish them whenever you see fit in whatever way occurs to you at any time

    Maybe Ron Unz is secretly Mossad and one day we’ll all get unexpected visitors in the night.

    Read More
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  73. @Anonymous
    I had always been under the impression that sockpuppetry meant using different handles in the same thread, not on the same website days or weeks apart. I frequently make up a handle that clarifies my age, gender, location, profession, etc if that characteristic is relevant to the comment I'm making. I don't post often enough that I would expect anyone to remember who I am if I just used a name, so I thought this would be helpful. Also, other commenters complain if a thread is full of different people all calling themselves anonymous.

    I would prefer you not unify handles retroactivity, as I would not have listed all my different characteristics if I knew they would be collected together - I've probably uniquely identified myself if you put it all together. Frankly I am rather shocked that you are mulling changing the rules retroactivity in this fashion. I try to balance engaging with others online and protecting my privacy, and am shocked that you are contemplating upending that balance so casually.

    I … am shocked that you are contemplating upending that balance so casually [by retroactively linking commentors' handles on Unz.com]

    Yeah, Unz clearly hasn’t put a lot of thought into this decision or sought the opinions of people likely to be affected.

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  74. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Hey Ron your IP banning is terrible. My entire office can’t post comments. Seriously. It works fine from home or on a data plan.

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  75. Max Payne says:

    Is there a particular reason I can’t post under my old name? Have I been banned?

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  76. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Have I been banned? Is there a particular reason I can’t use my name and email (Max Payne)? I can comment anonmyously but not under my old alias … and I have not used any other handle since I started commenting in 2014. I thought it would go away after 2 days.

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    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    Have I been banned? Is there a particular reason I can’t use my name and email (Max Payne)?
     
    That's very odd---I just discovered that some of your comments had been caught by the spam filter, for unknown reasons, certainly nothing having to do with me.

    Our website uses a standard third-party WordPress spam filter, which generally works very well, but occasionally does this sort of thing. My only guess would be that comments from that IP had been flagged as "spam" on some other WordPress website using the same filter, and it shares information on spam-IPs across the Internet.

    Anyway, I manually un-spammed them, and hope the filter fixes the problem.

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  77. Ron Unz says:
    @Anonymous
    Have I been banned? Is there a particular reason I can't use my name and email (Max Payne)? I can comment anonmyously but not under my old alias ... and I have not used any other handle since I started commenting in 2014. I thought it would go away after 2 days.

    Have I been banned? Is there a particular reason I can’t use my name and email (Max Payne)?

    That’s very odd—I just discovered that some of your comments had been caught by the spam filter, for unknown reasons, certainly nothing having to do with me.

    Our website uses a standard third-party WordPress spam filter, which generally works very well, but occasionally does this sort of thing. My only guess would be that comments from that IP had been flagged as “spam” on some other WordPress website using the same filter, and it shares information on spam-IPs across the Internet.

    Anyway, I manually un-spammed them, and hope the filter fixes the problem.

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  78. Art says:

    My 2 cents – late.

    Perhaps something like “gilding the lily” is about to happen. The site works very well as it is. Putting restrictions on free speech is a slippery slope.

    Using the “Troll” button with consequences could become a tool to shut down a commenter. If there were actual ramifications to using the troll button – then it would become political. On the other hand using the troll button with “no” consequences to anyone, along with your handle is revealing – not a bad thing.

    Would having an “open 9/11” thread curtail the publishing of useful articles on the subject? 9/11 is the most significant event of our time – there are many angles to its discussion. Currently, it is not that hard to skip over the nonsense.

    I like a hard “one handle” rule going forward – but not retroactive (no need to hurt someone). Personally I have only one handle.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dfordoom

    Perhaps something like “gilding the lily” is about to happen. The site works very well as it is. Putting restrictions on free speech is a slippery slope.
     
    Agreed.

    On the whole it's a brilliant site and the commenting system is excellent (much better than Disqus).

    I'd be careful about obsessively adding new features that aren't needed. Like the Troll button. If a commenter bothers you you just add him to your Commenters To Ignore list. I'm also dubious about doing stuff retroactively.
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  79. @Bill
    I don't think this idea is workable. Put yourself in the shoes of the people you are trying to control. They think that their idee fixe is insufficiently discussed. They think everybody else is asleep. They are evangelists. They don't want a free speech box where their sayings can be read only by other crazed evangelists. If 9/11 Truthers want to talk only to other 9/11 Truthers, there are already places to do that. They specifically want to bring up their topic in front of people who aren't interested, to "wake them up."

    The problem with responding to this with something like "What about people who don't want to be woken up?" or "Your ideas are crazy" is that waking people up to stuff they don't want to be woken up to is one of the points of free speech (not that I'm in favor of free speech, but you are).

    I'd also suggest a somewhat different way of thinking this stuff through. Right now, the changes seem to be driven mostly by "stuff Ron Unz finds annoying." Obviously, it's your website, and you can do whatever you want, including stamping out things you find annoying. On the other hand, the way us rational actor model geeks tend to think these things through might be helpful here.

    Maybe start by thinking about 1) what Unz.com is for and 2) how the comments section is supposed to serve that mission. The tagline in the banner-headline-thingy-whatever-web-designers-call-it says "A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media" Taking that as the mission statement (je 1), it's not all that clear what the comments section is for. I mean, the articles serve that purpose, right?

    Maybe the comments section is there to engage the reader with the excluded ideas? Maybe the comments section is there to provide a forum for airing excluded ideas Ron Unz hasn't thought of? Maybe the comments section is there to foster a sense of community and shared purpose among the more engaged readers of Unz.com? Maybe it's there to get leftoids who hate capitalism because of inequality and rightoids who hate capitalism because of cultural marxism to engage with one another? Maybe something else? Answering "It's all those things" is a way of saying that you haven't thought about it and don't want to. Which is your prerogative, obviously.

    I don't much like the emphasis on spelling, grammar, and a lack of "profanity." For example, " banner-headline-thingy-whatever-web-designers-call-it" is awful grammatically and stylistically. For example, "I dunno" contains a spelling error. I assume "you are shitting up the comments section again, Whiskey" counts as profanity. I don't see why you would want to suppress any of these things, though. Violating the rules of grammar and decorum is a communicative act, itself.
    If you want to start a scholarly journal or a policy journal or whatever, then do that.

    Oh, Unz.com is great, and thank you for creating it.

    I think if you want a decent site free from 9-11 truthers and Holocaust revivalists, you just have to ask the moderators to exclude comments from them. Giving them a thread won’t fix anything, as said.

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    • Replies: @iffen
    and Holocaust revivalists

    I was going to comment and ask whether you meant revisionists rather than revivalists.

    After a bit more thought, I decided that you must be much smarter than me to have figured out that there is really no difference between the two.
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  80. iffen says:
    @(((Owen)))
    I think if you want a decent site free from 9-11 truthers and Holocaust revivalists, you just have to ask the moderators to exclude comments from them. Giving them a thread won't fix anything, as @Bill said.

    and Holocaust revivalists

    I was going to comment and ask whether you meant revisionists rather than revivalists.

    After a bit more thought, I decided that you must be much smarter than me to have figured out that there is really no difference between the two.

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    • Agree: (((Owen)))
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  81. @Buzz Mohawk
    Ron and others here, such as Steve Sailer, have been very good at posting articles and columns that touch on subjects as they arise on the site. They seemingly do this when they get ideas from commenters.

    I think this very responsive approach could cover most topics that arise in comment threads. Ron and his contributors can just continue doing this. I find it uplifting when I see it done here.

    You don't need 9/11, JFK, and moon hoaxes permanently cluttering up your very smart page. Address them when you feel like it by posting something about them. A fine example is Linh Dinh's article at the top today.

    Also, I would allow one or two tangential comments to survive, when they appear, and then cut that tangent if it continues.

    I can see here now how the label of “Troll” can even become a badge of honor, like “Deplorable.”

    I’m sure this is not what Ron intended when he came up with this new feature.

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    • Replies: @Pat Hannagan
    Ha ha, I knew this would happen.

    There is already the agree/disagree option. Everyone can also hide commenters, and whole threads if they need to shield their eyes and minds from whatever offends.

    The troll option is open to abuse. And will also be a lot of fun I think. Great idea Buzz re. "Deplorable" flag. Ron please add that to Troll option.

    , @The most deplorable one
    Perhaps it should be "die Kultur Troll."
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  82. @Buzz Mohawk
    I can see here now how the label of "Troll" can even become a badge of honor, like "Deplorable."

    I'm sure this is not what Ron intended when he came up with this new feature.

    Ha ha, I knew this would happen.

    There is already the agree/disagree option. Everyone can also hide commenters, and whole threads if they need to shield their eyes and minds from whatever offends.

    The troll option is open to abuse. And will also be a lot of fun I think. Great idea Buzz re. “Deplorable” flag. Ron please add that to Troll option.

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  83. @European-American
    Complicated stuff...

    Forbidding sock puppets is tricky, a requirement that we be identifiably anonymous, or reliably pseudonymous. I'd never realized that there are levels of anonymity... I do notice that recording all my comments under one name slowly reveals who I am, each comment a stroke in an emerging picture. It doesn't seem unreasonable for people to want to to have a few alter egos, à la Fernando Pessoa, both as protection and as an extra form of expressiveness. The problem then becomes, how do you distinguish abusive forms of sock puppetry? I'm not sure, but as the host you do have knowledge that others don't, so perhaps there is some easy way you can still allow non-harmful split identities. Others have suggested a single identity for all comments on a single article, perhaps that's a place to start?

    On the other topics, I suggest continuing to provide visitors with tools that let them filter in or out comments and commenters and topics they like or don't. I suggest that you let visitors "vote with their feet" in the manner of your useful feature that lets me hide comments by someone I don't find interesting (I wish you would make that even easier to do). I believe letting me do this in a private way is enough. You do not need to make this information public, indeed I prefer you didn't. I may think someone is a troll but I may not want to say so publicly. But as the host, you have access to everyone's opinions, either negative or positive.

    (I'd like an option to say, I like this commenter. When there are hundreds of comments, I could choose to see only the comments of my favorites. If I used that feature a lot, replies to comments would allow me to discover commenters not yet on my list of favorites.)

    Armed with aggregated knowledge of everyone's likes and dislikes, you the god-like host could occasionally choose to curate the mass of visitors and comments and topics. This could be more or less silent, and "at whim" as Steve Sailer says. Maybe one day Tiny Duck would silently disappear, and few would mourn him. Or perhaps he would have the honor of finding himself in a list of castaways, only discoverable by the determined readers of this site who cherish freedom of expression and have the time to read the most contrarian and apparently pointless of commenters.

    My general ideas are (and sorry if these are obvious):

    1. You can harness the extraordinary accumulated energy that is spent on comments to make them better / more useful. Obviously not try to manually stop the flow, but construct various dams that make the flow useful and self=regulating. Provide tools that lets each user make the site more pleasant for him or herself, then use the accumulated data of each user’s decisions to inform global automatic or semi-automatic editing decisions.

    2. The regulation does not need to be fully transparent. Like voting in elections, some secrecy is fine, if we can trust the host. You can publicize the rules if you like, and publicly discuss and tweak them, e.g. “someone marked troll 50% of the time by 10% of commenters will only appear in the ‘show me all the dirt’ mode”. Or “someone marked favorite by 20% of commenters who themselves have been marked favorite often is considered good and given benefit of the doubt in scenario x”. Alternatively, these rules can stay your secret sauce.

    For me, the looming danger in the commenting system is not so much Nazis or trolls or fakes, but sheer quantity. I’m sure you are well aware of this. I love reading comments when there are a few dozen. When there are hundreds it takes too much time, and I regret not having it.

    As always, Ron, thank you for your excellent work.

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  84. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Art
    My 2 cents - late.

    Perhaps something like “gilding the lily” is about to happen. The site works very well as it is. Putting restrictions on free speech is a slippery slope.

    Using the “Troll” button with consequences could become a tool to shut down a commenter. If there were actual ramifications to using the troll button – then it would become political. On the other hand using the troll button with "no" consequences to anyone, along with your handle is revealing – not a bad thing.

    Would having an “open 9/11” thread curtail the publishing of useful articles on the subject? 9/11 is the most significant event of our time – there are many angles to its discussion. Currently, it is not that hard to skip over the nonsense.

    I like a hard “one handle” rule going forward – but not retroactive (no need to hurt someone). Personally I have only one handle.

    Perhaps something like “gilding the lily” is about to happen. The site works very well as it is. Putting restrictions on free speech is a slippery slope.

    Agreed.

    On the whole it’s a brilliant site and the commenting system is excellent (much better than Disqus).

    I’d be careful about obsessively adding new features that aren’t needed. Like the Troll button. If a commenter bothers you you just add him to your Commenters To Ignore list. I’m also dubious about doing stuff retroactively.

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  85. Ron Unz says:

    Well, I’ve been starting to carefully merge comment-handles, and discovered something interesting…

    It seems to me there’s a clear difference between a comment made by an “Anonymous” and a comment made by someone using a handle, with everyone taking the latter much more seriously, as being an “entity” with a “return address” providing greater credibility and weight.

    However, I’ve discovered at least a few commenters have been changing their handle after every second or third comment, thereby gaining the advantages of having a “name” but avoiding any of the disadvantages. I think the best way to deal with this is to retroactively change all their handles to “Anonymous” since they were clearly trying to trick the other commenters.

    This is exactly the reason I need to start enforcing these single-handle rules…

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    • Replies: @iffen
    This is exactly the reason I need to start enforcing these single-handle rules…

    Yes, do this.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    Ron
    1. I wish you luck in eliminating the multiple deceptive handles. No doubt some people who fancy their online efforts can transform the world will pop into an Internet café and contrive to overcome your defences but it is the use of Anonymous as well as the regular handle on the one thread which I see as undermining your policy. By using Anon, Anonymous, anon and anonymous it would be possible to effectually pose as five different commenters. Therefore....

    Given the rationale you originally stated for allowing Anon etc. why not disallow the use of Anonymous, Anon etc. on the same thread as the regular moniker?

    2. As I have previously noted there are a number of Commenters names that appear as if they were on my Commenters to Ignore list but are not. Are these all the result of multiple handles being used? I find that unlikely.

    3. For those of us who frequently resort to UR with our smartphones it would be a great boon to be able to email - or otherwise "share" - individual Comments. Tweets are not enough.

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  86. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Judging by the comments I’ve read, a lot of people here are miffed by the trolls, and a few seem to assume that the comment revision to 1 handle would solve that. But they should bear in mind that the trolls, such as Tiny Duck, Corvinus, etc. tend to go by their 1 handle anyway. As Ron said earlier, there have been a lot of commenters across time who have been using multiple handles, so it seems like this backward comment revision would basically be just sticking it to many of the faithful readers, not the trolls.

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  87. Max Payne says:

    People here are too much about the “letter of the law”:

    From my understanding all Mr. Unz is asking is: don’t make 2+ handles on a single computer and talk to yourself or gang up on other posters. If you need to make an account here and there for the various devices or locations that’s not a problem, as long as its within reason (I understand reason is about as rare as common sense; which is also considered a super power due to its rarity)… but if you’re some kind of hippy communist faggot who makes 5 handles on the same computer/IP and starts debating himself to make a certain point more legitimate (which is pretty gay) or by mass attacking a certain topic/posters (also homosexual) then you’re going to be exposed (which is great).

    I disagree completely about the ban on profanity (it feels too good to stop) but I’m assuming that’s more pointed at people who spam nothing more than crude insults at each other and should get their comments trashed (because reminding someone their mother is obese and that you’ve had intercourse with her repeatedly has very little to do with the articles listed on Unz.com).

    Not naming names but there are two commentators I can think of who seem to just hurl half-retarded insults at each other every time they meet on the threads (you know who you are).

    As for the ‘crazies’. It’s fine. They’re manageable.

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  88. Lot says:
    @Ron Unz
    It looks like almost all of the discussion has been on the commenter-handle issue. Would a few more people like to weigh in on the question of having a "perennial topics" category section on the Home page, so as to discourage the 9/11 people and such from cluttering up every other comment-thread with their debates?

    As it happens, I was in a programming mood and my software architecture is well-designed, so while I was waiting for feedback, I just went ahead and easily built those additional sections, but now have to decide whether or not to release the enhancements.

    Dedicated pages for 9/11 and holocaust truthers will bring more of them to the site, and thus more to the other pages that are cross-promoted.

    As Bill says, there are already plenty of sites where they can talk to each other, but Unz.com is a uniquely good chance to evangelize.

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  89. Lot says:
    @Ron Unz

    I would prefer nested comments, constantly having to jump around the page gets annoying. But some prefer non-nested comments, so maybe Unz could implement an individual user preference, displaying the comments in two possible ways.
     
    Actually, the system already attempts to provide essentially that option, and has for the last year or so.

    If you just click the "This Thread" button on a comment, only the particular thread containing that comment will remain visible, effectively producing a nesting effect. I deliberately designed the system to attempt to include both nested and non-nested benefits.

    A serious problem with Disqus and external systems is that they're completely inflexible and can't be modified. And I personally can't stand the Disqus nesting approach...

    Since you say you are in a programming phase, here are some other site suggestions:

    Move inactive authors to an “author archive.” Seeing the same headline on the sidebar for 3 years is kind of strange and makes the site look a little out of date.

    The comment system is basically OK. Steve and Razib do the best job moderating. And Razib’s hostility to some of his commenters is always amusing.

    For Unz.org, make it easier to download PDF’s. Downloaded PDFs are much nicer to read than page-by-page on screen on every computer, mobile device, and OS I have ever used.

    I am guessing the reason you do this is to prevent mass downloading, but I think an easier way would be to just have download quotas. That’s 1973 network technology! If the reason is license restrictions, hopefully this could be partially done. I think Google Books has a partial system like this.

    For content, Jason Bayz had a great blog, and the large amount of daily anti-Israel/Pro-Putin articles is kind of tiresome. I like Cockburn Jr. and Mercer a lot too.

    Read More
    • Replies: @vinteuil
    Agree about Steve, disagree about Razib. Sailer moderates comments to perfection - filtering out the obvious bad guys, while not discouraging the occasional interesting crazy guy. Razib is just too harsh. He's like an old-time English school-master who can't wait to crack his whip across your butt.
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  90. Please Mr. Unz, give us just two more minutes on the ‘edit’ clock. Somehow, I keep running into some natural mental time span for recognition of errors—I spot mistakes with seconds to spare, after staring at my posts for almost all of the five minutes. This happens consistently.

    Just two minutes more, please. Or even a minute.

    Read More
    • Agree: Max Payne
    • Replies: @RobinG
    Why don't you use the PREVIEW COMMENT feature.

    [As Ron and others have suggested before.]

    There is no time limit.
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  91. JackOH says:

    Ron, just a top-of-the-head suggestion: is there some way a reader may restrict comments to, say, a handful of commenters who’ve offered comments the reader believes especially worthwhile? Plus, permit replies from anyone to those commenters. So, a 300-comment thread may be cut down to a more manageable 50 or 60 comments that the reader regards as more robust. (I haven’t thought this through, and, being computer un-hip, don’t know anything about how to implement the idea.)

    Read More
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  92. iffen says:
    @Ron Unz
    Well, I've been starting to carefully merge comment-handles, and discovered something interesting...

    It seems to me there's a clear difference between a comment made by an "Anonymous" and a comment made by someone using a handle, with everyone taking the latter much more seriously, as being an "entity" with a "return address" providing greater credibility and weight.

    However, I've discovered at least a few commenters have been changing their handle after every second or third comment, thereby gaining the advantages of having a "name" but avoiding any of the disadvantages. I think the best way to deal with this is to retroactively change all their handles to "Anonymous" since they were clearly trying to trick the other commenters.

    This is exactly the reason I need to start enforcing these single-handle rules...

    This is exactly the reason I need to start enforcing these single-handle rules…

    Yes, do this.

    Read More
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  93. I personally liked the old Huffington Post Badges system. They had badges for humor, trolls, agrees and disagrees.

    Admittedly, it would affect the gravitas of The Unz Review.

    Read More
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  94. @Buzz Mohawk
    I can see here now how the label of "Troll" can even become a badge of honor, like "Deplorable."

    I'm sure this is not what Ron intended when he came up with this new feature.

    Perhaps it should be “die Kultur Troll.”

    Read More
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  95. Every thread is an open thread. After thirty or so comments the conversation reverts to Jews or interminable quibbling about historical narratives. Sometimes a commenter will completely change the topic at or near the top of the thread. But don’t fix it. I inevitably get banned from closely moderated boards. The wild west ambiance and the feature rich com boxes make for a most excellent experience in my opinion. Just keep up the good work Mr. Unz.

    Read More
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  96. @Jason Liu

    it is sometimes irritating when particularly fanatic commenters choose to raise those same issues on almost every comment-thread, even those for which their is little connection.
     
    So do you plan on banning Rehmat?He's been making every thread about Zionists/Palestine ever since I was a kid. The guy's a few fries short of a happy meal, I swear.

    Agree. Rehmat needs to be less long winded (more short-winded?). Zionists can burn in al-Megidoh for all I care, but Rehmat needs to be more entertainingly anti-Z. Brevity, bitchez.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RobinG
    Rehmat is very, very far from the worst offender in the long-winded category.
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  97. RobinG says:
    @PiltdownMan
    Please Mr. Unz, give us just two more minutes on the 'edit' clock. Somehow, I keep running into some natural mental time span for recognition of errors—I spot mistakes with seconds to spare, after staring at my posts for almost all of the five minutes. This happens consistently.

    Just two minutes more, please. Or even a minute.

    Why don’t you use the PREVIEW COMMENT feature.

    [As Ron and others have suggested before.]

    There is no time limit.

    Read More
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  98. RobinG says:
    @frayed_thread
    Agree. Rehmat needs to be less long winded (more short-winded?). Zionists can burn in al-Megidoh for all I care, but Rehmat needs to be more entertainingly anti-Z. Brevity, bitchez.

    Rehmat is very, very far from the worst offender in the long-winded category.

    Read More
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  99. Mr. Blank says:

    Overall, sounds good. Not sure exactly how you’re going to police spelling and grammar, though. A lot of people, even highly educated people, have trouble with both.

    Read More
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  100. @Ron Unz
    Well, I've been starting to carefully merge comment-handles, and discovered something interesting...

    It seems to me there's a clear difference between a comment made by an "Anonymous" and a comment made by someone using a handle, with everyone taking the latter much more seriously, as being an "entity" with a "return address" providing greater credibility and weight.

    However, I've discovered at least a few commenters have been changing their handle after every second or third comment, thereby gaining the advantages of having a "name" but avoiding any of the disadvantages. I think the best way to deal with this is to retroactively change all their handles to "Anonymous" since they were clearly trying to trick the other commenters.

    This is exactly the reason I need to start enforcing these single-handle rules...

    Ron
    1. I wish you luck in eliminating the multiple deceptive handles. No doubt some people who fancy their online efforts can transform the world will pop into an Internet café and contrive to overcome your defences but it is the use of Anonymous as well as the regular handle on the one thread which I see as undermining your policy. By using Anon, Anonymous, anon and anonymous it would be possible to effectually pose as five different commenters. Therefore….

    Given the rationale you originally stated for allowing Anon etc. why not disallow the use of Anonymous, Anon etc. on the same thread as the regular moniker?

    2. As I have previously noted there are a number of Commenters names that appear as if they were on my Commenters to Ignore list but are not. Are these all the result of multiple handles being used? I find that unlikely.

    3. For those of us who frequently resort to UR with our smartphones it would be a great boon to be able to email – or otherwise “share” – individual Comments. Tweets are not enough.

    Read More
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  101. The preview feature makes my edit ‘sticky’. That is, the text box changes slowly in response to my keyboard input. Do others have this problem, or is is specific to my browser? I have a maxed out up to date system, and plenty of memory free.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RobinG
    My preview box works in sync with my typing.
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  102. Vendetta says:

    I like giving people a “Troll” button. How about a “Shill” button too?

    Read More
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  103. RobinG says:
    @PiltdownMan
    The preview feature makes my edit 'sticky'. That is, the text box changes slowly in response to my keyboard input. Do others have this problem, or is is specific to my browser? I have a maxed out up to date system, and plenty of memory free.

    My preview box works in sync with my typing.

    Read More
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  104. Unz, my man. The lastest crime data, broken down by hispanic and non-hispanic, prove your hispanic crime theory wrong.

    View post on imgur.com

    https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2015/crime-in-the-u.s.-2015/tables/table-43

    Read More
    • Replies: @res
    Can you point to a place where the method used to combine race and ethnicity to separate hispanics from whites is described? Without knowing that I don't see how we can trust the numbers from the imgur graphic.
    , @Ron Unz

    Unz, my man. The lastest crime data, broken down by hispanic and non-hispanic, prove your hispanic crime theory wrong.
     
    Ha, ha... Have you ever considered adjusting for age? Or maybe even just reading my original article?...

    http://www.unz.com/article/the-myth-of-hispanic-crime/
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  105. res says:
    @bored_poster
    Unz, my man. The lastest crime data, broken down by hispanic and non-hispanic, prove your hispanic crime theory wrong.

    http://imgur.com/qO9MofK
    https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2015/crime-in-the-u.s.-2015/tables/table-43

    Can you point to a place where the method used to combine race and ethnicity to separate hispanics from whites is described? Without knowing that I don’t see how we can trust the numbers from the imgur graphic.

    Read More
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  106. Ron Unz says:
    @bored_poster
    Unz, my man. The lastest crime data, broken down by hispanic and non-hispanic, prove your hispanic crime theory wrong.

    http://imgur.com/qO9MofK
    https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2015/crime-in-the-u.s.-2015/tables/table-43

    Unz, my man. The lastest crime data, broken down by hispanic and non-hispanic, prove your hispanic crime theory wrong.

    Ha, ha… Have you ever considered adjusting for age? Or maybe even just reading my original article?…

    http://www.unz.com/article/the-myth-of-hispanic-crime/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Peripatetic commenter
    Ron,

    Your comment probably went right over his head, because after all, an 18 year old Hispanic male is the same as a 50-year old Hispanic male, right?

    Slick Willy was probably as randy at 18 and when he was President.
    , @Lot

    Have you ever considered adjusting for age?
     
    You think age is going to explain the roughly 3:1 hispanic:white arrest rate for murder and motor vehicle theft?

    Thought experiment: double the number of hispanics in America, with every single new hispanic an elderly woman age 80 and above. The hispanic rate will still be 50% higher than the white rate for murder and motor vehicle theft.

    There are also a lot of "adjustments" to the data you did not attempt, like the fact that a large portion of crime in hispanic areas goes unreported compared to Non-Hispanic white areas because the victim/witnesses are illegal immigrants or have them within their household. That's not my opinion, that is what hispanics activists have said many times, and sounds right to me.
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  107. tomv says:
    @Honesthughgrant

    I’ve been meaning to proffer this to you as an innocent reason for someone’s using multiple handles.
     
    Seriously, I doubt 1 person in a 100 are doing multiple handles to be "funny".

    Here’s a comment on a recent iSteve post about Alicia Muchado.

    leave alicia alone! says:
    September 30, 2016 at 12:10 am GMT
    you’re victim blaming you misogynist!

    Not that funny, but this kind of contextual handle is not sockpuppetry, nor is it that uncommon.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    Not that funny, but this kind of contextual handle is not sockpuppetry, nor is it that uncommon.
     
    Yes, these "contextual handles" sometimes function as mildly witty introductions to (usually) short comments that almost no one will ever read two weeks after publication.

    Meanwhile, I've now discovered that roughly 70%(!) of all comment handles are one-offs, that were only used a single time. Among other things, this obviously allows drive-by commenting, in which an individual can pretend to "be somebody" and get taken much more seriously than if he were just another "Anonymous." It also obviously opens the door to individuals pretending to be 3 or 4 different people in a contentious debate. Indeed, quite a number of commenters (based on same IP or email) use many, many different handles, which is a weakness of a non-registration website often dealing with highly contentious topics.

    One-off handles should be "Anonymous" since they almost always include or even represent an attempt to obfuscate one's identity.
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  108. Ron Unz says:
    @tomv
    Here's a comment on a recent iSteve post about Alicia Muchado.

    leave alicia alone! says:
    September 30, 2016 at 12:10 am GMT
    you’re victim blaming you misogynist!
     
    Not that funny, but this kind of contextual handle is not sockpuppetry, nor is it that uncommon.

    Not that funny, but this kind of contextual handle is not sockpuppetry, nor is it that uncommon.

    Yes, these “contextual handles” sometimes function as mildly witty introductions to (usually) short comments that almost no one will ever read two weeks after publication.

    Meanwhile, I’ve now discovered that roughly 70%(!) of all comment handles are one-offs, that were only used a single time. Among other things, this obviously allows drive-by commenting, in which an individual can pretend to “be somebody” and get taken much more seriously than if he were just another “Anonymous.” It also obviously opens the door to individuals pretending to be 3 or 4 different people in a contentious debate. Indeed, quite a number of commenters (based on same IP or email) use many, many different handles, which is a weakness of a non-registration website often dealing with highly contentious topics.

    One-off handles should be “Anonymous” since they almost always include or even represent an attempt to obfuscate one’s identity.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Peripatetic commenter
    Ron, this body of data you have is very important.

    It could become one of the only datasets available about the different posting styles, especially of the 'drive-by' posters.

    You should consider making is available for research.
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  109. inertial says:

    Ron,

    If you want commenters to stick to the same handles why not give them incentives? Like a greater customization ability linked to a handle. For example, when you visit the page a message lights up in a corner, “You have 5 new replies to your posts, click here to read.” Or perhaps an an ability to “subscribe” to your favorite authors and commenters.

    And for the commenters who want to be creative with their handles or disclose information, why not create a tag field? Tag is simply text that can be shown next to handle or underneath it. You can change it every message, or not change it, or leave it blank. For an example, see comment threads at FreeRepublic.com. E.g. comments 2 or 4 at this thread: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3475306/posts

    Read More
    • Replies: @inertial
    To give more detail about what I mean as subscription and how it is related to incentives. I see it as something similar to the current search commenter name page but for multiple commenters that you previously select. Plus, the "New Messages" feature.

    A commenter who is being followed should know about this. Perhaps not the identities of followers but at least their total number. This will make him less likely to change handle because if he does he'll lose his followers.

    Also, since Ron is big on buttons right now, how about an Off Topic button? An topic comment is given a different formatting. Not different color background, as this is used for other things, but perhaps gray font, or smaller font, or just words OFF TOPIC across the top of the post. A poster can label his post off topic and so can the moderator. If neither of them do it, 5+ regular commenters in good standing can do it by clicking a button. Once a comment is formatted as off topic, all the replies to it and the replies to the replies, etc. are formatted likewise. This way you can skip the whole thread. Troll comments could also be handled this way.
    , @Lot

    If you want commenters to stick to the same handles why not give them incentives?
     
    He already does, you get a comment history page and the Agree, LOL, etc options as well.
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  110. vinteuil says:
    @Lot
    Since you say you are in a programming phase, here are some other site suggestions:

    Move inactive authors to an "author archive." Seeing the same headline on the sidebar for 3 years is kind of strange and makes the site look a little out of date.

    The comment system is basically OK. Steve and Razib do the best job moderating. And Razib's hostility to some of his commenters is always amusing.

    For Unz.org, make it easier to download PDF's. Downloaded PDFs are much nicer to read than page-by-page on screen on every computer, mobile device, and OS I have ever used.

    I am guessing the reason you do this is to prevent mass downloading, but I think an easier way would be to just have download quotas. That's 1973 network technology! If the reason is license restrictions, hopefully this could be partially done. I think Google Books has a partial system like this.

    For content, Jason Bayz had a great blog, and the large amount of daily anti-Israel/Pro-Putin articles is kind of tiresome. I like Cockburn Jr. and Mercer a lot too.

    Agree about Steve, disagree about Razib. Sailer moderates comments to perfection – filtering out the obvious bad guys, while not discouraging the occasional interesting crazy guy. Razib is just too harsh. He’s like an old-time English school-master who can’t wait to crack his whip across your butt.

    Read More
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  111. inertial says:
    @inertial
    Ron,

    If you want commenters to stick to the same handles why not give them incentives? Like a greater customization ability linked to a handle. For example, when you visit the page a message lights up in a corner, "You have 5 new replies to your posts, click here to read." Or perhaps an an ability to "subscribe" to your favorite authors and commenters.

    And for the commenters who want to be creative with their handles or disclose information, why not create a tag field? Tag is simply text that can be shown next to handle or underneath it. You can change it every message, or not change it, or leave it blank. For an example, see comment threads at FreeRepublic.com. E.g. comments 2 or 4 at this thread: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3475306/posts

    To give more detail about what I mean as subscription and how it is related to incentives. I see it as something similar to the current search commenter name page but for multiple commenters that you previously select. Plus, the “New Messages” feature.

    A commenter who is being followed should know about this. Perhaps not the identities of followers but at least their total number. This will make him less likely to change handle because if he does he’ll lose his followers.

    Also, since Ron is big on buttons right now, how about an Off Topic button? An topic comment is given a different formatting. Not different color background, as this is used for other things, but perhaps gray font, or smaller font, or just words OFF TOPIC across the top of the post. A poster can label his post off topic and so can the moderator. If neither of them do it, 5+ regular commenters in good standing can do it by clicking a button. Once a comment is formatted as off topic, all the replies to it and the replies to the replies, etc. are formatted likewise. This way you can skip the whole thread. Troll comments could also be handled this way.

    Read More
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  112. @Ron Unz

    Not that funny, but this kind of contextual handle is not sockpuppetry, nor is it that uncommon.
     
    Yes, these "contextual handles" sometimes function as mildly witty introductions to (usually) short comments that almost no one will ever read two weeks after publication.

    Meanwhile, I've now discovered that roughly 70%(!) of all comment handles are one-offs, that were only used a single time. Among other things, this obviously allows drive-by commenting, in which an individual can pretend to "be somebody" and get taken much more seriously than if he were just another "Anonymous." It also obviously opens the door to individuals pretending to be 3 or 4 different people in a contentious debate. Indeed, quite a number of commenters (based on same IP or email) use many, many different handles, which is a weakness of a non-registration website often dealing with highly contentious topics.

    One-off handles should be "Anonymous" since they almost always include or even represent an attempt to obfuscate one's identity.

    Ron, this body of data you have is very important.

    It could become one of the only datasets available about the different posting styles, especially of the ‘drive-by’ posters.

    You should consider making is available for research.

    Read More
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  113. @Ron Unz

    Unz, my man. The lastest crime data, broken down by hispanic and non-hispanic, prove your hispanic crime theory wrong.
     
    Ha, ha... Have you ever considered adjusting for age? Or maybe even just reading my original article?...

    http://www.unz.com/article/the-myth-of-hispanic-crime/

    Ron,

    Your comment probably went right over his head, because after all, an 18 year old Hispanic male is the same as a 50-year old Hispanic male, right?

    Slick Willy was probably as randy at 18 and when he was President.

    Read More
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  114. roo_ster says:

    Ron,

    Someone is making dmca claims using your name…

    https://voxday.blogspot.com/2016/10/why-i-will-no-longer-link-to-steve.html?m=1

    Read More
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  115. Harold says:

    Ron,

    Feature suggestion:
    Maybe you could allow people to agree/disagree/etc. to replies to their comments even if they haven’t commented enough recently to otherwise qualify to use that feature.

    Read More
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  116. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    I got mildly doxxed here via a type of signaling that “we know who you are, so now you know that we know”, and I’m not sure what I did to merit that.

    Read More
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  117. Lot says:
    @Ron Unz

    Unz, my man. The lastest crime data, broken down by hispanic and non-hispanic, prove your hispanic crime theory wrong.
     
    Ha, ha... Have you ever considered adjusting for age? Or maybe even just reading my original article?...

    http://www.unz.com/article/the-myth-of-hispanic-crime/

    Have you ever considered adjusting for age?

    You think age is going to explain the roughly 3:1 hispanic:white arrest rate for murder and motor vehicle theft?

    Thought experiment: double the number of hispanics in America, with every single new hispanic an elderly woman age 80 and above. The hispanic rate will still be 50% higher than the white rate for murder and motor vehicle theft.

    There are also a lot of “adjustments” to the data you did not attempt, like the fact that a large portion of crime in hispanic areas goes unreported compared to Non-Hispanic white areas because the victim/witnesses are illegal immigrants or have them within their household. That’s not my opinion, that is what hispanics activists have said many times, and sounds right to me.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    You think age is going to explain the roughly 3:1 hispanic:white arrest rate for murder and motor vehicle theft?
     
    Well, I looked into the question in enormous detail several years ago, and all the numbers checked out exactly. My Hispanic Crime article generated a flurry of resulting commentary also entirely from the other side, but my findings stood up completely. You might want to read my article and also the long set of follow-up columns at the bottom, referencing all the critical responses:

    http://www.unz.com/article/the-myth-of-hispanic-crime/

    I find it very difficult to believe that anything dramatic has changed in the last few years.

    And as it happens, the FBI had always refused to release its victimization data broken down between Hispanics and whites, leading suspicious people to claim it showed an enormous internal differential. But last year Heather Mac Donald---hardly a pro-Hispanic activist!---somehow managed to obtain the data, and it also exactly matched my own analysis based on incarceration data:

    http://www.realclearpolicy.com/blog/2015/07/01/justice_departments_hidden_race_data.html

    You just seem like a silly fellow who forms his view of the world from reading a few racialist bloggers.
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  118. Lot says:
    @inertial
    Ron,

    If you want commenters to stick to the same handles why not give them incentives? Like a greater customization ability linked to a handle. For example, when you visit the page a message lights up in a corner, "You have 5 new replies to your posts, click here to read." Or perhaps an an ability to "subscribe" to your favorite authors and commenters.

    And for the commenters who want to be creative with their handles or disclose information, why not create a tag field? Tag is simply text that can be shown next to handle or underneath it. You can change it every message, or not change it, or leave it blank. For an example, see comment threads at FreeRepublic.com. E.g. comments 2 or 4 at this thread: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3475306/posts

    If you want commenters to stick to the same handles why not give them incentives?

    He already does, you get a comment history page and the Agree, LOL, etc options as well.

    Read More
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  119. Lot says:
    @Jason Liu

    it is sometimes irritating when particularly fanatic commenters choose to raise those same issues on almost every comment-thread, even those for which their is little connection.
     
    So do you plan on banning Rehmat?He's been making every thread about Zionists/Palestine ever since I was a kid. The guy's a few fries short of a happy meal, I swear.

    Rehmat’s Jew Issues at least are a little different than the average Unz.com commenter Stormfronter type Jew Issues.

    On at lot of articles, more than 50% of the comments are just some random mix of the same dozen Stormfronter Jewspiracy talking points, usually without even much of a hook from the article.

    Unz.com is also about unpopular/nonmainstream opinions, and Rehmat I think is the only one on here who likes and defends the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    Read More
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  120. Ron Unz says:
    @Lot

    Have you ever considered adjusting for age?
     
    You think age is going to explain the roughly 3:1 hispanic:white arrest rate for murder and motor vehicle theft?

    Thought experiment: double the number of hispanics in America, with every single new hispanic an elderly woman age 80 and above. The hispanic rate will still be 50% higher than the white rate for murder and motor vehicle theft.

    There are also a lot of "adjustments" to the data you did not attempt, like the fact that a large portion of crime in hispanic areas goes unreported compared to Non-Hispanic white areas because the victim/witnesses are illegal immigrants or have them within their household. That's not my opinion, that is what hispanics activists have said many times, and sounds right to me.

    You think age is going to explain the roughly 3:1 hispanic:white arrest rate for murder and motor vehicle theft?

    Well, I looked into the question in enormous detail several years ago, and all the numbers checked out exactly. My Hispanic Crime article generated a flurry of resulting commentary also entirely from the other side, but my findings stood up completely. You might want to read my article and also the long set of follow-up columns at the bottom, referencing all the critical responses:

    http://www.unz.com/article/the-myth-of-hispanic-crime/

    I find it very difficult to believe that anything dramatic has changed in the last few years.

    And as it happens, the FBI had always refused to release its victimization data broken down between Hispanics and whites, leading suspicious people to claim it showed an enormous internal differential. But last year Heather Mac Donald—hardly a pro-Hispanic activist!—somehow managed to obtain the data, and it also exactly matched my own analysis based on incarceration data:

    http://www.realclearpolicy.com/blog/2015/07/01/justice_departments_hidden_race_data.html

    You just seem like a silly fellow who forms his view of the world from reading a few racialist bloggers.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lot

    My Hispanic Crime article generated a flurry of resulting commentary also entirely from the other side, but my findings stood up completely.
     
    No, your findings did not stand up completely. They are vastly contradicted by the arrest data bored_poster linked to above. Hispanics are three times more likely than NH Whites to be arrested for murder. Controlling for age cannot account for more than a tiny fraction of this.

    I agree that the crime victim survey supports your view. There is no way the crime rates suggested by victim survey data and arrest data are compatible, so the question becomes what is more reliable. I'd think the arrest data, based on racial identification made under the bright lights of a police station, compared to a limited survey of crime victims who may not have seen the criminal well, who may have been cowed by PC, etc.

    More evidence of that victim survey is not reliable is that only 62% of black crime victims report a black perp. That is certainly not supported by other criminal justice data sets.

    Your conclusions about hispanic crime rates also is contradicted by a large amount of other data which indicates that crime is linked to lower IQ and being raised by a single mother, both factors that are much stronger among hispanics than non-hispanic whites.

    I do not think you rebutted Richwine's main points, having read your response:

    http://www.npiamerica.org/research/category/model-minority

    Data from Los Angeles, home of the country's largest hispanic population:


    Blacks make up about 11% of the city's population but account for 38% of all homicide victims and 29% of suspects, according to the statistics. By contrast, whites make up 30% of the population but account for just 6% of homicide victims and 2% of suspects. Latinos make up 47% of the population and constitute 50% of homicide victims and 66% of suspects.
     
    http://articles.latimes.com/2006/jun/10/local/me-crime10

    By my calculation, Los Angeles hispanics are 21 times more likely than Los Angeles whites to be a homicide suspect.

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  121. Lot says:
    @Ron Unz

    You think age is going to explain the roughly 3:1 hispanic:white arrest rate for murder and motor vehicle theft?
     
    Well, I looked into the question in enormous detail several years ago, and all the numbers checked out exactly. My Hispanic Crime article generated a flurry of resulting commentary also entirely from the other side, but my findings stood up completely. You might want to read my article and also the long set of follow-up columns at the bottom, referencing all the critical responses:

    http://www.unz.com/article/the-myth-of-hispanic-crime/

    I find it very difficult to believe that anything dramatic has changed in the last few years.

    And as it happens, the FBI had always refused to release its victimization data broken down between Hispanics and whites, leading suspicious people to claim it showed an enormous internal differential. But last year Heather Mac Donald---hardly a pro-Hispanic activist!---somehow managed to obtain the data, and it also exactly matched my own analysis based on incarceration data:

    http://www.realclearpolicy.com/blog/2015/07/01/justice_departments_hidden_race_data.html

    You just seem like a silly fellow who forms his view of the world from reading a few racialist bloggers.

    My Hispanic Crime article generated a flurry of resulting commentary also entirely from the other side, but my findings stood up completely.

    No, your findings did not stand up completely. They are vastly contradicted by the arrest data bored_poster linked to above. Hispanics are three times more likely than NH Whites to be arrested for murder. Controlling for age cannot account for more than a tiny fraction of this.

    I agree that the crime victim survey supports your view. There is no way the crime rates suggested by victim survey data and arrest data are compatible, so the question becomes what is more reliable. I’d think the arrest data, based on racial identification made under the bright lights of a police station, compared to a limited survey of crime victims who may not have seen the criminal well, who may have been cowed by PC, etc.

    More evidence of that victim survey is not reliable is that only 62% of black crime victims report a black perp. That is certainly not supported by other criminal justice data sets.

    Your conclusions about hispanic crime rates also is contradicted by a large amount of other data which indicates that crime is linked to lower IQ and being raised by a single mother, both factors that are much stronger among hispanics than non-hispanic whites.

    I do not think you rebutted Richwine’s main points, having read your response:

    http://www.npiamerica.org/research/category/model-minority

    Data from Los Angeles, home of the country’s largest hispanic population:

    Blacks make up about 11% of the city’s population but account for 38% of all homicide victims and 29% of suspects, according to the statistics. By contrast, whites make up 30% of the population but account for just 6% of homicide victims and 2% of suspects. Latinos make up 47% of the population and constitute 50% of homicide victims and 66% of suspects.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2006/jun/10/local/me-crime10

    By my calculation, Los Angeles hispanics are 21 times more likely than Los Angeles whites to be a homicide suspect.

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  122. Repeating – in hope – that there should be a ways, apart from Twitter, of preserving and/or forwarding isolated good things in the comments columns from the mobile app version. I would often like to forward an interesting comment but can’t see how to do so from my phone.

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