Advice for Commenters

by W.F. Price on June 13, 2012

I’ve been noticing that a lot of regular commenters have been ending up in spam recently. For the most part, these are people who never caused any trouble here, but I think I know what has happened.

Spam filters rely on reporting to compile databases of IPs. Spam filters are also indispensable for people who do what I do. Without them The Spearhead would be inundated with spam advertisements.

However, they also include those who have simply been “spammed” by people who don’t like their views, language or opinions. This is a totally common practice, and has arisen because, to be quite honest, the anonymity of the internet does give a lot of crude people the opportunity to spout off without fear of being personally held to account for being crude and offensive.

It’s a real problem, and I am pretty sick of it myself, but I’m not going to allow enemies to dictate terms in that regard.

Personally, I assiduously avoid posting any comments on sites where I suspect I might get “spammed.” I would never post a comment on a feminist site, for example, because that’s simply giving them the opportunity to blacklist my IP, and I know they will do so no matter how reasonable I may be.

However, despite being very careful in that regard, I found that The Spearhead‘s IP is being listed as spam simply because I link sites for citation purposes. Each time an enemy site gets a link from The Spearhead, it is promptly classified as “spam” by some angry feminist. This is annoying, but not really a problem. I should have been better about using the “nofollow” value to make sure these sites didn’t get any link juice in the first place. I really shouldn’t have been doing them any favors.

Fortunately, their simple-minded, stupid attitude has given me some motivation in this regard, so I’ve created a macro for links to hostile sites. Although I would never “spam” a trackback, because links always give you SEO cred, the girls who monitor feminist sites are too dumb to understand this.

As for how this is relevant to commenters, what I’d say is that you should simply think for a while before posting comments that you know will elicit a “spam” reaction from censors. Your IP will most likely be classified as spam in short order.

Policing comments has grown into one of the biggest problems in online publishing. It’s been the single biggest headache for me since this site’s inception, costing me about a thousand hours (this is a conservative, fair estimate) of monotonous work and grief from guilt-by-association tactics from detractors. When the topic is political, it’s about ten times worse than otherwise.

For example, I’ve repeated stressed that ugly language bothers me, and I’ve tried to set an example by writing in a measured, aesthetically comfortable style. Yet I am still confronted with language such as “cunt,” “gash,” “buttfuck,” etc. on a daily basis. It isn’t pleasant. I really don’t like it. All it brings to mind is shit and blood, neither of which are substances I like to dwell upon.

Well, enough of my personal tastes. The point is that if commenters don’t exert some self-control, there is a developing entity out there that is starting to do so, and although I have negligible control over the process, I rely on it out of necessity. My personal recommendation would be that commenters put some effort into maintaining the same decorum they would while in public. If they end up in the spam folder, there’s little I can do about it.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Traveller June 13, 2012 at 18:36

Without the intention to appear rude, I notice I read at this moment quite a few posts about comment policy.

Was not there a project to implement some sort of subscription (I still have to understand that), or some sort of forum like pages for comments?

I understand the lack of time and technical difficulties, but I am curious if a definitive decision about comments is already taken.

By the way, I oppose firmly commenting of enemy sites, for it is useless and it offers space for attacks, and gives them and their ads more web traffic.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2
W.F. Price June 13, 2012 at 18:43

Without the intention to appear rude, I notice I read at this moment quite a few posts about comment policy.

Was not there a project to implement some sort of subscription (I still have to understand that), or some sort of forum like pages for comments?

I understand the lack of time and technical difficulties, but I am curious if a definitive decision about comments is already taken.

By the way, I oppose firmly commenting of enemy sites, for it is useless and it offers space for attacks, and gives them and their ads more web traffic.

-Traveller

Yeah, it’s been an issue recently. Implementing a fix that saves labor is a complex problem, but I think it’s possible. However, it will likely be at the expense of some of the openness of the commenting.

Implementation has been delayed because I have to make very sure this time that it isn’t going to create more problems and work than the current setup, in both technical and moderation requirements. It’s also kind of like building a remote control airplane from parts; i.e. not a simple task.

wizardcorpse June 13, 2012 at 18:44

I am the wizardcorpse and I run the site: Optimum Awareness (I recommend
my username be: OptimumAwareness)
My articles are mostly about increasing quality of man’s life thru
awareness in his own nature and the world and its workings. Change for me
is internally driven therefore I encourange such to all my readers to
change themselves. you can find my articles here:
wizardcorpse(.com)
I recommend yuo read my serries about the greatest reality here the
Reality check serries
Godspeed,.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 14
freebird June 13, 2012 at 18:45

Excellent advice.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
Rob June 13, 2012 at 18:51

That’s why I am always so respectful and use language found in decent society to bring my points across.

LOL!

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2
Thos June 13, 2012 at 19:39

I promise to use only gentlemanly language here. Nothing below the belt, so to speak.

Price, before this gets lost in the stream of replies, I found a link to a book. I have no idea if it’s any good but thought it may interest you. http://www.borders.com.au/ebook/legally-kidnapped/27889084/

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"The One" June 13, 2012 at 19:46

I like to end a conversation with a feminist by saying just two words:
Quiet, cunt.

As for the other vulgarities, I could do without them. Who knows, you might get some good comments which include the word “cunt”. It would be shame if the spam filter caught them.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2
Anon June 13, 2012 at 20:06

A few months ago, I stopped accepting comments via web forms on my own site (not MRA oriented) because of spam. I’m now cut off from readers who have been providing help and advice since my site’s inception 8 years ago. I hate it, but I just can’t stand spending so much time removing spam. It’s all automated, so they never even notice that I scraped it all off.

They even submit spam links to my site’s contact form, which only I see.

Thanks for taking the time; we all appreciate the opportunity to vent on these issues.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
dhanu June 13, 2012 at 20:42

How about creating a whitelist of friendly sites where to not use the nofollow attribute, instead of a blacklist of enemy sutes where to use it? I mean, add nofollow by default (to the commenters’ links as well as the article reference links), but create an exception for the friendly sites that could benefit from the link juice. A whitelist is always more safe because it avoids risk altogether. A blacklist always has the possibility of being incomplete.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
Anonymous Reader June 13, 2012 at 21:02

+1 on dhanu’s suggestion regarding the use of nofollow by default.

No sense giving clicks or links to the misandric matriarchy.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
JeremiahMRA June 13, 2012 at 21:28

What’s wrong with the words cunt or gash? How about slit or snatch? I suppose to certain types (manginas and feminists) these terms would seem “disparaging to women”. To men, they acknowledge that women’s assets aren’t anything special.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 9
evilwhitemalempire June 14, 2012 at 00:51

the anonymity of the internet does give a lot of crude people the opportunity to spout off without fear of being personally held to account for being crude and offensive.
—————————
as an antifeminist it never occurs to me to criticize this feature of the internet. especially since it won’t likely last

as if feminists subscribe to your definitions of crude and offensive

as if feminists don’t think that EVERYTHING written on this site is crude and offensive just because they strongly disagree with it

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
Captain Moroni June 14, 2012 at 03:19

Thank you for the advice. I love your articles and I will always keep your guideline in mind.

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Traveller June 14, 2012 at 03:58

“Anon June 13, 2012 at 20:06

A few months ago, I stopped accepting comments via web forms on my own site (not MRA oriented) because of spam”

Use a captcha like most of the sites with comment web forms.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
Opus June 14, 2012 at 06:46

My Internet Supplier is Orange (now you know). My E mail (also Orange) frequently concludes that E Mails to myself from Orange are Spam. I tend to agree.

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Uncle Elmer June 14, 2012 at 07:32

Elmer is getting banned across the internets, despite his polite language and thoughtful commentary. Atlantic, Salon, Wall St. Journal; they’ve banned me all.

To their credit, the ladies at ForbesWoman let most of my comments stand, but delete some of my best work.

Example : This essay has over 100,000 views, offering profound advice such as “take care of yourself” and “surround yourself with positive people” and “tap into your network” to soothe the pain of job loss.

Bouncing Back from Job Loss: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Job Hunters

http://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2012/06/12/bouncing-back-from-job-loss-the-7-habits-of-highly-effective-job-hunters

elmer’s comments get the stark fist of removal, most likely because of the Spearhead linkage :

Criminy, people. Enough of the feel-good pablum.

As a pessimistic, backward-looking bastard who has been thrown out on his ass numerous times yet gotten right back up and landed even higher-paying work shortly after, employment loss doesn’t even make me flinch. It is the realm in which I live; that margin where evolution and growth truly occurs.

My tactics are what every consultant must do to keep food on the table. Read about them in my Employment Game essays :

http://www.the-spearhead.com/2011/09/05/employment-game-part-iii-prospecting

————————————–

If you have been a cubicle drone in the same company for years your “network” is worse than useless as any attempt to contact them will get you scorned and humiliated.

You should develop a professional network and life outside your job, in addition to building an “unemployment lifestyle”.

When the axe is getting sharpened you should be well prepared to initiate your exit strategy.

Never keep more crap in your cube than it takes to throw in a bag and walk out in 30 seconds.

When you’re ready to find work again use my Employment Game tactics :

http://www.the-spearhead.com/2011/09/05/employment-game-part-iii-prospecting

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
Samizdat Jones June 14, 2012 at 08:36

I understand the need to defeat spammers, but I have to admit that I find it concerning that the gatekeeping is being outsourced to others. Crowdsourcing may work for somethings, but unfortunately all you need to do is look at sites like Wikipedia to realize just how little wisdom the crowd really has when it comes to recognizing bias. In the end all crowdsourcing does is reinforce popular opinion.

MGTOW is not a popular opinion.

So relying on crowsourcing for spam control makes me think that sooner or later all comments will be prohibited on the grounds that the comments contain common spam keywords. I honestly don’t know what to do about it, but this is effectively the most chilling kind of censorship of all because it is completely automated. We need better gatekeeping methods!

The answer beats the hell out of me though, as I’m sure it does you as well. Keep up the good work–I’m sure you try your best to find the best way through this mess. Who knows, maybe it will be one of the MGTOW who solves the problem and only license it for M

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My Cunt Is Wet With Fear June 14, 2012 at 10:54

My username is a “work of art” by Tracey Emin.
http://www.artvalue.fr/auctionresult–emin-tracey-1963-royaume-uni-my-cunt-is-wet-with-fear-2586498.htm

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
W.F. Price June 14, 2012 at 11:14

I understand the need to defeat spammers, but I have to admit that I find it concerning that the gatekeeping is being outsourced to others. Crowdsourcing may work for somethings, but unfortunately all you need to do is look at sites like Wikipedia to realize just how little wisdom the crowd really has when it comes to recognizing bias. In the end all crowdsourcing does is reinforce popular opinion.

-samizdat jones

That’s why I’m letting people know. I really don’t have any choice other than akismet for WP comments. Without it I’d be spending hours every day simply deleting spam.

The answer beats the hell out of me though, as I’m sure it does you as well. Keep up the good work–I’m sure you try your best to find the best way through this mess. Who knows, maybe it will be one of the MGTOW who solves the problem and only license it for M

I’m working on it.

E June 14, 2012 at 12:33

My Cunt Is Wet With Fear

Mine too…

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
Eric June 14, 2012 at 12:36

Uncle Elmer:
I think Corporate America is really looking hopeless. Today, I didn’t read the whole Forbes link because yesterday I went to the Manboobz site and my brain still hasn’t quite recovered. But I got the idea from your quotes, it sounds about on the same level as the Fairy Godmothers and Queen Bees from the last thread.

I think the best advice for ‘bouncing back from job loss’ is what I did when I lost a job about 15 years ago. I threw all my resumes in the trash and started working for myself.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
Samizdat Jones June 14, 2012 at 13:51

I’m working on it.
–W.F. Price

I know you are, I’m just trying to lay out for others just how much of a big deal this is and how desperately we need something that will work better. The concept of automated censorship is a scary prospect to me, and the idea is not science fiction as some may suppose but actual living breathing reality–today, here, now. I don’t think many people realize that this is the future we’re living in…

I’m hoping that by magnifying the issue I can inspire more people to look at the problem, just as by posting about it and explaining how people can inadvertently find themselves auto-censored you are hoping to alert people to the problem. The internet is a great tool for broadcasting and we have been very successful with it, but the biggest megaphone in the world does no good if no one can hear you speak with using it. This is something we need to start figuring out now before it comes back and bites us on the ass later.

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Firepower June 14, 2012 at 16:29

Bill, I emailed you privately (twice) when I changed my addy – on account of my blog – and asked you to approve my new address so I could comment.

I never heard from you.
Are we to now assume, that these new spamachines are like some SkyNet automatically censoring speech?

Sounds like the internet is turning into TV.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
W.F. Price June 14, 2012 at 16:38

Bill, I emailed you privately (twice) when I changed my addy – on account of my blog – and asked you to approve my new address so I could comment.

I never heard from you.
Are we to now assume, that these new spamachines are like some SkyNet automatically censoring speech?

Sounds like the internet is turning into TV.

-Firepower

Well, you got through unfiltered this time.

As for not responding to the emails, I never saw them, which could be either my fault or my server’s.

As to the SkyNet analogy, not exactly. I don’t know exactly how they handle it, but I think reporting by humans is the most important factor. I’ll post soon on how to use this against enemies. I have noticed that The Spearhead has been flagged on a number of commercial filters (the UK seems to be the leader in these blocked requests), which rely on reporting to compile lists.

Firepower June 14, 2012 at 16:44

I got thru with my OLD, incorrect address that no longer accepts mail.

The new one has my blog addy – is that why you reject it?
I sent you two letters with the information.
I’ll again send you a pm immediately with the new info – and my new address so you can contact me privately.

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W.F. Price June 14, 2012 at 16:50

@FP

I have no blocks on your IP, email or handle, and never have. I didn’t even know you had a blog, to be honest. The PM won’t work — I deleted the PHPBB forum pending a replacement with more compatible software.

However, it is possible that your blog (like mine) has been classified as spam due to trackback spam reporting.

Firepower June 14, 2012 at 17:18

I don’t usually have any problems.

I do know, that you have likely lost thousands of posts since you discovered this problem – perhaps what liberal internerds wanted all along.

I also wanted to submit some articles to Spearhead, so your commenters could either agree or disagree – with The Source.

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Anonymous age 70 June 14, 2012 at 21:14

Just to tell you how bad spammers are, DGM-4 has tonight, 5729 attempts to register for membership. This is a URL with no more than a couple hundred members, and those 5729 are almost all pure spam bots. Lee apparently pays no attention at all, then wipes them all out at once.

Individuals seeking valid memberships do not stand a chance unless they find a way to contact Lee asking to be signed in.

There is an open thread on DGM-4, and every few days someone posts spam there. I take it down very promptly.

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Opus June 15, 2012 at 05:04

@W.F.

This thread is way above my technical comprehension, however, as you mention trouble with the U.K. I thought you might care to know that I have no problem with this or any other American blog, such as Dalrocks.

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Anon June 16, 2012 at 09:26

Traveller June 14, 2012 at 03:58
“Anon June 13, 2012 at 20:06
A few months ago, I stopped accepting comments via web forms on my own site (not MRA oriented) because of spam”
Use a captcha like most of the sites with comment web forms.
—————

Yeah, I know. Except
A) I hate captchas because you typically need to run through them 3 or 4 times before you get it right, and
B) Spammers hire people in China to solve captchas for a penny apiece, so it doesn’t really work anyway.

But thanks, I guess I could always try it.

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