Monday, January 22, 2007

Comment Settings

Bloggerheads: The De-Briefing (Guido and his political astro-turfers)

*Sticks head above parapet*

I agree with Tim.

*Ducks down again*

I really do urge you to read that post.

On a related note, I've been considering whether to turn on the registered users only option for comments here. I've never thought to do it before because I want to make it easy for people to express their opinions and because it didn't really occur to me that anyone would bother to astroturf here. I doubt anyone ever will but it might be worth taking steps to discourage it just in case.

The problem is, it's so easy to register blogger accounts, it really isn't much of a deterrent. Anyone determined enough to astroturf in this obscure corner of the interwebs is probably not going to be put off by that.

It would make this impossible though. I've got profile images turned on which would help to some extent but many people wouldn't notice that. And lots of people don't have an image saved anyway.

On reflection, because it would be so easy to pretend to be someone else with the current settings, I may well switch it on. Anyone who wants to comment can easily sign up for a blogger account. Any opinions?

And does anyone know if that'd affect comments already left by unregistered users on previous posts? I wouldn't really want them deleted.


I've decided to keep things as they are for now. See comments below for details.


Guido Fawkes Esq. said...

Just to demonstrate why I'm almost certainly about to switch to registered users only for comments, here I am pretending to be Guido. This comment was not left by Guido.
Switching on the register option would stop this sort of thing.


Guido 2.0 said...

Manic would like to advise you that responsible bloggers can keep a sharp eye out for this kind of kindy-level ID spoofing using this easy visual guide. One has to keep on one's toes, though.

Of course, it would be easier of Blogger fixed the loophole. Perhaps 'Guido' can help. He claims to have a direct line to Google.

(Gah! This third-person lark is annoying. I hope I don't have to keep it up for long. Thanks for your support, BTW.)

sam_m said...

Hamster, why do you want to introduce registration?? Do you have a problem with a flood of comments?? It isn't apparent to your readers :)

If you do have an unseen prob. how is registration going to help?? What's the difference between having a number of pseudonymous blogger accounts and posting anon or pseudonym comments??
And why not just opt for comment moderation??

My opinion is that if you're going to have comment discussion you want to make it as free and easy as possible. Otherwise, don't allow comments.

OBTW I do have several blogger accounts but never use any of them to post comments.

Chris said...

i read many blogs but only comment once every 6 months or so.
I wouldn't bother registering so my valuable insights would disappear.


The Andes Frog said...

Isn't registering on blogs analagous to ID cards? Could it be that the liberal left is beginning to understand the problems?

CuriousHamster said...

Hamster thanks you for for the extremely handy tip... Bah, I see what you mean. Thanks Tim. I'll keep things are they are for now and keep an eye on it that way.

Sam, I live in hope of more comments but I fear the absolute truth of my arguments tends to put people off. ;)

The one thing which it would have stopped would have been people pretending to be another registered blogger user (as I did with Guido above). But if it happens, I now have the means to point it out to my small hardy band of readers.

The difference between "Guido" and myself, I suspect, is that "Guido" wouldn't bother to point it out even if he knew it was happening. In fact, he'd probably consider it all "a bit of a laugh", especially if those being spoofed were those he has decided should be made to look ridiculous.

If you'd annoyed Guido in some way and someone started spoofing your identity on his blog, an identity you'd worked long and hard to establish as reputable and credible, do you think he'd take your complains seriously and make sure his readers got the full picture? Or would be more likely to write a post complaining that he'd had a moaning email from another "whinging leftie stalker" or something?

Thanks chris. Registration is staying off for now so I'll hopefully hear from you again in about six months.

Andes Frog, I have to say I think the short answer is no. I have no plans to introduce demands for you to submit your fingerprints before you're allowed to comment.

Being opposed to the government's plans for ID Cards (and the dreaded national register)is not the same as being opposed to the use of all forms of identification. That really isn't the argument at all.