This Site's Comment Policy and New Rules

Notice to new readers and commenters at TalkLeft.

You may not chatter here or try to dominate the discussion. I will be calling out offenders by name. If they don't stop, they will be banned and every comment they have ever left on the site will be erased.

Mark L posted 91 comments today. Captain Howdy 65. Flyerhawk posted 51. Exeter 41. Digdugboy 26. JGarza 22. Many more were deleted.

Tomorrow these posters are limited to ten comments in 24 hours total. All in excess will be deleted.

I do not have time to monitor comments all day. I also pay for the bandwidth here. Commenting is a privilege, not a right.

I don't care what the practice is at other blogs. This one is mine, I make the rules, and commenters will follow them or have to post elsewhere.

Our comment rules are here.

They are summarized below the fold:

  • No profanity
  • No personal attacks, name-calling or insults
  • No chattering, see comment rules
  • Comments must be on the topic of the thread unless it's an open thread
  • Do not try to hijack or dominate the discussion
  • Once a person has been identified as a chatterer, they are limited to 4 comments a day. All in excess will be deleted. If the commenter continues after being called out, they will be banned.

    No one should post more than 20 comments a day. You don't need to count, it's not a set number, but if I see that a commenter is dominating the thread or filling it up with banter, I'll check to see how many they made that day. If it's more than 20, they will get a warning.

    URL's must be in html format because long ones skew the site. Use the link button at the top of your comment box.

    The comment space is for comments to the particular post. They are not for reprinting your work or work of others. Quoting a short paragraph or two with a link is fine.

    Comments are closed on threads after about 200. If it's a popular topic, try to leave space for other commenters by not dominating the discussion or posting one line banters.

    Commenters who low-rate comments based on point of view rather than quality of the comment will have all their ratings erased. They will be banned.

    Threads are cleaned of comments that violate the site's policy as I have time. Comments must be deleted individually except that I can with one click erase a particular commenter and all their comments. When I come across a clear violator, or one that has been warned and disregarded the notice, I may choose that option.

    You many not insult other commenters or the authors of this site. You may not engage in name-calling of anyone, including public figures. Calling someone a racist is a zero-tolerance offense, as is use of profanity.

    TalkLeft is not the Government. The protections of the First Amendment do not apply to commenters.

    Long time readers of TalkLeft know these rules and have no problems with them. I suspect new readers and commenters will. Since most of these new readers and commenters seem intent on creating dissension, that's fine. As soon as they violate the rules or start chattering, they'll be gone.

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  • Display: Sort:
    wow! (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by cpinva on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:05:28 AM EST
    and i thought I suffered from run-on! lol

    Suggestion: make off limits any (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:08:40 AM EST
    further discussion of HRC's landing in Bosnia.  That will cut the comments in about half.

    I'll just go and erase them (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:11:09 AM EST
    Unless they are on an open thread, they are off-topic to the posts here. Neither BTD nor I have written about that.

    And it's a good way to spot new trolls and chatterers. Thanks for the heads-up. This place will be cleaned out within 48 hours.


    Thanks, TL! (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by scribe on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 05:07:45 AM EST
    Wading through the trolls' detritus was getting, um, tiring.

    Jeralyn (none / 0) (#21)
    by sara seattle on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:26:48 AM EST
    Have you considered asking "chatterers" to pay up -- there might be some willing to pay for their habit

    Might end up being win-win -- you get more money for bandwidth and they can chatter on.

    Just a suggestion.. =)


    you ask someone to pay (none / 0) (#68)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 08:35:25 AM EST
    and they think they can chatter on endlessly and the rest of the rules don't apply because they paid. Doesn't work.

    Thank you! (none / 0) (#71)
    by motorman on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 08:40:35 AM EST
    Thanks for the new comment policy. I am new here and was overwhelmed by the amount of off-topic chatter. It's not worth participating if you have to wade through piles of crap to find the worthwhile posts.  I had almost decided to give up on this site before I even got started.  91 posts in one day from a single user?  No wonder I was put off.

    I confess... (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by kredwyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:11:05 AM EST
    I miss banter and some of the folks I used t' banter with.

    some banter is okay (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:13:12 AM EST
    but when the same commenter has 10 "bantering" one liners in a thread it's tiresome. They may think they are clever, I don't. They can start their own blog.

    I know.... (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by kredwyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:19:51 AM EST
    It's just a bit hard to get used to after 4+ years...ummm...elsewhere.

    I don't think it's a bad thing (none / 0) (#148)
    by dianem on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:25:09 PM EST
    Most of the rules here are similar to those we would have at a social event in the real world. We're expected to be polite, to not dominate the conversation, to give other's time to speak, and to be able to hold a conversation without jumping off in 12 different directions. Sometimes conversations evolve, but it would be odd if I were talking about swimming and somebody jumped in with a comment about cars.

    I was ...elsewhere... for a while, and the lack of civility eventually became grating. People will say and do things behind the anonymity of a computer that they would never dream of doing in public. I found myself getting more angry and swearing a lot more, generally in response to someone else's anger and swearing. I suppose that there are places in the real world where such behaviour is the norm, but I would not be likely to go to those places, and I don't like to think that I would routinely behave that way.

    It takes a bit of effort to get used to behaving on the internet the same way you would behave at a social event in the real world, but I think that it is a more sensible way to exist.


    MarkL (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by bodhcatha on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 11:15:19 AM EST
    is one of the good guys though

    Interesting (1.00 / 1) (#91)
    by 1jane on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:29:33 AM EST
    I am writing this comment under very heavy sniper fire.......nah, just jokin'. The number of posts by certain folks was excessive.

    hu (none / 0) (#125)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 11:07:31 AM EST
    Commenters who low-rate comments based on point of view rather than quality of the comment will have all their ratings erased. They will be banned.



    Plenty of "Chatter/Banter" sites around (none / 0) (#73)
    by pluege on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 08:46:50 AM EST
    There are sites such as Eschaton with endless banter and nonsense. This is a focused site. Its nice to have both options for those inclined either way or who like both approaches.

    There's a difference between (none / 0) (#94)
    by kredwyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:52:47 AM EST
    banter and nonsense.

    And the halo-comment thing over at Atrios bugs the crap out of me. Was on kos for 4 years...before the primary nightmare got so bad, the banter exchanges there were easier to follow than at Atrios. It's the nested thing I think.


    Maybe add Edgar08 to your list? (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by digdugboy on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:13:48 AM EST
    He had 45 comments. Most of mine were in response to his.

    Now that's funny. (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:16:00 AM EST
    You've already deleted some of my comments (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by white n az on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:15:38 AM EST
    I presume that occurs when you delete the 'parent' you lose some of the comments below.

    C'est la vie...you are making me less verbose.

    Thanks for the efforts and feel free to delete any of my comments that you think are out of bounds though I don't think that's ever happened...I think I may have had one deleted for off-topic.

    white 'n az , you're fine (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:16:48 AM EST
    no worries with you.

    I think you're fine too... (none / 0) (#25)
    by white n az on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:32:54 AM EST
    let's get a room  ;-)

    Thanks and this makes 20 for the day, time to call it quits and I'm off to bed.


    I had that happen (none / 0) (#16)
    by dianem on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:22:50 AM EST
    I gave what I thought was a reasoned response to a comment and it disappeared. Interestingly, another comment I had made in response to an earlier comment in the thread remained there, even though the comment to which I was referring was deleted. I suspect that the editors have the discretion of moving comments to the man thread if they are on tops and stand up on their own, even if their parent is deleted. It makes for a bit of confusion, as some comments remain when their parents are no longer present.

    you have to realize (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by white n az on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:31:05 AM EST
    that it's a PITA to monitor all of us.

    Sometimes they probably figure that it's not worth the effort to try to move things around and just clip the whole thread figuring that much of this has been covered elsewhere. It was never all that much fun to play hall monitor in school after a day or two.


    No, I don't have that option (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:33:01 AM EST
    I can only delete. When comments get above 75, it's hard to tell what's in response to what. I also make mistakes, particularly when going through threads with 200 plus comments in a hurry.

    If you spend a lot of time writing a comment, I suggest you save it on your computer before posting it so that if it gets deleted you won't have lost your work.


    TL is certainly busier than it used to be (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by andgarden on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:17:53 AM EST
    I will have to find a way to limit my comments.

    Maybe I really am at the "get your own blog" stage.

    But then who would understand (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:19:29 AM EST
    what BTD is talking about in those posts about the polls (as opposed to pols)?

    Andgarden (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:20:46 AM EST
    you are okay. You're neither a chatterer nor an excessive commenter.

    Please get your own blog. (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Joelarama on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:23:38 AM EST
    I think it would be welcome to many people.  (And not because people are sick of hearing from you here.)

    I've considered it (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by andgarden on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:29:08 AM EST
    but I'm sure I'd end up abandoning it. Commenting is a distraction for me, and I'm not sure I want the pressure of creating my own content.

    In wonderment (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by shoephone on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:24:08 AM EST
    I don't even understand how someone has the time to post 91 comments in a single day. Thank Gawd I have other things going on in my life.

    Of course, I'm new here so I'm paying close attention to the rules...

    I'll consider more what I comment on :) (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by nycstray on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:26:09 AM EST
    Just refreshing here along with good reading, so I get carried away. Plus, I should really quit procrastinating my Wed deadline  ;)

    Jeralyn, if you have time, don't (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:40:18 AM EST
    miss the video clip BTD posted below re The Rules.  

    Shouldn't the limit be on number of words? (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by beenthere2 on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:52:38 AM EST
    as I would imagine severals really huge comments with quotes, links & pics eat up more bandwidth (and time to scan through) than quick chatter. I would think also that the quick back and forth of collaberation, persuasion and issue resolution/clarification has its merits.

    Anyway, this is a great place and I'm genrally more of a reader than a writer.

    Can I sell my unused posts on a market somewhere? ;)

    Some are so long (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by waldenpond on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 01:03:23 AM EST
    that I read the first couple of sentences and then skip to the bottom.  That seems a reasonable suggestion to me.

    Some are so long I just read (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 01:23:54 AM EST
    the subject line.  

    no pix are allowed in comments (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 01:47:53 AM EST
    so that's not a problem. I do warn people against reprinting more than a paragraph or two of work that appears elsewhere, and against reprinting their own work here. Comments are for comments and copyright rules must be obeyed.

    Long links skew the site and urls must be in html format. I probably write that ten times a week in comments, I think everyone knows it. But it's probably time to add it. Thanks.


    about links (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by ghost2 on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 07:55:12 AM EST
    When I use the link botton here, it doesn't prompt me for a title, just the URL.  I have to then manually add the hyper text between brackets.  Otherwise, the link doesn't show.

    Can this be fixed?


    It's not broken (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by echinopsia on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 08:15:32 AM EST
    Write the title first, highlight it, then hit the link button and enter the URL. It will wrap the html around your title.

    thanks. n/t (none / 0) (#179)
    by ghost2 on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 10:40:40 PM EST
    Like carbon credits (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Iphie on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 08:39:31 AM EST
    Can I sell my unused posts on a market somewhere?
    'Cause system seems so workable. ;-)

    your house, your rules (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by DandyTIger on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 01:27:05 AM EST
    I don't have a problem with the rules you've set out. We can each make our own set for our own blogs.

    A couple of suggestions though from your friendly neighborhood geeky person.

    One is to put the currently daily comment count somewhere on the page. Wordpress will let you do this. You could put it on the right side under the account name, or you could put it on the bottom of any page at the "post comment" area. You could also automatically limit the number of comments per day, but that might not be what you want on some subjects on some days.

    Another suggestion is to send out an email with the rules when someone registers. This can be automatic. That would seem to be a good place to acquaint the new user with them.

    I'll ask Colin our webmaster about that (none / 0) (#49)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 01:45:45 AM EST
    we're on Scoop (like Daily Kos and MyDD not wordpress) so I'll see if it's doable and what it would cost.  Same thing for the e-mails with site rules.

    And to the comment above you, yes I need to update the rules as to low-rating comments. TL did not have ratings until we moved to Scoop a year and a half ago, so it wasn't an issue.

    Other suggestions are welcome. The rules are 6 years old and probably need some revisions.


    Is it possible to use the (none / 0) (#52)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 02:02:26 AM EST
    same method as on Daily Kos for adding links?  It is a lot easier there and many people who comment here started out there.  

    You and BTD (none / 0) (#72)
    by white n az on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 08:46:41 AM EST
    send out different messages on the use/value of ratings and that doesn't work well.

    Since the default settings is to push higher ratings to top and lower to bottom, they do have an impact.


    I just choose (none / 0) (#137)
    by ding7777 on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 11:40:46 AM EST
    Ignore ratings

    I don't follow ratings (none / 0) (#144)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:08:14 PM EST
    and have comments set chronologically. I'll check on the default, that can be changed.

    Not rules so much as instructions? (none / 0) (#75)
    by Iphie on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 08:49:33 AM EST
    Or maybe in addition to? I had problems the first couple of times I tried to post links -- it's actually a very simple system, but one that seems to trip people up at first. Someone gave me more detailed instructions which were very helpful. Perhaps after the rules there can be an addendum of sorts, with a quick list of instructions for those of us who are a little slower about such things. Especially for links since that seems to be the biggest cause for inadvertent rules breaking.

    rules on ratings? (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by DandyTIger on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 01:39:08 AM EST
    I didn't notice any, but you might want to state some rules about giving ratings. Especially rating low when it's just about opinion or some disagreement.

    And of course, you knew a techie suggestion was coming, you can turn off the ability to rate for users if they've abused that feature.

    Why do I feel guilty after mentioning there can be more policing powers at your disposal.

    I rarely have 20 things to say ... (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 01:53:37 AM EST
    in a day.  Plus, I write for a living and hate giving away even these words for free.

    But I usually get nice ratings on my comments, so I must be doing something right.


    I used to have a rule (5.00 / 7) (#53)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 02:16:32 AM EST
    When I first started blogging, or adding comments to blogs I tried to adhere to a rule.  If you've responded more than 3 times to the same person you've reached point where it's more about getting a last word (or smacking down your opponent) than getting someone to see your own point of view.  Cause if you haven't after three replies, they're not going to see your point of view, either by choice or through actual ignorance (presumably it's by choice 99% of the time on progressive blogs. everyone gets it, they just pretend they don't cause if they let on that they got it, they'd lose the point they're trying to make).

    Needless to say, I failed miserably to stick to that rule.  Every.  Single. Time.

    The nagging sensation that those who get the last word wins through sheer persistence lingers.  I am very passionate about the things I care about.

    And, like many others, I actually do believe, in my way, that the country would be better off if my point of view was adopted by everyone else.

    Right?  Doesn't everyone feel the same way?


    Ha.  In any case.  FWIW, there is a reasonably pro-Clinton blog, mydd.com, where people are allowed to engage each other in a way that is more like dailykos.com but without the realization that one is at a profound disadvantage due to sheer numbers.

    It's not going to be easy.  Untruths become truths not by logical summation of confirmed data but by sheer repitition.  That is, regrettably the world we live in today.  So someone's going say things that are patently untrue.  After one or two rebuttals it's just going to have to be left to a moderator to delete those posts.

    If I'm in the mood for wasting a whole day ripping smack talk back forth on an Obama supporter, I'll do my best to take that elsewhere going forward.

    All that said, I hope it's understood, for some of us Clinton supporters this has been a safe sane place on the internet to do some chattering.   We ended up here because other blogs became too hostile.

    So in a way, I hope it's understood that providing that service does have some value.  If anything just to prove that our perceptions of some of the injustices and petty hypocrisies we see going on in the media and on other blogs is real.  That other people can see it too.

    Guess I'm More The (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 10:02:47 AM EST
    "Why hit your head against a brick wall" kind of person. If someone is debating a subject that I am knowledgeable about or care deeply about I will way in. Won't continue to respond to someone who comes here and continues to drop the same "talking points" over and over again after the subject has been discussed in depth. Don't see any benefit in giving a scripted "talking point" any attention and ignore the comment.

    If anyone states something as fact that I know is untrue, I will correct it no matter who the commenter is supporting. I just think truth is important.


    Shorter: (5.00 / 3) (#57)
    by Plutonium Page on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 05:22:23 AM EST
    TalkLeft is not the Government. The protections of the First Amendment do not apply to commenters.

    It's Jeralyn's house.  Don't put your feet on the furniture or pee on the toilet seat.

    That About Sums It Up (none / 0) (#58)
    by john horse on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 06:00:46 AM EST
    What you said.  Thanks for the chuckle.

    Or, like my dad regularly said: (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by scribe on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 06:10:22 AM EST
    "I pay, I say."

    Hi...hugs... (none / 0) (#105)
    by kredwyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 10:08:45 AM EST
    Long time no type :)

    I used to say (none / 0) (#134)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 11:30:05 AM EST
    TalkLeft is like my living room, if you wouldn't say there, don't say it here.  Of course, there were only a handful of commenters back then, not hundreds.

    I see no reason you need to name people. (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by MarkL on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 07:28:12 AM EST
    I find it quite rude, actually.
    Yes, it's your site, and no, this time I won't be coming back.
    Of course you can run the site the way you like;  however, with traffic up here  it's not realistic to
    think you can keep the number of comments down.
    A fairer, less arbitrary method, and less onerous for you, would be to register commenters and have an automatic cut-off of whatever you choose.

    what happens on talkleft (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Fabian on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 07:37:25 AM EST
    stays on google.

    You should never post anything that you don't mean and don't stand behind.  This isn't a private party, it's a public one.  


    MarkL (none / 0) (#84)
    by Lena on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:17:32 AM EST
    I hope you DO come back.

    Your comments are one of the reasons I come here - I find your comments insightful, not chattery.

    That goes for Capt Howdy too.


    thanks (none / 0) (#85)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:20:09 AM EST
    I dont mind being singled out for being verbose, its hard to deny, but I dont really like some of the comments suggesting all named were "trolls".

    I hope Mark comes back too (none / 0) (#86)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:20:28 AM EST
    Well, I am trying to defend Clinton (1.00 / 1) (#88)
    by MarkL on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:25:59 AM EST
    I don't really see that as a fault.
    Comment limits are perfectly reasonable, but making them automatic would be more efficient.

    Have you ever thought of (none / 0) (#90)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:28:03 AM EST
    starting your own blog?  Seems you have a fan base here.

    (and I'll frankly say I haven't read enough of your comments to be a fan or not a fan.  I was just making a suggestion).


    And, needless to say, I come her to comment (1.00 / 1) (#89)
    by MarkL on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:26:55 AM EST
    because I like the site.

    Sure thing (none / 0) (#100)
    by Lena on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 10:01:11 AM EST
    You and Mark L don't come across as trolls -- and as an infrequent poster, I should enter the program whereby you get to use my unused posting quota.

    Cream City and BDB are fun to read too, as long as I'm giving out warm fuzzies. p lusiak (sp?) is a good one too. Plus, let us not forget, BTD.


    Definitely Not A Troll (none / 0) (#107)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 10:10:03 AM EST
    I enjoy your comments. Think the issue here is where people get into long one on one disagreements that generate a lot of comments and take up a lot of space.

    I find your regular comments enjoyable but don't personally value the one on one long discourses.  


    discourses (none / 0) (#112)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 10:26:03 AM EST
    not sure if this was meant for me or Mark.  I dont (think) I do much discoursing.  its mostly drive by for me because I am always working when I post here.
    and for the record I honestly had no idea comments were supposed to be limited and no idea I was breaking any rules by poping up anytime I thought I had something to ad.
    (I guess I should have read the fine print but I never heard of such a rule before.  thas all Im sayin)
    in fact I alway thought comments equaled hits which was good for the site. live and learn.
    and since I have pretty much used up my quota for the day I will just go back to work now.

    Guess It Was Meant As More A General (none / 0) (#115)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 10:35:35 AM EST
    statement. I like a lot of both your comments and Mark's but I have been seeing a lot more of the long one on one loops appearing in the threads. Since I normally skip them, I'm not sure who all have been doing this. I might be guilty of making an assumption on what I thought might be the problem. Sorry if I painted with too broad a brush. Try not to do that on a regular basis but evidently I'm not always successful.

    Once again, I've always enjoyed your comments so I hope you continue to post here.


    captain howdy, neither you or mark (none / 0) (#165)
    by hellothere on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 03:49:47 PM EST
    are trolls. i enjoy both of you.

    i second that mark. i enjoy your (none / 0) (#161)
    by hellothere on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 03:19:22 PM EST
    comments. thanks

    MarkL (none / 0) (#87)
    by eric on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:25:26 AM EST
    Count me as someone who also likes to read MarkL's comments.

    Ditto (none / 0) (#92)
    by tree on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:36:22 AM EST
    Me, too! (none / 0) (#95)
    by Joan in VA on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:53:44 AM EST
    Ditto!! (none / 0) (#97)
    by athyrio on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:54:49 AM EST
    Jeralyn - (5.00 / 3) (#64)
    by Josey on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 07:55:45 AM EST
    would you mind sharing how you do it all?
    Work, write diaries, TV appearances, monitor TL, personal life, etc.
    Is there a special vitamin - or something?
    Thanks for everything!

    She has great television hair too (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:41:33 AM EST
    Like some presidential candidates we know ;)

    thanks for the oasis (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by sarany on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 08:22:41 AM EST
    A good amount of intelligent discussion, rules to maintain the signal to noise ratio, including intervention from "the top" to keep people on notice.

    Thank you thank you.

    I think I used to feel this way about DK, and can't understand why Markos has allowed his site to go so far south.

    I was just there this morning. (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Fabian on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 08:58:38 AM EST
    Doing my daily community service trying to inject some logic and reason - dhonig was the diarist.

    People are totally off the wall now.  Community moderation depends on what the community standards are at any given time and right now, standards are pretty low.  At least one person suggested bringing BTD back to knock some sense into people, but I think even BTD would just be shouted down by the commenters.

    I'm not kidding when I say left blogs are beginning to resemble the right wing noise machine.  People repeat things as if they are incontrovertible truths because they heard them from more than one source and never question the sources.


    Heh... (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by oldpro on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 11:42:14 AM EST
    "doing my daily community service trying to inject some logic and reason -"

    I, too, make occasional forays into the old neighborhood but now gangs of swaggering, foulmouthed youngsters have taken over the corner even in the daytime.  

    No cops in sight while they beat up on other kids and old folks alike...just for the fun of it, evidently.

    Not a pretty sight/site.

    Too bad.  Time for urban renewal - maybe a block grant.


    Thanks, Jeralyn (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by themomcat on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 08:40:31 AM EST
    I really like the civility here. The last few days I have just quickly perused the comments because of the chatter, the hijacking and "meta". I don't comment that often unless I have a question or an opinion that I think might add to the discussion. I there is something I would like to discuss further with a particular commenter, I take it to e-mail or  instant messaging and keep it private.
    Thanks again for a civil place for discussion.

    Sorry (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Exeter on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 08:49:22 AM EST
    I've been a long time reader of talkleft and finally decided to sign up to comment. Then got a little carried away yesterday!

    Getting carried away (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:01:58 AM EST
    Thanks for the reminders.  So easy to get carried away.  Part of choosing TL is that the posts are usually complimented by the comments.  I stay here on the reservation cause the other blogs are like some science fiction  Road Warrior  kind of world.  With bazookas and gangs ready to pounce.  

    But I thought. . . (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 08:52:05 AM EST
    we are the chattering class?

    The thing is, you and I may think (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 10:00:07 AM EST
    your comments are funny but . . . .

    I don't common often (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by hellskitchen on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:05:24 AM EST
    and depending on the story, I might not read the comments either.

    But yesterday I decided to read the comments and thoght, wow, the trolls have found it here en masse.

    Thank you, thank you.  Troll comments really do have a negative effect on a site's ambiance.  

    Thanks for the link info (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by BarnBabe on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:06:16 AM EST
    Wow, I never noticed the link buttons above the comments. And as for blockquotes, I have been putting them in the old fashion way. So reiterating the rules does not hurt the site and we sometimes come away with additional knowledge such as blockquote button. This is a great easy reading site but as it grows and gets more exposure, there will always be the mischief makers. I hate when they complain that the site is unfair because it is bias towards Hillary. I can never understand why they would want to be here when they could be with more of their own.

    BTW, Capt Howdy does make me LOL on some of his comments. I see he is not appearing today.

    Thank you (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by barbarajmay on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:06:39 AM EST
    It's such a privilege to read this blog, particularly as the other left leaning blogs have gotten so vile and partisan.  I come here for reasoned discourse and I always find it.  Thanks for limiting offbase comments so that I continue to have a blog "home".

    Thank you (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by americanincanada on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 10:08:58 AM EST
    I love reading this blog and commenting when I feel the burning need. I come here because it is one of the friendliest places on the net and I don't get attacked for being pro-Clinton.

    it would suck if it because as hateful as the rest of the so-called left blogesphere.

    The proof is in the pudding (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by lambert on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 11:14:12 AM EST
    I'm amazed at the labor that goes into an ordinary blog, let alone moderating all the threads as well.

    But I'm sure doing what is essentially quality assurance on your threads has greatly increased your numbers and hence the reach of your content.

    Well done and thank you.

    DR. Molly I miss ya and hope you comment (5.00 / 2) (#145)
    by athyrio on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:10:52 PM EST
    a bit more. I don't comment alot as I am ill with long term disease and just cant but I do enjoy the exchanges (when they remain civil). I agree with the person that suggested that maybe saying this is my last comment is a good idea and then sticking to it.....

    thanks (none / 0) (#152)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 01:02:18 PM EST
    Very sorry to hear about your illness. I'm with you on the civility thing - some seem to thrive on a different kind of atmosphere. To each their own I guess.

    there is never an excuse for ongoing (none / 0) (#156)
    by hellothere on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 01:58:43 PM EST
    personal attacks. and if anyone proceeds to do it, then shame on them.

    How about a Primary Forum? (none / 0) (#7)
    by ding7777 on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:15:37 AM EST

    Suggestions are welcome (none / 0) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:19:53 AM EST
    as to who I need to examine for abusing the site's commenting privileges.

    Remember, chatterers are those who hold views opposite of mine -- they are the ones I will limit to four a day if need be. But even people who share my views are not welcome to post excessively.

    And rather than see your work erased, you all might remember not to reply to off topic comments. It may be a few hours before I see them, but when I do, they get erased as with the replies to them. Big waste of time, your's and mine.

    Correction (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:51:35 AM EST
    a chatterer is more than someone who disagrees with my views, see my other comments here and the comment rules.

    'kay... (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by kredwyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 01:02:52 AM EST

    suggestions (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 06:45:25 AM EST
    Well, I stopped commenting and went to just lurking a little while back due to a particularly egregious session on a thread where several commenters were personally attacking me and other commenters repeatedly. I won't name them because it feels kind of silly, but it's not hard to guess which candidate they support.

    I could be wrong, but it seems that certain commenters break these rules without consequences, at least they did during that thread. They even boasted during that thread that they had been here long enough and were friends with the moderators so they could say/do what they wanted.

    Oh well. Lurking is still rewarding here.


    thanks dr molly! i too had that experience. (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by hellothere on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:03:28 AM EST
    i know things get heated during a primary such as this. everyone has their own candidate. but personal attacks are just that personal. no need for it. and i have noticed some older members here doing that. i am moving toward lurking because i am getting very busy but i still want to stay up on the thinking and issues in this campaign.

    Got A Link? (none / 0) (#98)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:58:26 AM EST
    They even boasted during that thread that they had been here long enough and were friends with the moderators so they could say/do what they wanted.

    In case you are speaking of our less than friendly interchange that is nonsense. Being a long time TLer I can't imagine any oldtimer who could have said something remotely like that. I usually read most of the comments here, particularly those by long timer commenters, a rarity lately, and saw nothing of the sort.

    And simply because someone finds comments that you have written to be nothing but HRC fan mail, does not automatically mean that they are an Obama supporter.


    I have never seen (none / 0) (#111)
    by waldenpond on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 10:25:37 AM EST
    you write that you could say anything you want.  That aside, you have (very rarely) gotten a little personal.

    waldenpond, lately it as gone from (none / 0) (#162)
    by hellothere on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 03:25:01 PM EST
    rarely to much more often and there doesn't seem to be any let up in that approach. thanks

    there are no moderators (none / 0) (#118)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 10:51:14 AM EST
    There's just me and Big Tent moderating comments.

    and you do a wonderful job (none / 0) (#127)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 11:09:30 AM EST
    You and BTD are the best. Some of your commenters remain obnoxiously over-the-top IMO and seem to get away with it, but I know you can't police things 24/7!

    Thanks for a great site. I donated before and I have no buyer's remorse despite the fact that I've gone to lurk mode!


    Huh? (none / 0) (#20)
    by digdugboy on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:26:31 AM EST
    If you are going to define chatterers as those who hold views opposite of yours, and limit their comments, but allow posters such as Edgar08 and Andgarden to post well over your stated 20 post limit, will you please refund my recent paypal donation?

    Buyers' Remorse??? (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:34:47 AM EST
    That was funny.  But you knew the comment rules before you donated, or you should have...in any event, you've gotten your money's worth, and I do appreciate the donation.

    I will be sending out thank you notes this weekend to all who donated this month.


    I'm glad you got a kick out of it (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by digdugboy on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:40:44 AM EST
    but the stated rules are different from the actual rules. The stated rules say no more than 20 comments per day. The actual rules are that so long as a poster (such as Edgar08) hates Obama, he can post 45 comments and not get called out. But somebody like me, who doesn't hate Obama, gets called out after 26 comments. And defining a "chatterer" as somebody who disagrees with your point of view isn't stated in the rules anywhere, either. Or did I miss it?

    you missed it (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:46:35 AM EST
    it's been there since 2002.

    I am beginning to call out some who are excessive even if their views match mine. It's only been a few months out of the last six years that TL has gotten so many comments. I'm figuring out new policies as I go, but the old ones haven't changed.

    So I guess I need to come up with a term for excessive commenters who agree with my views. Give me a day or two, I will,


    You'll probably settle on something like (none / 0) (#37)
    by digdugboy on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:50:46 AM EST
    "prolix Einsteins."

    Oops (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by waldenpond on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:47:29 AM EST
    My check is sitting right here.  I forgot to drop it off.

    If I didn't make one liners I would probably smack my computer.  I get a little tired of being called names and having someone rant at me when there is disagreement.


    lol (none / 0) (#114)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 10:32:57 AM EST
    Buyers' Remorse???
    hilarious.  Perfect answer.

    Just a thought... (none / 0) (#23)
    by kredwyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:29:34 AM EST
    Just because someone hold a POV that is in opposition to yours doesn't mean that they are wrong. It just means that they have a different position than you do.

    The chatterer part seems to be more along the lines of spamming threads with lots of unproductive comments that wind up leading to a flame fest.

    I've seen some of those floating around. But they appear to be different in their content from "beg to differ" posts.


    Definition of a Chatterer (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:37:58 AM EST
    I created this definition in 2002 when I started TalkLeft. It hasn't changed since and is in the comment rules.

    A "chatterer" is loosely defined as one who both  holds opposing views from those expressed by TalkLeft  and :

    Posts numerous times a day with the intent of dominating, re-directing or hijacking the thread;


    Posts numerous times a day and insults or calls other commenters names or repeatedly makes the same point with the effect of annoying other commenters.

    Was going by what you posted above... (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by kredwyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:45:30 AM EST
    "chatterers are those who hold views opposite of mine..."

    But the problem is that it seems as though there is a difference between what your opinions are and what the opinions of other TL writers are (if you include BTD and Chris as part of TL). For example, BTD trends (and states openly) towards Obama whilst you are a Clinton supporter. You support full inclusion of Fla whilst BTD has been an advocate for a re-vote. His are not the same as yours...however, he would not be considered a chatterer.

    Plus we don't know what your opinions are on everything under the sun. For all I know...you could loathe the color green <g>.


    Yes, BTD and my views differ (none / 0) (#36)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:49:46 AM EST
    and the rules apply to my views since it's my site. BTD makes the rules for his posts and I've noticed, as I'm sure has everyone, he freely and frequently states them.

    TChris has never posted a comment I don't agree with. But I have no idea what his election politics are as he's never stated them. His views on crime are identical to mine and that's what he writes about here.


    confused... (none / 0) (#40)
    by kredwyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:56:21 AM EST
    BTD posts to your site. But he has his own rules. So he doesn't have to adhere to your site's rules re: agreement?

    ::scratches head in confusion::

    (NB: I've e-known BTD for a long long time and though I've butted heads with him...I do enjoy his...ummm je ne sais quoi.)


    Right, he gets to have his own views (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 01:09:00 AM EST
    as does everyone. All points of view are welcome here. It's how they are expressed that is the issue.

    This... (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by kredwyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 01:19:31 AM EST
    I understand.

    I think that as the site grows with more and more refugees from other places who're straight fed up with the serious drop in discourse elsewhere, you're going to need to think about how best to do that language/attitude moderation thing on a larger, or different, scale.


    agree (none / 0) (#104)
    by corn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 10:07:36 AM EST
    The policies have probably worked fine for a less trafficked site, but they seem too loosey goosey for the place now.  Different rules for different posters?  That's silly.  

    You should have one standard for the various posters, attempt some controls that require less human intervention, try harder to be objective in enforcement (I'm sure that's tough, but examples of unevenness seem to easy to produce) and tone down the 'my site, my rules' attitude - we all know it's your site and that you control the delete button, but no one liked the kid that acted that way with his football.  We all appreciate the work you put into this or we wouldn't be here.  


    in other words the point of view (none / 0) (#29)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:39:40 AM EST
    is only one factor. It's chattering when it's coupled with one of the other two.

    Thanks for the clarification (none / 0) (#32)
    by digdugboy on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:41:53 AM EST
    Talk Left (none / 0) (#54)
    by clapclappointpoint on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 03:17:06 AM EST
    was one of the first political blogs I visited, when I first discovered them 4 years ago.  Your blogroll has been responsible for opening my eyes to many other points of view.

    I am saddened by the institution of this sort of policy and distressed by some of the discourse posted on the front page.  I hope, at the end of this sad period in our party's history, we could come together once more and start trashing the Republicans more than each other.

    I was thinking last night... (5.00 / 5) (#65)
    by Josey on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 08:13:31 AM EST
    about the lack of civility in comments on certain Dem blogs and realize it comes straight from front pagers and site owners whipping up hate and division.
    I'm here because Jeralyn and BTD model and maintain a higher level of discourse and respect for both Dem presidential candidates.

    I have lived this (5.00 / 4) (#96)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:54:23 AM EST
    Whether I like it or not what my husband does for a living can be currently very socially controversial.  Whenever I have asked the blog insulting if our military needs to be disbanded though they almost always answer no, they want different solutions but when people are angry objectivity can be lost.  If the owners and front pagers of Dem blogs don't have similar rules though to TL and what Jeralyn and BTD stick to, or if they lack objectivity it can get very ugly really fast.

    no rules = anarchy (none / 0) (#55)
    by cpinva on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 04:13:54 AM EST
    even anarchists have some rules.

    don't worry about trashing the republicans, the script practically writes itself.

    ALmost (none / 0) (#102)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 10:05:01 AM EST
    don't worry about trashing the republicans

    There are lines that cannot be crossed even with them. I have had comments deleted, and been warned, after calling a particularly vile racist politician a racist.


    As Larry Niven says: (none / 0) (#110)
    by blogtopus on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 10:23:32 AM EST
    "Anarchy is the least stable social system; it falls apart at the drop of a hat" - paraphrase ;-P

    gosh (none / 0) (#76)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 08:50:12 AM EST
    sorry I guess. I had not idea comments were limited. never heard that particular rule before.
    it wont be a problem.  I have been spending way too much time doing this anyway.

    I come here mostly for the Clinton perspective (none / 0) (#103)
    by magster on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 10:05:18 AM EST
    with which I almost always recently disagree. I guess that makes me a chatterer, but it's good to know the other side of the story, and squawk when I really disagree.

    I do have a problem with the high conflict topics not being discussed here in the name of civility.  There was avoidance of Ferraro, Wright, the speech and now snipergate. These issues have really shaped opinions about Obama and Clinton and affect the primary.  So, on the last episode, which is being played heavily on the cable news today, I'd like to hear a defense or strategy for Clinton to put forth, and I'd like to know the Clinton commenters reaction to the story.

    no subject changing please (none / 0) (#174)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 04:59:34 PM EST
    "Last Word" posts (none / 0) (#113)
    by blogtopus on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 10:26:15 AM EST
    I think it should be an unwritten rule here that if you feel a commenter is just replying for the sake of having the last word, just put in a post saying 'Last Word' and leave that string. That way everyone knows why you aren't replying anymore (not because you have no more ammo, you know?).

    My 2 cents.

    Last word (none / 0) (#154)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 01:44:59 PM EST
    That is a brilliant idea.  I don't get into those things very often, but if I find myself there, I will use your words.  Excellent.  Thank you!

    new rules (none / 0) (#116)
    by yourkidding on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 10:38:53 AM EST
    Thank you! Would that other publishers might follow your lead.

    Lots of off topic comments can be eliminated by (none / 0) (#128)
    by TalkRight on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 11:13:16 AM EST
    having open thread more often in a timely manner like one for morning, noon, evening, late nite. .. just my sugestion..

    That's a lot of moderation. (none / 0) (#131)
    by Fabian on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 11:24:25 AM EST
    If this site didn't rely on two people for moderation, I'd enthusiastically agree.  We ground up a lot of open threads this past weekend.

    that's right.. but (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by TalkRight on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 11:29:47 AM EST
    not doing that will only make people put their off topic comments to the "what ever active thread" is there. So you have to moderate those comments anyhow.

    A suggestion: (none / 0) (#136)
    by ding7777 on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 11:38:48 AM EST
    Delete an Open Thread after 200 comments

    now that's a thought! (none / 0) (#175)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 05:01:56 PM EST
    In 2005 and 2006, I did delete comments on threads from 2002 to 2004. Different blogging platform though, I'm not sure scoop can do it.

    Good God. (none / 0) (#135)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 11:33:18 AM EST
    Mark L posted 91 comments today. Captain Howdy 65. Flyerhawk posted 51. Exeter 41. Digdugboy 26. JGarza 22.

    Do Taglines Take Up Too Much Space? (none / 0) (#140)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 11:47:32 AM EST
    Even though I may find a particular tagline agreeable, I find it tiresome to read it repeatedly or see it 20 times a day in my peripheral vision. No offense intended.

    yes and I don't like them either (none / 0) (#146)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:12:23 PM EST
    Nor is there a need for commenters to reprint their name or their blog name at the bottom of their comments. Their name is visible and readers can see their blog name or bio info should they choose to include it when they click on a user's info.

    If we all promise to follow the rules, (none / 0) (#141)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 11:52:15 AM EST
    may we please have something else to talk about today besides the rules?

    Nice place; thanks for providing a sanctuary. (none / 0) (#153)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 01:11:27 PM EST
    FWIW, mutters the interloper by way of explanation, I landed here by following somebody's reference to your Rezko trial comments.  

    Please delete my account (none / 0) (#166)
    by tnthorpe on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 03:55:21 PM EST
    You've taken to deleting my comments since they take issue with the ridiculous Clintonism so destructively propagated here, and since it's your sandbox, I'll leave it to you.

    Dude (none / 0) (#170)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 04:16:12 PM EST
    You must have thicker skin than that. I for one would miss your comments, as would many others. Don't take this campaign nonsense to heart, it will soon be over. Everyone gets deleted, more so now than ever, because it is a heated time. Take a break but please don't leave. Really, you are bigger than that.

    Thread cleaned (none / 0) (#176)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 05:05:03 PM EST
    of multiple posts between bickering commenters.

    with all due respect jeralyn, (none / 0) (#177)
    by hellothere on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 06:09:02 PM EST
    some of this is personal attacks not brought on or instigated in any manner. this is your blog and i respect that. thanks very much

    thanks for moderating (none / 0) (#178)
    by ferbab47 on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 07:01:46 PM EST
    and trying to keep this useful