There’s been a bit of a spat on Twitter about lack of moderation at Kiwiblog, with a number of people joining criticism of David Farrar’s hands off approach to moderation.
It’s well known that Kiwiblog comments can at times get very abusive. I’ve commented there a lot in the past and often confronted the worse of the abuse, and have been abused and lied about there quite a lot, sometimes in reactions to confronting them. Several times I reported abuse to DPF, and on one occasion I had him remove defamatory comments, which he did as soon as I contacted him.
I have also been subjected to a lot of abuse and mob attacks at The Standard, and have been banned from there several times for confronting some of that.
So I was a bit bemused when Stephanie Rodgers joined in put me up alongside Farrar in the Twitter spat.
There’s a bunch of irony and hypocrisy in that.
King Kong is a regular abusive figure on NZ blogs. Yet you never see them on mine, because – radical – I moderate them.
Yes she does ‘moderate’. But one person’s moderation can be another person’s message control or even censorship.
Bloggers like DPF and Pete George want to pretend it’s hard to moderate out abuse, and it simply isn’t.
Rodgers has made that up about me. It can be easy to moderate out abuse.
What is difficult is getting the balance right between enabling and allowing free speech and free discussion but minimising abuse and personal attacks.
It can be particularly difficult to keep their own views and disagreements separate from moderation.
Likening my moderation to DPF’s shows quite a degree of ignorance.
DPF’s moderation is very hands off. He relies on people reporting abuse to him, and rarely engages in comments threads. With the number of comments at Kiwiblog it would be a huge job to vet each one.
I am actively involved in moderation here as much as time allows. I actively discourage abuse and act on it whenever I see fit. It isn’t required often, apart from the occasional burst from individuals, because the regulars here understand my aims and support and help achieving a reasonable balance between robust comment and debate but avoiding personal attacks.
It’s imperfect, and it is hard, nigh on impossible, to please all of the commenters all of the time. But it moderation is a continual effort for improving the commenting environment.
You just have to give a damn about not publishing pointles personal attacks – instead of actively encouraging them.
This looks like blind hypocrisy from Rodgers. As has been noted here in the weekend there was a typical mob attack on me at The Standard in the weekend, starting here.
That not only involved abuse, it was an obvious attempt to discredit, shut down, shout down and get me banned by someone some of the numpties there – a number of familiar names.
And Rodgers joined in. That’s a form of active encouragement.
For people like Rodgers moderation seems to be a tool to shut down comment they disagree with and shut out people they don’t like, but to allow attacks when it suits their prejudices and agendas.