Rantings of a sub-editor

May 26, 2010

Changes to comments

Filed under: Substuff says... — substuff @ 10:57 am

Hello there everyone, just a quick note.

Firstly, thank you to everyone who contributes to the blog with comments and observations – and please don’t stop.

I’ve just changed the rules on commenting so that you have to input an email address. Most of you do this anyway, but to those who don’t, I promise I’m not going to sign you up to any awful mailing lists or anything. I’ve changed it for the simple reason that I am getting some unwelcome messages (who’d have thought a grammar blog would warrant it?), which isn’t very pleasant. Requiring an email address won’t prevent it, but it will mean I can block people from being able to comment again if necessary.

It’s not serious hate mail. The last couple of weeks have yielded:

“funny. not”

“this blog is a waste of time”

“please stop bloging, the internet is bored with it!!!!”

The first response that springs to mind is “well, don’t read it then, idiot”. But still, it’s annoying.

Somehow I suspect it will happen less frequently when the person/persons concerned have to provide an email address.

But it’s not all bad news. I have discovered I can make you all appear as little monsters, unless you already have a picture.



  1. I find that the option to publish comments automatically only once a comment by the same author has been approved is very useful.

    Comment by Freelance Unbound — May 26, 2010 @ 12:37 pm | Reply

    • Aha, that does sound useful. Hmm, I’ll go with this for now, but if it doesn’t help then it’s good to know there’s another option.

      Comment by substuff — May 26, 2010 @ 6:19 pm | Reply

  2. Please don’t stop blogging. The English language needs you. Not kidding!

    Comment by Angus Donald — May 26, 2010 @ 12:54 pm | Reply

    • Yowser! Thank you (though I fear you overestimate). The complaint only asks that I stop bloging – blogging, apparently, is still fine.

      Comment by substuff — May 26, 2010 @ 6:17 pm | Reply

  3. If you want to read abusive comments, check out some of the charming (largely Indian) readers who replied to a post on my Times cricket blog a few months back:


    Some wanted to kill me, some offered to sodomise me, some wanted me fired. And then there was the inevitable accusation of racism…

    All because I posted a statistical list and what I thought was an obvious jokey remark about Sachin Tendulkar not being the greatest player in history.

    I started out despairing but then I just found their comments funny. At least they were reading!

    Comment by Paddy — May 26, 2010 @ 2:00 pm | Reply

    • Jeez! The internet is crazy like that. People are willing to say in print (and usually anonymously) things they would never dare to say to someone’s face.

      Loving all the play on your name. “Patrick you must be kidd(ing)”. “Patrick this is why you are still a Kidd!”

      Comment by substuff — May 26, 2010 @ 6:20 pm | Reply

  4. If the blog is a waste of time then the lovely lass or fella must have plenty of time to waste writing comments on random blogs.

    Comment by Nadine — May 26, 2010 @ 8:44 pm | Reply

  5. It’s almost inevitable that you have to take some action. The paper where I work allowed unrestricted comments with the result that we had an endless succession of nutters (one has to be honest in these situations) abusing us and each other through the medium of our website. A registration system has reduced this, although some people are very determined. Good luck with your new jobs and keep on “bloging”.

    Comment by Mark — May 27, 2010 @ 11:14 am | Reply

  6. Yes, stran

    Comment by Aspen — May 27, 2010 @ 3:41 pm | Reply

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