Reminder: Be NICE and Make Comments Relevant and Useful

September 25, 2012 By gizadev

We're seeing too much static and flutter in the posted comments on Giza Death Star. In other words:

  • posts that are too heated, emotional, abrasive, or inflammatory (we have to draw a line somewhere)
  • posts that are off-topic
  • posts that are the equivalent of spray graffiti tagging - near meaningless addenda apparently designed only to make one's own name rise to the top
  • posts that are vast monologues that really belong in someone else's personal blog and not in Giza's comment section - (rule of thumb: if it needs an index, post it in your own blog)

So it's necessary to remind those who, as adults have by now surely learned to be aware off at least some of how they're coming off in a community of people, that Giza Death Star does have a Terms of Service (TOS) document. Participation is contingent on accepting those terms, and users who continually flout them can be moderated. OK, that's the tough language. Here's the good stuff:

We wish to have a free, open environment and not shut people down just because something seems superficially silly or perhaps a bit too touchy a subject, or even because we don't like it or find it useful, but we also do need to ask that everyone do their best to respect the rest of the subscribers and members in the community, so the community can continue to exist.

We've making the following minor, but still significant changes:

  1. Comments are now limited to people who are logged in - either free subscribers or paying members. Random, drive by comments are now cut off. Doing it this way doesn't eliminate all noise and flutter, but it does allow us to target all but the worst violators.
  2. Comments are now automatically closed on any one post when it hits 14 days. Vast discussions on unrelated posts and pages (off-topic) can result in violators being placed in moderation after multiple off-topic warnings. We can't micromanage and watch everything, and just won't - it needs to be reasonably fun for everyone - even us - not a full time job. But we think after 2 weeks, a post has probably seen it's day in regard to the comments portion. If there is a bizarre off-topic question you're dying to ask and have no place to ask it, consider the live members vidchats.

One optional change we'd consider, is switching the most recent comment to the bottom, instead of the top of the batch. Then we could paginate it, and after a while, people who endlessly badger or puff out their own personalities will simply lose attention through general boredom. May not be very effective with concerted hasslers (who can simply be placed into moderation), but at least the merely occasional trolls won't get much play.

Thanks for listening. - Giza Death Star