COMMENTS UPDATE: Scammers, Spammers, and Trolls, I'm Afraid You'll Find Our Moderation Tool Quite Operational

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Posted: Oct 09, 2015 6:58 PM
COMMENTS UPDATE: Scammers, Spammers, and Trolls, I'm Afraid You'll Find Our Moderation Tool Quite Operational

Editor's note: Post has been updated with additional information.

Happy Friday, everyone! Some of you have sent inquires about the spammers on the comment threads. Admittedly, it was getting a bit like “Mad Max” on those threads, with spammers posting with impunity. The good news is that the moderation tool became operational–and swift justice was delivered to the spammers who have been posting over the past few weeks. Yet, this still requires users to flag future spam comments.  The editor in charge of comment moderation proceeds to delete those comments, which will occur on a daily basis. Previous spam comments are gone. And new ones will be removed as soon as humanely possible–with those associated user accounts being permanently banned from Townhall.

Racist language will not be tolerated, and if flagged, that user is certainly at risk for having their commenting privileges revoked at Townhall. Commenting on the site is a privilege, not a right.

Our editors on this moderation platform see any comment that’s been flagged just once. In the coming days, we will integrate a feature that will remove a comment that’s flagged more than eight times from the thread. It will be relegated to the moderation platform for review.

Our comments policy remains in effect, with the additional note about racist and abusive language:

1. Membership in the Townhall community is a privilege, not a right. Abuse of any of the following rules can lead to a permanent ban from the Townhall commenting community, even on first offense.

2. Townhall relies, in part, on its own commenting community. Our community is incredibly large and diverse, and the community's ability to provide feedback with the comment flag buttons is very valuable.

3. Offensive language of any kind is not tolerated. We have a pre-screened filter for offensive language. Attempting to get around the offensive language filter makes a member of the community subject to a ban.

4. The following are not tolerated:

a. Off-topic posts

b. Business solicitation

c. Ad-hominem attacks

d. Repeat posts

e. Threats

f. Hate speech

g. Multiple accounts

5. Being a member of the Townhall community makes you subject to our Terms of Use agreement.

For those who do flag spam, scams, and trolls, we appreciate your watchful eyes. Please continue helping us police the site.  

You can have intense, passionate debates on these threads without using strong language, wishing that some commenter with whom you disagree gets killed, or has family tragedy befall them. So, comment away. Get into intense discussions with your peers. We want that to happen, and for all of our users to have fun debating one another on the threads. All we ask it that you keep it PG-rated.

Also, we understand that some people might flag comments for the sake of doing so. Have no fear–we only ban/delete comments that are truly violate our policy.  We discard the innocuous ones. Those being ones that might veer towards the left in political orientation.  For example, if a commenter says, "I like what Obama is doing on gun control," chances are some people might flag it–and this has happened in the past with users who are more liberal. We simply ignore those.  We'll let you handle that person on the comment thread by having a cordial debate. 

New features will be added soon, some of which might have been alluded to in the comments below.  We'll keep you posted!