Thursday, 20 August 2015

Killing a muppet

Firstly, if you feel so inclined, please take a refresher on my communications policy.

Secondly... I deeply dislike the concept of censorship, and this extends to moderation of the comments on this blog. The only comments I have blocked have been blatant exercises in spam advertising, other than that I have let every single comment through. Sometimes a comment might seem like spam so it gets blocked for a while by Disqus, but I have never - to my recollection - not approved any comment by a person whose intent was to comment on the article.

This changed this morning: I blacklisted my first respondent. This person was Acker Apple.

Acker is a bit of a plank (IMO), and seems to exist solely to bobble up and down like Beaker on The Muppets going "I like Node!" "Node is good!" "I used to use CF now I use Node!" "Node is Good!" "You're Bad, I'm Good!" "node node node node node", and other stuff which demonstrates the Dunning-Kruger effect is alive and well. Examples of this are here: "ColdFusion: Adobe updates their roadmap for ColdFusion. Forgets to give the language directions" and here: "What I'd like to see in ColdFusion 12 (redux, as is happens)".

There's nothing wrong with being a plank, and in very small doses it can be endearing. But when it ends up seeming like a mistake that the grown-ups let the children sit at the dinner table, a sensible and responsible grown-up will usher the children back out of the room so the adults can get on with it.

I was going to just tell Acker to shut up (I put it more directly than that), but having checked my comms over night I have had a couple of actual complaints about his conduct, and the very real fact he's toxifying the comments section on this blog with his continual nonsense, and it's discourgaing participation from more lucid & engaging participants.

To be very clear: the comments on this blog are very important to the content of the blog itself, and oftentimes the comments are more interesting that the article they're commenting on. I welcome all points of view, and especially ones that disagree with me as those are the ones I personally learn the most from. You can, in general, say whatever you like, in whatever tone you like (other than the usual societal / community nonos). I'm not blocking Acker because of his dissenting voice. I'm blocking him cos he's a bit of a cock.

So Acker has been ushered out of this particular room. I have blacklisted his email address (which is about all I can do on Disqus), and will monitor any further input from him by hand. If it is on-topic for any post he decides to reply to: I will consider approving it.

Equally, some other people need to learn to "not feed trolls" as the internet addage goes. This is even worse clutter than the original comments, IMO. I will take a very dim view of anyone adding to clutter in this vein, too. If someone is trolling: just leave them be. Don't become part of the problem.

Finally: apologies to my other readers who might have felt a bit put off by my lack of better/earlier handling of this.



* Image from here used without permission. If you are the copyright holder and would prefer I do not use this image, let me know and I'll take it down.