Comment On & Rec The Good Diaries And Ignore The Bad

Earlier today I was disturbed to read three or four diaries that I deemed objectionable. A few I deleted and a couple diarists I banned but guess what the most annoying thing about the diaries was: they were the three or four diaries with the most comments on the whole site and a couple had even made it to the Rec list.

Now, this hardly comes as a surprise; controversy breeds conversation, a diary that evokes an emotion, especially if it's annoyance, is way more likely to inspire comments than one that is benign. So I'm asking you guys to try to resist the urge to engage with diarists more interested in righting past wrongs and picking fights than in eliciting constructive thought and inspiring a conversation. Help me reward good behavior and ignore bad by engaging with the well-written diaries even if it's just a quick rec or supportive or dissenting comment. As it is now, if a diary has a lot of comments, it's usually because the content of the post is objectionable. I'd like to reverse that.

I'm going to dive into the diaries more and hopefully as more readers join me, more engagement will translate to more and better diaries and we can marginalize diarists who are here in bad faith and attract more whose intentions are pure. Also, the more recs the good diaries have, the more people it will take for the bad diaries to get on the rec list. And as for what constitutes bad faith vs. good, let me just clear something up: diaries that are critical of the president and his administration are not disqualifiers; in fact they are welcome as long as they are productive and constructive.

Thanks for reading and thanks for helping me improve the site.

Tags: meta (all tags)



Rec The Good Diaries And Ignore


I applaud your sentiment. However, as you say controversy evokes emotion and then there is that slowing down as you drive by an accident on the highway.

All that said, I will make the effort to keep hands from keyboard and ignore the stupid.

by jsfox 2009-03-24 04:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Rec The Good Diaries And Ignore

yeah, I know. I'd just really like to see as much conversation and engagement in the good diaries as we have in the bad ones. and ignoring the bad ones will deprive them of what they love most attention and the knowledge that they disrupted the community.

by Todd Beeton 2009-03-24 10:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Rec The Good Diaries And Ignore

by yellowsnow 2009-03-25 04:23AM | 0 recs
What, no more world of warcraft gold?

Damn! That guy was my favorite diarist...So meta, so far off point.

Oh well, I will just have to control my desire to snark and snide comment...

Kind of like a diet, I know it's good for me, but it's hard to get started!

by WashStateBlue 2009-03-24 05:08AM | 0 recs
Re: What, no more world of warcraft gold?

I actually feel a little sympathy for the WoW diaries now.  Check it out: diaryId=1124

by fogiv 2009-03-24 08:00AM | 0 recs
Re: What, no more world of warcraft gold?

sad, I know.

by Todd Beeton 2009-03-24 10:11AM | 0 recs
Re: What, no more world of warcraft gold?

Oh well, I will just have to control my desire to snark and snide comment...

But if it's not you, it will be someone else, say a future new user of this site who wasn't around this week, so they missed Todd's message...or an old user who also happens to not be around this week so they miss Todd's message. Or, most likely, any of us, over the course of time, since it's so easy to fall off the wagon and start eating sugary food again than to stick to our new diet which is so much better for us (carrots and celery sticks.)

Which is to say, it seems inevitable that trollish posts will inspire plenty of comments and even recs.  During the primaries I suggested a method to deal with invasive trolls (I thought the method had a lot of advantages, particularly judicial transparency: we could all see who was nominated for banning, and why, and those folks could even make an appeal for mercy by commenting in the official "Troll List" diary). Shaun (in comments in that diary) may have been right that the whole idea of banning is bad...but I'm not entirely convinced of that.

I think diaries getting a lot of comments is not a problem, but trollish diaries getting on the rec-list is a problem. I don't see any way around that except through banning or implementing a new "magic unrec" technology. The editors would use a magic unrec to permanently ban a diary from the rec-list.  In theory, it would be nice if trusted users also had the magic unrec, such that if a diary received a certain number of thumbs-down, it would be banned from the rec-list.  (But I suspect it will be too tempting to use that feature, and too easy to become a trusted user, so that feature is probably best left in the hands of the editors.)  

by Rob in Vermont 2009-03-24 02:55PM | 0 recs
A lot of us don't have reccing ability

Hangover from the primary bickering.

No big deal (whose quality of life depends on diary reccing?) but that might help better, i.e. non-troll diaries, do better.  

by Geekesque 2009-03-24 05:22AM | 0 recs
"attract more whose intentions are pure"

What exactly will your metrics be for determining that?

by Blue In SC and MD 2009-03-24 05:28AM | 0 recs
Re: "attract

Yeah, I can hardly wait to hear what the standards will be for that.

And folks here wonder why MyDD is a blog with one foot in the grave and the other on the banana peel.

by Pager 2009-03-24 10:49AM | 0 recs
That would be great, Todd

The lack of involvement from site admins in the diaries of we lowly peons tends to favor outrage mongers and trolls.  Some leadership, like what you're proposing, would definitely help.

I was pretty disturbed yesterday to see that it took only one rec to shoot something to the top of the rec list, allowing two trolls (or one troll with two accounts) to control the conversation somewhat.

by Dracomicron 2009-03-24 06:16AM | 0 recs
Nice to see.

Thanks, Todd.

by fogiv 2009-03-24 08:03AM | 0 recs
That's the spirit!

by chrisblask 2009-03-24 09:11AM | 0 recs

Given the expressed thrust and mission of this site it makes no sense to see people like Milo and Zapata continue to be allowed to write diaries. They bring their junk from right-wing web sites (disguising themselves cleverly as Hillary voters)  and proceed to engage in pre-emptive meta-insults of all bloggers right off the bat.  Then some people feel compelled to tell them a thing or two.   Rinse during the day across the various sock puppets, then repeat the cycle again the next day.  Why not just delete the diaries and ban the diarists?  

by devilrays 2009-03-24 09:11AM | 0 recs


by Todd Beeton 2009-03-24 09:58AM | 0 recs

uprated to counter TR of the heinous term "agreed".

Todd, please watch the language.

by Neef 2009-03-24 01:13PM | 0 recs

The only problem with just deleting the diaries and diarists is the sock puppet issue, it's only a temporary effect, so yeah we need that + eyes on the diaries.  

The posters have been filling that latter position which leads to contributions to troll diaries because we are the law or, there is no law.  Due to a lack of moderation people feel compelled to troll smash so no random people stop by to accidently click on the nice lil ole diary over in the corner, chock full of "Obama iz comunistz" tidbits and leaves thinking that a progressive site adopts or espouses those theories.  

It has been self regulation for a reason.  I am glad Todd is taking it upon himself to get involved like that, that seat is cold and dusty.

by KLRinLA 2009-03-24 12:09PM | 0 recs

Well, yes, banning a diarist naturally includes also IP banning to prevent sockpuppetry.  Some people can get around it by using IP hide or IP change software, but it will be only a matter of (short) time until the latest incarnation of the same poster gets the message and moves on after being banned and warned repeatedly.  

There has to be a limit to the type of diaries we are treated to before the hook comes out.  I would expect to be treated no differently on a right wing  site like if I were to write daily diaries bashing conservatism and unfettered capitalism, so why should it be different here?  This is not an apolitical generic political discussion site, after all.  

by devilrays 2009-03-24 03:51PM | 0 recs

Ok, I thought at MYDD there is not IP banning, just username ban (discl: me no know intertube tekmology good)  If if does encapsulate IP banning then these sockpuppets are f'n tenacious.

I would add to your last comment, I think you also get banned from those sites if you don't fill your quota of nutty consipiracy theories

by KLRinLA 2009-03-24 04:56PM | 0 recs
Todd, thanks finally for taking the action and

speaking up for most of us who like to visit MyDD. We had been crying ourselves hoarse on several occasions for troll diaries or adverts masquerading as diaries. I would urge you to consider, as I suggested yesterday, to block repeat offending IPs, if that's allowed as a tool to the admin. This way sockpuppetry will have difficult time repeatedly dominating the blog. On the other hand, I do agree with you that we, the readers, need to be more involved in promoting genuine good diaries...

by louisprandtl 2009-03-24 09:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Comment On & Rec The

I used to expose offending IPs when my account had the permissions to check IPs and compare them to other accounts with the same IP. At some point, I lost those permissions(no politics, I am guessing some administrative thing that wasn't meant to grant me those permissions on a permanent basis. I never cared to find out). In any case, I had pretty high level permissions.

Whoever has those permissions now should be able to track offending IPs very easily and confront those posters to see if they are really trolls.

And what is up with the Chennai diary up right now? Isnt that pure spam?

by Pravin 2009-03-24 10:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Comment On & Rec The

Ah, special permissions. I did wonder how you were able to do that. :-)

by Rob in Vermont 2009-03-24 02:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Comment On & Rec The

Actually I had admin privileges for a very short period. I resisted the temptation to teach trolls a lesson because I knew that it was meant for a one time project I worked on with one of our old admins. So I never even tried to take advantage of it other than deleting the duplicate comments or diaries that were posted accidentally(probably, by clicking on the post button twice).  However, I did have the ability to check IPs for a long time. I thought maybe it was granted to all long time users in good standing.  So I had no problem using that to check trolls who were highly suspicious as having posted here before. The funniest one was the woman from Canada who created two aliases and came up with this really elaborate story that kept changing as I exposed her step by step. I don't think we have heard from her since then.

by Pravin 2009-03-24 05:17PM | 0 recs

I remember that

by Rob in Vermont 2009-03-24 05:58PM | 0 recs
thanks todd....

can't tell me how glad i am to see you step in here.

by canadian gal 2009-03-24 12:11PM | 0 recs
Good to See.

I'm glad to see you stepping up and taking responsibility for this, Todd.  A lot of the 'troll bashing' we, the trusted users, have had to engage in is both unfortunate and distasteful.  More active moderation is extremely welcome.

I also feel as though it is in the your (and the rest of the front-pagers) best interests to engage in such moderation.  I would imagine that your, Charles's, Josh's, etc. blogging credibility is negatively effected when the rest of the site is full of right wing trolls, replica watch ads, and LOLcats.

by Dreorg 2009-03-24 12:40PM | 0 recs

On cue, I had an nigh-irresistible, primal urge to caption some feline: "I iz in ur blog, hosin ur cred". In fact, I believe I'm sweating.

Kicking LOLcats may be harder than ignoring troll diaries.

by Neef 2009-03-24 01:18PM | 0 recs
Maybe we can have nostalgia day

Once a month, where we can post LOLCats, weather reports, and our favorite recipe for PIE!

We can all wax nostalgic about our favorite diary from Teh Engels!

There were some entertaining days as well, compared to KOS, this place was Rock and Roll Anarchy Central!

by WashStateBlue 2009-03-24 01:23PM | 0 recs
So true, Wash

to some degree, there has been an enabling dynamic going on here. And to some degree, a little chaos is fun.

A little.

by Neef 2009-03-24 01:32PM | 0 recs

Thank you very much for taking an active interest in the diaries section, Todd.  It is sincerely appreciated.  This spammer is in dire need of a banning... he's written 3 diaries selling knockoff Nike shoes.

by thatrangeofshadesbetweenredandbluestuff 2009-03-24 02:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks

he's written 3 diaries selling knockoff Nike shoes.


Well, no wonder those Air Jordans I bought fell apart in just a week....

Or was it two weeks? Don't know, this calendar on my MyDD Rolex stopped working as well.

by WashStateBlue 2009-03-24 02:37PM | 0 recs


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