I RAISED an eyebrow on reading Guido today. His blog, though the most popular political one in the country, is used by many strange individuals to post the most offensive and defamatory comments about politicians.
Now even Guido himself seems to be losing patience with the foamers and in the new year will introduce a new system whereby the most brainless and half-witted comments, though still to be published, will have less prominence than those comments which have had some intelligent thought put into them.
Given that I have only a fraction of the traffic that Guido and Iain Dale get, the moderation of comments on this blog doesn’t take up any significant amount of time at all. Nevertheless, there still has to be a policy. Lately I’ve been a bit more ruthless in deleting comments which have no relevance to the original post but are obviously being submitted by visitors with a bone to pick with the government.
But WordPress’s spam filter has proved invaluable. One person whose comments used to be published quite regularly recently submitted a blatantly racist comment, presumably in the hope of shocking as well as offending. I stopped publishing any comments submitted by him, so he changed his name. When I noticed the IP address matched exactly with the original racist comment, I spammed his comment. Now anything submitted by that particular racist gets automatically spammed and deleted without my even seeing it.
But despite a clear comments policy, I am amazed by those who still submit comments with swearing or personal insults – against me or other MPs – and who still expect to be published. They aren’t and they won’t be.