By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Cracking down on hit-and-run attacks

Well, I’ve done it. I just changed the settings of Media Nation so that you now have to register in order to leave a comment. What pushed me to flip the switch were some of the truly ugly comments made about Robert Novak’s brain tumor, as well as the news that Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin is going to require registration. A terrific “On the Media” story about commenting on news sites was a goad as well.

The last time I considered this, I was talked out of it by a few smart people who explained the downside of registering with Google, Blogger’s corporate owner. (I’ve given my life to Google, but that’s my choice.) But those days are now long gone. In addition to Google/Blogger, you’ve got five options: OpenID, WordPress, LiveJournal, TypePad and AIM. With all those choices, registration should be a burden to no one.

Nor have I eliminated anonymity. I don’t mind pseudonyms. I think someone who adopts a consistent persona, like Mike B1, can be as valuable a contributor as someone who uses his or her real name. It’s the totally anonymous hit-and-run attacks I’m trying to eliminate.

There’s something in it for you, too. I’ve also changed the settings so that as long as you are commenting on a post less than two weeks old, it will go up immediately, without my having to moderate it first. Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t. We’ll see how it goes.

More: I’m not going to be around much today. But if you run into any problems posting comments, send me an e-mail at da {dot} kennedy {at} neu {dot} edu.

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  1. Rick

    Good idea

  2. acf

    Sorry to see the need arise, but we’ll deal. BTW, since participants will be logging in to post, why is the word verification still needed?

  3. Bill N1VUX

    Testing with Google/Blogger via Linux. Apparently I need to enable JavaScript, although sufficient refreshes might work.

  4. n1vux

    First test with OpenID AIM seemed to work but didn’t appear. Is OpenID still moderated but Blogger straight-to-page?javascript on, Firefox/Ubuntu

  5. Jimbo

    I have my own little blog (mostly about East Boston) and when I started to comment on a local race for state rep last year I suddenly got dozens, and then hundreds, of comments. It didn’t take long before I realized that I couldn’t just let every comment automatically get posted, as there were vulgar, stupid and threatening comments about the candidates, their families and their supporters. Now the setting requires me to approve all comments.I was disappointed at the uncivil behavior in this public setting, but in reality it could have been just one person who was amused by such comments.

  6. Mike from Norwell

    Just a test to see if these do automatically post now (tried this morning and it didn’t work).FF 3.0 on an XP box.

  7. Mike from Norwell

    Seemed to work now for some reason. Maybe that I didn’t try and preview the post the second time.Carry on Dan…

  8. O-FISH-L


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