Thursday, 14 August 2014

Back from the Grave 6

I really don't now see what was so dodgy about this post, but see what you think. It was a sequel to my earlier ticking-off of Anonymous. It was called Death to the nameless ones! and was published on 31 December 2012. I haven't kept the comments. Perhaps there were none.

With some reluctance, because I don't like putting up barriers, I've decided to stop anonymous comments completely. I've done this by narrowing the mesh of the 'who can comment' filter by one step, so that only those people who are 'Registered Users' can leave a comment. But nobody will have to 'recognise a letter and a number', to prove they are a human being!

I think that everyone who has set themselves up on Google Blogger or Wordpress, or some other blogging facility on the Internet, simply comments as normal, and won't notice any change. That should mean all my 'regulars'. But if there is a problem, please email me, and I will sort it out. It's, as in my Blogger Profile.

So it's goodbye to everyone who has been commenting as 'Anonymous' since 2009, unless you expose yourself to comeback by becoming a 'Registered User'.

In my experience very few anonymous commentators are friends who wish you well. So just as I wouldn't want to listen to a tirade from some aggressive person in the street, I don't want the same tiresome thing on my blog. The right to free speech ends when the words are designed not to seek understanding, but to wound and do harm. But it's not just the malevolent commentators. Most of the anonymous comments I get are actually sweet and complimentary. Read them to the end, though, and it becomes obvious that they are from people with something to sell, or who are fronting for other people hell bent on making money out of the blogging community.

I get targeted because I might fall in one of several possible categories: older person, travel-loving person, fashion-conscious person, person with cash to invest, person needing a fast and easy loan, bargain hunter, ratings-conscious blogger, trans person, medical problem person, lonely vulnerable person looking for love, potential sex product user. These commentators usually say how much they love my blog, and are very flattering, but want to set up some link that I will 'enjoy', and they want to know lots about me, which of course will inevitably lead to relentless marketing pressure for evermore. Sounds familiar?

This is a poor subject to end the year on, to be sure. But just as I've unplugged my landline, and set up filters on my mobile phone, the elimination of anonymous comments and sales pitches from the blog has to be done to make life in 2013 more pleasant.

Posted by Lucy Melford at 13:12

Post-mortem in 2014
That was actually an OK post. I suppose that at the time I was very reluctant to impose restrictions. I must have been somewhat embarrassed to do so. Perhaps it seemed rude! A year and a half on, I don't mess around with such niceties. You've got to be hard if you want to stop the spam.

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This blog is public, and I expect comments from many sources and points of view. They will be welcome if sincere, well-expressed and add something worthwhile to the post. If not, they face removal.

Ideally I want to hear from bloggers, who, like myself, are knowable as real people and can be contacted. Anyone whose identity is questionable or impossible to verify may have their comments removed. Commercially-inspired comments will certainly be deleted - I do not allow free advertising.

Whoever you are, if you wish to make a private comment, rather than a public one, then do consider emailing me - see my Blogger Profile for the address.

Lucy Melford