As much as I don’t want to waste more time on this, the state of the comments section on my blog has degenerated to the point that changes have to be made. For the first ten years I ran this blog, I kept comments open to anyone, for close to real-time conversations. However, the toxic, combative nature of the comments on nearly every blog post have driven away dozens of people who used to make substantive, thoughtful comments. I have tried culling toxic comments, but the flood of them comes faster than I can handle them, given that this is not my actual day job and I can’t spend hours each day reading aggressive, inane, or abusive posts. I have tried IP blocking, but many posters simply generate a new IP address and continue on, while Weebly, which provides my blogging software, has restricted my access to IP addresses in their latest redesign.
I have wracked my brain to come up with an effective solution. My preference has always been to avoid censorship and allow for free expression. But that clearly isn’t working. Toxic posts come from only a handful of users, and the number of people who comment on the blog are such a vanishingly small percentage of the thousands who read my posts each day that I no longer feel it is worthwhile to leave comments open and unfiltered only for that privilege to be abused.
Starting with tomorrow’s Ancient Aliens review, the comments on posts going forward will require approval before they are posted. Because I am not available to do this around the clock, that means that comments will generally be posted once or twice per day. I understand that this will cut down on comments and likely curtail some conversations, but it is the only solution I can find that will strike a balance between turning off comments entirely and me wasting my whole day trying to hold back the tide of toxicity.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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