While the majority of commentors are well-behaved and provide much-valued opinions, input, experiences, and commentary, there has been a greater frequency of inappropriate comments.
So, as a reminder, here are some rules to follow:
- Be respectful towards others.
That is all.
In the past weeks, there have been a couple of “you’re an idiot” type of comments of some commentors against others, one person calling another a vagina, and a couple of inappropriate comments of similar nature.
Disagreements can be good, because they’re opportunities to learn and grow. Even when someone is factually wrong, there are ways to politely disagree and offer a correcting view. When there’s a disagreeable opinion, there are ways to share opposing views.
Regular commentors are awesome. New commentors are awesome. For 10 years, I have been reading everyone’s comments on a near-daily basis, and they have been insightful and enjoyable. I know there are many others who also find commentors’ contributions extremely valuable and welcome.
For the most part, I have had to do very little moderation. There have been a handful of problematic commentors over the years, but I can name them all on the fingers of one hand. Ever since requiring all new commentors to go through moderation, many one-time offensive comments are never published.
The rate of one-time offensive and inappropriate comments have been increasing, and there were a few cases over the years where readers have changed their names, presumably in the belief they could do so to attack other commentors without rebuke.
A lot of websites don’t permit comments anymore, and others require user accounts or connection to established email or social media accounts. Personally, I prefer an open system, which I find is more welcoming to new readers with questions or helpful experiences, opinions, or information to share.
I had to ban someone recently, a once-welcome regular commentor who kept taking things off-topic and whose comments against others resulted in too many complaints.
Today, he left this comment on our YouTube channel, and I felt the need to address it.
Toolguyd is racist. Stewart only allows comments that agree with him. He has shut off accounts from non whites. He is heavily sponsored by Chinese companies and regularly promotes China over American made companies.
First, this is libel and incredibly offensive. Long-time readers might know I have a proclivity towards USA-made tools when available.
Criticize me once in a comment, I’ll respond. Twice? That rarely happens, but I’ll take the time to reply. But when that becomes a daily occurrence, where there every comment is just a disrupting personal attack against me or their fellow commentors, enough is enough.
I won’t go into detail, but that disgruntled former commentor was banned from comments for off-topic accusatory comments of similar nature, and for the complaints I’ve received about their personal attacks on other commentors.
They weren’t banned at first, their comments were being sent to manual moderation, meaning they would only appear on the site after I read and judged whether a reply was warranted. In most cases, all that meant was a short delay before their comment was published. With a large majority of their comments going off-topic to criticize me and ToolGuyd, I felt that was fair. Then they tried creating new aliases, and continued with off-topic criticisms and even insults against other commentors, and so they were banned.
Now, if they changed their name and behaved themselves, commenting with respect, and sticking to the post topic rather than trying to criticize me or ToolGuyd at every turn, that would have been okay. But they didn’t, they kept on with their inappropriate behavior.
And after this, they’re not welcome to comment ever again. They were also kicked off the email newsletter list, and I’m considering an IP ban.
Frankly, it’s not important for people to agree with me about tools. As mentioned, different and even dissenting opinions are good.
But criticizing me and ToolGuyd in comments, and repeatedly and without respite? That’s off-topic and disruptive at best. Feedback is always welcome, but if I say “no,” it’s not open to discussion. With that commentor’s latest rant, they’ve showed their true colors. I should have stopped engaging with them sooner.
One of the motivations for starting ToolGuyd was having “my own place” where I wouldn’t have to worry about anyone removing my opinions and comments. I had been a heavy participant on a public tool forum, and entire threads were being deleted because of heated political discussions erupting from USA vs. imported tool arguments, and things like that. That helped fueled my motivation to create a platform for my opinions and reviews, where no external entity could have control over my words.
I know how important it is to have uncensored and free control over comments, and so I have been very light in comment moderation over the years. Regular readers and commentors have been awesome and civil, and so I didn’t need to do much moderation.
Post comments aren’t a platform which individuals with personal agendas or biases can use to criticize me, ToolGuyd, or their fellow commentors’ opinions or what they share.
I have my opinions about tools and tool brands, and I’m sure you do too. Feeling strongly about those opinions are a good thing. But please be respectful.