First up, I have no idea why some commentors’ names have plus signs added into them.
I’m sure you’ve seen this, such as John+Doe in the comments..
I’ve been told by a few commentors that they’ve deleted the plus once, and it went away.
I’ve tested things on desktop and mobile, and cannot replicate this. I can’t tell if the issue is due to a mobile OS update, browser update, somehow on ToolGuyd’s end, or a combination of reasons.
I haven’t been successful in figuring out the cause, but since it appears to have only happened one time and is fixable on commentors’ end, I’ll give up for now.
When Using the Contact Form…
This isn’t comment-related, but if you’re sending me a message via the contact form, please make sure to provide a valid email address!
This happens maybe once or twice a month – someone emails me with a question, I’ll send a reply, and then I will immediately receive a bounce-back that the email address doesn’t exist.
False Spam Comment 404 Errors
If you ever submit a comment and receive a 404 page error, that means your comment was filtered out as spam. Although rare, false positives happen – to me too!
Here’s what you do:
Go back. The comment entry form will usually (always in my experience) have your full comment.
Copy or cut the entire comment text. Delete the comment and write something simple, such as “placeholder.” Email me your intended comment (via contact form or direct). I can then go and edit your comment in the backend of the site.
I have looked into this over the years, never with success – not even techs for the spam filter company have any answers.
So, the best I can do is ask you to leave a placeholder so I know where you want your comment to be, and send me the comment text.
First-time commentors’ posts are automatically sent to moderation, and this started off as a way to block spammers.
When I activated this policy a few years ago, it was because spammers were getting through the filter, leaving many dozens of spam comments before they were caught and automatically filtered out.
This happened enough times, where readers were exposed to dozens of spam comments for a couple of hours until I noticed and were able to remove them one by one.
Spam comments are one of my pet peeves when reading other websites. For instance, if I’m checking out a review, and 2 out of 5 reader comments are definitely spam, that doesn’t give me a high impression of the author or website.
Enacting the first-time comment moderation policy has certainly helped with spam. It was rare for me to miss spam comments before, but now my catch ratio is 100%, even when the spam filter temporarily fails.
So, that’s why I enabled the moderation policy. However, these days, it also helps with gatekeeping.
Personal attacks, politics, off-topic soapboxing – none of this belong here.
If you have something to say about tools or a post topic – great! But when a first-time commentor attacks others or sees to fit to rant about off-topic agendas? That doesn’t contribute to the conversation.
When I have to deny comments, it’s usually for one of two reasons – political ranting, or personal attacks.
Things have gotten worse in recent years. I mean, seriously – name-calling because you disagree with someone?
There are other reasons I will block comments, such as when someone makes a catalog or swag requests and posts their full address or other personal information.
There are times when regular commentors’ entries might be sent to moderation as well. Usually, this is for one of 3 reasons – i) you typed your name or email address wrong, and the system sees you as a first-time commentor, ii) you included 3 or more links, iii) you used a certain word that triggered it.
I visit the moderation queue quite a few times every day, but sometimes it might take me a few hours.
Why I Blocked a First-Timer’s Comment
A first-time commentor emailed me today.
I am writing to ask why my last two comments to your article on Hilti products have not been posted. It is frustrating to spend the time to write a comment and find that for no apparent reason, it was deleted or never posted.
That’s weird. I looked into it, and it took a moment, but I realized what the problem was – I blocked their comment, sending it straight to spam, and the second one followed automatically.
Here are their comments:
i’d be happy to try out Hilti tools but every product from them I consider seems to be more junk from china. I will purchase ANYTHING (used, new old stock, festool, mafell) before spending money on a NEW tool produced in china. I am TIRED of large corporations selling us (consumers) out to increase their profitability and save them from making the hard decisions (MEANING, DECOUPLE from COMMUNIST CHINA).
Hey Stuart, I posted a comment on here this morning and it looks like it was deleted. Can you kindly explain what the problem is?
So, in a post where the focus is Hilti’s different sales practices and upgrade offers for their Nuron line, it’s simply inappropriate for this comment to be entirely focused on politics.
Regular commentors are given a bit of leeway when it comes to straying off-topic or gently touching upon politics. With that in mind, I don’t think I could have given anybody a pass on this.
A first-time commentor ranting about “COMMUNIST CHINA” in all-caps, under the name “Trump_Won?”
For no apparent reason? Surely they must be joking.
Sometimes I might give a commentor the benefit of the doubt. And like I said, regulars sometimes get a little leeway (not with name-calling or other such behavior).
But when you submit under the name “Trump_Won,” “TrumpSux,” or anything, strongly politically-natured or not? That falls under trolling.
So this is political ranting and trolling, all in one.
I get that it’s frustrating for certain comments to not be allowed here. You know what else is frustrating? Taking the time to write a post and foster a sense of community, only for first-time commentors to derail a comments section discussion by soapboxing about their political views.
Allowing political arguments NEVER ends well. I’d say discussions, but politics quickly leads to arguments.
One of the things that led to my starting ToolGuyd was seeing the time and effort I put into forum posts being completely erased because of other community members’ political comments and arguments. People would turn a thread into arguments about China, and everything would be deleted indiscriminately.
Because of this, I don’t block or remove comments lightly.
I wish I could say I’m sorry, but I’m usually not. 99.9% of disallowed comments are blatantly political, hostile against others, or inappropriate in other ways.
If you want to complain about Biden, Trump, communism, socialism, capitalism, etc., I’m sure there are plenty of places for you to do that. But not here.
Maybe I’m wrong, in which case I hope you let me know.
But, I’ll add this – there’s a reason why most websites don’t have comments sections anymore, at all. Most news, media, and review sites simply did away with comments because they got too out of control.
Blocking political comments, name-calling, etc. helps to keep ToolGuyd’s comment section from devolving into a cesspool of nastiness. As harsh as it sounds, this is for the greater good.
We’re all here to talk about TOOLS.