Anne van Kesteren

Comment moderation

I'm getting a bit annoyed by the off-topic (and troll) comments. From now on, until WordPress has some nice comment moderation features (I like the way Dave Shea did it), I will use the following which may be extended any time, anywhere, to mark up off topic or troll comments:

Suggestions on topic are welcome here; off topic comments can be emailed. Thanks.


  1. The class-attribute is more appropriate then title, IMHO.

    Posted by Robbert Broersma at

  2. Your entire weblog is build up of annoyance, so I guess it was just a matter of time until you got annoyed by the things happening on your own weblog... and now I think about it, that's more serious than I had actually intended it.

    Wether the class attribute is more appropiate or not is debatable. Anne thinks the acronym tag is useless and in my opinion, differentiating between different kinds of deleted text is just as, if not more, useless as differentiating between an abbreviation and an acronym. They're after all subsets.

    Posted by Frenzie at

  3. Frenzie, if you don't like my weblog, please leave.

    An acronym is a subset of an abbreviation (there are many different forms of abbreviations, they are all listed on the www-html list somewhere). Both Off topic and Troll would be subsets of DEL, to denote the difference. I would prefer something like that for abbreviations as well. As in (using CSS selectors) abbr[subset=acronym].

    Robbert, you are right, I'm going to change that.

    Posted by Anne at

  4. It is exactly what I like about it. Fyi, your weblog is the only weblog I regularly read, I consider almost all other weblogs I've encountered so far not worth reading. It is what makes yours interesting. But it is after all annoyance, you post something here if you're annoyed about something. Also you're a sort of extemist. All of this makes me like your weblog, don't get me wrong, but you are radical and annoyed, that's for sure. If I wouldn't like your weblog, what would you think I'm doing here?

    Posted by Frenzie at

  5. CSS-wise, this is an excellent opportunity to use the CSS3 content property:{ text-decoration: line-through; }
    del.troll{ content: "Troll. Removed."; color: red; }

    Just a thought.

    Posted by Moose at

  6. I wish comment moderation wasn't necessary, but it is. I have been forced to delete comments, and even to ban certain IP addresses in an attempt to deal with comment spam, trolling, and general abuse. Lately, I've had everything from flag-waving Bush fans, to Islamic fundamentalists.

    Off-topic comments don't really bother me. Some of the tangents that commenters have gone off on at the si-blog have actually been quite interesting. Even some of your own comments have wandered off topic a few times, Anne!

    Posted by Simon Jessey at

  7. The title attribute opens up nice possibilities for CSS generated content. Technically, that can be done with any attribute's content, class as well, but title is for additional information. When CSS fails, the visitor can access that information more easily than if it were on a class or any other attribute.

    Posted by Kris at

  8. If I wouldn't like your weblog, what would you think I'm doing here?

    Trolling. :)

    Posted by Kris at

  9. Kris you are correct, but by using CLASS I can make a subtle difference in the element's semantic value, where TITLE just provides some extra information.

    Moose, suggestion taken and implemented (albeit slightly differently at the moment).

    Posted by Anne at

  10. Hum, now just to try to stay on topic. My entire previous comment deserved the class="off-topic" (as does this sentense).

    Moose, that's a nice thinking, but maybe you should leave the color:red out because of a certain browser.

    I have nothing about off topic comments myself, as is probably clear from my comments as well. But for me off topic comments add "life" to the discussion. Besides, I think off topic is very debatable. Really off topic hardly ever happens.

    Really off topic would be if I commented something like Guys, do you also like cheese so much? in a discussion about music. It wouldn't be in a discussion about sausages, in my opinion. The same thing actually applies to my previous comment. Although it is not directly related to the original entry by Anne, it is directly related to Anne's answer on it. It isn't completely on topic, but I wouldn't call it off topic.

    A comment on Anne's comment system, I would consider off topic, however. I will add it anyway, with the message that I've come to appreciate it more than I had initially thought.

    As a last comment on Anne's off topic comments, at least he doesn't hold a double standard, making him an extremist maybe, but completely different extremist than the God is with us (Bush) versus Allah supports us (Bin Laden) kind of extremists.

    Posted by Frenzie at

  11. Anne, you changed the post, but did not use <ins> markup. Why?

    You are right about the semantic value. Maybe a full solution would be: <del class="troll" title="Removed for ignoring repeated warnings">

    Posted by Kris at

  12. Anne, you rely on color at the moment (background color, to be precise). That stands in contradiction to what you are actually doing, which is marking up content. A thought echoes in my mind: don't rely on color alone. :]

    Thanks to your generous addition of the root id, I am able to apply my own styles, and I do. I can see the text, albeit dimly. Optimally, you would remove the unwanted content with DOM or with CSS. I presume the former is not what you would be willing to do, so if you want to remove stuff, the CSS3 method is the right one. But I am well aware of the support for this method (insert a lol here), so I am not surprised you have reached for other tools.

    Still, thanks to my being able to activate a user stylesheet for this domain, I can use the content property myself as I please and whenever I please, without bugging you about style-related issues.

    Posted by Moose at

  13. Moose, you understand you need to refresh?

    Kris, I use INS when the change is important enough to be marked up. I don't really consider this a important change. About your proposal for the TITLE attribute, that might ineed be a good use for it.

    Posted by Anne at

  14. No need to refresh. I have my own styles applied already. Have a nice day :)

    Posted by Moose at

  15. Excuse me for my ignorance, but could anyone please define "trolling" for me? Is it something like this?

    I have to admit that I also sometimes go off topic. However, I thought doing so was quite interresting... I personally learned a lot in my life by doing that. Anyway, I will try to stay on topic from now on here.

    I will also try to make my comments shorter (here I go off-topic again...)

    Posted by Charl van Niekerk at

  16. content: "blah"; is in CSS2 as well, is it not?

    Posted by jd at

  17. Nope.

    Posted by Moose at

  18. Charl, yes. Note that I'm not going back in my posts to see where and where not people went off topic and mark them.

    In my opinion it was just getting a bit out of hand and it is always good to be a bit stricter when that occurs, so people will make relevant comments again.

    Posted by Anne at

  19. @Anne: Going back and checking everything is of course very impractical. However, on second thought, I actually have to agree with you to do it from now on. Keeping things relevant is important, and a bit of moderation is necessary from time to time.

    I have also now finally started my own weblog (as promised) where I will be directing anything off-topic to.

    Posted by Charl van Niekerk at

  20. What have you got against fish?

    Posted by David House at