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This post is NOT addressed to folks who just happened to stop by but those who consider themselves regular Olbermann Watch readers. If you are a regular reader please click the MORE link and join the discussion in the comments thread.
If you are reading this then you are identifying yourself as a REGULAR Olbermann Watch reader and so I want to hear from you.
I recently mentioned that some "blocking" software at schools and businesses is blocking Olbermann Watch. I suspect this is because in having a free and open comment policy we have allowed ANY sort of language on the site and given the nature of OlbyLoons and far-left trolls, this has resulted in a good deal of "bad" words being on the site.
I am not sure whether it is possible to do a massive FIND/REPLACE to cull through the database and clean up the "bad" words but if it is possible then I propose to undertake that effort.
That issue got me thinking about some of the trolls on Olbermann Watch. They have always come and gone and it is always best to just deal with trolls by ignoring them. As they realize they are being ignored the motivation to post - getting a rise out of others - diminishes and they move on to some other place where they can display their pathological need for attention and validation for their pathetic lives.
It is possible using the Movable Type software to block IP addresses and there are ways to use black lists and white lists and some other new features of the software to discourage trolling, the use of bad language and other unwanted behavior. I have tested comment moderation options but was never happy with them - and the MT TypeKey thing is a pathetic joke. None of it is bulletproof and a motivated spammer or troll can always find ways to get to a site that is otherwise "open" as is the case with Olbermann Watch. At the same time, putting up various hurdles combined with a general "do not feed the trolls" agreement among regular readers can reduce (not eliminate) bad behavior.
My primary interest is to have as much discussion and debate as possible. I am NOT interested in suppressing liberal or Pro-KO or anti-GOP/Bush points of view. One of the things I personally enjoy the most on Olbermann Watch is reading the comments and those comments would be pretty dull if you had to pass some litmus test in order to comment. Further, there are enough times when the comment threads really click that the wide open policy justifies itself.
My concern is that things may be out of balance. That by allowing people who exhibit bad behavior or use objectionable language to keep posting comments we DO get new comments generated which APPEARS to increase the activity of the site. My concern is always about the dogs that are not barking. How many readers DO NOT comment or who are otherwise driven away from the site because of a few bad apples.
What say you, good readers of Olbermann Watch?