AS regular TCW readers know, we use an external system called Disqus for our comments section. We have some, but not total, control over it, and as we are getting irate comments about censorship, we thought we would give you an update on how it works. Please bear in mind that we are under constant attack from spam bots trying to plant advertising and other inappropriate matter on our site.
There are some words which automatically trigger Disqus to put a post in the moderation queue. ‘Bitchute’ is one of these. At TCW we have curated an additional list that automatically put a post in the moderation queue. Troll is on this list, as are a long list of sexual slurs, and !!! which is also often used by spam bots. ‘Thanks’ was briefly on this list over the Christmas period, as we had an influx of 200-300 bots posting links with a variety of sentences involving thanks and a link to a Bitcoin site. Any comment with links is automatically put in the pending queue, again to avoid spam.
Additionally, Disqus inexplicably puts some perfectly acceptable posts in the spam queue or deletes them if they are long posts (which are often very good).
Several times a day, your moderator goes into Disqus and checks posts in the pending, deleted, or spam mod queue. These range from vile abuse of the editors to two commenters having a tedious flame war, to outraged commenters posting five times something that is perfectly fine but has triggered Disqus. They may have edited the comment to say ‘censored again’, or deleted it so we never even see it, or edited it to ‘ . . .’
If the mod last looks at the queue at 8pm, and then at 10 next morning, there are perhaps 20 or 30 comments to go through, many more if the mod is fighting a spam attack.
Especially over the Christmas period, can you bear this in mind before you shout ‘censored’. Any flame war that ends up in the queue will be deleted, as will anything with troll in the wording – calling each other trolls adds nothing to the discussion. Anything else that isn’t racist, abusive or libellous will be published.
We do not censor but please bear in mind that a human being is at the end of the mod queue, and we cannot constantly moderate the comments. If yours is held, just wait and it will be published. If you have a particular issue with a lost post email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to help.
Thanks for your understanding.