Suggested feature : Block a commenter

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  1. profile image0
    Ghost32posted 11 years ago

    How about adding a button to the "Approve/Deny/Etc." bank in the Comments?  It could be titled "Block".  Click on it, and the person whose comment you-the-author are currently moderating would be automatically blocked from posting any more comments on ANY of your Hubs.

    Or there could be a Step Two:  "Block for this Hub" or "Block for all Hubs".

    Just a thought.  There are times for those of us writing in contentious areas (such as politics and/or religion) when it's clear we'd really not to keep on hearing from a guy or gal whose posts aren't compatible with the author's goal for the page; this would save a bit of work and aggravation.

    One thing that would need to be included:  Some way to let the Blocked Person BACK IN to comment again if you so desired.

  2. Merlin Fraser profile image61
    Merlin Fraserposted 11 years ago

    Sounds like censorship to me,  just because someone disagrees with your opinion is no reason to block them from commenting.

    Doesn’t matter what the subject is, contentious or not, and surely if you write in an open Forum like Hub Pages you do so to solicit comments and now you want to cherry pick out any that you don’t think are appropriate, or worse those that don’t automatically agree with you or tell  you what a wonderful chap you are.   

    No doubt if such a button existed here you would be pressing it round about now !

    Perhaps not you but I know many people on this site who would block any and all people who oppose their narrow personal views which would give their biased one sided view of everything far too much credence.

    No matter how good your thoughts or intentions are censorship is censorship and is therefore wrong.

    1. WriteAngled profile image78
      WriteAngledposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      This is nothing to do with the forums here.

      Ghost is talking about comments made on hubs. A hub comment capsule can already be set so that all comments have to be approved by the hub author before they appear. A lot of authors, me included use this option, primarily to block spam from appearing.

      As I understand him, Ghost wants a second step, in which someone who persistently tries to comment and always gets denied could simply be blocked from placing any more comments.

      1. Merlin Fraser profile image61
        Merlin Fraserposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I was using the word FORUM in its wider context where the whole of Hub Pages is a Forum rather than it’s lesser meaning as the little 'add on' to Web Sites.

          Nor was I merely referring to the blocking of Spam.

        I was talking about the blanket use of blocking and removal tactics of any remark with which the original author happens to take exception to, especially where it may contradict or, heaven forbid, actually point out errors, half truths and possibly downright misleading information.   

        If you enter a public place and have something to say, that is your right, as my right is to challenge you on what you say even up to and including offering an opinion or an alternative view point.

        As the original author you should not have a right to chose what other potential readers see or don’t see from the comments.  That is censorship and is just plain wrong !

        Of course having said that, I free accept that like all other open Web sites we here at Hub Pages have our fair share of Nut Job, Looney Tune characters and the like,  but unless their remarks are rude or offensive then they should simply be ignored.  There are already many ways they can be dealt without introducing more self operating tools,  the use of which could and would be used inappropriately by many.

  3. WriteAngled profile image78
    WriteAngledposted 11 years ago

    Hubpages hubs are a place to publish, but I would not call them an open forum. After all, it is possible to produce a hub, which does not include a comments capsule.

    Where comments are shown on the web, pre-selection tends to be the rule rather than the exception. This is pretty much the same as a newspaper deciding which letters to publish on the readers' letters page.

    For example, I have given up trying to post comments to articles appearing on the BBC and Daily Mail web sites, after finding that nothing I posted ever appeared.

    1. Merlin Fraser profile image61
      Merlin Fraserposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      And that doesn’t sound or feel like a form of Censorship to you ?

      I’m struggling to find the point you are trying to make her.    The BBC and the Daily Mail block or censor your voice and you take exception to that, which I can understand,  yet on the other hand you seem to be suggesting that it’s OK to freely block any or all comments on something you publish!

      Surely if you publish something, anywhere, you are inviting comment ?  Whether you like it or not, not all those comments are going to accept or agree with your version,  are you saying that the author should have a right to veto what people say about their work ?     

        PS Wouldn't it be nice if someone else joined in here ?

      1. WriteAngled profile image78
        WriteAngledposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        The point I'm trying to make is that censorship, or its more delicately named synonym, moderation, is pretty well universal.

        It is enforced for many reasons. Some reasons are commendable, for example ensuring that spammers are not allowed to post their scams or gain backlinks. Some reasons are to be condemned, including censorship for political or religious reasons or out of a worry that prudes might otherwise be offended by the mention of a body part or similar.

        I didn't take particular exception to my comments not appearing, but simply decided it was a waste of time to try commenting again on those sites in future. As a result, I do not visit the Daily Mail site anymore, and spend far less time on the BBC site than previously.

  4. Uninvited Writer profile image78
    Uninvited Writerposted 11 years ago

    I think he is talking about someone who abuses the comments field to harrass someone, not just someone who disagrees with him. Some take advantage and add hub sized comments that no one pays attention to.

    It is not censorship, you don't have to approve any comments on your hubs. That is the decision of the writer.

    Just because someone likes the sound of their own voice does not mean you have to give them a platform, if they feel so strongly they can write their own hub.

  5. Merlin Fraser profile image61
    Merlin Fraserposted 11 years ago

    Moderation... Censorship... A rose by any other name,

    The point I was trying to make, badly it seems, that to supply a button for the author/writer to press when they want some comment removed is open to abuse and will be used as such.

    Can you imagine such a button present here ?  I think you would be probably talking with yourself ! :-)

  6. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 11 years ago

    If you are going to throw the 'censorship' accusation around, I would suggest getting a form grasp of what the word actually means.

    I don't see a pressing need for a 'block' option, but raising the possibility if not censorship and is not in any way advocating censorship.

    1. Merlin Fraser profile image61
      Merlin Fraserposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Let me see if my definition of censorship matches yours; 

      The Practice of Censorship is the suppression of speech or other communication which may be considered objectionable, sensitive, or inconvenient to the general body of people as determined by a controlling body who then suppresses those parts from public view.

      In the original suggestion of supplying a ‘Block Button’ there was no mention of Blocking Spam or Spammers, just a person whose comments you want to block.

      To Block anything ...That by any definition of the word is Suppression.

      The controlling body in this instance is the originating Author, that is not Moderating, that is Censorship control over anything they do not want associated with what they have written wrote, be it an opinion or whatever.

  7. profile image0
    Ghost32posted 11 years ago

    Merlin, we already have the "option to block" via the "Deny" button on the Comments section in every Hub that allows Comments.  What I'm suggesting is not a change in availability but only in ease of application. 

    I can see your concern, but it's not censorship.  After all, if I deny your comments on my Hub, you are not prevented from expressing your opnion, because you are more than free to write your own Hub saying what YOU want to say--and then, if you choose, to deny/block MY comments in return.

    Although I don't leave comments on Hubs written by authors whose comments I won't accept on my Hubs, since that seems like it would be just plain rude. 

    Without some form of what you call censorship, there could be no effective communication anywhere in the entire world, let alone at HubPages.  A writer's message--ANY message--would sooner or later become distorted, diluted, or simply buried under the onslaught by those who disliked what he or she said.

  8. profile image0
    Ghost32posted 11 years ago

    psycheskinner (nice post, by the way), I wouldn't call it a pressing need, either.  Quite likely, it's not something the Team would choose to spend their high-in-demand time and energy on developing.

    I simply suggested it to (possibly) make my own lazy life just that little bit easier.  Since I write a significant percentage of my Hubs in the political arena, which is always contentious no matter where you stand on issues, I will on occasion face a commenter who is a touch slow on taking "No" for an answer.

    That is, Ceeay (made-up name for "Commenter A") will leave a post that crosses the line as measured by my own arbitrary standards.  Sometimes it's a blatant thing like obvious abuse, cursing, direct insults, etc., or it might be simply an ongoing series of opposing-view rants that are longer than the Hub itself.  Whatever.

    My usual procedure is to post an explanation when I deny a post for the first time, often (when it fits) closing with, "My Hubs are written as opinion pieces, not open debate forums."  Most commenters are impressively understanding about that and either quit commenting or modify their approach immediately, which I definitely appreciate.

    But there's the occasional "persistent" who keeps on trying. 

    For those cases, I have two more steps in the Deny process:

    1.  For the next comment (the second one denied), I'll post a brief declarative statement: "Your comment was deleted/denied."

    2.  For additional comments, I just hit the Deny button, no more explanations.  A "three strikes and you're out" sort of thing.

    Now, done said all that to say all this:  A few stubborn folks will keep on trying to get me to change my mind, posting and posting and posting until it FINALLY dawns on them that they're spending far more time and effort typing their comments than it takes me to click on a single button.

    Were the "Block" option available, I'd use it for that last category of commenter.

    Which, come to think of it, would only save me perhaps fifteen or twenty seconds of button-clicking per month at most (at one second per comment denial).

    Hey, you're right.  That DOESN'T  add up to a "pressing need"!  LOL!

  9. Merlin Fraser profile image61
    Merlin Fraserposted 11 years ago

    Hi Ghost32,

      Like you I generally don't comment on Posts the content of which I think have been written generally to cause trouble or to try to bring our attention to some ridiculous notion in the hopes that the comments will give it credence.

    However having said that I have never block anyone who visits my Hubs no matter how opposed they may be to my views on a particular subject although  I have come mighty close to the EDIT button on more than one occasion.

  10. profile image0
    Ghost32posted 11 years ago

    Hi, Merlin,

    That's definitely part of the beauty of HubPages--that we as writers have the freedom to deny OR accept comments as we choose. 

    I don't usually cut folks off JUST for having opposing viewpoints, but when they become deliberately insulting or simply won't slow down with the overlong posts, then I do.  I feel a bit like I've chosen to be the head of household for each Hub I write.  As such, it's my responsibility to maintain the home (Hub) as a "nurturing" place to live or even simply to visit.  Hospitable, if you will.

    Which means I also need to defend and maintain the Hub when and however necessary.  A lone wanderer, thirsting for reading material and finding the trail to "my place" via Google search (or Yahoo or Bing or etc., etc.) should be able to sit down with a cup of coffee at his or her home computer, kick the shoes off, read any page I've written--and think,

    "Yeah.  This is okay.  I like it here.  Might even come back tomorrow.  Tell my brother, too...."

    I can't provide that "ambience" if I don't remove the clutter and vitriol as needed.  Hence:  The Deny button, not applied with meanness of spirit, but applied judiciously.

  11. Eaglekiwi profile image74
    Eaglekiwiposted 11 years ago

    Actually just thinking on it ,why do we need any comments at all?

    Just wondering

    Perhaps just a meter where people can click like 0-5 dislike 0-5 and if a programmer really wants to pimp it up ,make the meter change a strength indicator.

    At the moment if we approve a comment ,there is no way we can go back and unchange that decision.

    1. livewithrichard profile image74
      livewithrichardposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Sure there is, just go back to the comment you want to moderate and deny it. That will remove it from your hub forever. 

      Several months ago, I went through a ton of my hubs and denied those that put a link either in the comments or hidden in their username.

      1. Eaglekiwi profile image74
        Eaglekiwiposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Oops should have known that -thank-you.

        I agree too ,it is my work ,and if people disagree thats fine,but if it denegrates into a heated discussion ,then it detracts from my hub ,which dammit I worked too hard on, to let income slide.

  12. livewithrichard profile image74
    livewithrichardposted 11 years ago

    Hey Ghost I think its a great suggestion. Lately I have been denying tons of comments on my hubs basically because they are attempting to insert a link. Links in the comments are page leaks and besides that, I don't have the time or interest to search the linked site so I just deny them now. 

    That of course wouldn't be reason enough for me to block a user completely but when they do the same thing over a dozen or so of my hubs, I find it quite irritating especially when I attempt to contact the user and inform him/her of the issue with no results.

    I don't look at it as censorship I look at it as MY responsibility to moderate the content on MY hubs.  After all, Google is looking at the comments on our content and apply the same ranking factors as they do to the page content.

    The deny button works well enough but there are times I wish I could apply it to a user across all of my hubs.

  13. Merlin Fraser profile image61
    Merlin Fraserposted 11 years ago

    Strange how views differ, I welcome most of the commenter’s as friends and enjoy reading them, even from those who disagree with me; after all I am not so vain to think I am always right or that mine is the only valid point.   Yes I will bin the obvious spammers but I also welcome links to anywhere that will improve my understanding of a subject.   I was under the impression that this place was supposed to be a two way street yet from some comments here it would appear that commenter’s are something of an irritant and a distraction from their own brilliance.

    But there again here on HubPages I write mostly for the fun of it and the entertainment of others, however I did wonder how long it would be before the spectre of money entered the ring.

    1. Eaglekiwi profile image74
      Eaglekiwiposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Given the size of the HP's community ,it is good that we all write for various reasons.For me ,I first wrote for fun and for improvement and although we never stop learning ,I decided that since Goggle was making money from my writing i.e adverts, it was foolish of me not to bear that in my mind when Im searching for a title ,using keywords, being more specific ,good over all quality I can be rewarded as well.

      A few cents , a dollar here n there. Its all relevant to me.

      There are many writers whose main income is writing,they are probably less likely to be posting here though.

      1. WriteAngled profile image78
        WriteAngledposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        There was a discussion some time back about whether it is better not to use the comments capsule at all. The rationale for this is that the last set of ads appears below all the comments and thus is probably not seen by most readers. A number of people did say that they would no longer allow comments for that reason. I tried removing comments capsules from a couple of hubs, but I earn so little here that it made no difference to me.

        1. Eaglekiwi profile image74
          Eaglekiwiposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Yea Im kinda of two minds on the comments thing.

          In the beginning the comments were a bit of an ego boast,and the encouragement did help.

          But in another way, if our content is supposed to be about quality, the comments box detracts somewhat from that, a little bit ,in my opinion.
          Sort of makes our hubs look like blogs.

          I never thought about those adverts either WriteAngled, interesting. Thanks.

      2. Merlin Fraser profile image61
        Merlin Fraserposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I guess what I write about is of little interest to the Ad clickers because I have never earned a Red Cent from this site or Google for that matter.

        Although as you probably guessed I'm here for an entirely different reason.

        I have written a lot of Hubs, and have a few REAL followers and I'm happy to think they enjoy what I write but I have noticed a severe drop off in many of the old gang after Google started playing around, I assume that had something to do with income or lack thereof as well. 

        As I said I didn't pay too much attention to it at the time because it didn't affect me but a lot of good Hubbers have definately move to greener grass.

  14. rachellrobinson profile image82
    rachellrobinsonposted 11 years ago

    Ghost, what I would like to see is a way to allow certain comments automatically. Like you I get some rather inappropriate comments that I have to block, still I hate that when decent people comment they have to wait for me to get an e-mail and approve their comment before it shows up on the site. It would be nice if we could allow all comments by x user automatically because we know that they don't use vulgarity in their comments.
    As for Merlin I was warned by Hub Team that if I allowed comments with vulgarity in my hubs I would no longer be allowed to write. In some cases authors have to as you say censor the comments just so they can continue writing. I was leaving the vulgar comments up on my hub because it showed the lack of intelligence in the person leaving the comments, but when three of my hubs were pulled and I was told I could lose my privileges I had to change my comment boxes to be approved first.


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