Commenting Standards from a readers perspective

I haven’t passed comment on our now more than a year old moderation and commenting policies. I haven’t commented for a reason…there is no need to comment, I am happy with the results despite more than a few detractors who are now junking up other people’s sites.

But people have noticed, and here is one reader who has sent in his comments about the difference between comments on my site vs the mainstream media.

Yesterday I read two articles on the same subject – Helen Clark and her ambition to lead the UN, one on Whale Oil the other on TV3’s site.

No surprises in the content of the articles, but it was the comments sections which I though gave a very interesting insight on the whole perception of Whale Oil versus MSM scenario.

Often Whale Oil is portrayed as the nasty attack Blog with the lowest (or no) standards and the MSM the defender of standards and arbitrators of what is right.

Here are  random shots of both sites comments section where I could include at least three commentators who responded to a different point of view – the difference is stark.

I am betting If you asked a non Whale Oil reader who has been subjected to the anti Whale Oil propaganda they would be extremely surprised at the result.

TV3 has it so wrong on so many fronts it doesn’t need pointing out – they should actually close comments on their site if they cannot keep them to a reasonable standard.

This is why Whale oil continues to fight and win the good fights.  


Does Key working only for companies that have been shutdown for financial fraud qualify him for the position of Prime Minister?

This smear campaign is reminiscent of right wing dirty politics, that we have seen here by John Key and his National government

Good to know you are just another screaming homophobe, throwing around innuendo without proof.
Bigots, that’s all you will find in National, homophobes, misogynists, racists… that’s what we are seeing with Nationals posters here.

John key, the National party and their supporters. many of whom are immigrants, are all traitors and sell outs, may you all die horrible deaths for your treachery.

You should be banned. You got sewer dirty because you couldn’t counter the response. You are a nasty, twisted bitter old man. I hope you die a slow agonizing death ape troll, from the horrible stuff you have said on here, you deserve nothing less.

Whale Oil

Not a big fan of the UN or Helen Clark, but it could be good for NZ to have a Kiwi as Secretary General. This opportunity won’t be repeated any time soon.

The real question that needs to be asked, of course, is what does the job require?
I would suggest merely having been able to keep a fractious Labour Party working together for so long, with health intact, should make her a superb choice.

No the real question to my mind is: Would we be any worse off should the UN talk-fest simply evaporate? Of course not!

You have listed the problems. Maybe you might like to suggest what the UN can do about it, taking into account the intransigence of the various parties involved in the conflict?

Well there you go…it isn’t scientific but I will hazard a guess that it is the same elsewhere when you care to look.

The commenting policy isn’t changing, I am very happy with where my helpful sycophant and knob polisher deputy editor has taken commenting.


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  • GoingRight

    I like coming here for the reasons given above. One does not feel threatened and by and large the intellect on this blog site is far higher in quality than the odd other ones which I have read, but rarely do these days leaving that to hubby who précis any little gem for me! Quite right Cameron if it ain’t broke don’t change a thing.

  • jude

    The difference between 3 and this blog is glaringly obvious. The fact that 3 continues to allow comments unmoderated must be causing a dip in their readership! I do not visit nearly as often and when I do, rarely comment for obvious reasons!

    • Hard1

      TV3 must sell advertising to survive. It must target the demographic who spend the most on the quack fitness machines, health miracle cures, amazing new this and that, and voila, we have stupid programming for stupid people who make stupid comments and buy stupid things (for a limited time only, buy now get one free, pay nothing until 2017, have a new body in just 3 weeks et al).
      This dumb demographic is never interested in the serious stuff and never will be. It’s too heavy going on the brain. Dumb people with little knowledge and short attention spans are slowly taking over. We had better get used to it.
      Television is so heavily geared towards dumb people that there is a whole channel to sell you junk. Even the channels you pay for are half full of promotions and repeated scenes from 5 minutes ago. Now dumb people can have a TV in every room, to watch different dumb stuff.
      Don’t think things will get better. They will get much, much worse.

      • Heh. I was observing a stand for “As seen on TV” products at a mall three days ago for some time as I was waiting for family to have a hair cut. Not a single customer walked up or looked at the products.

      • jude

        God forbid! Well it explains why this blogs readership and number of new commenters are growing in leaps and bounds !

      • Effluent

        Not sure this argument holds water. The adverts on WO ( i’m thinking of the numerous asian “dating” sites) are mostly aimed just as squarely at the credulous and gullible. Maybe the average WO reader is just a bit mores sceptical than the TV3 audience.

        • Hard1

          WO ads are random, cheaply placed. TV ads are expensive, targeted to those who are, as you say, not terribly skeptical.

          • Effluent

            If that’s the case, why are so many of the ads for sexual services? surely this cannot be purely coincidental. If I was one of the advertisers, I am sure I would want to see some metrics to show that I was getting value for money and reaching my target demographic. I am genuinely curious, this is not a facetious question.

            Besides, I sometimes wonder the (mis)placement of ads on TV, which appears on occasions to be a the result of a random process.

          • Weird isn’t it? The only think I can think of is that it does actually produce results. Google isn’t dumb enough to keep serving them when they have ads that perform better. They only get paid when someone clicks.

          • LabTested

            I’ve just started advertising with Google Image ads a couple of months back & am still feeling my way. I have restricted my ads to be shown to only a certain age group of people in only 1 europan country with a population of 38m & only for a restricted number of views per person per day

            I have blocked my ads from appearing on mobile phones. However while I can see separate stats for tablet vs desktop, I can not block my ads appearing on Tablet. e.g when people click on my ad the bounce rate is 90% for tablet & 50% for desktop. – So I know a lot of my clicks are by accident on tablet.

            By the way I saw my ad on the WO site when I was overseas last month. & I clicked to see what would happen…any way

            here are my campaign stats from yesterday (one day) : – in NZ $

            Daily budget $100
            Daily Impressions 240,000
            Clicks 245
            Click Through Rate 0.10%
            average cost per click 40c
            Bounce Rate 70%

            I’m still trying to understand how it works, but it is definitely a numbers game.

            Google keep telling me That I should quadruple my budget, cos they can take it all.

          • Hard1

            Sex sells because it isn’t harmful to the environment, uses renewable energy, promotes the feeling of well being, aids sleep and is extremely secular therefore acceptable to lefty academics.
            If you have the money, anyone can advertise in prime time.
            Each time slot has a different price, depending on the number watching.

          • Effluent

            Not so sure you’re right about sex not being harmful to the environment. I don’t know what age bracket you fall into, but I remember a few decades ago that uncontrolled population growth was perceived as the greatest threat to mankind’s continued existence, after fear of nuclear war had done its dash.
            Of course, doing anything about it would have been in conflict with the left’s disinclination to preach at anyone poorer or darker than themselves, so they turned their preaching to global warming instead, as it was of course the fault of the rich developed countries.

          • BlitzkriegNZ

            Google takes note of other sites you check out……

          • Effluent

            aaaaRRGH! I’ve been rumbled. But seriously, I’m the only non-female in the household, and the one time if did click on one of these ads, out of simple curiosity, you understand, nothing happened. In any case, Mrs Effluent’s browsing habits (domestic appliances, real estate, etc) don’t seem to have any effect on the advertising mix

  • Dave

    I get over 90% of my NZ news from WO, and don’t bother with TV3 at all. Newstalk ZB was also good to listen into, but the likes of Smalley are destroying that, and for me if Hoskings is silenced, its over for them.

    The article above clearly illustrates why i read WO, as my NZ news and opinion source, firstly Cams insight into the news, and the comments which assist with a wide perspective. I am yet to see the negative vitriolic comments the MSM refer to, perhaps they remain confused, or they are determined to follow their agenda to take down any competition or threat, thankfully their attempts are failing.

  • Beetle

    Agree. WO offers strIght forward news and effort is made to find out balancing facts that left leaning media find uncomfortabe (eg Invercargill mother flaming the Sallys for not supporting her) WO is not the “once over lightly” rush job by has beens and kids at Fairfax, APN and some commercial radio. What’s amazing about this is is that I’d imagine WO would have a small fraction of the human and financial resource of the failing MSM. Some of the comments by readers leave the more visceral blog sites in the shadow. I also appreciate the moderators allowing fair comments showing why readers sometimes disagree with stories (eg Gisborne death by falling from a great night into a pool). Many other shallow MSM sites couldn’t hack the criticism. Keep up the great work – it’s important for NZ’s media landscape.

  • I do have my fans on other blogs.

    (language warning)

    • jude

      The readership for that blog must be pretty low! Obviously “dime” had to put his ten cents in. His quality of comment I rank below that!

      • 2nd most read blog in the country. It is the refuge of those that refuse to come back here because they can’t use certain words, and this interferes with their rights and freedoms.

        To add: DPF doesn’t have to worry about advertisers. We do. We have signed agreements to keep certain standards.

        Of course, it’s all my fault. It is easier for them that way.

        • Nechtan

          If I can (and I think I mostly have) use appropriate language and play by the rules when commenting then anyone can. With these dissenters it is not much they can’t its, they won’t. (Their loss)
          The Whale Oil family has grown and we have some very clued up people commentating (and me). Yes it has changed since I first ventured in but its for the better.

      • Rick H

        looks like “dime” mis-spelled his name.
        shouldn’t have added the “e” at the end.

    • Teletubby

      Congratulations Pete, this guy hates you more than he hates Cameron and there aren’t many that can claim such lofty achievements. Looks like you are going to have to set a new goal for the year and its only 3rd Jan
      Edit spelling

      • There are perhaps 3 or 4 dozen people that used to feel at home here that now blame me for having changed WO to something where they don’t feel welcome. They are 100% right in that observation.

        They are welcome, but by our standards, not theirs.

        And there the twain will never meet again.

        • Teletubby

          Oh well they made their choice, it’s a bit late to get all bitter about it now

    • Hard1

      The higher level of this blog is a raising of the academic standard, bringing the debate closer to the people that matter in this country and ignoring those who don’t. Those frothing lefties are on the other side of the fence, screaming “Let me in”, wanting to share in your popularity and challenge you at the same time.
      All I can hear in the above diatribe from Dime is Takbir, Allahu Akbar.

    • Garbageman

      Bit of a badge of honor there Pete most anti W/O comments over there get multiple down votes but on the + side most commentators over there despise Dime as well

      • I can fully understand some people feel unhappy about me, but a few let the fire burn deep and bright inside them. I can’t possibly bring up the energy to give someone that much emotion. Do they even realise that this is a total one way thing? Even if Dime came back, and he stuck to the rules, I wouldn’t care – but in reverse, they are still looking to sort the issues out the hard way. I don’t get it. It’s just a commenting section on a blog. Not like I poisoned the food supply.

      • exactchange

        Heh, I like dime. Short and pithy – OK that post not so short. Or pithy. Plus some candid insights into his sex life.

  • Cadwallader

    I yearn to know which thread, TV3 or WO, John Campbell honestly enjoys? If it is his own employer’s site then he is as afflicted as his daily persona records. I wager there are more than a few “of the left” who browse this blog from time to time just to truly grasp the mood of the electorate. WO isn’t my sole source of news etc… But, it may well become so. Perhaps it will be during 2015 that the Attack Blog becomes the Premier News Site for NZ?

  • 1951

    Confession: It is too easy to slip-up and drop-in conversational style as we do in General Debate & Backchat. So occasional reminders from each other would possibly make the job easier….yes/no? Even just a ( !! )

  • Alright

    LOL, actually I’m giggling like a school boy!

    I listened to ZB’s advertisement for “homeopathy” between 11 am and 12 pm today.

    As a consequence I think my high blood pressure is going to do me in!

    But a personal Happy 2015!

    How is your “project” going?

    • MaryLou

      Happy new year to you too, AR – the project? Taken on a life of it’s own, and will soon be the size of a thesis! It’s a topic close to my heart though, so spend as much time pacing the floor with each new revelation as I do actually compiling. Worth it though…

      • Alright

        What is the (distilled) thesis?

        • MaryLou

          Regarding Islam :). I’m a bit out of step with general consensus – well, actually not, I don’t think, just how consensus is sometimes expressed. So that’s probably where I shall leave that commentary for now!

          • Alright

            No. Don’t leave off. I might disagree with the outcome/conclusions you draw from your research. But you might productively influence my thinking.

            That said, I hate all religions! :)

          • MaryLou

            I can understand that. Certainly caused enough mayhem throughout history – from all corners!

          • Alright

            ….but (ironically) it (they) have helped create the society we now enjoy in NZ.

  • Cadwallader

    I admit to having fallen foul of moderating standards on a couple of occasions. I paid the price of excommunication on each infringement. The difficulty is that sometimes we all need to vent our spleens in a guttural manner. The second time I was sent to Coventry was immediately after Larry Williams had interviewed a floundering Cunners about the ill-considered CGT and I was emotionally charged over its idiocy. I am now rehabilitated and fully respect the prevailing rules. I do suggest a “A Wailing Wall” to accommodate highly strung opinions from time to time. It would not by itself be deleterious to the standing of the site but would be a type of “Mental Health Break.” Thoughts as my cat is tiring of being booted! I do understand that the right to comment here is a privilege and not a right.

  • yossarian

    Pete, IMO you are over-doing it. Trying to be more zealous than the zealots, and I question “for why”? Your point has already been made, I suggest lighten up a bit.

  • Keanne Lawrence

    Having retired offshore it is a pleasure to visit WOBH at 6am with NZ 4 to 5 hours ahead and the day well underway here. This is usually preceded by a flick through the TV news services at the sanitized versions of the news they seem to favour.
    Reading some straight news items and the issue related comments are refreshing after the level of comment on TV3 site and the preference many have to comment on the commenters or rollover to their own personal gripes.
    The comments there through Discus makes it hard to tell is it is an acronym for Discussion or Disgusting while some trolls see it as a chat line.
    Having cast a glance at some other blogs it remains limited to WOBH along with local news from “home” so to speak being all there is time for in my simple but busy lifestyle.
    While being moderated can be the pits it is nevertheless proving a strength that is helping keep this blog to the forefront of its field. It might be alright to play politics like the Fijians but they too have a much softer side off field. Bula Bula.

  • Curly1952

    Let them stew in their own pot, Pete. The point is that even though they can no longer comment on WO they prove beyond doubt they have respect for the site because they keep coming back to read it. Win for WO, Cam, you and all moderators and commentators!

  • MaryLou

    Sorry Pete. Won’t happen again…