Housekeeping: User Blocking on Whaleoil


Have you ever wished you could “mute” someone in the comments? Ever wished you had the power to make people disappear, just like I have? Today’s a good day for you then.

Disqus now lets you block a user so you won’t see their comments. The comments are still there, and others will be able to see them, but they will not appear for you.

nexus2cee_2016-06-15-16_16_51-User-blocking-is-now-available-on-Disqus-668x181 Read more »


Wednesday morning mailbag


Notice posts way way down on previous two weeks.? I suspect
due to Pete’s heavy-handedness banning/blocking over the last week.
Not a good time for posts to be seen to be down.? But that’s okay
because Pete said that those of us that have not been too naughty can
come back after the election.? What Pete somehow has missed is that
most of us are just here for the election cause; whatever the result
is we probably wont be back, especially after having been banned for
the main thrust of the last two weeks.? Bad bad business practise to
alientate your core customers.? Dumb and very stupid in fact.? I only
hope you all weren’t stupid enough to ban those who had recently
donated.? I received my annual bonus last week and had intended to
donate 25% as I was so passionate about what you guys were doing,
saved from that thank you – will replace the windscreen and covers on
my boat for summer instead.

Oddly enough, the most vocal and, erm, less desirable commenters hardly ever stump up. ?Most donations come from people I have never seen comment here. ?People who understand it’s the articles and hard work that needs rewarding, and that it also is important for Whaleoil to survive past the election – much more important than just two weeks. Read more »

Ground crew team chat


Whaleoil (the blog) is going through growing pains. ? The influx of new readers has caused an influx of new commenters. ?On top of that, we’ve been under a sustained and very organised attack by people that are trying to poison the well.

Sadly, I can foresee a time when, as victims of our own success, the atmosphere of the Whaleoil comments section will be nearly impossible to control. ?It is, after all, a numbers game.

What was once a personal blog with a small group of “on-line friends” and supporters has already grown into the 5th largest news/opinion web site in New Zealand (by traffic and by audience). ? This caused us to tighten up on conduct, and that – ironically – has caused a mad growth as people are no longer turned off by gross comments (and articles!) like they used to.

We are very happy with the conduct these days. ?Very few personal attacks on other commenters. ? We’ve all but eliminated pointless slights on public figures (One?rare?ban?for writing Cunny Lips this week for example), and almost all of you have got the fine art of not responding to comments that are obviously written to create an uproar (“don’t feed the trolls”).

On that basis, we are proud of you, and I’m sure you’re proud of yourself as to what has been achieved.

But now, due to our mad growth, we face a different problem: ?Keeping things tight.

It was only two months ago when the odd “Yeah right! /TUI” or “You should have seen the other guy” kind of comments were infrequent enough and they blended in and lifted the ?mood and general sense of humour. ?They were not seen as bad, as long as someone didn’t make it their life’s purpose to constantly provide “low calorie comments”.

Due to the number of comments and commenters, this has now grown to be a problem. ? One begets another, and before you know it, an extremely serious topic (like Judith Collins stepping down) turns into a circus surrounding one mildly funny or off-topic observation attracting a few dozen in-kind replies.

These comments, by themselves, are not bad. ? But taken as “a body of work” make the comments in total very low quality reading. ? Read more »


Are all rightwingers as gutless as you?

As they saying goes, they don’t like it up ’em.

I get all sorts of emails, as you can imagine. ?But sometimes they are really worthy of a wider audience.

Here is today’s masterpiece

From:?John []?<[]>
Date: Sat, Jun 7, 2014 at 9:07 AM
Subject: Are all rightwingers as gutless as you
To: [email protected][]

Im banned as you ownly want arselickers who agree with every thing you post.Your blog is the rightwing version of the standard,with the same intolerance to desenting views?..

Now, a few things to keep in mind here.

This was the very first communication I received from John. ?I have no idea if he is really blocked or not. ?I doubt it, as he hasn’t actually participated on the blog since 2010, and his total contributions that year came to two comments.

Here they are ? Read more »

Censorship is alive and well on Whaleoil

There. ?Bet that got your attention.

I implemented the need for?verified email addresses to be used when commenting on Whaleoil. ?This process isn’t needed if you use Twitter or Facebook to log into Disqus, but if you only use Disqus, and you don’t verify your email address, your comments will be held.

And this is why ? Read more »

Right you lot, time for some navel gazing

A Whaleoil reader, we’ll call Paul, writes

I am a Subscriber to your Blog, and as such I appreciate your?comments, fact finding and your opinions.

The whole issue is well put together and informative and sometimes fun?to read.

However, increasingly I find that I am offended by the silly comments?and messages left by some of the readers….most of whom seem to have?personal opinions, but are often expressed in an offensive and?childish manner.

I really feel that they detract from your publication.

Have you ever thought about “reining them in a little” as it were? ? Read more »

Want to be a better Whaleoil commenter next year?

Then consider taking this easy 3-book course:

Read more »

Excuse me, can I have a moment of your time?

We’ve had complaints about the conduct of some of our commenters, and how these comments reflect on Whaleoil as a site and community.

With so many new people reading Whaleoil now, it is time to revisit a few ground rules.

1. Anyone can comment as long as

– it isn’t a lie
– it doesn’t attack another commenter personally
– it is related to the topic under discussion

2. Although it may not seem like it at times, moderators and volunteers have full time jobs besides helping out. ?As a result, we don’t actively consider each comment. ?We rely on you to report comments you feel are well beyond the pail. ?In the first instance, email me – [email protected] dot co .nz and provide a link to the post and at least the name of the commenter and the first sentence of the comment so I can track it down. ?I especially need you to do this if you think the comment is defamatory, illegal and/or suggests physical harm to someone. ? Read more »

Whaleoil Blog Commenters, please note!

via blogspot

via blogspot

Once a comment is left, the author can come back at any time and change what they have written.

It has been a long established etiquette that when people change the?meaning or substantially alter a comment that was previously left, they admit it by adding EDITED or UPDATED to the bottom of the comment, and most even provide a reason for doing so.

Recently we have observed certain people substantially changing their comments but not signal they have done so. ?People who responded to the comment when it was in the original form appear to be responding in some disconnected way, and they are now made to look foolish.

The original commenter can actually manipulate the conversation by doing this on purpose. ?So far, we’ve only seen it happen to fix up personal embarrassment, but it is something that deserves a mention (hence this post).

It’s good manners to indicate at the bottom of your comment if you have done anything more than just fix up spelling or bad grammar. ?Convention has it to add “EDIT: ” followed by a short explanation. ?Or, probably better is to leave the original text in place and add “UPDATE: ” followed with the new information you want to add since first leaving it.

We have a few people identified for this practice, and would like to see them change their ways before it becomes a real problem and requires us to act like parents. ? Thank you for not making us do that.

Redbaiter would have been Redfaced if this feature was available back then

Hover your mouse over the upvote “button”/chevron, you now get to see who upvoted a comment



The good news is that it doesn’t do the same for down votes, so my downvote stalker can continue to do so in total privacy!

Just a note that some people may not have realised: anyone can upvote a post, but you have to be logged in to be able to downvote one. ?Hence the “Guest Votes” at the end of the list there.

I suspect some people were happy to upvote a comment when they could do so anonymously, but they may not want to stand behind the upvote of controversial comments if it means it can be linked to them.

What do you think? ?Is this new feature going to change the way you upvote other people’s comments? ?(Travis doesn’t need to reply – I know it won’t make a damn bit of difference to him)