What is the advertising value of a ban?


In a recent case of private companies exercising their right to de-platform voices they disagreed with, the controversial Alex Jones and his Infowars content was banned from various social media sites.? They included?YouTube, Facebook, iTunes, Google Podcast, Spotify, iHeartRadio, MailChimp, Disqus, LinkedIn, Flickr, Pinterest and several others.

The curious thing is that these different organisations all chose to exercise their legal right not to host Alex and the Infowars content contemporaneously. Does this prove there is an ‘Info War’? Was it a coordinated takedown and thus some form of restrictive trade practice?? Zerohedge has the story. Quote. Read more »

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 »


Do we need a Whaleoil Help Desk?

This?week (Mon-Fri) was our biggest week ever. ?It’s great. ?With one exception.

Where I was able to take some time away from productive tasks to assist people with problems creating a Disqus account, or signing in, or trying to figure out what is blocking them, the volume of this has now got to the point it is taking a fair chunk out of my day.

Now, I’m fairly sure that if you can’t sign into the Herald, or Stuff, or TVNZ, nobody is going to spend time emailing you back and forth trying to figure out why. ? But with Whaleoil, it appears?we have a number of people that seem to expect us to do so. ?In fact, recently, when I told someone after multiple emails over two days that I was at a loss what to do, and it wasn’t really my job to help him, he was quite offended by my lack of ‘customer service’.

I can foresee that we’re going to have to pull the shutters down on everyone soon. ?Basically, if you have a problem, tough luck – nothing to do with us – we have a blog to run.


Contrary to popular opinion, we’re not actually as nasty as we like you all to think, and the fact we have to withdraw some of the assistance that we gladly performed in the past is simply one of the downsides of our popularity.

People are blocked from Disqus for reasons that have nothing to do with being banned, which adds to the confusion.

So here’s my idea: ?A Whaleoil Ground Crew operated “email help desk”. ? This is an unpaid volunteer position. ? Read more »


Houskeeping announcement: change in comment votes

Recent Updates to Voting

Downvotes are still counted but will?no longer?display the total number of votes. This action will still be denoted by the voting arrow?turning red.


What the point is of counting them, or showing a red down arrow is beyond me, but then Disqus is generally beyond me.


Disqus update offers a little more privacy

tumblr_inline_mp9tp1sgbL1qz4rgpDisqus, the comment system used by many blogs world-wide, and indeed Whaleoil, now allows you some control over who gets to see your comment history:

We?re also happy to announce that starting today, you can choose to?keep your comment activity private. Your activity will still be public to anyone on the site where you left them, but your activity through your profile or other activity feeds will not be public.

When you make your Disqus activity private, the following restrictions are added to your account:

  • Your comment history and activity will only be viewable by you.
  • People who are currently following your account will no longer be able to see your activity via your profile or daily digest emails.
  • People will no longer be able to follow your account. The number of existing followers will still appear in your profile stats, but they will not be able to view your activity.

Please?visit our FAQ for more information?or questions about this new feature.


June Blog Stats

The June Blog Stats are out at Open Parachute.

June Stats Read more »

Disqus Issues, Working on it


Advisory: Sorry readers, we are having some problems with the comment system…it isn’t you.

Don’t worry though we are working in it.? Read more »


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)


Better commenters use pseudonyms, and Facebook squashes discourse

I use Disqus for my blog comments management. It?continues?to?improve?and adds significant additional?functionality?to the site without a massive overhead of extra plugins.

Disqus has conducted some research?that shows that?commenters using pseudonyms are ?the most important contributors to online communities.?

The service gives each user the option of commenting with a Disqus account, a social media identity or anonymously. It says 61 percent of commenters use pseudonyms, 35 percent choose to be anonymous and 4 percent use their ?real identity? verified by Facebook. It also says those with pseudonyms post the best comments, while anonymous comments are lower quality. One theory: People don?t mind being accountable online, but they don?t want it to blow back on their work or personal lives by using a real identity. A pseudonym protects them while providing a measure of accountability.

Once people settle on a pseudonym I think they do take more ownership of their comments. The anonymous cowards tend to junk up the comments and their flame attempts become frustrating to those who are trying to engage properly.

TechCrunch rolled out Facebook Comments in a bid to rid themselves of trolls and abuse. Facebook Comments of course works on publishing, in most instances, the real?credentials?of a commenter. hOw did that work out for them…turns out not so well😕 Read more »

Rights tribunal backs Working for Families

Rights tribunal backs Working for FamiliesThe Government has welcomed a Human Rights Review Tribunal decision that the Working for Families package does not breach the Bill of Rights or Human Rights Acts. This year the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) sought a declaration… [NZ Herald Politics]

Good job. Working for Families isn’t available for non-working bludgers.

I personally disagree witht eh policy and National should look at something to get rid of it, like substantial tax cuts, but it has has been confirmed that the policy is as it should be and not open to beneficiaries.