Comments Still Going Strong Mongs

So a month has passed since Guido embarked on Disqus-software comment control and the results are in for last week, the first full week after the holidays. Despite dire predictions from some anonymongs in the comments – you know who you are – that the world would end, we’re still thriving and our comments section is doing business as normal. In fact keeping some of the more knuckle dragging morons at bay has kept the comments section vibrant.

ou comments

There were 2,130 comments on Thursday, so much for those who claimed we were killing the blog…

Guido to the Regulator: “Go Away, It’s Not Going to Happen”

Taxpayers’ money is being wasted sh*tting up bloggers.

As Neo-Guido told the BBC this afternoon:

“Free speech is back on the agenda in this election and it’s mind-boggling that taxpayers’ money is being spent on harassing bloggers with these letters and trying to put the heavies on us to sign up to some sort of Putin-esque code for bloggers to be regulated. Go away, it’s not going to happen and stop wasting your time trying to regulate something that is unregulatable. Look at the internet, we haven’t just dodged the Leveson inspired press regulation to sign up voluntarily to some Electoral Commission pen pusher.”

No thanks.

Electoral Commission Trying to Regulate Blogs:
Notifies Guido, ConservativeHome, LabourList & LibDemVoice

ec-pef

The Electoral Commission has written to Guido, ConservativeHome, LabourList and LibDemVoice to provide them with “guidance” to bring them into line with the Putinesque provisions of the new Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014.

Mark Ferguson at LabourList says

“It seems particularly bizarre (and that’s being generous) that there’s one law for “newspapers and periodicals” and another for “websites”. Perhaps the government are finding this new-fangled internet thing very confusing. We’re still working through what the most appropriate response is to this dreadful law – more worthy of a banana-Republic than a democracy – that clamps down on campaigning and free speech at a time when it’s needed most, election time. Whatever response we decide on though, we will not be submitting ourselves to any form of regulation that stops us from writing, reporting and commenting on the election campaign as we see fit.”

ConservativeHome’s editor Paul Goodman tells Guido whilst sorrowfully shaking his head, that he feels the site has no alternative, given the terms of the Lobbying Act, but to “run some pieces by senior Labour MPs during the election campaign”.

After ringing round it seems that other political blogs like the Spectator’s CoffeeHouse and PoliticalBetting.com have not being offered “guidance” by the Electoral Commission. Guido has written back to the Electoral Commission:

Dear Electoral Commission,

Thanks, but we’re not registering with you and
we’re not going to pay any attention to your rules.

Yours in freedom,

Paul Staines
Editor Guido Fawkes’ Blog

Guido has no intention of registering with the Electoral Commission or reporting a penny of spending or anything else to them. This authoritarian law is a nonsense. If you read the guidance it should apply to newspapers. We haven’t just rejected statutory control of the printed press by one regulator for political control of digital media by another…

See: Electoral Commission letter in full [PDF]

LibDemVoice Today Compares Charlie Hebdo to KKK

The first line of this blog published by LibDemVoice today tells you all you need to know: “Let me start by saying that the attack on Charlie Hebdo was a despicable attack on freedom of expression. However…” Nope.

It’s loony author, George Potter, continues: “Charlie Hebdo was, and is, a racist, xenophobic and bigoted  publication. Sometimes it attacked powerful targets like the Catholic Church but it was largely white men attacking powerless, marginalised and oppressed groups in France, especially Muslims who face horrific levels of discrimination. That’s not “satire”, it’s bullying.” It mocked Jews, Muslims, Christians, white people, black people and politicians.

He goes on to compare Charlie Hebdo to the KKK and EDL: “Imagine if a KKK organisation in the US had been bombed. Would people really be saying, without even thinking about who they’re endorsing, “I am the EDL””.

Except Charlie Hebdo were not the KKK or the EDL, were they George? They were just a satirical magazine.

Review of 2014: Guido Has Never Seen Anything Like It

A record smashing 10th anniversary year with over 30 million visits to this site in 2014. The top ten traffic posts published this year were:

  1. THE RESHUFFLE: All the Sackings as They Happen
  2. WATCH: Former Tory Whip Boasts About Paedo Cover Up
  3. LISTEN: Miliband’s Radio Wiltshire Clusterf**k
  4. Khan Crash: Sadiq’s Rush Hour Horror
  5. Islington MP’s Rochester Culture Shock
  6. EXC: Gordon Brown Office Has £10,000-a-Week “Expenses” 
  7. Brown Office Gives Just 1 in 4 Pounds Raised to Charity
  8. WATCH: Penny Mordaunt’s Loyal Address in Full
  9. Roll Call of Shame: Every MP Who Voted Against Recall
  10. UKIP’s Poster Girl Quits Party Citing Racism

Here are our favourite stories of the last 12 months:

emily

Ten hours after Guido added the word “snob” to Emily Thornberry’s now infamous Image from Rochester, Labour’s Islington MP had resigned from the Shadow Cabinet. ‘Snobberry’ had never seen anything like it, making Ed “more angry than he has ever been” and incurring the wrath of White Van Dan. According to the BBC, it was Guido wot won it. And don’t miss the tale of Lady Nugee’s walled garden… 

In the absence of a Twitter storm it took slightly longer to secure the resignation of David Ruffley. Guido had reported on Ruffley’s anger management problems before, yet the Tories were silent when he accepted a caution for assaulting his ex-girlfriend. Despite Ruffers telling Guido he was “cheerful“, the people of Bury St. Edmunds demanded their MP do the decent thing, domestic violence charities called for his head and, crucially, the Dean of the local cathedral told him “your position is untenable”. In June Ruffley finally announced he would be standing down, and parliament was rid of another nasty piece of work…

2014 was a year when several Tory MPs found themselves in Guido’s crosshairs, none more so than Tim Yeo. From leadership contender to loser in nine years, this blog has been exposing Yeo’s absenteeism and conflicts of interest for the best part of a decade. In January Guido went to find troubled Tim, not in his Suffolk constituency, but in Sandwich in Kent, where he had gone golfing. The following month Yeo was deselected by his local party. Victory at last…

Last but not least, who can forget Brooks No-marks, the Tory women’s champion who sent a paisley-clad dick pic to our very own Sophie Wittams. Despite the wailing from the less popular parts of the press, a public service was confirmed when Brooks was revealed to have used the exact same modus operandi. Yes, yes, yes Minister. 

Despite our detractors’ weak claims of bias, we’ve had a direct hand in ending the careers of three Tory MPs who had absolutely no intention of quitting in 2015. That’s 1% of the parliamentary party. Happy New Year, roll on that election. 

Comment Update

comments

So after the first week of troll control, comment making is heading back to normal levels. Comments were down at the beginning of the week as people came to grips with the new system. The down kink on the right hand side was the normal Sunday drop off (traffic basically halves on weekends). On Monday the number of comments made was a healthy 1,209…

ANONYMONG

We still have a pretty liberal comments policy, you still don’t have to register, though if you don’t your accompanying avatar defaults to the handsome chap above. We have permanently banned only a handful of people this week who basically objected to not being allowed to be particularly abusive. The comments are about as rowdy as a saloon bar. The landlord reserves the right to throw people out…

De Re Commentari

Guido will soon be winding down for Christmas and the team would be faced with the tedious job of comment moderation over the holidays or to decide to just let anarchy prevail. For the last few months we have as an experiment adopted an even more laissez faire attitude to comments. Animated GIFs, YouTube videos, tweets, images and the like were allowed. The result was gay porn, racist videos and it generally getting worse. We have now after ten years tested the “no pre-moderation” model to destruction.

During the run up to the election this site’s readership will probably top-out at some quarter-of-a-million hits per day, comments will be in the thousands daily. The post-moderation system is just not viable, the team would have to spend all day reading the comments instead of doing the writing that provokes them.

This graph from this article on the economics of blog comments summarises the situation:

comment moderation costsGuido has over the last decade copped a lot of criticism for the generally laissez faire attitude towards the comments – remember Derek Draper calling the comments “a sewer” on Andrew Neil’s Daily Politics? In some ways it was easier for Guido to take a laissez faire attitude, counter-intuitively it provides some degree of legal protection to not pre-moderate.

Comment moderation costs a fortune, we occasionally have to spend time with lawyers and the police as a result of comments we have not written or often even read. It is expensive in time, every day the Guido team deletes a load of comments which have, in our rather arbitrary judgement, just gone too far. The software algorithm modbot blocked as much racist, scatological and gynecological nonsense as could be predictable. The truth is that we were happy to tolerate profanity and such like directed at the political class, we were not so keen on the repetitious and tedious stuff about minorities.

Picture credit : GQ

Some get very worked up about online comments because they are so often rude and abusive. We’ve taken a “sticks and stones” view to a large extent, particularly with regard to prominent public figures, it is actually pleasing that Ed Balls gets angry about the abuse dished out here, that self-important politicians hate it so much, that thin-skinned journalists don’t like a taste of their own medicine. The comments and the blog itself perform the role of a cyber-stocks, you can say almost whatever you like about leading political figures and it will go unchecked, however say something gynecological about a lowly intern, it is likely to get deleted (if it is noticed).

Originally when this blog started and had readers numbering only in the tens, rather than the tens of thousands, some of the regular comment makers were very witty and brought actual gossip. In the last decade millions of comments have been made, the signal to noise ratio and average quality of the comments has declined. That is an inevitable consequence of having among the tens of thousands of readers a fair number of moronic, window licking, certifiable loonies for whom this is their preferred outlet. Mostly it is people just venting about their bugbears and commenting on the character and parentage of politicians, with a few gems to be found. Guido has no problem with readers swearing at politicians. That has its place, and that place is for better or worse here.

Things are changing, you will still be able to say what you like (within somewhat arbitrary inconsistent limits) without pre-moderation or registering. That privilege will be removed from people who cross the line, they will be blocked from commenting. We’re not known for political correctness, we believe in freedom of speech, exercise it elsewhere if you want to post porn or abuse people witlessly. Will the obsessive who posts “Vote UKIP” all day be blocked? Maybe. Will we lose traffic? Not as much as those obsessive comment makers think. Will it work? That is up to you.

BBC on #Snoberry: It Was Guido Wot Won It

guido-wot-won-it

Silence of the Spinners

politics

“He doesn’t want to speak to you” Guido has been told many times. We’ve never had a problem being put in the “sin bin” by politicians, we don’t seek to do interviews, so if a politician refuses to speak to […]

What Do You Think of Guido’s Facelift?

new-gf-avatar-transparentx300

After ten years, things need a little freshening up. Changes are coming. Things will look different round here soon…[…]

Scrapbook Losing Friends Fast Over Cam Kid Hate

Britain’s leading left-wing blog has come under fire for the second time in two weeks for attacking David Cameron over his disabled son Ivan, who passed away in 2009. Earlier this month union-funded Political Scrapbook was universally panned for this […]

This Is Embarrassing, Help!
Guido Refresh: Avatar Rebrand Design Brief

errol-flynn-guido-montage

Back in June we put out a call for tenders for the Guido Refresh: Avatar Rebrand Design Brief and asked graphic designers to tender ideas. The detailed brief can be found here.

Sure enough we had some high quality […]



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Tim Shipman to Adam Boulton on the TV debates…

“If Cameron gets in a car to go to the debate, Lynton Crosby will stage a car crash.”

Top Posts This Week

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

NHS ADMIT MEDICAL RECORDS ARE NOT SAFE NHS ADMIT MEDICAL RECORDS ARE NOT SAFE
Today’s PMQs SKETCH: A New Low Today’s PMQs SKETCH: A New Low
Yet Another Mainstream Media UKIP Smear Yet Another Mainstream Media UKIP Smear
HANDS ON WITH THE NEW SINCLAIR ZX SPECTRUM HANDS ON WITH THE NEW SINCLAIR ZX SPECTRUM
Typical Trade Union Drivers Typical Trade Union Drivers
Labour MP in Misuse of Taxpayer Cash Row Labour MP in Misuse of Taxpayer Cash Row

BOFFINS: CLIMATE CHANGE CAUSED ISIS BOFFINS: CLIMATE CHANGE CAUSED ISIS
Mystery of Massive Miliband Mystery of Massive Miliband
Cameron With a Gun to His Head Cameron With a Gun to His Head
Save the Children Sorry For Blair Award Save the Children Sorry For Blair Award
Another NHS Hospital Shamed Another NHS Hospital Shamed
Widespread and Habitual Hacking at the Mirror Widespread and Habitual Hacking at the Mirror
Will Straw Silent on Sleaze Will Straw Silent on Sleaze
When Dave Met Walliams When Dave Met Walliams
Home Office: Nerdy Kids are Dangerous Home Office: Nerdy Kids are Dangerous
Jim Murphy Is Laughing At You Jim Murphy Is Laughing At You
Awesome Star Wars Tie Fighter Drone Awesome Star Wars Tie Fighter Drone
Labour Select Palestine Activist to Fight Galloway Labour Select Palestine Activist to Fight Galloway
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,817 other followers