How Do You Deal With The Difficult Different?
August 4, 2010 7:31 PM Subscribe
Say you run a website that has a relatively self-maintaining and friendly (if tough and playful) community of commenters. How do you best manage a new commenter who shows up and clearly enjoys stinking up the room?
posted by anonymous to Society & Culture (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This is not a forum site, and not a moderated and self-managed community like Metafilter. Comments are open for anyone to register, however.
I've obviously had a few issues with folks before, and most have mellowed and been respectful after being confronted by email when they've gotten out of line (by my standards, which are the standards that count).
Recently a new and extremely vigorous commenter has joined up and this person is... well, on the bright side, s/he's not threatening violence or mayhem. Also s/he is possibly a misunderstood or just very different smart person. That being said, overall s/he is extremely disruptive, off-topic, difficult to understand, extremely self-referential, and prone to thread hijacking and is really offputting to some others.
I haven't emailed this person directly because s/he seems itching for a fight constantly, and I'm totally uninterested in being a target on this person's blog (which is intelligible if slightly unhinged, but that's what personal blogs are for) for the next three months/three years.
I was also sort of hoping this person would burn out and get distracted by some other site but so far, no luck.
1. Ignore it.
2. Regularly and gently confront in the comments about appropriate behavior. (Added benefit: lets the community know moderators are paying attention.)
3. Email directly, in a friendly manner, and request some "toning down" and see what happens.
4. A public (or private?) one-time-only warning followed by the banhammer.
5. A public post about community guidelines, coupled with any of the above, followed by any of the above.
I always believe that people will want to get along and be willing to try to do so. I'm not always proven right, but even seemingly really "off" people sometimes are just different communicators.