Registering to comment on Slugger…

We have switched on the registration before commenting system… When we’ve done this before it’s resulted in a massive drop in the numbers of people commenting… Not surprising I suppose since when we first tried it we had less than 200 people registered… Between then and now we are up to about 800, so I hope this time the conversations will keep flowing… More than that, I hope the drop in interventions from trolls will encourage people who actually have something to come in a share their insights… So please, if you want to say something, correct something, add a bit of common sense perspective, please do jump in…

You can register on the top right hand side of the site… Just under the red banner…

  • Interesting about the numbers of comments having dropped when you practiced this before. I found the same on my blog when some fool started spamming and I had to flip moderate on, as there were just not enough hours in the day to keep moderating this individuals wind ups. I was slow in realising the cowardly creep was posting under a deferent pseudonym almost every time he posted and his sole purpose in life was to pull my chain.(Or so it seemed to me at the time 😉

    Nevertheless you live and learn and If people object to signing in then fine they can go somewhere else. I feel for a blog like slugger it is OK to make people sign in, why should folk be able to say what they wish, without having the courage or common decency to stand over what they post.

    There is absolutely no reason why one cannot be critical of S O’T and those who blog here without descending into the gutter.

  • Mick Fealty

    Absolutely Mick!! If we are tough on others we should expect to take it back. I’m inclined to make this a definitive move from now on. If the quality of the comments rises then good people will find their way back in again…

  • Similar to Mick Hall, I had to put on comment moderation on about 6 months due to spate of abusive comments and spam. Bearing in mind the miniscule readership and influence my blog had it seemed a bit sad being forced to take that kind of measure but I didn’t set it up in the first place to spend an hour a day deleting crap.

    With the number of comments flowing into Slugger, the problem is magnified a hundred fold and with an election campaign coming up soon I think it’s the only sensible approach to have moderation set up here again.

  • Drumlins Rock

    is there an election coming up?

    must admitt I will miss some of the more random comments but I guess there are enough signed up now to provide those, and btw those ugg boots I bought were totally awesome man! lol

  • Neil

    Good luck with this, as you say your numbers will drop like a stone for the first while, possibly if you persist long enough people will come round. Should deal with the sock puppeteers anyways…

  • Mick Fealty

    I sort of miss the buzz, but also think it it’s a matter of being patient and of waiting for enough people to acquire the new habit.

    I also hope that with large number of people who have actually registered but have never commented that some good people will come out of the woodwork.

  • Mark McGregor


    I’ll dissent (again). I know trolls are a pain in the arse and some occasionally have sinister motives that have put the site at risk but I’d prefer to see the continuing low entry level (some of the bloggers, myself included, grew out of dodgy commentators – in my case I’ve not entirely grown out of it/up yet ;0).

    Put the focus on building a larger, tight remit group of ‘moderators’.

    I know the moderator idea broke down before but that was mainly by not working with people enough and defining the role properly imho.

    I’m sure you could get a decent team together to take the weight off you and keep the comments open. And no, I’m not volunteering.

  • LabourNIman

    I’m for it, anyone who will not put a name to their comments obviously are a lot more likely to turn nasty. If we can all take 5 mins to register then so can the anon’s of the world.

  • Mark McGregor

    Another negative, is the few times we have an angry insider wanting to drop a scoop or info via the comments with an anonymous identity – they may cool off whilst registering.

    Keep it open Mick – it has mainly worked well so far, it has proven not to work with registration – just stick up a volunteer mods, then run an online workshop on remit, role, taking deep breaths etc.

    You can sort this without going all Murdoch.

    You all seem to be preempting the long billed ‘added’ value comments system by turning it into a closed shop.

    Closed systems stagnate – let the air in.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Mick, forgot to log in and had wrote a comemnt, was only when i went to post it i realsied, luckily i did a cut and paste, but it could be annoying to get that far before you realsie you cant comment.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin


    As you know my instincts are exactly yours on this. It may be that we can give people a less onerous option when we switch to wordpress with the new build.

    But the IP banning no longer keeps the ill intentioned troll out, and as you know, I’ve been holding the fort on moderation for some considerable time now.

    I do want to get the moderating team back up to speed in the new year, but… for now, I really need to concentrate on something other than knocking back ejits are 1.30 in the morning

  • Mark McGregor


    Understand completely. Glad to hear it is temporary, not permanent – as yor blog originally read to me.

    Hopefully the new platform and a few properly directed/trained/supported helpers can sort the issue – as much as a lowest entry possible option can ever be truly sorted.

  • Dixie Elliott

    I hope it sorts out the trolls who post under various names….some were too obvious.

    Registration wouldn’t accept the email address I used before which is active. Why is this?

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Not sure Dixie, I’ll have a look…

  • Only Asking

    Quiet around here.

  • McGrath

    I kinda liked figuring out the various “nomes” of the same sock puppet.

    Anyway, some other sites employ “Peer Moderation”, where all users (or select users) get to anonymously rate particular comments (with a simple mouse click). A negative rating of enough magnitude automatically alerts an administrator for the site who can intervene with their own reprimand instead of a moderator getting criticized and abused.

  • Dixie Elliott

    I kinda like the idea, if it can be done, of sending a nasty virus to the most troll-some of posters if they continue to get too big for their index fingers…

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin


    We’re working on a tool very much like that for the new site.

  • I mostly use the Google Chrome browser which makes registering and logging in easy. Perhaps a welcome note on the top banner would encourage folks to register … and comment …

    I don’t permit comment on NALIL blog – for logistical reasons 😉

  • Clanky

    As an alternative, if you want to avoid people having to register before commenting you could just ban the IP address of anyone who regularly posts offensive stuff.

  • Mick Fealty

    That’s the way I’ve done it for years… and sending the miscreants the BBC Teletubbies for their sins… but more determined ones can do a work around fairly easily these days…

  • Brian MacAodh

    Anon posts are the best

  • Fabianus


    “sending a nasty virus to the most troll-some of posters”

    Er, isn’t that illegal? Just asking….

  • Neil

    As an alternative, if you want to avoid people having to register before commenting you could just ban the IP address of anyone who regularly posts offensive stuff.

    Nein. Static IPs in companies will have many users appearing through the same IPs. That would mean through my own bad temper getting some other poor bugger banned just for being at the same location as me.