Her patience evidently tried

Megan McArdle is now requiring commenters to register:

I thought long and hard about this, as I’m sure this will cost me some commenters. But it’s simply gotten out of hand. Every time I’ve gotten a link from certain liberal blogs, I’ve gotten a flood of commenters who believe it is the height of wit to call me (or other commenters) names, or speculate on the wilder details of my sex life. Over time, those commenters have accumulated, and they’re now chasing away people who want to have a conversation beyond “Here’s what I hate about [liberals/conservatives]!” or spewing insults at a third grade reading level.

I can’t blame her. It was getting to the point where I found her comment threads becoming nearly as unreadable as LGF’s, despite being nowhere near as long.

Although commenter Tim Maguire notes:

It occurs to me that if there are a large number of comments, I rarely read more than the first handful.

Maybe those, says Maguire, are the problem threads, and having experienced the same phenomenon, I’m inclined to agree.

I posted a note of assent on the announcement thread, citing recurrent issues with sock-puppetry as ample justification for going to registration.

And my regulars will remember that I experimented briefly with it last fall, but decided it wasn’t necessary. Either I have better-behaved commenters, or I just don’t attract the attention of “certain liberal blogs.” Or both. Then again, she (more precisely, The Atlantic) is still running Movable Type.


  1. Tatyana »

    25 March 2009 · 10:56 pm

    Megan at the time of Asymmetrical Info = BF found at commentariat
    Megan at Atlantic = has to fight off hostile trolls
    Ann Althouse, installed in her namesake private blog = getting married to her 5-yer commenter (met 2nd time on Fri, February 13th – tell me that’s not a Love Story).

    I blame the Evil Organized Media.

  2. David Fleck »

    26 March 2009 · 7:02 am

    We’ve found that the best protection against troll-infested comment threads is to nip the problem in the bud by having no readers. Works every time!

  3. fillyjonk »

    26 March 2009 · 8:19 am

    Yes, there are benefits to “flying under the radar” / being impossibly “boring” to all but a select few (who tend to be kinder than the average human)

  4. fillyjonk »

    26 March 2009 · 8:20 am

    (And lest anyone take umbrage, I am referring to my OWN blog in the above comment…I realized someone could interpret the comment otherwise. I would hardly call Dustbury “boring.”)

  5. Old Grouch »

    26 March 2009 · 10:43 am

    “flying under the radar” / being impossibly “boring”

    (Looks at his blog stats) 1092 posts, 188 comments, yep.

  6. CGHill »

    26 March 2009 · 8:29 pm

    As of right before this was saved, 5300 posts, 14,197 comments. (7 September 2006 to present; from 8/02 to 9/06, figure 7200 posts, 17,100 comments.)

  7. sya »

    26 March 2009 · 10:48 pm

    Yay! I’m boring!

  8. Jeff Brokaw »

    27 March 2009 · 3:27 pm

    Few sites have comments worth reading, frankly.

    This one. Deadspin. Fark. Belmont Club. Um …. drawing a blank now. Probably a few more I’m not remembering. YMMV of course.

    And Big Media news sites are generally the worst of all.

  9. CGHill »

    28 March 2009 · 12:38 pm

    Sya: You are never boring.

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