Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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New Comment Policy

July 14th, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

Dear readers:

After much thought and some discussion on the matter, I have decided to strip anonymous commenters of their privilege to leave comments. Now one must be a registered member of Cleansing Fire in order to leave a comment. Anyone can become a registered user, and many of you have already done so naturally over the past year. However, as we continue to grow and develop into a thriving faith community, I no longer feel that we have the ability to celebrate the diversity of everyone’s opinions. Most people are mature and have the ability to make succinct, logical statements which contribute to the discussions here. Unfortunately, others don’t share that ability. I will monitor how things go for the next couple weeks, but as for now, you must register with us in order to leave comments. I feel this will ultimately add to the richness of our content, seeing as how we will not have to devote half of our time to weeding out spammers, trolls, and others who come here only to stir up arguments.

Please note: when you register, you don’t need to put your real name! You can still be anonymous, but just choose a name which suits you.

Thank you for your understanding and dedication. And remember – tomorrow is Bishop Clark’s 74th Birthday! We’re almost there, folks!

In what I’ll call a vigil observance of Bishop Clark’s birthday, here’s a little something from Bing Crosby:

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18 Responses to “New Comment Policy”

  1. avatar Raymond F. Rice says:

    Great Idea!!!

  2. avatar Jim says:

    Jim M. Good idea, Gen….that should help to put out a few fires!

  3. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Thank you for taking a very necessary and understandable action.

  4. avatar Bruce says:

    Sounds good, and done!

  5. avatar annonymouse says:

    I suspect that most who post anonymously will leave rather than to register. While I understand this action, it will significantly cut down on the number of posters and the spirited back and forth that’s been happening here. Those who wish to be anonymous will not want to reveal their identities in order to register.

  6. avatar Gen says:

    That’s the goal. If people have something *valuable* to contribute, they’ll gladly spend the 15 seconds it takes to register. However, if they’re just here to bicker, whine, and cause problems, they will (God-willing) go elsewhere. And like I said, you don’t need to reveal your identities. You’re a registered user, and I know nothing about you save your screen-name.

  7. avatar Mary-Kathleen says:

    Thank you for making this decision. I was getting tired of going down rabbit holes and slogging through the seemingly endless rebuttals. I pondered just not reading the comments at all but some good information would be overlooked/missed that way. Again, thanks.

  8. avatar Hopefull says:

    I think the registration requirement will eventually have only a small impact on the number of postings. If you look at what is currently on the front page of the CF blog (and ONLY what is on the front page), for all 7 posts with more than 20 comments, only a small percentage of posters and postings are anonymous. One poster was “Anonymous” without a number and another was Anonymous II without a number; both of these are assumed to be registered or else they’d have a number. Note the following results by post subject (and note the subjects drawing the most comments):

    Post Subject……#Posts………# Anon. Posters………# Anon.Postings

    Bishop’s Ear………..23……………..3…………………………6
    Rainbow……………….21……………..2…………………………2
    STA Windows……….57………………6……………………….7
    Closing Churches…58………………4………………………5
    SSM/NYS……………….21………………0………………………0
    Fortunate Families…44…………….6………………………..8
    Ugly Stoles……………23………………0………………………..0

    So here’s what I take away from this: Out of 247 comments there were at most 21 posters. There could be as few as 6 different anonymous posters (or fewer, if for certain technical reasons they weren’t recognized as having already posted on a particular thread.) But regarding the post comment activity, of the 247 comments, there were 28 comments by anonymous posters (i.e. coded with a number after the “anonymous.”) That amounts to 11% of the comments posted being eliminated if none of them register going forward. Of course if they no longer post then the number of opposing comments might also drop, but not all who were anonymous disagreed or provoked response. We should also remember that some of the strongest and most responsive pushback has been versus some, such as “Faithful,” who are clearly not anonymous, who are registered and use a screen name. Thus, I think there will still be plenty to debate and bring forth replies.

    It is also interesting which topics drew the most overall response with usually similar levels of response in anonymous comments. Bishop’s Ear is disproportionately high in anonymous postings; it was more of an unrelated sidebar set of comments.

    So, analytically speaking, Gen’s move makes a lot of sense and after the scenario settles in and is understood, I would not expect a big drop-off.

  9. avatar annonymouse says:

    Hopefull, thanks for the analysis. It sure seems like there have been more anon posters than that.

    Of course, Gen’s timing could have been better: people may be visiting to see what kind of birthday bash CF is putting on, only to be disappointed by this policy change and the old crooner (oh, but what an amazing voice!).

  10. avatar Bruce says:

    Most of those posts were probably mine. I’m a bit of a blowhard on comment boards.

  11. avatar Denita says:

    Great Idea! I like your rainbow colored “diversity”, too! LOL

  12. avatar StillCatholic says:

    It’s important that the echo chamber set volume to reverb.

  13. avatar JLo says:

    Thanks, Gen: great move. We come to discuss and get information, not to argue and have to constantly defend from assaults on Catholic core beliefs, so this is good, as it probably will cut down on those who even come not to be “community” but to confuse. +JMJ

  14. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    It’s important that the echo chamber set volume to reverb.

    We’ve never deleted or restricted comments that have presented a differing opinion on that fact alone. To assert that is just plain nonsense. btw – what’s up with your name? StillCatholic despite what?

  15. avatar Sassy says:

    —–reverb

    It seems to me this comment policy is more of a noise gate than a reverb.

  16. avatar Nerina says:

    It’s important that the echo chamber set volume to reverb.

    Hi StillCatholic,

    I find your comment disappointing especially given the charitable and productive manner used by most commenters in response to your provocative, drive-by remarks.

  17. avatar Gen says:

    The fact that your comment is still there kind of goes to disprove your point.

  18. avatar 14860 says:

    I do believe that individuals have preferred to stay anonymous in order to escape the often nasty comments if a different point of view is presented. There have been many mean and disrespectful comments posted, not always by “anonymous” that are anything but Christian and Catholic.


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