I have been concerned for a while about the low quality of discussion going on here. It’s basically arisen because of participation of the occasional persistent troll – and others getting trapped into troll-feeding. The result is a “pissing” completion, put-downs and emotional reactions without anything of value being added to the discussion.
One result is that genuine commenters find it difficult to follow a proper discussion. I myself find participation difficult and I know others who have participated in the past have been put off recently. Comments get buried so why make them? Yes – I have even had a compliant!
I know some people use blog comments as a sort of forum and would not like to discourage this or to prevent genuine off-thread comments. Nor do I want to get into the arbitrary deletion of comments, especially those I disagree with. However, I will try a few things to see if I can improve the discussion and behaviour of commenters.
I will now close off discussion on any post where the list of comments gets too long and/or people are caught up in obvious and pointless trolling/troll-feeding loops. Sure – the malicious troll might see this as an opportunity to move to new posts with the intention of getting them closed. But they will end up looking silly if no one feeds them!
Depends on the results, if any, of step 1 – genuine feedback is welcome.