Comment moderation though?

Based on the now-locked topic on moderation, I was expecting to see more moderation on comments promoting misinformation (example), using slurs, personal attacks on other commenters, and so on. I haven’t really noticed a change. Does reporting comments actually do anything? I know the team is busy but you’ve gotta know that some topics like masks, police, children, etc are going to need a check up after they go live.

And this isn’t a “freedom of speech” “we don’t want to censor opinions” thing. There are clear lines of socially acceptable discourse being crossed. If this isn’t moderated then you’re saying it’s acceptable.


Yeah, I was hoping some progress would be made to curtail the worst of the worst behavior, especially misinformation and bigotry, but nothing seems to have been done.

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Should we, the other commentators, be taking a more active role? Should we be helping NAR/Disqus by flagging personal attacks and hatred?

I will say that it really is a fine line. On the one hand, if we censor them, we run the risk of them going elsewhere and calling themselves martyrs to their cause. Also, any possibility of swaying them to reason (no matter how small) is lost.

But if they stay, their comments pollute NAR and potentially drive away good members. Also, there is a risk they could sway people with misinformation.

To censor or not to censor, that is the million dollar question!


I personally have found that there’s a lot of overlap between the ‘how dare you criticize alcohol’ and ‘masks don’t work’

I really don’t think that allowing people to use slurs and post misinformation is “censoring” them, making them martyrs, or giving up a chance to reason with them. It just creates the very toxic environment that we often complain about in these stories.

I thought for a long time that the editors/NAR team were absent and didn’t notice the comments. Then I see them trying to create a new forum and they said in the previous thread that they would make more of an attempt to moderate blatantly bad stuff. I don’t see any changes, but I do still see slurs, hateful personal attacks, and conspiracy theory misinformation. If I don’t see moderation actually happening, I will assume that the team is OK with this, as it’s their platform. We will lose people who don’t want to spend their day arguing with antimask strangers online.


There is a way to report flamming comments in Disqus, and flag for spam, harassment, or hate speech. But unfortunately I couldn’t find a way to flag for blatant misinformation or conspiracy theory stuff. Just bombing with downvotes, which isn’t really a solution, barely a mark for “people don’t like that”