Wednesday, May 09, 2012


As a rule, I try to let the comments section of these blogs run wild - people can post anonymously if they want, and the only things I tend to delete are abusive comments directed at other users. Unfortunately, owing to the continued bad behavior of some repeat-offenders I'm going to have to start getting more strict. I don't like it, but there it is.

From now on, the comments sections will be moderated by me on the following criteria: No abuse of others, no soliciting, no intentional derailing and try to stay on-topic to whatever degree possible. In other words, attempting to hijack any given conversation or spamming the recurrent "gotcha" lines into every damn post is a good way to get yourself consistently removed. Several recent posts will have their comment-sections culled in this manner once this message is posted.

I don't like it, but that's the way it has to be. Hopefully this will not overly impact the vast majority of commenters who don't make trouble.


Nathan said...

I want it on record that I'm only posting this because I think drawing attention to myself stopping someone putting something that breaches the new code as the first response to the code is funnier than doing it myself.

Something of a shame though.

Daniel R said...

Totally understandable, given that it's your blog after all.

I just hope I wasn't one of those comments that you found derailed the conversation. I can get a bit too tangential at times.

Hammbone said...

I think his biggest offender is James, he makes insane (not hyperbole), copy/paste spam posts all the time.

@Bob, THANK YOU! best update ever

Zeno said...

Namefags gonna namefag. While the comments section of your blogs have only the most extremely primitive and cursory semblance of a "board culture", eventually, if Bob's popularity rises enough, we might get to the point where there are no actualy individuals connected with any of the names but they become personas - masks - archetypes that anyone who agrees with them can take up.

Thorbs said...

Your blog, your rules. Totally understandable.

For my part I hope I haven't derailed your political posts too much! :-P

Cyrus said...

@Zeno: Hideo Kojima, is that you?!

But yeah, while unmoderated comments may have highlighted Bob's thick skin just as much as certain peoples' astounding lack of manners, less resilient souls might still want to contribute something without earning petty insults for their two cents.

KevinCV said...

I totally understand, Bob. I should count my lucky stars that I haven't encountered the crap that shows up on here. However, I was totally expecting a huge flame war on my entry about Rose Tyler from "Doctor Who" especially since she's a very divisive character in the fanbase. But I digress. Keep doing what you do, man. I'll keep watching and reading so long as it keeps my interest.

Unknown said...

moderating the internet huh? :3

what is this, kotaku?

Sofie Liv Pedersen said...

So sorry to hear that.
We recently ran into a similar problem at the Agony booth where the same troll using several different names continuously attacked and bad mouthed specific video producers :/

It's really sad so few persons can turn some-thing that is supposed to be nice and fun so ugly.

I guess that's the internet for ya, it's the wild wild west all over again where law and order is what you make it into.

Hope it'll get better for you.

Unknown said...

^ implying that the internet was made for fun by darpa.

Joe said...

Good on you, Bob. These things become necessary eventually. If a community cannot formulate an effective social contract among themselves, then one has to be imposed on them. Even the Old West knew the importance of gun control.

I've always felt John Scalzi, the science fiction author, has one of the better online commenter communities. There's a lot of debate, discussion and disagreement on his site's threads, from people from very different positions, but he keeps things civil and engaging. Here's his comment policy, if you're interested.

Phil said...

I don't have a problem with a person who owns his/her own website deciding to moderate the comment section of his/her own website. Truthfully, I thought you were doing it anyway, Bob.

The problem I have with this specific announcement though is the timing. It comes right off the heels of the comments I made (and I still stand by) in the comment sections of your last Big Picture episode and the seemingly insincere comment/post about the discriminatory casting of Ben Affleck in the lead role of Antonio Mendez in Argo. Clearly my comments are "controversial" since the aren't in your favor. However, "controversial" does not equal "bad" and "wrong" despite some commentators dismissing me by labeling me as a "troll" and such. I am not sure if I was the catalyst for this announcement, but the timing of it essentially gives credibility to those mistaken commentators potentially reducing my words to nothing in the eyes of many especially those that need to have their notions and beliefs challenged in regards to this issue.

I've talked about how these issues receive light and shallow discussions especially in the so called "geek community". Well, the timing (not the message in your post here) certainly gives a nice comfy bed to lie on for those that think that blatant racism in media such as not hiring nonwhites in lead roles in major Hollywood productions is either not important, blown out of proportion or simply not racist at all and even the ridiculous assertion that those that call out such events are actually racist themselves (cause you know, you should be "color blind").

One more thing: Someone throw out this comment in one of the previous posts about me possibility being "James". Well, I'm not "James" and if anyone doubts that then Bob himself can check the IP addresses.

Chris Wyatt said...

I have no problem with this. I'm glad your moderating these comments Bob.

I like going to sites that engage discussions and debate, but it's a pain when there's a bunch of obnoxious trolls or jerks making disparaging remarks because they don't share your opinion. Debate can be a good thing, as long as its civilized.

Pat said...


Since it doesn't look like Bob deleted your recent comments, I don't think this post was necessarily directed specifically at you.

Still, if you don't want to get your posts deleted, you might want to save your ranting for when it's relevant to a topic (such as Bob's post about "Argo") and in a manner that seems less like you're out for blood. If you genuinely want to make a difference for the cause of people of color in Hollywood, you can't go about it like a troll. Most people agreed with your stance, they just thought you were going a bit overboard.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure the comments were directed at Phil, and I'm pretty sure they're going to come down in the near future.

The point is that Phil hijacked this Tuesday's Big Picture thread about MCU movie rights and turned it into a soapbox about racism in Hollywood without bothering to try and tie the two together.

To be clear, he's not censoring you because he disagrees with your points, he's censoring you because you are being a dick about it.

MovieBob said...


Rest assured I am not talking about you.

Anonymous said...


I don't know anything about the accusations of you "hijacking" the Big Picture comments section. Though I am a nobody, I can easily till you this decision is not directed at you in the eyes of anyone who has been following comments posted here for awhile. This decision was directed at James. Just take a look back at the comments on many of Bob's posts from James that are just from this week (check out James' posts on Bob's Game Overthinker posts as well). James has been harassing Bob for some time now.

So don't worry, this is because of James, not you.

KevinCV said...

@Anonymous 5:47

It's not just here that James has been harassing Bob. He's been doing it on Twitter as well. There was even one time when Bob's boss at The Escapist Susan Arendt recieved a replying Tweet because she -jokingly, mind you- called Bob a dick in response to some self-deprecating Tweet made.

I don't know about you, but I feel that's way over the line. Bob must've thought so too, because he gave James an ultimatum not to drag his co-workers into whatever quarrel he had with him.

It honestly reminds me of these asshats who used to harass me on the IRC channel of this now-defunct gaming website I used to be a moderator on.

Anonymous said...


Oh, I know all about the Twitter harassment. James is the kind of person I would report to the authorities if I met him in real life. He is a creepy stalker, nothing more.

nejiblue said...

So we finally come to the truth. The real reason you're doing this, of course, is to prevent anyone who disagrees with you from posting. No, not spammers or people who keep repeating the same posts, off topic, whatever. Nope, only comments now will be the mindless suck-ups who worship you and every word you say. Because of course, in this big world of ours, there can never be anyone who would disagree with the almighty god moviebob. Gotta love your ego as always. Since I know you'll never post this, you are, and will always be, a coward. period. good day.

Popcorn Dave said...

Nejiblue, what are you jabbering about? If Bob wanted to hide negative comments he could have done it years ago.

Wendy said...

Moviebob, maybe you could start your own forum for your fans. I'm al ong time member of Spoony's forums and its a great place to be--even though Spoony never shows up. Anyway, just a suggestion

Popcorn Dave said...

I think a forum would be good too. Having these big long conversations in these comment sections feels very clunky, they're obviously not designed for it. I mean you have to enter a captcha for every single post? Jesus Christ...

Of course there's a danger of splitting the discussion in two, since not everyone will want to take the time to register, but I think the most frequent commenters would welcome it.