How to handle web rudeness?

Web Worker Daily asks an interesting question – “How do you handle web rudeness?

This is probably a nobrainer for people who have been on the web for some time, but newcomers, especially those to the blogosphere and the world of forums, are often puzzled.  It’s very easy to insult someone on the web.  Pick a forum or a blog.  Write a comment.  You’re done.  And sad fact of life is that many people do just that.

Having a blog (albeit not the most popular) for a few years now, I’ve seen some of that rudeness and some of those insults.  Both private and public.  And here is how I go about them.

First of all, I treat both private and public insults equally. I don’t differentiate.  If I can think of the way to make fun of it, I respond publicly. If I can’t, I just delete and ignore the comment.  If I get two or more insults in a row  from the same person, I ban, blacklist, and filter the originating username, IP address, and email.  And then I don’t care.

My thinking is that there is enough crap going on already, to take some more from the Web.  I consider the Internet to be the best thing since… since… since… since the beginning of times.  If something bad is coming out  of it, I either convert it into good (humor, smile, good mood), or I totally get rid of it.  It’s as simple as that.

P.S.: Just to make something crystal clear – with non-insulting comments I respond in the same scope.  If the message was private, I reply in private. If it was public, I reply in public.  Sometimes, if I feel like the public can benefit from a private discussion, I’d ask the permission of the other party to publish the conversation.  To be on the safe side, I’d often forward the preview of the post too, to clarify what exactly will be published.  Insulting comments never get a private reply – it’s either nothing, or a public joke.

Beautifully worded

Slashdot is well-known for the quality of discussions.  Minus, of course, trolling anonymous cowards.  Here is a quote from the comment to give you the sense of how clear some Slashdot users can express themselves:

Did you actually try to develop anything for Symbian?
Well, I did. And let me tell you this: Windows APIs, complete with their haphazard organization and historical baggage, lunatic bugs and arcane undocumented extensions are an example of Reason and Logic, when compared to this positive 10 day old vomit which is Symbian. Any ole Linux API is like an Extatic Symphony of Cosimic Joy, Eternal Purity and All-Encompassing Sanity, next to this 10 day old vomit which is Symbian.

I would have a lot of hard times, if somebody asked me to translate this to another language…

SPAM protection review

It’s been less than a month since I installed SPAM Karma 2. It didn’t take me long to see the benefits. Just four days later I wrote this post.

Today, looking through the plugin statistics, I thought – “Why don’t I post them?”. So, here they are:

  1. Total Spam Caught: 1002 (average karma: -102.87)
  2. Total Comments Approved: 141 (average karma: 14.74)
  3. Total Comments Moderated: 13
  4. Current Version: 2.2 final r2

So, in less than a month SPAM Karma 2 saved me more than a thousand contacts with SPAM. At the same time, it stood out of the way almost 150 times when legitimate comments were posted. And only 13 times it didn’t know what to do and left comments for me to moderate. Pretty good numbers, I have to say.

False positives? None of the legitimate comments were marked as SPAM. About 20 SPAM comments got through and I had to marked deal with them manually. The shiny 2.2 update came out a couple of days ago to deal with the new wave of “smart” spambots.

As for me, I am very very very satisfied with the results. I just hope that this plugin will continue to work the way it does now. I’m willing to install upgrades.

Thank you all who participated in this work!

Daily bookmarks

I came across a couple of really good programming resources. The first one has an excellent collection of links to websites and articles about designing good user interfaces and improving accessibility. The second one is a great article about commenting source code. It also links to some nice works on the subject.

These were shared bookmarks for user tvset on 2005-08-31.