Toxic Comments

We are fortunate here at AVC. We have mostly civil and respectful conversations. People behave themselves here. That is sadly not the case everywhere.

I don’t know what the people who post comments like this are feeling and thinking. It is horrible. Awful. Hateful. Hurtful. Painful. Disgusting. Disturbing. And a lot more.

If you operate a large social media service like Twitter, Facebook, or Disqus, you get to see stuff like this every day, hundreds of times a day. It is a view of humanity that is deeply upsetting.

Disqus, which is a USV portfolio company, where I serve on the Board, and which operates the comment service here at AVC and at millions of other websites around the globe, has been working on scaleable solutions to this problem.

They posted an update yesterday on what they are doing to combat this problem.

Here are some excerpts from that post:

The Disqus Platform supports a diversity of websites and discussions; with such a large network of publishers and commenters, having a policy against hateful, toxic content is critical. While we do periodically remove toxic communities that consistently violate our Terms and Policies, we know that this alone is not a solution to toxicity. Oftentimes these communities simply shift to another platform. Ultimately, this does not result in higher quality discussions, and it does not stop the hate. In order to have a real, lasting impact, we need to make improvements to our product. Which is why, if at all possible, we work with publishers to encourage discourse (even unpopular or controversial discourse!) while helping to eliminate toxic language, harassment, and hate.

Over the past several months, many passionate folks have reached out to us about severe violations of our Terms of Service. With the help of our community, we’ve been able to review and enforce our policy on dozens of sites.

We appreciate all of the help and feedback we’ve received and we are excited to continue to partner productively with users and organizations that are passionate about fighting toxic content and hate speech. To improve our efforts, we’ve built a Terms of Service Violations Submissions form. This form is a way for users to explicitly share with us when they’ve found a community to be in violation of our terms. In addition to reporting individual users (which helps moderators know who in their community is perhaps exhibiting toxic behavior), you can now report directly to us when you think there’s a publisher/site we should take a look at. When we are made aware of potential violations, we review them internally and make a decision about whether or not to allow the site to remain on our platform.

This isn’t a small scale matter; we know that to have a meaningful impact across our network, we need to build solutions into the product. With that in mind, we’re committed to building tools to make the moderation experience easier and better for publishers (and commenters, too).

Here are some things that we’re working on:

  • More powerful moderation features. We’re working on two features right now, Shadow banning and Timeouts, that will give publishers more options for managing their communities. Shadow banning lets moderators ban users discreetly by making a troublesome user’s comments only visible to that user. Timeouts give moderators the ability to warn and temporarily ban a user who is exhibiting toxic behavior.

  • Toxic content detection through machine learning. We are working on a feature to help publishers identify hate speech and other toxic content and then handle this more effectively.

  • Commenting policy recommendations. While we already provide suggestions for how to create community guidelines, we’ve realized that we can be more proactive and more assistive to our publishers. We’re working on helping our publishers expose their custom commenting and community guidelines by making them more visible to their readers and commenters.

  • Advertiser tools: Just like publishers do not want toxic content on their sites, we know that advertisers do not want their content to display next to toxic comments. Leveraging our moderation technology, we will provide more protection for advertisers, giving them more control over where they display their content.

If you think this is a simple problem to solve, you are sadly wrong. And if you think that Disqus and USV and I don’t care about solving this problem, you are wrong about that too.


Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    These new features are great, and they help, and only as long as the moderators/owners are willing to use them, but the responsibility ultimately lies with the community managers to foster civil discussions, and within the community itself to not allow bad germs to germinate.It’s like driving a car to cause accidents on purpose. The onus of the blame is not on the car manufacturer.

    1. awaldstein

      Pls see my comment below.

  2. Steven Kane

    This is painfully difficult issue – maybe an impossible intractable one. Free speech is free speech, not free speech*** right?The ACLU which has been so successful attracting attention and new funders lately is the same ACLU which historically has defended the rights of Nazis to march in the prediminantly Jewish suburb of Skokie Illinois. Even today the ACLU is actively defending the rights of people many would scornfully call “climate science deniers.”Arguably, in the 1770s, the British would have tweaked the Terms of Service for their colonies to limit or delete “toxic” comments by Thomas Paine and Sam AdamsI’m not saying there’s no such thing as toxic speech or even thought. I’m just pointing out that its a slippery slope indeed to give anyone — government, corporations — the right and the power to arbitrarily limit expression based on whatever the political or social mood is at that time, even if we think such censors have the best of intentions.Given the choice of all speech, or censorship, even with the best of intentions and safeguards, personally, I’d rather live with the offensive speech

    1. William Mougayar

      But I think the issue being discussed here is the form of the free speech. Disagreement can be conveyed with civility or with hate.We are saying that we prefer civility/respectful comments vs. irrational/emotionally charged nonsense that offends people more than moves them.

      1. Steven Kane

        well of course, so do i. but who decides? i just shudder at the thought of handing over the power to censor to anyone…

        1. TRoberts

          ‘Free speech rights’ do not apply in my living room. If you spew antisemitism in my living room, I’m not ‘censoring’ you, I’m simply escorting you out of a private building … with extreme prejudice, so to speak.These forums are an extension of that principle. Isn’t this forum essentially Fred’s extended living room? As with all such privately controlled forums that undertake to enforce standards, requiring civility is no threat to the First Amendment.

          1. Steven Kane

            Good point. But I think the issue Fred is raising -especially given the example he cites — is commercial places, not private places. You have the right to ask me to leave your living room. You do not have the right, under law, to not sell me a grilled cheese sandwich at the lunch counter simply because I insist — toxically, in your view — that skin color should not be a condition on which to be able to buy my lunch there. In my view, Disqus is being held to an unreasonable — dangerous –standard. To wit, that Disqus, as a platform provider, is somehow responsible to police its commercial use — its lawful commercial use — for reasons of politics or correctness or civility. And as I said, who’s to judge? way too slippery a slope for me…

          2. laurie kalmanson


          3. jason wright

            So you own the space and thus the speech? That describes very accurately the nature of the mass media space.

        2. DJL

          You hit on the core issue. What is “hate” and who gets do decide? This is a black and white issue. Censor or not. You cannot hide it behind an AI system to make it look legit. Very scary.

        3. CJ

          The power is already handed over once you decide to use a product or service. You have government guaranteed freedom of speech, you do not have corporate mandated freedom of speech.My guess is that people/groups who don’t want to moderated will use products and services that don’t moderate or create their own, as is their right and I fully support both the right of a company not to be associated with hate speech and the right of a person to express their hate – even if I don’t like it – and I don’t.

        4. SubstrateUndertow

          Again we not talking about handing over a global/blanket”power to censor to anyone”Just empowering localized communities to set localized collaborative standards to facilitated their discussion goals.I do agree that even in such “localized discussion communities” the moderating or group self-censorship standards should best be set by that community collaboratively.The concept of localized-groups facilitating self-censorship standards is much less dialectically dramatic than”handing over the power to censor to anyone…”

          1. laurie kalmanson

            related: malls don’t let people distribute flyers or put up posters

      2. laurie kalmanson

        “free speech” means that the government has limited control over speech. limiting hate speech on a hosted platform is not the government limiting speech. related: burning the flag is protected speech, but you can’t do that in someone’s living room without their permission.

    2. SubstrateUndertow

      Mostly agree but there are flies in your ointment as stated”power to arbitrarily limit expression based on whatever the political or social mood”I don’t think anyone here is talking about arbitrarily limiting speech ?—————————we are not talking here about”a slippery slope indeed to give anyone — government, corporations — the right and the power to arbitrarily limit expressionWe are talking about specific/explicit speech limits set by localized discussion communities making choices for their own collective benefit.The key words here are “localized – group standards” based speech moderation.I’m sure smarter people than I have explored the idea of having integrative community feedback algorithms drive the moderation of toxic comments but I’ve seen little talk of such ? ? ?

    3. mikenolan99

      Having grown up in Skokie in the 70’s, I witnessed first hand the hate and damage caused by the march – which was proposed to happen right by my school. Interestingly, the Nazi’s were eventually allowed to march – albeit in a different Chicago location. The event was largely ignored, deflating any impact the Nazi’s may have wished to gain. Though, similar to comments by hateful trolls, the damage was done by the outrage and attention paid. I’m all for free speech, but love the idea of innovative ways to empower folks to ignore it.

  3. awaldstein

    Thanks Fred.This is on all of our minds. And while personally I simply remove ugly shit from the communities I lead or advise, and we know that ignoring the horrid is a powerful action, I don’t think that as a platform this is enough honestly.Out of respect for you and Disqus I have held my tongue publicly on this though am disappointed in this action by them.The reading behind the lines it appears that they have decided to continue to allow Breitbart and other communities of hate to use their platforms to ferment the vernacular of divisiveness.Some may say that this is fee speech. Sure it is.I think that each of us has the power and right to influence the world as we can and I personally am disappointed to discover that they have chosen, it appears, to take the stance they did.And please note that since Shopify made a public statement a few months ago to do the same, at least they came out strong and stated it. I’ve asked via Twitter for Disqus to do the same. They have not till now.I have supported Disqus since day 1 and still do.I am simply disappointed as I would be of a friend in this case.

    1. William Mougayar

      This is a difficult debate to take sides on. The key point that Disqus made, and I agree with it is this “Ultimately, this does not result in higher quality discussions, and it does not stop the hate.”You and I know that Disqus is still the best commenting platform in the market. Imagine if Breitbart replaced it with another platform. I think the comments and moderation thereof would be even worse.I see this choice as going with the least worse. Staying and giving them some tools is better than leaving and letting anarchy reign further. Again, I think the analogy is they are the car manufacturer. They are not responsible for accidents.

      1. awaldstein

        There are many sides to this. And it is the mark of who you are to definitely take a stand.Businesses do what they do. I did state that I have and will continue to support them.I am simply disappointed in them.I would not lend my support if it was my decision just as I don’t in the world that I do control.I disagree in your analogy btw. Same rationale that gun manufacturers use to my reading. I have good friends like yourself who take different views.I have also walked away from friends, clients and companies that I simply cannot accept their views as something I want as part of my life.I think that making that choice is a moral obligation that each of us should own.

        1. William Mougayar

          What would you have done if you were in their position?

          1. awaldstein

            “I would not lend my support if it was my decision just as I don’t in the world that I do control.”

          2. William Mougayar

            so, suppose Disqus withdraws from Breibart, do you think the comments will get any better or worse?

          3. awaldstein

            Why is that relevent ?

          4. William Mougayar

            Because if they did, it is most probable that the hate comments will be more prevalent and even more difficult to moderate, no?This is between Breitbart and their readers, and it reflects on them, not on Disqus. Might as well blame WordPress for enabling bloggers, publishers and writers to say bad stuff?

          5. awaldstein

            HmmThere is an ethical basis to our decisions my friend.Why would you as Disqus want to fuel that? They are making a statement by refusing to. That’s what life is all about.I’m not blaming anyone I’m just disappointed at their lack of ethical basis to their business, that is all. Nothing more.

          6. Amar

            Isn’t that slippery slope though? Don’t we get outraged if a baker refuses to sell his wares to customers who violate his ethics?It sounds like you are not disappointed by their lack of ethical basis but rather over their actual ethics.Please don’t take this as condoning hate speech. I am not. The day Steve Bannon stops influencing national policy will be celebrated in my house. ☺

          7. awaldstein

            It is an important and nuanced question that I think about a fair bit.If I were Shopify CEO, would I have the right and/or obligation to not allow Breitbart to sell on my platform?The answer is depends what type of company I want it to be.I know what I would do. That is just me.

    2. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Yes. A business can choose with whom they do business by clearly articulating its terms of service. Period. Doing with business with Breitbart isn’t an act of supporting free speech (let them shop for another comments provider!). It’s an act of putting profit over principles.Americans simply don’t understand what free speech is as defined in the Constitution.

  4. leigh

    oh man why did i click over to that site? Why why why??? The underbelly of the US in all its glory. I’m now depressed. I feel like to solve this problem, hacking education is the only way to go. Start at the root of it – bringing up tolerant educated kids. uch.

    1. awaldstein

      underbelly of humanity not the US alone.

      1. leigh

        Sadly to true – we have our own versions in Canada

    2. Donna Brewington White

      Fortunately, I read the comments first and was forewarned to bypass the link.You cannot “unsee” things. And I’ve seen the underbelly enough in one lifetime.Education is certainly a part of the solution, granted that it is not indoctrination — which often seems hard to separate out

  5. Salt Shaker

    Standards of acceptability are not universal. Civil discourse in one forum can easily be construed as uncivil in another, and vice versa. Acceptable parameters–relative to toxicity, abuse, etc.,–should be determined by communities, editors, publishers, moderators, etc., and not influenced or controlled by companies like Disqus. Yes, they should provide the tools to help publishers better control/manage their own acceptability standards, but in no way should they be passing judgement as a third-party. That’s well beyond their authority. If the language or thoughts expressed in a site or blog, by publishers and/or commenters, are deemed too offensive by a reader or contributor, then just move on. Freedom of choice today is as important as free speech. I occasionally read Breitbart and other conservative forums not to validate my beliefs, which generally are quite contrary, but to expand my frame of reference. I don’t let emotion enter the fray, other than uttering an occasional “wow.” The continuing decline or erosion of journalistic standards are a much bigger issue for me than toxic comments. To a very large extent, one has led to and fed the other.Edit: Separately, “shadow banning” seems both disingenuous and wimpy. Either ban it or let it ride, but don’t hide under the covers.

    1. Twain Twain

      THIS: standards of acceptability are not universal.”Toxic comments detection” gets us into the territory of AI and the biases encoded in by the designers of any system.Not an easy problem to fix pre-existing biases and the gap between machine logic and human language, meaning and values.Matt Chessen on Medium, 31 March 2017: “AI researchers are examining the tradeoffs involved in creating fair machine learning systems. Scientists at the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania conducted research on how to encode classical legal and philosophical definitions of fairness into machine learning (see 1,2,3). They found that it is extremely difficult to create systems that fully satisfy multiple definitions of fairness at once. There’s a trade-off between measures of fairness, and the relative importance of each measure must be balanced.Replace the word ‘fairness’ with ‘justice,’ ‘liberty’ or ‘non-partisanship,’ and we start to see the challenge. Technologists may be unconsciously codifying existing biases by using data-sets that demonstrate those biases, or could be creating new biases through simple ignorance of their potential existence. Technologists should consciously remove these biases and encode laws, policies, and virtues, (shortened for our purposes to ‘values’), into machine learning systems. These values can be mathematized, but there will always be tradeoffs among different values that will have real-world impacts on people and society.”Now, in terms of the Maths and computer code involved, people need to be aware that the mathematical definitions of “fairness” were invented in 1654 to deal with dice and their probabilistic biases.The language and legal definitions of “fairness” are to do with subjective human biases.So there is a huge gap between what the maths of probability does and what we individually mean by “fairness.”Someone would have to invent a tool better than Probability and re-engineer 350+ years worth of systems based on Probability and its attendant Statistics.

  6. DJL

    No, no and no! This is a VERY dangerous place to go. This is a slippery slope to censorship. Here’s how it goes:1. Liberalism has made it acceptable to call any dissenting opinion “hate speech”. I have experienced it here personally many times. 2. Once you take that step, then you justify censoring your opposition as “haters” (race) or “deniers” (climate change)3. Then you use powerful tools like Facebook, Google and Disquis – who are run by mostly liberals – to silence them. 4. You have totally silenced a large group of people who don’t agree with you.Sadly, this is already happening. There are many “filtering” stories already from Google and Facebook. The left has been trying to shut down talk radio for many years. This is communism and Marxism – not democracy.If you are serious about this problem and freedom of speech – do not go there. People do not HAVE to read blog comments! Look the other way for God’s sake.

    1. Tristero

      Twitter already shadows bans people where you cannot see their tweets unless you go directly to their stream. And its not just hate speech, its just political things they don’t agree with. The reason we have Donald trump is this self designed echo chamber, where there was no way he could have won. Anyone who slightly supported him was shouted down and silenced. so instead of debating and explaining why you disagreed, they just went silent and voted for him. We need to foster discussion, not censor it.

      1. DJL

        We are breaking new ground here. You are the first person on AVC who has correctly understood and articulated (in my opinion) one of the main reasons Trump actually won. Many are still baffled.

        1. Salt Shaker

          I wouldn’t say “many” are baffled, I’d say “most” are baffled. And not by the fact his base feels disenfranchised, I think most get that by now, but baffled that DJT is the best our country had to offer. Just read the transcript of Trump’s interview w/ the NYT’s yesterday. The man, literally, has difficulty speaking in full sentences.

          1. DJL

            This is exactly my point. Did you listen to his first address to Congress several weeks ago? it was widely regarded (even on the Left) as one of the best ever by any president. If you can listen to that speech and still support your comment here, I have no where left to go.

          2. ShanaC

            Russia Russia Russia isn’t going away so fast.

          3. DJL

            At least now we can all agree that the notion of Russia wanting Trump to win is (and always has been) BS. The bombing was in direct conflict with Russia’s interest.

          4. DJL

            On a separate note, can we at least agree that the NYT and CNN are not unbiased media. They are on a 24/7 mission to destroy Trump. (The their collusion with the Democrats were documented in the DNC leaks.) Surely you agree with that?

          5. markslater

            Yes i agree. Now do you agree that this man is a colossal idiot, an embarrassment to our country, a pathological liar and has the lowest rating of any president since there has ever been a president?My guess is while in your quiet moments you might execute the odd facepalm, you’ll never come out and agree that this country has made a colossal error.

          6. DJL

            I totally disagree with you. 100%. He has not lied once to his constituents who voted for him. And in fact his approval rating is quite high. This is why your side lost. You still don’t get it. And if you base all your data on NY Times and CNN polls you never will. That’s okay.He was not a mistake. He was the ONLY choice we could make to save our country from Liberalism. I am grateful every day.

          7. markslater

            “he has not lied once”. incredible.

          8. awaldstein

            Mark–honestly refreshing to see you here my friend. We are kindred spirits on this one.

          9. markslater

            how a person can actually publicly state that trump has “not lied once” is completely beyond there a sane republican here that will honestly concede on this? please? at least establish this simple baseline. please?

          10. awaldstein

            yup crazy.I do think there are some sane republicans who would. I know one but will let them volunteer themselves.The polarization of this topic astounds and continues to. And it something I’ve had to consciously not let myself fall into daily.

          11. markslater

            Alas Arnold i agree – are we really at the level where a segment has been so gaslighted as to not even be able to tell a truth from a lie? If i were a betting man we are only a few events away from an all out civil war.

          12. markslater

            I’ll tell you what i’ll volunteer.I’ve voted republican in the past.This man is not a republican – my comments are on character and not policy.This man is a shameful human.

          13. awaldstein

            He represents to me the ugliness of humanity and the antipathy of everything I was brought up to respect–honesty, civility, tolerance, community and acceptance of differences.

          14. JamesHRH

            He is betting that by substituting results, it will all work out int the end.His childhood pastor was Norman Vincent Peale…..success above all was basically NVP go to theme.

          15. awaldstein

            There is no success worth siding with division and hate.I was brought up by 1st generation immigrants and that was the core message of civility and the basis of why they loved this country.I’ll never stop acting on this.

          16. JamesHRH

            You don’t need me telling you ‘Nor should you!’….but I will.Jobs are the antidote according to President Trump. A lot of history says he is right: hate rises when prosperity drops.Job stats you can change; human nature, that’s a little trickier.

          17. markslater

            agree. dare i say that i looked twice when he came out against assad yesterday – this is literally the FIRST encouraging sign i can remember from this man.he’s unfortunately brutally ill equipped to figure out what action to take and this has me very nervous

          18. JamesHRH

            I have more belief.His Cabinet is exceptional, IMO. I have used the Ops / Projects analogy for Trump’s approach. His Ops picks are incredible leaders. His Projects picks are incredibly smart and wildly motivated (almost like special forces types).I think he is moving into operations mode in the WH, with McMaster substituting for Flynn an incredible pick of a leader over a very smart person.Bannon is next. Preibus in about 18 months I bet (he is neither leader nor super smart, I feel, just a manager).Jared will be last really smart person to get pushed out.Ivanka will hang out and get access, but do nothing.Remember what the Bartender says: a CEO / Leader’s job is to assemble the team, hold the strategy and not go broke.Trump’s doing that, even if it is inelegant.

          19. markslater

            i hold out a faint glimmer of hope……i just can’t get behind the exceptional thing as NONE of us actually know.

          20. JamesHRH

            not even 90 days. Mattis, Tillerson, Mulvaney, etc…DeVos / Perry I will wait and see (I know a really big fan go Gov Perry ;-).Sessions is the weak link, in that he is smarter than he is effective. But, he’s got a ton of experience.

          21. Anne Libby

            That’s exactly it. The President is neither Republican or Democrat. The GOP doesn’t have a core, and much of what party leaders call “conservative,” isn’t.#confusing

          22. awaldstein

            Agree with the first piece, not sure about the latter.I have some very conservative friends. We disagree on much but their moral compasses are grounded and when it comes to hate, we stand side by side in opposition.There is no good that comes from embracing hate. From those i simply walk away

          23. JamesHRH

            Segment is the word that buries the left every time. Especially with the healthy dose of “I am true and right, while they are loons.’Republicans don’t identify superficially in their rhetoric, especially when campaigning (Ann Coulter is not a Rep, she’s a loon). Its mostly about principle & narrative.And, they will defend your right to be stupid, not slam you for it.

          24. kidmercury

            civil war of some kind is inevitable. we should all plan and prepare accordingly.

          25. DJL

            Okay – here’s how this is going to go down.1. I am going to ask you to list the huge lies that Trump has told. 2. You are going to refer to Liberal news site which are known to spin his comments and are out to destroy him.3. I am going to disagree that he lied.4. You are going to think I am crazy or ignorant or both5. I am going to bring up that Obama’s “If you like your Doctor you can keep him. If you like your plan you can keep it” is the most damaging lie a President has ever told.6. You are going to defend Obama7. Rinse and repeat.Is this about right?

          26. awaldstein

            No cause i’m not going to bother to respond.

          27. DJL

            Why? Is that not a reasonable idea of what will happen? You are correct though – we will never convince each other (which is the point i was trying to make.)

          28. markslater

            1. I am going to tell you that you have been gaslighted.2. You will disagree.3. I am going to tell you that you have been gaslighted.4. You will disagree.5. I am going to tell you that you have been gaslighted.6. You will disagree.7. I am going to tell you that you have been gaslighted.8. You will disagree.I will then refer you to Jim jefferies where i’ll guess you sit firmly on the last carriage.…You’ll disagree.

          29. JamesHRH

            It would take some stretching, but I bet you can find someone who can walk you through it.take the inauguration #s and the wiretap. They found an aspect that covered about 10% of his intent….its BS, but its not technically lying, in their mind.

          30. PhilipSugar

            I will agree. I agree with the term pathological. I honestly think he doesn’t know when he is doing it. That’s really scary. I think Hillary is a liar too. She knows and calculates when she is doing it

          31. markslater

            please do enlighten me as to how your are sourcing your polls.Dispense with any source that is right leaning of course as you have made this claim as to the left leaning media.You have no source do you.

          32. Salt Shaker

            “He has not lied once to his constituents who voted for him.”I’ll humor you on that one and agree, just for the sake of not perpetuating an argument. So, if there’s a perception that he’s repeatedly lied to everyone else, then there’s a perception of lying to the vast majority of the voting public. But the bigger issue here is w/ respect to morals, ethics, values, human decency, etc., is why is this man lying to anyone? If most perceive they are lies, then why isn’t he changing the narrative? After all, wasn’t he elected to serve us all, not just his base? There’s one big reason: plain and simple, the man just can’t help himself.

          33. DJL

            I can see your viewpoint. We both know enough that we will not convince each other! We probably just need to agree to disagree again. Very hard to do. Both of us are passionate about our beliefs.

          34. PhilipSugar

            See this is the problem, I agree with your first statement, but then you go to fake news. Lowest……Both Bush’s, Carter, Nixon and Ford:…And then we don’t say Grant and many others.

          35. markslater

            you just selected “disapproval” to make your point. Look at the average approval column. Lowest ever – think this might be a bit of splitting hairs….

          36. PhilipSugar

            I was actually looking at lowest approval rating. That would be the “lowest rating” He hasn’t been in long enough to have an average. This in no way is in support of him.I think Glen Beck got it right when he apologized for being such an ass because he realized when you just polarize things you end up with elections like we had.Decent people just won’t run or win.

          37. PhilipSugar

            Oops, sorry, Truman was the lowest. I agree to all your statements. I do agree, except for the fake news which you need to correct. This is what elected this ass.

        2. markslater

          I totally agree with your reasoning on why trump won. I have a much harder time with the “twitter leftist conspiracy” fiction. Jack would have muzzled the idiot in the whitehouse a long time ago if there was no?

          1. Twain Twain

            Twitter bans Alt-Right accounts, Nov 2016:*…*…Buzzfeed writing about Twitter, Aug 2016, A Honeypot for Assholes: “Here you have a great, influential lawyer who philosophically believed you don’t shut down a platform because of controversial speech,” one former employee who worked during Macgillivray’s tenure told BuzzFeed News. “That ethos was bought into by everyone in the company. Hard.” 2011 brought the Arab Spring and more international acclaim for Twitter as a platform for revolutionaries. That same year, Twitter fought secret government order to provide user information for WikiLeaks. According to a source, Macgillivray and Stone spent months working on a blog post that would be published during the WikiLeaks controversy, titled “The Tweets Must Flow.” It was Twitter’s boldest commitment to free speech to date. “There are Tweets that we do remove, such as illegal Tweets and spam,” the post read. “However, we make efforts to keep these exceptions narrow so they may serve to prove a broader and more important rule — we strive not to remove Tweets on the basis of their content.” Not long after, Twitter executives began publicly touting that “Twitter is the free speech wing of the free speech party,” a phrase sources attribute to Macgillivray.*

      2. Kirsten Lambertsen

        So, there’s this committee in the Senate that’s doing some work that might interest you

        1. Tristero

          I checked out the link. I am not sure how that is relevant to what I said. Sorry. 🙁

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            You’d have to watch (or listen to) the videos.

    2. markslater

      I’d be interested to get your take on our president muzzling entire sections of media that don’t agree with him?Censorship and ignorance (referring to Black lives matter as Big loud monkeys) are very different things. Sure there is a sticky wicket in drawing the lines here but what the president is doing is censoring, what these comments are doing is something very different no?

      1. DJL

        Here’s my take: Several major news outlets are on a 24/7 mission to destroy him. They do not hide this. What would you do? Not granting them an interview is not the same as censorship. The President cannot do that. They still write about him every day. That is why Trump is different – he fights back.Obama never went on Fox news. He blamed them for many of his failures. Did you have a problem with Obama doing that?

        1. markslater

          Yes it is absolutely the same as censorship. One president just chose to ignore, the other is a childish twat.

          1. JamesHRH

            I think the childish approach is working better.ABC just swallowed hard and admitted to a hatchet job on both Ari Fleischer & Sean Spicer (double sided axe apparently):…And, childish is working on the border issue too.

          2. DJL

            Liberal hypocrisy at its most refined. The exact same situation – but your guy is a refined hero and our guy is a …. [fill in disgusting name]. Amazing.I think calling the President a ‘twat’ is considered hate speech.

          3. PhilipSugar

            No it has to go both ways. Disqus can choose not to host Breitbart, Trump can choose not to speak to CNN.Now if he tries to take them off the airways?For the first time I have to agree with DJL calling the President that name is certainly on a level with calling BLM names as well.

          4. markslater

            meanwhile his press secretary just claimed that even HItler didnt use chemical weapons. you do realize who you are defending here and i stand by the use of that word when describing him.

          5. PhilipSugar

            I am not defending anybody. Just the right for free speech and the right to decide who you talk to and who you don’t. His press secretary should be fired. Two wrongs don’t make a right.Anytime, anybody makes a reference to Hitler including those that call Trump that I find it offensive.

    3. kidmercury

      disqus is a private organization, they have the right to choose who/what they allow/disallow on their property — in much the same way you have those same rights on your property.

      1. JamesHRH

        Very true.

      2. Matt A. Myers

        For the holistic understanding of the value created here – it creates a network of more-likeminded people, who are also role modelling a certain behaviour.

      3. Kirsten Lambertsen

        It’s almost as if Americans don’t understand what free speech is, as defined by the Constitution.

      4. CO

        Disqus is a private business, that offers a public service.A bakery is a private business, that offers a public service.One can limit their public service, one cannot.Where is the difference that allows such double standards?

    4. fredwilson

      a decent human cannot look away. i have stared at a database full of comments like the one i linked to and way worse. things that suggest lynchings, mass exterminations, rape, and more. you are wrong. publishers must have the tools to police and rid their pages of this horror.

      1. DJL

        Yes you can – that is the trick! That is why freedom of speech is so important. I get how bad it looks – but unfortunately this is a black and white issue. Censor or not. We can hide it behind an algorithm, but in the end someone is left in charge of deciding what is “hate” and what is not.I’ll give a good example: A New York artist made a photo of Jesus in a jar of pee. (… To me, this was the most vile thing imaginable. Surely this qualifies as hateful. But not only was it permitted – it was applauded by the art world and he won a f**ckin prize! What would happen to me if propose that Mohammad get dipped in a jar of pee on a Muslim web site?Look at history. Free speech to Nazi’s was “hate speech”. Any speech that goes against the State in communism is “hate speech”. The slope is way too slippery.

        1. raheeln

          There isn’t a free speech problem on teh internet.

          1. raheeln

            Business has seen what happens to free speech platforms.They fail.Abuse is not good for business. It’s that simple.

        2. ShanaC

          There is a difference between an artist critiquing the history of Christianity and therefore a Christian indirectly versus going up to a jewish person and saying it was a good thing there were progroms in the past, due to a minority of jewish people being tax collectors)(That’s something that happened on this blog. It’s super antisemitic. It happened to me. I’m the freaking moderator!)

          1. DJL

            If you cannot see the double standard here – I have nothing to say. Hate speech against Christians is fine – but not against Jews or Muslims or Gays or Blacks or….

      2. Twain Twain

        Enabling the machines with Language, culture and values understanding is the hardest of hard engineering problems. And one that this generation MUST solve because it affects the future of Democracy, Civil Society and Economics.Google’s attempts at toxic comment detection:* https://www.technologyrevie…MIT Technology Review on AI’s Language Understanding problem:* https://www.technologyrevie…Quartz on ‘In fight against fake news, AI is waging a battle it cannot win’:*…This is why we shouldn’t confer language understanding to the machines when they’re only capable of mathematical analysis and statistical inferencing.Instead, we drill down into the factors that prevent NLU.We invent and/or invest in new tools and basis (building blocks) for the machines to get to NLU.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          I looked at the MIT link: So, at Stanford, someone has a big collection of pictures with descriptions from humans. Then they want to ‘learn’ the ‘information, content, meaning, whatever the heck’ from that data via their ‘deep learning’, that is, have a big arithmetic expression based on many adjusted coefficients, likely basically lots of cases of classic regression analysis. That won’t work because there is no real promise to it. Sure, might use it to pick rough diamonds from a lot of crushed rock and other things but, really, it is essentially just fitting an arithmetic expression to some data, that is, ‘curve fitting’; it omits nearly everything we already know about thinking, concepts, understanding, and language understanding.Fundamentally, apparently so far the AI approaches to natural language understanding are trying to connect to something that is not there; they are building a bridge to nowhere. Instead, the language is to communicate about the outside world to some internal understanding of the outside world; without at least a start on that internal understanding, there is no destination for, nothing for the work, to connect to.As we all can easily guess from ourselves, babies, kittens, likely we start with concepts that are essentially things. The language version of things is essentially nouns, often with some adjectives. So, start there: No, don’t start on language understanding and, instead, start on the ‘internal understanding’. The work with the language comes later since it is just to connect with the internal understanding.So, start with things. For each thing, have lots of ordinary, obviously appropriate, ordinary data — real cases of weight, volume, color, a 3D picture, etc. Next, write the code to ‘recognize’ things in that data. Sure, just to minimize terminology, call this data on things the data on nouns.Then move to have more with adjectives — hot, cold, rough, smooth, ….Then move to verbs — go, stop, lift, throw, turn, drop, ….Then move to the first parts of meaning, that is, simple sentences in terms of the nouns, adjectives, and verbs on which already have a lot of data.In the software, make each such sentence part of the data for each of the words in that sentence.Build from there for testing sentences for truth, deduction, reasoning, etc.When have all that working, THEN and ONLY then consider a natural language interface, API, etc. to communicate with it. First do just a text interface. Second, if can do simple voice recognition, implement that but to make it good before guessing what some sentence from voice means check with what can deduce that indicates that the sentence is true or at least a candidate for what someone might say.Any questions?”Look, Ma, no regression coefficients, no ‘word to vectors’, no ‘deep learning’, no ‘neural networks’, next to nothing in probability theory, mathematics, or arithmetic, no …..”

          1. Twain Twain

            Ah, well … WE’LL ONLY GET TO NLU when I release my universal classifier (@fredwilson:disqus @wmoug:disqus).All existing classifiers are broken and/or create biased data that makes it problematic to train the machines towards NLU.Even W3C has the wrong Schema for language and for sentiment.On top of this, NLU is not just about this type of common sense acquisition of language that Stanford and Facebook recently did in a project together: https://uploads.disquscdn.c…Google, FB, MS et al have had concept graphs and NLP frameworks (skip grams, CBoW, xNN) for years so “WHY?” have they been unable to solve NLU when this would, potentially, triple Google’s search & ad revenue $$$.In part because Peter Norvig of Google wrote a refutation of Noam Chomsky’s work like so: “Many phenomena in science are stochastic, and the simplest model of them is a probabilistic model; I believe language is such a phenomenon and therefore that probabilistic models are our best tool for representing facts about language, for algorithmically processing language, and for understanding how humans process language.”* are Google’s probabilistic knowledge graphs; they use some version of Markov. https://uploads.disquscdn.chttps://uploads.disquscdn.c…The latest version is in Word2Vec embedding generator which Jeremy Howard, the former President of Kaggle, showed us on 25 March. https://uploads.disquscdn.c…Is language probabilistic and statistical? Well, Google’s core algorithms have been structured according to this theory and they haven’t been able to solve NLU — despite all their data, PhDs, and servers.The missing pieces of the NLU puzzle are NOT obvious. They can’t be found in any Maths/Science/literature/academic paper ever published.

          2. sigmaalgebra

            > classifiers?In what I wrote, I never mentioned classifiers. To me, classifiers are next to hopeless for any role in any significant progress in natural language understanding (NLU).> W3C has the wrong SchemaI never said schema. IMHO, getting a useful “schema” for NLU is hopeless.Sorry about Peter Norvig and Noam Chomsky. I didn’t mention either of them.For probabilistic, stochastic, Markov, etc., I didn’t mention any of those either. Of course, in principle, everything is probabilistic; everything that evolves over time is stochastic; and if just grow the ‘state space’ then every stochastic process is Markov, But my view is that that applied math has next to nothing to do with what I proposed and is not promising for any significant progress in NLU.I tried to explain the error of existing approaches to NLU as various roads to nowhere.Words to vectors is just some trivia at the lowest levels, and I never mentioned any such things and doubt that they would have any utility.For “publishing”, I did that here. It’s my work; I never saw anything even roughly close from anyone else.For what I wrote, I’ve thought about that a little off and on for years. To me, it’s simple. I’ve worked harder single exercises out of some of W. Rudin’s books.Again, my proposal is not based on math. E.g., won’t be able to find anything significant about a Markov process in how natural intelligence and, thus, NLU work.Also won’t find anything like an “algorithm”.I didn’t explain fully and maybe most readers would miss it, but there is a bootstrap or even self-referencing quality to my proposal. E.g., the system I described, call it Coppélia, ‘knows’ what the verb “to go” means essentially only from, in effect, all the examples it has and some simple ways to analyze those. Just by the examples, Coppélia knows where can apply “to go” and where not.Coppélia would be ‘intelligent’ and solve NLU because, first, could ask her questions and get back answers. Building on what I described, there is no reason she could not extrapolate, deduce, reason, and create with concepts.But I’ve spent nearly no time on this proposal. While I believe she is quite promising, for now I have a better project with the code running, apparently essentially ready for production, that I’m trying to rush to go live and get good revenue.She is for essentially an electronic version of something intended to be close to natural intelligence and, then, to solve the NLU problem as a then routine application. If my present project is a success, maybe I will work on Coppélia. It doesn’t look much more difficult than other software projects I’ve done successfully without difficulty.

          3. Twain Twain

            Maybe none of it matters.Maybe the only thing that matters is if the AI does the low-hanging fruit of making $$$ but not solving NLU.As it has done for 20-ish years.

          4. sigmaalgebra

            > concept graphs.In my description, I never used such terms. Your diagrams indicate that “concept graphs” are not at all close to what I was describing. Of COURSE the “concept graphs” you showed would be just hopeless and useless for natural language understanding.

      3. Rob Underwood

        Fred, the comment in the question is the one that begins “(BLM)”, right? I know we’ve had this discussion about anonymity before here. This is just the type of comment and account (assuming you are referring to the BLM comment) that, to me at least, helps make the case for getting rid of fake screen names/anonymity. Let this person put her/his full name out there and I wonder if they’d be so quick to make the same comment.Incidentally, there are models out there that do not allow anonymity, but do allow anonymous posts. Park Slope Parents, a parent blog and comment board, requires real names but does allow participants to submit anonymous post about sensitive matters that the moderator can decide whether to 1) share anonymously or 2) not approve for anonymous submission. From what I’ve seen this works really well as it allows sensitive matters to be brought up and anonymity is thus used for a useful, helpful way, rather than be abused.

        1. Quantella Owens

          **Off-Topic***Mr. Underwood, would you please keybase me? I would still really appreciate the opportunity to talk to your friend who is un/der<website, username=””>Thanks so much.

      4. Matt A. Myers

        Let’s hope more decent humans create and gain power of these important systems.

      5. Joe Cardillo

        Kudos to Disqus for their work. Another good set of tools and research that might be of use to folks is at… …they suggest, and I agree, that simply turning off the comments / feedback isn’t enough, and they’re providing alternatives.

      6. JamesHRH

        Right problem, wrong tool.Laws on the books for hate speech, internet needs to be policed in that fashion.Hiding the hate just moves it down the block…and it festers, grows worse as every time it is shut down.And, laws are supposed to represent all of us. Censorships reflects only one person’s PoV.

        1. CO

          Is it really a “problem?”Unless it incites someone to commit an act of violence, I don’t see the problem.Laws have never represented all.Disqus’ new policies are suggesting they will pull their platform because of “hate speech” in comment sections. Much of the speech, as in the example given, is done by wolves in sheep’s clothing. Since the day Trump threw his hat in the ring for his bid for POTUS, hoaxes against Conservatives have risen.Seems undermining is even easier done on the internet.

      7. JamesHRH

        Staring at a database isn’t helping.Hire commenters to challenge people on their emotional attachment to their comments.

        1. Twain Twain

          Risks of that are flame wars and trolling.I agree with you: right problem, wrong tools.We’re currently limited by the fact that both Chomsky and Norvig’s frameworks for Language Understanding are incapable of tooling the machines in the way we’d like.Venturebeat, Sept 2016: “Even with deep learning, a machine can’t yet converse naturally with a human, and it may never even beat a three-year-old child in NLU. Human language is infinitely more complex than a Go or chess game. And the chatbot ecosystem will always lose potential traction and consumer adoption if the conversation isn’t natural.Google’s Parsey McParseface and the normal factor graphs (or LFG) technique parse to grammar, which does not help with meaning. The most-quoted scientist alive today, Chomsky, said that “statistical models have been proven incapable of learning language.” But the Chomskyan models have failed in NLU, since they, too, parse to grammar. Other models like LFG and Combinatory Categorial Grammar (or CCG) suffer from the same problems.Machines will be able to handle conversational speech and text only when they match every word to the correct meaning, based on the meanings of the other words in the sentence — just like a three year old does.To solve NLU, computer scientists Yann Lecun and Andrew Ng agree that we need to develop new paradigms.”It’s a bigger engineering challenge than getting to the Moon, the Large Hadron Collider and more.We’d have to resolve 2000+ years of Logic+Mechanics and 350+ years of Probability+Statistics — in fact, all of Science and what has / hasn’t yet been measured and measurable in the data records of human experiences.Can you tell I’ve thought about this A LOT whilst engineering a system? LOL.

          1. JamesHRH

            Machines are not very close to learning like a 3 year old.3 year olds read tone, body language, social context…its multi variable.

          2. Twain Twain

            There are all sorts of things that AI folks (roboticists, NatLang, vision recognition, sentiment interpretation etc) have not yet been able to solve.The integration problem is a non-trivial one. People think there must be a “single algorithm” for intelligence.There are professors of AI who present silly things like that the AI is an emulation of the human mind and an simulation of evolution when the two forms are diametrically different and have totally different building blocks.* https://www.fastcodesign.cohttps://uploads.disquscdn.c

          3. laurie kalmanson

            Hackers hack, trolls troll; a frog illustration has come to stand for awfulness. It will be something else tomorrow. The ban hammer is a powerful tool.

        2. laurie kalmanson

          Agree. The trolls give up and go elsewhere once it’s clear that they are not welcome in a community. It works with human mods. The hard part is scale

      8. Dorian Benkoil

        Agreed, @fredwilson:disqus . 1. The horrors you site are not liberal or conservative. They are crimes against humanity and individuals. 2. A publisher or platform has the right to have the tools to hide or block such speech.

      9. reggiedog

        Doesn’t seem that the comments you linked to are objectionable to that particular host, rather part of their business model.

      10. jason wright

        Because you personally do not wish to hear something said does not permit you to stop someone from saying it. Actions are a different matter entirely.

        1. laurie kalmanson

          I can stop them from saying it in my living room.

    5. Guy Hargreaves

      Yes to free speech, but we can surely as a first step remove sponsored troll farms and their bot armies from private and public platforms can’t we?

      1. DJL

        I agree. If we can identify posters as bots – that is a totally legit block in my mind. I didn’t realize that was the problem Fred was concerned about.

        1. JaredMermey

          If it is really black and white, bots should be able to run rampant.”In my mind” implies shades of gray.

          1. DJL

            If you could see my mind – there are many shades of gray. Too many! These are complex issues in complex times.

    6. Joe Cardillo

      It would be great if we lived in a world where you can just look the other way, but that’s not possible and it’s not good for anyone (liberal, conservative, or other label). Hateful and dangerous action is something that can and should be regulated, and thought and feeling are also things with many layers that can lead to action. It would be great if we didn’t have to deal with nuance, but we do.

      1. DJL

        I want to agree with you. But we still have the fundamental problem: What is the definition of “hate”? I have posted this about a dozen times today and nobody has a response. Jesus – who might be the original Liberal – taught people to turn the other cheek. It is still valid today.

        1. Twain Twain

          See my comments elsewhere on definitions and the difference between what the logic of existing AI can do and what language actually means to different people.I genuinely don’t think this is a Left vs Right fight.I think this is a fight about tools of Democracy that either empower and enlighten everyone or that enslave and eradicate our language, culture and values — independent of personal politics.

        2. Joe Cardillo

          I don’t think there is one – so we have to rely on layers, because there’s no easy answer to describe violence / discomfort that isn’t clearly and directly physical.If someone encourages violence or consistently dehumanizes another person or group in order to incite violence, to me that is hatred. What is frustrating to me isn’t that the line is difficult to draw, but that we say things like “oh, what can we do, free speech is absolute” instead of being willing to look at where the burden lies, and make adjustments.A lesbian or gay teenager in a small town in Indiana that doesn’t have any support or community and is being bullied, for example, should we really be saying “hey don’t be so sensitive, liberals are overreaching etc.” instead of simply saying, yeah here’s a human that we want to make sure has the ability to be creative and independent so we’ll make and/or use tools to ensure they aren’t bullied into suicide. Discomfort exists all around and I am personally willing to be uncomfortable even though we can’t easily answer deeply philosophical Qs like “what is hate” (which bears reminding that we can’t really answer “what is love” either).

          1. DJL

            People have been bullied and disenfranchised and [fill in the blank] since societies began. The difference is that most conservatives would not try to prescribe behavior of others. In general, Liberals lean more toward trying to control other to “protect” a group they feel are victims.Let’s take your use case: The conservative would setup or fund a support group to help the bullied lesbian teenage deal with her situation and get better.The liberal will want to pass a law that says “no bullying of lesbian teenagers” “And refer to Section 132.A Part 7 of the Law for the latest definition of bullying” And by the way, we need to hire more law enforcement to enforce this new law.Two different approaches to the same problem. Both are sympathetic to real victims. Option #1 is cheaper and provides a solution. Option #2 is expensive and open to interpretation. And the list of the victim class keeps growing.I like your example.

          2. Joe Cardillo

            I don’t understand how you got there…the context for this whole thing was online comments / community spaces, and the ability of tech tools to help address hate speech (incl. the kind that can and does incite violence e.g. doxxing, swatting, etc).Complicated, philosophical questions and problems don’t often have a binary yes/no answer. Providing moderation tools that could help delay or stop hate speech that incites violence raises free speech questions, but not doing anything is morally reprehensible as well. Most complex problems include those types of trade-offs, and online comments / communities are no different. All of that is precisely why I believe it’s important to create tools that help moderate conversation online, not dominate or delete what we don’t like (which is a principle I think we may agree on unless I’m misunderstanding). Is it a perfect solution? Definitely not. But if we’re going to build anything useful at all on the internet, we have to be willing to look at where the burden lies and encourage tools that help to address it.

          3. DJL

            I was trying to address your example specifically. Obviously did a poor job! The main point is that conservatives generally lean less toward censorship (speech control) and regulation (behavior control) and more toward ‘free market’. There are obviously downsides and trade-offs.

    7. Matt A. Myers

      The issue is if it is seen – then it is perpetuated. The same happens with graffiti – if you leave graffiti up, then more happens. If you keep a neighbourhood clean, then others keep it clean. Not confronting real hate speech allows it to grow.Trump is the perfect example of this – he made it more acceptable in some peoples’ minds that his behaviour is acceptable; I can just mention the word pussy or 1984 to trigger thoughts of what he’s attempting (through conscious behaviour or simply his natural alpha male characteristics directing him).

      1. DJL

        I disagree with this at almost every level. Trump did not make hate speech acceptable. Liberals and media have done it – with Obama cheering the entire way. Now it is actually organized and funded by George Soros and other groups. And then the media takes sides and say that groups like BLM can say “we want dead cops” and it is not hate speech. Please, this is just the Liberal echo chamber. We can do better.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          I don’t think you understand nuanced human behaviour if you don’t think Trump made hate speech more acceptable; lying, his behaviour around and regarding to women, and more. Monkey see, monkey do – and that’s not calling anyone a monkey – those traits of mimicking have passed onto humans; human see, human do. It’s part of role modelling.You’re actually using an argument that is exactly why Disqus is doing what they are. Your complaint is media – Disqus for all intents and purposes is media. Each media organization will have its own policies – however you can’t fairly group all media together, even if there are bad apples that then are hypocritical – whether they are more liberal or more conservative.

          1. DJL

            I don’t think you understand Liberalism if you don’t see that the American media – with the full support of the Democrat party – has made “hate” their primary platform.Just ask the people who tried to not make a gay wedding cake and then got death threats. “Hate” speech to a Liberal is anything they disagree with.

        2. ShanaC

          Every single time someone says that about George Soros I really want someone to show me a check.It’s equally pervasive on the left with the Koch Brothers. Clearly, not everyone is getting a check from either.

          1. CO

            Seems there are a lot of people looking to see the checks they were promised to protest……

    8. CJ

      The right to free speech ends at my front door. In this case Disqus is saying that they’re not allowing hate speech in their house – if these communities don’t agree they can use a different commenting system. The government protects (and I support) your right to stand on the sidewalk and shout all the hate you want, the government does not protect your right to do that inside my house. That’s the line Disqus is drawing. They’re saying that the Disqus house will be kept free from hate, go outside if that’s what you’re looking to perpetuate. It’s admirable and I support it.I think a lot of what you’re accusing liberals of (filtering fake news, censoring opposition, etc) is everything the right has engaged in for decades and I can see how limiting inaccurate news stories and hate speech can be threatening to them because a lot of their power comes from the ability to prey on the ill-informed and ignorant, the down-trodden and the products of systemic hate-filled societies.However, just because something goes against what you believe doesn’t make it any less true or any less hateful nor does it necessarily impugn upon your rights. Besides hate isn’t in need of defense, somehow it always finds a way.

      1. DJL

        Okay. Here’s a question for you then: Why is the Left the only ones that feel the need to censor? Show me one conservative running around saying we need to clean up the internet comment system. That answers your question.

        1. Matt Zagaja

          No one is going to piss in the pool and then complain it turned yellow.

        2. CJ

          That’s blatantly dishonest for one. Conservatives have censored education which is way worse than attempting to censor internet comments. Allowing Creationism to be taught in schools instead of evolution for example is an entirely conservative driven doctrine. Similarly, downplaying slavery and Jim-Crow in school texts aka whitewashing history aka censorship is also an entirely conservative doctrine.Then there are all of the conservative organizations that attempt to remove media from the airwaves that they disagree like video games, specific types of music and television.Conservatives are the KINGS of censorship.

      2. PhilipSugar

        I’m with you 100% until the sentence where you say “a lot of their power”I’m fine with we both have some crazies. I’m fine with they have more. But when you call 25% of the population deplorable you lose elections to a crazy person.

        1. CJ

          Not saying that they’re deplorable, I’m saying that they are more susceptible to misinformation due to the factors that I listed but mostly lack of education, ostracization from modern society due to increasingly marginalized beliefs, failing industries and a job market that no longer caters to their skills. They feel hopeless and out of place, they feel as if they’re the subject of a mass movement to eradicate them and their way of life so they’re more eager to grasp any message that promises to reverse that and less apt and able to discern its honesty.It’s a perfect storm and that’s what makes it dangerous. The plight of this group of people, almost overwhelmingly white, rural and under-educated is the same plight of the inner city ghettos, overwhelmingly black, urban, and under-educated. They both cling to similar things, church, tradition, and superstition over education, knowledge, and contemporization. And they both hold each other responsible for their plight when, in reality, it’s more the system that’s manipulating each of them that’s more responsible.So yeah, I stand by my comment regarding where a lot of their power comes from, I think after the last election it’s even more obvious.

          1. PhilipSugar

            I think the people you are talking about hate the elite. Technical political media and especially politicalI am an elite. I do not look or dress like one. I live rural. They are not stupid or ill informed. They have had their way of live ripped from themExample instead of working in the local hardware store where they are respected they have to go work at an Amazon warehouse. Look up the working conditions there. Bottom five percent gets fired each month. Ambulances in front in the summer for people that drop. Look at the slate article.And elites scoff at them and say they are stupid. I had a guy drill my son and my bowling ball. It was a trigonometry problem. I was impressed and talked to him. He was a mailman making extra money. Twenty minutes later he comes up to me and says my friend says you are that guy with software and robotics companies. Are you that guy??? Yup. He said I never would have guessed that how you talked to meThat is sad

          2. JamesHRH

            There are a lot of regulars on this blog who have never had that experience.Hilary’s Basket of Deplorables is the ultimate well intentioned, unaware, self superiority comment ever.i wish i could remember the Hoops coach that said ‘My team is made up of people who have a limited set of exceptional skills……they are not better than you, outside of those skills.’Made me think of Warren Buffet.

          3. PhilipSugar

            That was the ultimate insight into her personality and beliefs just like Trump’s statement about molesting women was one into his.That lost her the election. Not Russian’s, not Comey, not fake news.Just because you are not Ivy League educated and grew up rich (I did) does not mean you are not capable of thought. Just because you work your ass off and make a good living does not make you “ill-informed and ignorant”I might argue I’ve met more Ivy League educated colleagues that meet that description than the plumbers, electricians, mechanics, carpenters, drywallers, and bricklayers I know.I heard so many times: “I am a deplorable” with a big smile. She turned out the vote. Against her.

          4. JamesHRH

            Couldn’t agree more.

          5. PhilipSugar

            Even the Amish around here who do not vote, came out in droves. Got people to drive them.

          6. Salt Shaker

            I’m respectful of others cause that’s how I was raised; has nothing to do w/ elitism, my social standing or my monetary success. The suggestion that money and status breeds contempt for the shortcomings of others is a fallacy. Is it a contributing factor, it can be, but for me it’s far, far more rooted in one’s dna and upbringing, where there’s opp to teach values and general respect/kindness for others.Curious if, in part, “you don’t look or dress the part” cause at some level there’s a bit of guilt associated w/ your success. A form of rebellion or rejection of elite, materialistic things of status cause “you don’t want to be perceived as one of those.” I know that’s how I’m wired. We’re taking a 2 week trip to Italy/France. I haven’t mentioned it to our apt bldg staff, my haircutter, etc., cause there’s an element of guilt that I can do it and they likely can’t. I don’t want to build any perception that I’m possibly better than they, though I’m not even sure they’d even perceive it that way.

          7. PhilipSugar

            No, it’s just who I am. I like to wear shorts and a t-shirt. You know what people don’t understand is that people don’t care that Trump is rich. Even if they are dirt poor they don’t care. If you saw my house the biggest in the county (and that is what he knew) I do not live an austere life.They know in the bowling league I travel 250k miles a year. They know I send my kids on trips, they know they go to a private school, they know the child drives a brand new Volvo.No when I go to Porto Fino and I come in the hotel they look at me strangely until they see the 7 Series Avis who is a huge client upgraded me to, and then see my status.

    9. falicon

      So – anyone is allowed to put a sign up on your property expressing any *opinion* they wish…and you won’t take it down, you’ll just look the other way in the vein of “free speech”?The black-and-white issue isn’t about censorship here, it’s about ownership. Those that own the property (be they left or right focused) are the ones that have the ‘censorship’ rights (and responsibilities).The power to “look away” is also the power to “go away” – and, in fact, this is what we are seeing happen en-masse as communities are rallying being the sources and places that fall in-line with their views (and mostly ignore those that don’t).The ones that will eventually move society ahead though are the ones that figure out how to ‘censor’ for civility (not opinion)…and IMHO, that’s *specifically* what @fredwilson:disqus has mostly done so well with this community over the years…

    10. PhilipSugar

      Now that this is dying down I can comment.1. Disqus owns their sites so they can choose what they want2. They do get rid of curse words which is fine3. I would have no problems if they got rid of things like “Big Loud Monkeys” which was at the top of the comments (didn’t understand had one one like) That doesn’t foster good discussion makes people not want to comment and advertise and frankly while you can say it in your home not in my home.4. I know what your worry is and that is if somebody says BLM is a bad group because they foster violence against police and don’t care about the underlying causes that it would be labeled hate speech.

      1. DJL

        It’s been an interesting defense – that Disqus owns their platform, and can therefore control what happens there. (Like my house or yard, etc.) But there are two very important differences that I see:1. Disqus is in the business of making money by supporting speech (within the USA – which has a Constitution)2. I cannot choose to “opt out” of Disqus if I want to comment. So I am being censored against my will as price of admission to a “free” discussion area. That seems wrong at some level.I just don’t see the argument of “owning the platform”. It is a public platform made that way on purpose to make money. So they have some responsibility to the “customers”.Anyway – a very interesting discussion.

    11. SagaciousJack

      And there it is.

  7. Guy Hargreaves

    Great update thanks Fred. Job needs doing and if industry doesn’t do it govt will, if it’s not already too late for the latter not to happen to some degree. Market solution far preferred.

  8. Robert Rogge, CEO Zingword

    The right thing to do, I think, is to use the text analytics to capture those comments, and then move them into a space where Disqus users who have specifically listed themselves to combat hate speech or fake news can respond to those people and try to argue with them.That solves all your problems at once. By removing the comment from a discussion, you keep things clean. By creating a space for the comment to be reacted on, you give people themselves the opportunity to change hearts and minds. And by isolating the comment, you can remove any sense of “confirmation” they may have.

    1. DJL

      I respectfully submit that this is not feasible. The main problem is this: We cannot agree on the definition of “hate speech.” Until you can define the problem space and then train the system with rules (bias) no AI system will ever feasibly do this. We have to rely on freedom of speech. I think that is why the Founding Fathers thought it was so important.

  9. Steven Rosenbaum

    This presumes that sites want to limit or remove ‘toxic’ speech. What about sites like Reddit that have entire communities that foster and encourage so-called toxic speech? Do the folks at Breitbart want their conversations ‘clean’ or do toxic conversations generate page views, traffic, and engagement?

  10. jason wright

    You do know what they are feeling and thinking *because* you can read the comments they have written. Would you prefer a world where thoughts go underground and undetected bit still remain in the hearts and minds of such people?

  11. markslater

    maybe a stupid question here but why can’t there be a rating system that crowdsources this stuff properly. These tools have proven to be a productive arbiter of quality in the commercial world – why can’t they be a productive arbiteur of civility i the social one?

    1. DJL

      Quite simply because this opens the system up for majority bullying. The AVC blog readers lean Liberal by a vast majority. Easy to then vote all of the dissenters off the island. Not a stupid question – many have considered this.

      1. Pointsandfigures

        Doesn’t matter with private blockchains. More transparent.

      2. SFG

        They have already chucked some of the “dissenters” (ie…respectful people with differing leanings). The election loss just too painful. Echo chambers much more comfortable. Better watch out, you are on your way to being banned.

    2. Twain Twain

      All existing rating systems default either to probability bell curve or power laws and both cause “echo chamber” problems. Yet this is the hammer developers and marketers know, so they keep using it and looping the “echo chamber”.Crowd-sourcing is the right way to go (because that’s much more mathematically representative) but not with the existing formats of opinion surveying/polling.I know this because I’ve built a crowd-sourcing system with a different classification scale.But, for the life of me, because my ideas+implementations for Natural Language AI are so far ahead of even the leading thinkers like the “Fathers of Deep Learning” (Geoff Hinton, Yann Le Cun) and the commercial giants like WPP and Google …And Amazon only 3 days ago released some back-end architecture I need …It’s been challenging to source other engineers & AI folks.

    3. Pointsandfigures

      Interesting idea. Wonder if there would be a blockchain way to do that? Having a moderator puts all the pressure on one entity-blockchain is a group and theoretically wisdom of crowds.

    4. Jay Rolette

      Have you taken a look at the moderation system they use on Slashdot? It’s not perfect, but it works at internet scale moderation well.Posters have a reputation level (karma). Every post gets an initial score (-1 – 5) based on the poster’s karma. IIRC, new members with no karma yet post at a score of 2. If you build up your reputation/karma over time, then your posts start with a score of 3. Same is true if you end up with a negative karma… your posts will start with a lower score, which means less people see your posts.When members are reading the forum threads, they choose what minimum score they want to see. If someone constantly trolls, their karma will eventually go down and the score on their posts makes it easy for “normal” readers to filter them out.Moderators are selected at random and given 5 mod points that they can apply to posts. The mod points expire if you don’t use them after ~3 days, so you can’t save them up to “go after” people later, and it helps encourage you to use ’em before you lose ’em.When you moderate a post, you can give it a point (informative, interesting, insightful, etc.) or you can take away a point (troll, flamebait, off-topic, etc.). So a generic post with a score of 2 would move to 3 if you gave it a “+1 interesting” moderation.If you moderate a post on a particular topic/thread, then you can’t comment on that thread. That helps keep things a little more balanced. Technically, you CAN go ahead and post a thread that you moderated on, but any moderations you did on the thread are undone and you just wasted your mod points. Contribute or moderate… you make the choice when you have points.Your karma doesn’t move 1:1 as moderators mark your posts. Slashdot has never published the exact formula as far as I know, but it takes time for your reputation to adjust. This means that people that are normally solid contributors don’t end up getting hidden from everyone just because of a couple of ill-advised posts, yet those “bad” posts still get filtered. Other users don’t end up losing out on their positive contributions and there is a reasonable chance their “bad” posts cause less damage to the community.And, of course, if someone consistently irks you, every user has a hide list.There is more to it (meta-moderating, for example), but it manages to avoid most of the pitfalls with these sorts of systems.

  12. Twain Twain

    On “Toxic content detection through machine learning,” here’s Google’s attempts — bear in mind they have the most data to train the AI, arguably best PhDs, more algorithm knowhow than most companies and the fastest, most powerful servers (D-Waves and their own custom-designed TNU chips).Yet they haven’t been able to teach the machines Natural Language Understanding (NLU):https://www.technologyreviehttps://uploads.disquscdn.c…NLU is the hardest of hard engineering problems. It’s pretty clear Google has no idea how to solve it. Neither does Facebook. Nor IBM Watson.Or Blockchain/Ethereum/whichever distributed database.What one person considers to be “toxic” may be another person’s “normal.”Solving NLU so that the machines can do proper toxic content detection requires nothing less than a re-examination and re-engineering of 2000+ years of Logic and Language.

  13. Tom Labus

    This type of rage and hate will only find another route to be displayed since there is cash and power at stake. The genie has fled the bottle on this one. The one good thing is that we somehow come back into some sense of balance after a lot of screw ups.



    1. Joe Cardillo

      And that’s usually about 20 minutes in!

  15. pointsnfigures

    Amazingly difficult. I don’t think the problem will be solved. I do think when people threaten other people (lynching, gassing, etc) it crosses the line. But, strong differences of opinion don’t. School choice vs increased public education funding for example. Or, pro-life vs pro-choice, global warming vs not global warming, women’s disparity in pay vs data that shows there is no disparity.Problem is in online comments, it’s pretty easy to objectify someone you don’t disagree with which dehumanizes them. This is exactly how totalitarian leaders use persuasion to get people to do things that seem totally inhuman.Based on the crowd that normally reads and comments here, I know that overwhelmingly they see Trump and the right wing as the problem. They need to try to step out of their confirmation bias and see actions the other side takes that are similarly insidious.I have a liberal friend and on their Facebook, they had a person who said “all conservatives are evil”-I typed, “I guess I must be evil.” The flip side happens too. My sister is a hard lefty liberal. I have a lot of liberal friends-so when you want to lynch them all I guess you want to lynch my family and friends too. But, the left can be just as violent and unhinged as the right.I agree that Twitter and Facebook are going about it wrong. Shadow banning etc seem like the wrong way to go. Any platform changing their algo to show only search results from media outlets they agree with is dumb too. The Washington Post and NYT are just as guilty as a lot of other publications of spreading fake news. They have their own biases and hide behind the cloak of journalism to push it. But, see the Jefferson/Adams election and you will know it’s nothing new. Maddening, but not new.

  16. phoneranger

    Free speech isn’t free. Breitbart and O’Reilly get paid plenty by advertisers and, indirectly, us. BLMs and Pepe’s should be able to say whatever they want (except in crowded movie theaters). It’s up to advertisers to decide if the demo that shows up at Breitbart is one they want to serve. AMZN seems to think it is.

  17. curtissumpter

    This is a very dangerous idea. Shadow banning and timeouts is patronizing on its face. Giving moderators control is one thing.But the thought process behind these two tools are exactly what made major media publications miss the entire political atmosphere. When the people who hold the levers of power deem a viewpoint as unacceptable (see the Republican Candidate and current President of the US) all of a sudden these people become: “deplorable”, “morally tainted”, “opioid addicts”, etc.Facebook has all ready run into this problem where conservatives thought they were being censored.I’m not saying Discus is wrong. I’m just saying step lightly. Step very lightly. Fools walk where angels fear to tread.

  18. reece

    would appreciate a warning next time you link to Breitbart…*clears browser history/cache**destroys laptop*

    1. markslater


      1. DJL

        This is exactly what I am talking about. I’ll say the same about the New York Times and CNN.

        1. Dorian Benkoil

          How about we all at least look at all three? Living in different information universes only highlights the divides.

          1. DJL

            Its a painful situation. Anyone can find “news” that supports their opinion. Discussions here are a great example. We all feel like we have access to the truth.

          2. SubstrateUndertow

            Good point !How do 7 billion people drowning in an organic sea of viral network-effect information overload begin to re-establish a credible new platform of “epistemological commons” ?? ?

          3. Twain Twain

            Guess what I’ve been working on …Of 7 billion, only 3.7 billion are online.

    2. laurie kalmanson

      kill it with fire

    3. Pointsandfigures

      Interestingly, since Andrew Breitbart passed away I rarely read it. Loved Andrew though

  19. Thor Snilsberg

    Thanks! Important work. Let me know when you (or the machine) comes up with a way to observe open mindedness and the ability to listen in a user’s comment history. They are the foundations of better disussions.

  20. Matt A. Myers


  21. raheeln

    If you’re a node in a network and you’re piggybacking, then you can get kicked off. Simple network economics. Not hard.

  22. Andrew Lee

    Check out Google’s Project Jigsaw. It’s working to create a friendlier comment environment.

  23. David A. Frankel

    Let’s be clear — this isn’t about the rise of liberalism. It is about the decline of human civility. It’s been hastened by a pseudo-anonymous platform, aka social media, that allows people to express their deepest inner thoughts with little direct consequence.I don’t think it is the job of Facebook, Twitter or Disqus to limit our exposure to this or solve this problem — we are a free society and people should be able to express their opinions. But until we are all able to embrace civility, empathy and reason in our interactions online, I fear the medium will continue to divide us. And my guess is that, ultimately, those interested in living a troll free existence will find another way to communicate. The human race successfully existed without Facebook before, and it can do it again.

    1. JamesHRH

      I agree, its an over blown issue.If it breaks a law, track them down and prosecute.Censorship leaders to all kinds of ‘-cracies’ that are not democracies.

      1. DJL

        Yes. “Look the other way” is a much cheaper and simpler approach.

        1. SFG

          Nothing has changed on the discuss boards for quite some time and it was “not a problem” before now. What’s changed is that Donald J Trump is president and now all of a sudden “hate speech” needs to be quelled. And all the folks who want it quelled now, were perfectly fine supporting BLM and their call to murder police officers.

  24. laurie kalmanson

    Moderators are the non-scalable, human way to manage the difference between a community, like this and others I am delighted by, and vandals standing on the street and throwing rocks at people.Solving that at scale, when bots can proliferate and toss those rocks by the truckload: not easy.

  25. Guest

    These comments are trolling and you’ll see ones that are just as bad on left-leaning sites as well. The more attention it receives, the more frequently it will occur. As the warning says: DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS.

  26. steveplace

    Any way to prioritize comments from people who aren’t anonymous?Like a “verified account” only thread?

  27. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Saw this announcement while working on my little tool that uses the Disqus API (yeah, I’m the one 😉 ). Any effort to address this issue is welcome. Mistakes will be made. That’s ok.I still think that helping people recognize that they’ve _written_ something potentially toxic, and putting a hurdle in front of them before publishing it, should be a part of the mix. Hope to see some services start to employ this eventually. I think it has benefits beyond the language in a given moment, in a given comment or post.

    1. Michael Elling

      At the end of the day all communication, all transactions have some level of risk. Playing God and injecting imbalance (riskless sending) creates outcomes we haven’t foreseen. The only thing new with digital network ecosystems is the scale, speed and potential for magnifying unforeseen consequences. People have to stop thinking that technology is the solution and get back to basics of human interaction and network theory. Fred’s post elsewhere inviting non-technologists to the discourse over fully distributed systems has it the wrong way around.

  28. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:We agree with the majority of what was expressed and the examples can be understood by a fifth grader.We hope the civility that is discussed isn’t applicable to the rebuttals of the proven disinformation, deceitful and duplicitous comments that promote the liar in Chief and his minions.We don’t concern ourselves with the absent response to the small group who attempts to present a multitude of Conservative deceptive and erroneous talking points of the commentators and analysts.The mantra of Fake News is to deflect and deceive from what is actually being discussed. If a false comment is presented by a Progressive we will act in kind.No favoritism in our Independent views.If a comment is proven with clear bi-partisan statements to be false and deflects and deceives we will issue a rebuttal with evidence.#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT

  29. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:OFF TOPIC ALERT!All the smart people in this room and no one even pushes back on the protection of the Consumers that was assisted by Dodd-Frank that will eventually be overturned.…The Dodd-Frank bill intent is to prevent another recession of 2008.The legislation protects the Consumer from Risky Behavior, financial loss and abuse by Financial Institutions.The main purposes of Dodd-Frank is to1. Make the Financial System more transparent and accountable.2. Prevent Institutions (Bail out) from becoming too big to fail. 3. To end Public bailouts. 4. End Risky and Abusive Financial Services practices5. Created agencies to oversee the Financial Services agencies (The continued attack by Conservatives to weaken it)6. Reporting future work to Congress(These last two appear the main reasons they want it overturned)The talking points against it are puzzling and incoherent in conjunction with what actually occurred in 2008 in the financial markets and Dodd-Frank addressing it.How many Republicans voted for H.R. 4173 (111th) in the Senate. The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Pub.L. 111–203, H.R. 4173; commonly referred to as Dodd–Frank) was signed into federal law by President Barack Obama on July 21, 2010?While no Republicans voted for Dodd-Frank when it was first considered on the House floor, 3 voted for the conference report: Rep. Joseph Cao (R-LA), Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE), and Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC).Only Mr. Jones is still in the House of Representatives.On the Senate side, a few Republican Senators voted for the bill on its first passage: Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME)Sen. Grassley voted “no” on the conference report, but the other three voted for its passageThe correction in the markets after the 2008 recession hurt regular people.Those of us who Day-Trade support the foundation and intend of the Dodd-Frank legislation. The legislation doesn’t hurt a Day-Trader.#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT

  30. sachmo

    The problem with banning stuff like Milo (whom I agree is toxic) is that if you attempt to silence these people, you just push the opinions underground or to the corners of places like reddit r/thedonald. Sometimes it’s better to allow the toxicity and deal with it openly.

  31. Hiyito Patada

    I find hate speech reprehensible. I choose to ignore it and trolls. There is no doubt this sort of behavior – something both the far right and hard left does, if we’re being honest – has greatly diminished the web experience and pollutes what is now, like it or not, the default public square.One of the great problems the left has is language and thought policing, and how it eats their own. On the right, it’s blatant hate speech, sometimes with violent fantasies. What can Disqus and social networks do about it? Very little, because it’s an intellectual and cultural problem.There is also the reality of the ad supported business model, and click-bait pays. You want free shit? Then you have to take the good with the bad. So do advertisers, or they can take their money elsewhere.You want to start a social network or a community oriented platform, where users are the product and source of your fame and ad-generated profits?Then you’re betting on the one thing that you cannot control, and this is the whims of the people who use it. Be prepared for disappointment and spooked advertisers or find another business to be in, because nobody put a gun to your head and made you start-up (or invest in) Disqus, Twitter, etc.People cannot have this two ways. If you believe Disqus, Twitter, etc., can ban or block people who say terrible or unpopular things because it’s a private TOS and therefore “free speech stops at the door”, then is not hypocritical to also condemn and hold liable a privately owned bakery for not wanting to serve a gay couple? My personal opinion is the bakery was wrong and mistaken in their views. But over-the-top civil penalty along with the faux moral outrage and Twitter rioting against them is wrong, too.

    1. Donna Brewington White


  32. maxniederhofer

    What a world we make for each other… those comments remind me of 4chan. I’ve recently become very interested in the underlying fear that fuels anger and hate. People compete in their victimhood and seek scapegoats… I liked this take on it being massive unresolved guilt complexes in secular societies:…. Admittedly a conservative viewpoint.I wonder whether there’s a scalable way to address this. Kind of what Jerry is doing with Reboot but using software.

  33. pointsnfigures

    For fun, read a story at Daily Kos, then read a story on the same exact topic at Breitbart. Who’s right? Who’s spreading fake news? Who’s toxic?

    1. CO

      “Who’s toxic?”Some of the commentators…But it is just a matter of opinion…Nobody wants their mind poisoned by the “other side.”

      1. $59629176

        For an example of toxic posts, look at your comments.

        1. CO

          Go for it…I don’t hide my profile.

          1. $59629176

            You should.

  34. David Pethick

    Why doesn’t Disqus simply add another option to the UI – block?I’d be happy to block all comments made by users who offend me. I’d also be happy not to see comments made users who have not passed a relatively small threshold (e.g. at least 20 comments).Obviously Disqus could then monitor users who have a relatively high proportion of blocks on their account, and ban those that are breaching the ToS.Cheers.Dave P.

    1. CO

      Disqus added the block feature some time back.It is at the right of every post under the drop down arrow.Also on every members profile page under the 3 dots next to the follow tab.

  35. Itay Rotem

    Dialog – must be a way to create an atmosphere to encourage dialogs. To refer to the content first. To enforce it through the product. To change the usage from declarations to discussion, built-in.

  36. GateKeeper

    just need a code an internet code of conduct

  37. Gøran Berntsen

    An interesting idea would be combining real-time toxic content detection with just-in-time nudges (inspired by this blog post by Jeff Atwood back in 2014 https://blog.codinghorror.c… )

  38. $59629176

    The comment you linked to is really nasty. I’m sad to say I see a lot of this online, hateful bigoted comments.

    1. SagaciousJack

      Seriously, ER, who cares. It is just some dumb-ass spouting off. He probably doesn’t even mean what he is saying. It is not hurting me, it is not hurting you and it is not hurting anyone else.

      1. $59629176

        I don’t read it or post there. I still think it sucks.

        1. SagaciousJack

          I simply followed the link. I don’t even know where it was. I was simply responding to the one, dumb-ass post, which I believe was being used as an example.The post was meaningless. It hurt no one. The point is, why make a big deal out of nothing? Not you, you have every right to dislike it. It is beyond silly that any “controlling authority” would attempt to make more idiotic arbitrary, subjective rules based on minutia.

  39. Mr. Perfect

    Welcome to the internet where everybody isn’t always nice. No amount of programming code will change that.You could hire an army of moderators to delete everything, but then that would cost money and people would stop commenting.

  40. CO

    “I don’t know what the people who post comments like this are feeling and thinking. It is horrible. Awful. Hateful. Hurtful. Painful. Disgusting. Disturbing. And a lot more.”The Disqus allstars are some of the most vile and toxic people you will find on Disqus…One example…talking about other Disqus users… https://uploads.disquscdn.c…And the Disqus created channel moderators are just as bad… https://uploads.disquscdn.c…Here are some of the “finer” Disqus channels run by the Disqus elite and favorite liberal pets……I would think Disqus would clean up their own back yard before worrying about other websites…

  41. Donna Brewington White

    Good to see you here.