Guest Commenting Has Been Suspended

We have been dealing with a lot of comment spam here at AVC over the last few weeks.

Most of it is “guest commenting” where the spam is being posted by an account that is not registered to Disqus (which hosts the AVC comments).

So I am trying something new and different in the hopes that we can dramatically reduce comment spam.

We are suspending the guest commenting feature on AVC. This may be temporary or it may be permanent.

I hope and expect that regular commenters who are registered with Disqus will not be impacted.

I realize this may reduce the number of comments by people who are new to AVC. It may also reduce the total number of comments and the opportunity for new voices to come and participate. None of this is good in my view.

But I want the AVC comments to be a “clean and well lit” place and I also want the maintenance of this blog to be minimal. So that’s why I’m doing this. We will see how it goes.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Vitor Conceicao

    I think it is a good policy in the end, will probably strengthen the community. But not sure if I got here a bit too early or if there is a bug, because it seems eerily quiet here today.

  2. andyswan

    We should all be paying $100/year to comment here with the proceeds going to Fred’s bank account or an end of year party.

    1. falicon

      subscriptions – death by a thousand cuts…a.k.a. 2019.

    2. Vendita Auto

      Proscription is another option !!Was also checking if I was in or out !!

    3. jason wright

      I propose the reverse model.

    4. JamesHRH

      You mean, the correct BusMod of Twitter?+100.

    5. Andrew Cashion

      At least put half of it on black beforehand, then the party.

    6. sachmo

      Eh, maybe $10… $100 is more than my pandora subscription. But I like the idea of proceeds going to a large party. Keep at it lad!

    7. P Donohue


  3. rich caccappolo

    “Clean and well-lighted”

  4. Michael Elling

    There should be no aliasing on any blogs or social media sites. One can have a handle, but then one’s identity should be disclosed behind that handle. The reduction of negatives far outweighs any reduction of positives people claim comes with aliasing.

    1. andyswan

      “Real names be proof” — Andy WiseMan

    2. Tom Hughes

      In some settings and venues, yes. But other sites should be able to provide and even guarantee anonymity: sites that host dissenting and controversial opinions. We have conversational solutions like Signal and WhatsApp that protect speech, but we don’t have venues that can really do that.

    3. LE

      1) What problem does that solve here at AVC? If someone is rogue they can easily dodge that by feigning an plausible actual identity or simply using a generic type name and a photo that isn’t of them. Then you will have a bigger problem. You have taken a slight governor and taken it away entirely.2) Not to mention the overhead of actually enforcing that kind of structure is counter productive to having a discussion. I can walk up to someone in Whole Foods and say something without them knowing who I am and where I am from. And I like that. Even though in theory they could find out my name and where I live.3) Legally there is a slight drawback for the person who comments as themselves. It could potentially be held against them later in some legal or near legal context. Not impossible but certainly less likely under a pen name with no easy link to real identity.4) Note also there are ‘crazies’ in the world. If you make things easy for people in some way you are more likely to invite some outlier and potentially harmful reaction if someone does not like you.5) You will restrict what people are willing to say if you tie it (to) directly to them. That is not a good thing for any discussion.

      1. Michael Elling

        1) the platforms do it. people can still have aliases but they should be identifiable; because2) it’s not one to one; it’s public and a megaphone, therefore having a huge potential long-tail. see how easy it has been to stoke miscontent among a minority of the population that is so ingrained and where conspiracy theories abound and fester (birthergate, pizzaparlorgate, etc…).3) yes, so choose your words wisely; speak honestly with facts behind you. If it is opinion, state it.4) again, choose your words wisely, provide balance for reasoned discourse5) ditto.Best of all; we’ve had your way for 25+ years and see where it has gotten us. Time to try something different. Elevate the discussion. Improve the ability to discourse and debate. Reduce polarization.

        1. LE

          First we are talking about commenting on a blog. If you want long tail impact see my other comment about celebrity and media influence typically having an out-sized impact.- Commenting in ‘letters to the editor’ in newspapers are pretty near anonymous. Having the newspaper vet what they put in with someone’s name and address means that a reader does not know who was actually commenting in the ‘olden days’ and probably not today. For example another ‘Fred Wilson’ could write a comment to a paper and be from NYC and sound like the ‘Fred Wilson’ here (by what he says) but be another ‘Fred Wilson’.- It’s blog comments. Not opinion on the Harvard Medical School website. Or even a legit looking (but not) health blog. I am not sure how you get around people’s stupidity in any way that would have any impact.- Anyone can counter a comment with another comment. That often happens here. The fact that JLM says something and most of us don’t know if he is correct or not is on us, not on him as the person making the comment.- Stupid people who believe what they read and don’t challenge anything will always be with us. You won’t stop stupid with restrictions on free speech.3) yes, so choose your words wisely; speak honestly with facts behind you. If it is opinion, state it.Ok so to give a comment on a website which I am not getting paid and takes my time I need to put in more effort than I already do to back up what I am saying? Note my other point about ‘counter a comment’. If you read Hacker News you will see this in action.4) again, choose your words wisely, provide balance for reasoned discourseYou do not have experience first hand with crazies. Or you wouldn’t be thinking that. Plus why do I need to choose my words carefully and walk on eggshells? What if there had been similar restrictions on the web that prevented people from expressing themselves? This would cause what I have called ‘mental stuttering’.

          1. creative group

            LE:”The fact that JLM says something and most of us don’t know if he is correct or not is on us, not on him as the person making the comment.” (LE comment)We rightfully assumed we were the sole fact checkers regarding his opinionated essays. We just discontinued even reading them. It was at times on the business related feedback it was in line with what was instructed in business school. But his opinionated feedback is straight from Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Matt Dudge, Ann Coulter, Newt Gingrich (hi, hi), Sarah Palin, Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Michael Medved, CL Bryant (hi hi), Eric Cantor (hi, hi) and Mia Love (hi,hi) playbook.Democrats don’t fair well either. But manipulate their bases on platforms they don’t necessarily care about or they wouldn’t compromise them away.Captain Obvious!#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT

          2. Donna Brewington White

            Whether or not you agree with JLM, I think you can rely on his opinions being truly his own.I much better appreciate hearing from those with whom I disagree if I can trust the integrity of their thought. One of the reasons AVC has worked so well for me over the years.

          3. creative group

            Donna Brewington White:We can accept your view regarding disinformation campaigns. You can choose to accept anything you read. We are Independent thinkers and factcheck three views of an opinion.Anyone supporting any part of outright platform of disinformation and lies that are commonly known by the erudite should be openly disregarded. This appears like a popularity contest with the rightwing up votes. They usually move in lock step. Just recall during the Obama administration when funds were extended from the Bush Administration for Tarp and the so called Rightwing on this blog were disguising their opposition of the Black President (Supported it when Bush signed it into law) as opposing debt. But currently are completely silent on the Trillion dollar debt solely of the toddler in chief doing of extending a permanent tax break to the wealthy. Just very apparent the motivation.We continue to accept your right to be proselytisized with Right-wing propaganda. Also we don’t mind outlining any Leftwing propaganda.Not written for popular upvotes.Captain Obvious!#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT

          4. Donna Brewington White

            Seems that you read something different from my comment than what I intended.

          5. JamesHRH

            I have not seen you contradict his statements with any success.

          6. Michael Elling

            The entirety of the settlement free internet is one sided risk on the receiver. Not revealing one’s identity as the sender is the same thing. This is amplified when one sender reaches many receivers; and the process can be easily repeated.

        2. JLM

          .I think the spam Freddie is talking about is the person offering employment at $9000/month doing some interweb task.The Internet is a voluntary undertaking. If I choose to read your comment and engage with you, that is really on me.If I choose to believe what you say or am persuaded by your argument, again, that is on me.It is hard to think that any reasonably intelligent, skeptical person takes anything said on the web at face value without doing some research to confirm it.I don’t think we need nearly as much protection from ourselves as might be thought.We are barraged with a constant flow of misinterpreted “facts” and downright lies.Even if we were discussing something of great interest in which you and I were equally qualified to render an opinion, we would still be trading opinions.You might persuade me and I might persuade you. We might persuade nobody, but we would know what the other bunch is thinking.To me, I always want to hear what the other guy is thinking because I know what I think.When ideas wrestle, the result is stronger more fully formed and reasoned ideas.I want to know what everybody, including the crazy people, think.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. LE

            It is hard to think that any reasonably intelligent, skeptical person takes anything said on the web at face value without doing some research to confirm it.Well there is one other dimension to this. That is the impact of a repeated message on the brain and what we believe is true, relevant or important. ‘Brainwashing’For example remember how I have said that I have a great impression of Austin Texas (and for that matter VMI) simply based on what you have said (repeatedly) about those places? [1] And this blog in general contributed to me pushing my daughters to live in NYC and erased (over the years) my own early personal experience with NYC (compliments of Gerald Ford).So really what’s kind of funny is that the danger is not in the nut case presenting their point of view (which is what Fred is blocking). It’s in the people who present a clear and convincing argument and what they can do to us. That is actually the same thing that happens in the media. You can a really calm presentation speaking the kings english and generally tend to believe it. The nut blogs are easy to ignore. You brain says ‘nut case move on’.[1] But by the same token (countering my counter) I don’t believe 911 was a conspiracy even though Kid Mercury repeats that often (or used to).

          2. Donna Brewington White

            Hearing something repeatedly will not influence me if the source is not trustworthy.Thus, NYC and Austin have become of much greater interest over the years and in the back of my mind I can’t help but at least consider whether 9/11 was an inside job.

          3. Richard


          4. Susan Rubinsky

            By God, Texas!

          5. JLM

            .Aren’t you taking the totality of the experience and evaluating the propensity for it being right?I know people if they told me tom’w was Easter I would start dying eggs.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          6. Michael Elling

            Just the opposite; history needs to be understood in the context before the moment occurred. People want to believe that history happened for a logical, pragmatic reason. It often doesn’t. That’s why we have protocol stacks, layers and boundaries in all our socio-economic and political institutions; aka networks. Networks reduce risk; not individuals. Typically imbalanced networks, like the one(s) we have today (and anonymity is but one aspect), result in higher risk and greater likelihood of unintended consequences. Hence Trump.

          7. JLM

            .What you are describing is not possible. History has been around for a lot longer than the gibberish you describe.Once upon a time, the newspapers were the first draft of history. Now, they are totally unreliable because they don’t report events, they invent, color, ration, limit. They are not scriveners; they are inventors.The flow of information, the sheer quantity of information mitigates against rather than for unintended consequences.Pres Trump did not really win the election. HRC lost it. She gave it to him for a number of reasons.But she didn’t do it alone. There were millions of deplorables who had long since voiced their discontent with the establishment of both parties in the 2014 mid-terms.What Pres Trump did was recognize that tsunamai, paddle with it, and ride it to the end.When Jeb Bush said, “Donald, you can’t insult your way to the White House,” Candidate Trump mused — “Why not?”To suggest that Pres Trump is anything other than the logical outcome — perfectly logical — of the times is to confess a lack of knowledge of what was going on.The Establishment was not getting the job done on both sides of the aisle and the deplorables, the masses reared up and took them to task.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          8. Michael Elling

            I was responding to this line: “Aren’t you taking the totality of the experience and evaluating the propensity for it being right?”Not sure how I missed with my reply. Ok maybe the network stuff is a bit incomprehensible, but it’s quite simple; really.Back to your comment; people want, hope and believe that things happened for a “good” or “right” or “correct” reason. Otherwise they might as well go outside and wait for a tree limb to fall on their heads or get hit by a stray bullet.As for Trump, in agreement with you, except that it was logical to very few (and certainly not the majority) ex ante. I was in the minority warning my Republican friends in late summer of 2015 that they had a real problem on their hands for all the reasons you espouse. Can’t wait for the selfie’s! 2019 will be fun!

          9. Michael Elling

            The mob rules. Greeks knew this; so did the Romans. Modern intelligence agencies too. Hasn’t changed.

          10. jason wright

            the mob is the significant majority. it’s been an (the?) enduring theme of history to explain how a minority has been able to rule over the ‘mob’. the techniques of coercion, control, suppression, et.c., and how and why breaks in the continuity of their power occur.

          11. Michael Elling

            Mobs can be a small minority if they are supported by a few powerful dissenting factions. That’s the case in most revolutions and how demagogues attain power. Of course the majority ends up going along because it has its internal divisions that can be exploited. That’s my point about the dangers of one to many and amplification and risk imbalance of the internet that is lost on Fred et al and many on this blog.

    4. jason wright

      Claas-Hendrik Relotius is his real name, and he wasn’t using a nome de plume. He was scamming everyone, and in plain sight.

  5. Mike

    Fair enough. Just registered.

    1. fredwilson


    2. JamesHRH


  6. jason wright

    Adam Back?

  7. DJL

    I noticed the same thing. I agree with Andy that there is so much value here that people should have no problem being “registered.”

  8. OurielOhayon

    Good choice!

  9. awaldstein

    Hi Fred-Might be interesting to run some numbers/trends on comments/# of commenters sometime.During this year for a bit, blocked a few folks whose political rhetoric did nothing for me and loosely calculated that some 40%+ of the comments, (certainly more that that in volume of words) probably come from 3-4 people.If this interests you sometime, might be revealing.BTW–have spent more time reading carefully your posts this past year and finding more value this year in the posts then the comments.My failure as a commenter obviously, but feeling very objectively analytical as the year closes.

    1. JamesHRH

      Begs the question: are the comments for you or for the Community?

      1. WA

        The coffee should be for all in the cafe… 🙂

  10. JamesHRH

    Anything of value isn’t free to enter.Agree that it makes it harder for Newbies to join in, but they will be more committed when they do.

  11. John Pepper

    I would like to think that if everyone on Twitter had to register (be verified?) the world would be a much much better (more thoughtful?) place. AVC is a no brainer.

  12. Tom Hughes

    The choice to close guest comments is a timely reminder that technology has still not made progress in systems of credentialing — that is, systems that combine identity assurance (“you are who you say you are, and you’re a person, not a program”) with some threshold test of character (trickier — “you’re prepared to conduct yourself according to the rules of this venue, and your reputation suggests you will”). It’s the lack of such a solution that let the Russians throw the 2016 election to Trump. China is moving ahead with “social credit” but, at least as they seem poised to apply it, it’s more a recipe for more inequality and more authoritarianism.To make it more complicated, a full solution would also allow anonymity, at least at the option of the venue convener; that’s going to be important for sites that host dissenting and controversial opinions. It seems to me there is a blockchain application to be built here.

    1. JLM

      .”It’s the lack of such a solution that let the Russians throw the 2016 election to Trump.”Haha. Good one. That and their ability to get his opponent not to campaign in key states which turned out to be close wins for him.But, I much prefer the notion that some Russians figured out how to turn the American electorate amongst the 500,000,000 daily Tweets when “she whose name shall not be mentioned” could not.Cause face it, those wily Russians know more about the American electorate than those rank amateurs running THAT campaign.As to the Russians — we really have no beef. We have been using Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty for more than half a century (since 1946) to foment trouble in the USSR and Russia on a daily basis.The US alone spends more than $100MM annually on RFE/RL.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. LE

        I am really trying to stay away from this topic entirely (out of respect for Fred who I know does not want it discussed here) so I will offer this helpful perspective. Note this is not an indication of support in any way or agreement for any particular behavior other than to say ‘pox on both houses’ (learned that from my attorney).But I have to say this. ‘2nd place’ would have still meant something but it would have been ignored entirely. That is the problem. Like the parents who lament that their child marries the wrong person but completely miss that it’s highly possible that their behavior contributed to that ‘loss’.1) The discussion is entirely and always around things related to ‘winning’ and who ‘won’. That completely ignores the fact that even if the election was lost (by whatever margin would have happened w/o any outside force such as the Russians) it still would have shown a tremendous amount of discontent in voters. That is never discussed. Normally oddball candidates lose big and don’t come anywhere near close enough to potentially be elected.2) Very generally, if I was running for election I’d rather have Hollywood and the 90% of the Media on my side than I would any type of Russian help or influence. In what way is it fair to have third parties who are Americans move elections? (Yes it is legal of course but oddly you wonder why there is no ‘quiet phase’ given the potential impact to our country of having a rock singer move an election’)…

        1. JamesHRH

          An analysis of what would be advantageous?Great comment.

        2. jason wright

          The whole Russia thing is a concoction of the MSM to divert corporate attention away from the plain and simple fact that it can no longer guarantee which candidate will win an election through its gross manipulation of the electorate. Trump went ‘direct’ by using the internet, and won. The only way the MSM can now save itself is to demonstrate that it still has power, to remove a POTUS from office. That’s the campaign we’ve been exposed to for the last two years. This is a New Reformation. The MSM is about to be disestablished. The end of the Fourth Estate is nigh. Russia? Ha ha. Very funny.

          1. Salt Shaker

            Absurd. One can debate what impact, if any, the Russians actually had on our elections, but it’s hardly a “concoction of the MSM.” Russians backing of the NRA, for example, was hardly done cause they’re 2nd Amend advocates. There most def was (is) a political agenda at play w/ Russian interference, irrespective of effectiveness. I’m not even sure what MSM actually means? Is it “mainstream” cause collectively those media outlets reach more eyeballs (which they do)? By def mainstream is the “dominant trend in opinion,” yet today’s context attempts to position it as a negative or in a pejorative light (w/ mass conspiracy theory at its core).

          2. JLM

            .I don’t get why everybody thinks the Russians and the USSR before them have “suddenly” become interested in our elections.The Communist Party USA (founded 1919) has for years been actively involved in US elections both overtly and covertly. They have colluded with the Russians — not a criminal activity — for decades and decades.The USA has been blasting Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty into the USSR and Russia since 1946.All that has happened is a new pathway, a new channel — social media — has opened up.RFE/RL is in the social media game themselves. They get $100MM annually from the US budget.The FBI (domestic counter intel, 1908) and CIA (foreign counter intl, 1947) has been sending undercover people into the CP USA since its founding.At the core of the McCarthy hearings was an accusation that the Communist Party (both domestic and Russian) had penetrated every level of American society including the Congress and the state nominating parties.They accused Gen of the Armies Geo Catlett Marshal of losing China (he was envoy to China after the war) as part of a Communist plot.The greatest blessing is that the CP USA and the USSR/Russians are not very good at this stuff.Goofy former CIA Dir John Brennan admits he once voted for a CP USA candidate.The operating unit for American electoral politics is the county whereat the locals have control.I took a day and looked up some of the Twitter messages the Russians are accused of having put up and they are stupid, issue stuff.Almost half of them are in Russian.Mothers Against Drunk Driving (600 state organizational chapters plus Guam, PR, Canada, 3MM primary members) is a much more powerful electoral force than the National Rifle Association.The NRA claims to have “almost 5 million” members, but their IRS filing revenue seems to beggar that statement.NRA peak membership was in 2007.Very few politicians seek NRA assistance because as they say, “it kicks as hard as it shoots.”There is no question the Russians meddled and will continue to meddle. We knew back in 2013 that the Russians were in the social media business.The bottom line is that it is ineffective. If a candidate spends $1B to reach the voters, it is hard to see how somebody spending less than $100K makes any headway.Is there something there? Hell yes.Is it capable of influencing an American election? Hell no.Is Russia going to throw off the yoke of Communism because RFE/LR throws $100MM into Russia annually? No.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. Salt Shaker

            Yes, propaganda is hardly a new term, what’s changed dramatically is the ability to target and more efficiently reach an audience w/ defined interests and opinions, though not passing judgment on its effectiveness.

          4. JLM

            .I don’t think any of that stuff is even remotely effective. The NRA and MADD are going to influence how their members vote by the same screen by which they became members.The only issues which turn voters’ heads are the economy (primarily in bad times) and war.Elections continue to be primarily a contest of personalities and presentation.Witness the Beto phenomenon in Texas. On an issues basis, the guy was so far left as to be disavowed by the Dem party, but he was a very attractive individual candidate.He was blessed to be running against a very unpopular Republican. Folks fail to recall Cruz beat David Dewhurst who had been Lt Gov.I like Cruz on a personal basis and for his politics, but he is no charm school grad.Candidate Trump went around the traditional channels using social media, made an enemy of the media, and ran against the establishment.Still, I think it is as likely his opponent lost as it is he won.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          5. jason wright

            ‘MSM’, that would be the oligarchy of media corps that existed prior to the internet’s rise to supremacy, the NYT, the WP, the telly networks, et.c., and ‘mainstream’ is now an anachronism, but a valid term for referencing the seat of old power and influence. Moscow would just rather the West gave up trying to ‘take’ Russia as a prize. It’s a jewel. The largest country. Eleven time zones. Natural resources beyond compare. The West has a most jealous and avaricious eye.

          6. LE

            One can debate what impact, if any, the Russians actually had on our elections, but it’s hardly a “concoction of the MSM.”I think the general idea here when Jason is using ‘concoction’ is not that it has been invented by, but rather let’s say ‘focused on’ or ‘popularized’ without respect to the amount of actual impact it might have by bringing an issue to everyone’s attention and making them think it’s a big deal. It could be a big deal. But often it’s made more important than it is, relative to other news events. The news chooses what to talk about, how much and in what way. And sometimes (if you watch enough news (say the nightly news) you will find that a story that is easy to get to and has ‘film at 11’ available ends up being more important that it would if that was not the case. It’s a judgement made by news directors and often infotainment based decision. Often this is only a matter of geography. No question a story in NY Metro gets bigger play than something in an area where there isn’t an affiliate or good film footage. Same way a pretty girl gets more attention (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez per my prediction).As I have mentioned before a few times I got front page WSJ attention (and other media; USA Today and others) simply by proposing a story at the right time (tax time) that I knew would stand a good chance of running because of that time of year. Wasn’t anymore valuable (wasn’t about taxes rather about the IRS)) and could have run anytime of the year. Got a local TV station as well involved and ‘film at 11’. I know for a fact that is why they decided to run the story. That is why I cooked it up actuallyMy point is that if you want to influence someone you can take a small thing and make a bigger thing out of it or highlight something in a way that gives it an outstretched impact.A pretty good example of that focus is what has been highlighted over the past few days with respect to the 2 children who died in the custody of US Border custody. Think of all the kids who have medical problems that are overlooked each and every day and that mistakes happen even in the best circumstances. To focus on these two kids in custody as use it in a way that makes it seem as if there is some mass problem is quite ridiculous. Another example of that (that I have mentioned) is the ‘cages they kids were kept in’. That made more sense than it didn’t (and was correct to do) but the media made it seem as if ‘the kids are being kept like animals’. Words can do that very easily.

          7. sigmaalgebra

            For those issues you mention, no significant, rational case has been made for the claims. Instead there are unsupported accusations, rumors, wild opinions, etc. It will always be possible to shovel out such garbage, E.g., there’s no significant evidence at all that the Russians did anything at all significant to influence, or did significantly influence, the election of POTUS in 2016. None. So, for all the Russia!! stuff from the newsies, just flush it.Yes, there is something of a tribe of voters loyal to the Democrat propaganda.Otherwise, for people with some objectivity, they need to learn that (1) such junk propaganda can always be there, (2) to reject news without serious evidence, and (3) to understand that the Democrat propaganda attacks on Trump are the most significant the Democrats can concoct but are still unsupported, meaningless junk and, thus, are strong evidence that the Democrats can’t find anything significant and wrong with Trump and, thus, give Trump a unique world class clean bill of health.We could use some respect for the powerful history of rationalism, The Enlightenment, The Age of Reason: Many parts of our society are quite good with rationalism. So, when we see newsie stuff that fails even common high school term paper writing standards, e.g., with careful references to objective, primary sources, we should just junk the stuff.Net, people need to junk the newsie junk stuff. If the newsies keep getting ad revenue from eyeballs for junk stuff, then we will get more junk stuff.The public just needs to pull that lever that flushes that junk away.E.g., the NYT on paper can’t compete with Charmin and on the Internet is useless for wrapping dead fish heads or starting winter fires in a fireplace. Same for ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, WaPo, LAT, Boston Globe, and many more of the “mainstream media”. Their stuff might be entertaining, feeding an audience they developed, background noise, for the Democrat faithful, attractive like a building on fire or a massive car wreck, etc., but rationally it is still junk and should be flushed.Just working exercises in math or physics, we can see clear differences between correct results and everything else. So, from the more difficult exercises, we learn that getting correct answers can be challenging and that wrong answers are easy. Wrong answers are so easy and plentiful that quickly we learn to reject wrong answers easily, right away, with no regrets. That’s what I do with the MSM — just reject it, flush it, right away, no regrets.When and if, and I’m not holding my breath waiting, any of the MSM gets their content nicely above high school term paper writing standards and accumulates some trust for correctness, rationality, and objectivity, then I’ll look again. In the meanwhile I just flush the stuff.

          8. PhilipSugar

            I could not agree more. Not debating anything other than the MSM was so shocked, so appalled, that they have been grasping at anything.

    2. JamesHRH

      Find a more dystopian idea than social credit.That’s a nightmare.

  13. Pointsandfigures

    Gotta be the Russians taking over. Just kidding. Agree with your policy and hope it works

  14. Jonah

    Reading a lot about our founders recently (hamilton bio mostly) and the huge role that anonymous commentary (in partisan publications btw) played at the time. Has made me question my assumptions about “real name” requirements, but i suppose things have changed just a bit since the 1780s and it does seem a necessary step to improve quality for everyone on widely accessible mediums. This has always been one of the few sites where i would bother to glance at the comments, so hopefully this latest step helps keep it that way.

    1. JLM

      .The Ron Chernow “Hamilton” bio is a great read. I have read his book on Washington and Grant also.Our politics was nasty, direct, and confrontational. Our politicians were the same. Hamilton was in it up to his eyeballs.Of course, we had dueling as a way to settle scores. I am a huge fan of the reinstatement of dueling.http://themusingsofthebigre…JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  15. WA

    Great policy. In a clean well lighted place the prime objective is to keep the Nada at bay while creating a routine of drinking – in this case much knowledge – from the cups of the many patrons. Or so the “old” waiter might argue.

  16. Jim Peterson

    Well worth it to join if one is a newbie. Seems like a good idea, Fred, to throw up a small roadblock to people who look for easy places to dumb their garbage.

  17. creative group

    FRED:since you don’t request or receive donations (you definitely don’t need donations) to offset the costs of your blog. Do what you feel is best. It is your blog. We are just happy to be here.Captain Obvious!#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT

  18. William Mougayar

    It’s quite simple. The spammers have recently resorted to new techniques that have gone undetected, forcing us (the mods) to go in and manually deleting them, more often than previously.Zeta/DISQUS needs to figure out how to re-tune the heuristics behind their spam detection to get it back to previous standards.

    1. jason wright

      Now i don’t know what the possibilities and limitations are with Disqus tech, but what if by default a guest comment only publishes to the blog post 24/ 48 hours after being submitted (or some other suitable time delay)? It would significantly diminish the intended impact of the comment as i’m sure that the majority of readers of a blog do so on the day the latest blog post is published. Does Disqus allow for custom code scripting to be inserted by blog owners?

      1. William Mougayar

        But the spammers have DIsqus accounts, so delaying Guest commenting won’t solve that issue.

        1. jason wright

          Fred: “Most of it is “guest commenting” where the spam is being posted by an account that is not registered to Disqus (which hosts the AVC comments).” Now i’m confused.

          1. William Mougayar

            Don’t be ;)After digging further, they are coming from both – DISQUS and Guest accounts.

          2. jason wright

            Keep digging 🙂 The precise nature of the problem, and thus its solution, is down there somewhere waiting to be unearthed. All Very Confusing. THTBABW.

  19. Donna Brewington White

    This seems like a good move, Fred.I understand that some good comments may be missed because a would-be commenter does not want to go to the trouble of setting up a Disqus account.But perhaps some level of commitment (and setting up Disqus is a very low cost-of-admission) is built-in curation.So many of the meaningful first time comments are accompanied by a statement that the person has been reading AVC for some time.

    1. LE

      One thing to consider is the fact that it’s not clear whether if someone signs up for a disqus account if the blog owner has access to any of their personal information. Or their IP address.My guess is that is probably not the case, but I can see someone thinking it might be. So along those lines let’s say one of Fred’s friends, LP’s, investments or potential investments wants to say something but is fearful of offending Fred. They might fear that Fred could figure out who they are. While it’s probably not the case that Fred has access to that maybe he does.People often overlook (I see this constantly) things that seem obvious when you know but are ambiguous or unclear to a newbie.

  20. Susan Rubinsky

    I, for one, am pleased to see the reduction of commenting spam. For a while, I was getting email notifications every single day about comments on my comments that ended up being spam. I was logging in every day and flagging them but then stopped because, hey, I’m a busy person and don’t have time to waste manually flagging spam on AVC. Hoping that Disqus can work on bettering their spam algorithm.