I hate bans and moderation. It’s extra work, and I don’t want to be a judge.
There are two kinds of comments I delete: ones that violate the editorial policy (such as publishing real names of private people, obscene, threatening, and completely off topic for the site), and inane comments designed to get a reaction (trolls). Persistent practitioners of that latter group get banned. Every time I have relented on a ban, I end up re-enforcing it again.
They have something at The Fogbow called FEMA Camp 7½ that’s somewhat separate from the rest of the forum. One can get access to it if desired, and the troll/intractable person can comment there too. Still in search of a solution, I’m going to revive an old scheme, the Off-topic dump. I don’t have the ability to set up something like what Fogbow uses, but I can set up an article (this one) where no one can comment, and then move comments I don’t want to appear in the middle of the active discussions here.
To find the dumps, just select "Off topic" from the Conspiracies drop-down box in the right sidebar.
I selected a couple of comments from Hermitian to line the bottom of the pail, and I want to use them to illustrate why I put them there. The first goes
He was probably referring to the pompous fools at NASA who oversaw the Challenger investigation.
The quote was from Richard Feynman, and I deleted Hermitian’s comment because it implicitly motivated others to waste their time to look up the Feynman comment to prove Hermitian wrong, which he is. I don’t know the date of the Feynman quote, but it was in a book about him published in 1985. The Challenger Shuttle disaster was in 1986.
The second comment is like the first one, an invitation for others to waste their time in reply:
What’s a Krosis ?
Does it bloom ?
Hermitian can look up Krosis as easily as anyone else, and if he already knows the answer, then the comment can only be there to attract a response—the essence of troll.