Brent Finnegan -- October 29th, 2007

Last week, Dave Briggman posted some confusing and potentially misleading information on about hburgnews. I probably shouldn’t bother, but here it is anyway, in case you were wondering:

Several weeks ago, a few people leaving comments weren’t respecting the simple ground rules, so I enacted total moderation, meaning that all comments had to be approved by an editor before showing up publicly. A week or two later, I changed it so that every user must have at least one previously approved comment before their comments start instantly showing up for everyone to read.

Right now, there are eight people here who have moderator/editing capabilities. For the most part, those are the people who also have the ability to create new posts. I have asked them to help me keep an eye on things, and delete comments which do not adhere to these two very simple rules:

1. No defamatory, accusatory, or name-calling comments.

2. Please limit yourself to a single screen name and a legitimate email address.

To date, I have only deleted maybe seven or eight comments since this blog began. I have the Akismet filter enabled, which has it’s own list of words it checks (words like Viagra, Cialis, online casino, etc). Akismet catches around 100 spam comments per day, and puts them in a queue. Every once in a while, Akismet will mistakenly mark a legitimate comment as spam. If that happens to you, just email me or one of the other editors, and we can try to fish it out of the Akismet spam queue.

I’ve also added a few words to a custom filter, which goes into a separate moderation queue.

On that list are eight words (profanities and racial/sexist slurs) as well as the screen names and IP addresses of two people who repeatedly did not heed my requests to stop making personal attacks (ironically, they were attacks being directed at Briggman).

No comment gets deleted — regardless of how offensive, rude, false, or who posted it — unless one of the editors sees something inappropriate (like a personal attack) and manually deletes it. However, it might go into the custom filter or the Akismet filter.

Also, I have no idea who Kim Pearson is. Never heard of her before Briggman’s post. In case you were wondering, I hope that clears things up.

7 Responses to “clarification”

  1. Emmy says:

    Good thing to clarify. While things were in moderation, I didn’t delete anything that wasn’t very obvious spam that made it through the filter. I left three comments for others to make the call on. I’ve also rescued a few from the filter. Filter’s aren’t perfect.

  2. eso says:

    Well, none of my comments get posted. Even the generic “I hope you remind us of your of tv program as it gets closer.” on your Oct 1st post. No name calling and a real email. The only thing I can conclude is that you block me because I disagree with you.

  3. finnegan says:

    I just found your comment in the Akismet filter, eso. I don’t know why it was in there.

    If it ever happens again, just email me at hburgnews [at]

    Regarding the program, it will re-air November 1 at 9:00 p.m., and December 11 at 9:00 p.m. on WVPT

  4. Josh says:

    eso, I can’t imagine finnegan blocking someone simply because of a disagreement. He deserves a lot more credit than this sort of criticism.

    I know the Akismet filter can be annoying, but the spam statistics are hard to believe. Since installation, the filter has blocked more than 11,500 spam comments! Compare that to the 5,900 legitimate comments.

  5. finnegan says:

    Here’s an FAQ list about how Akismet works.

  6. Dave Briggman says:

    The fact is, Brent, I made the posting. It was not put into moderation when I made it and the posting appeared on this site.

    Someone then pulled it back into moderation, which is fine. It is your site and I have no problem with that.

    There was nothing misleading or confusing about my posting.

  7. finnegan says:

    It’s highly unlikely that it was posted publicly, since that list of words matches up with several words in the filter.

    And your post IS confusing and misleading, as it is titled “MORE CENSORSHIP AT HBURGNEWS.COM” and the post is actually about a list that Kim Pearson, a person I’ve never heard of before, created.

    The first person who left a comment on that post said “I don’t understand this post at all.”

Reader Tweets

Latest Flickr photos in the hburgnews Flickr pool
Announcements & Press Releases
  • Friendly City Grand Opening Set for July 9

    Friendly City Food Co-Op, Harrisonburg’s consumer-owned grocery, invites the community to come see its new destination for natural, organic and locally-produced products at the store’s grand opening 11 a.m.-5 p.m. July 9 at 150 East Wolfe Street.

  • Friendly City Becomes Member of National Cooperative Grocers Association

    HARRISONBURG, VA — Friendly City Food Co-op, slated to open this month in Harrisonburg, Va., has become the newest member of the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), a business services cooperative serving 120 consumer-owned food co-ops nationwide.

  • Harrisonburg Recognized as a Bike Friendly Community

    May 2: Harrisonburg was honored when the League of American Bicyclists announced the latest round of Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) designations over the weekend to kick off May as National Bike Month.