Having run this blog for many years (which was once upon a time popular) and now running Flippin' Awesome (which has become heavily trafficked), I've received my fair share of trolling comments. The obvious ones are easy to spot. The language is offensive, the comment features little in the way of constructive or usable feedback and the user is generally choosing to remain anonymous.
However, with many comments the line isn't so clear cut and since I prefer to err on the side of allowing valid criticism even if it is harsh, I often find the determination a struggle. Perhaps they use offensive language or a fake name but the content was legitimate, for instance. Or, take for instance, a comment I received on an article this morning on a recent article. The site was fake, and the email, while not obviously fake, seemed questionable, and here was the contents:
*sigh* And this is the state of software engineer discourse regarding the front-end? Dismissing full-featured, battle-tested frameworks and approaches based on little more than aesthetic distaste, hypothetical performance problems, and – most hilariously – that they dare to *enforce* modularity? What a shame that they stop you writing your big ball of template mud -sorry, I mean your “holistic” template.
Articles like this are pure nonsense, are incredibly damaging to web development. They contribute to the community's complete inability to settle and build on frameworks and concentrate on building applications that can compete with native experiences. Instead wasting years flitting between various half-baked new frameworks, each one rabidly evangelised by neophiles who promise that *this time* it really it is an architecturally sublime silver bullet, far better than last month's framework de jure, which incidentally is a bloated and deficient piece of shit.
The criticism makes some valid points and does so, right up until the end, without veering into questionable language (I'm not trying to be puritanical or anything but I think cursing in comments only serves to degrade the quality of the discussion over all). So, this isn't an obvious troll.
The main issue I am having is that the entire tone of the comment is argumentative and intentionally insulting to the author (and potentially other commenters). The topic of the article was admittedly and openly opinionated, but I haven't approved the comment because I thought it's author was “picking a fight” rather than contributing to the discussion. It's definitely a judgement call though and I haven't deleted the comment yet because I am still somewhat on the fence about approving it - but clearly leaning towards no.
What about you? Do you have a way you like to “quantify” comments of this sort when you are moderating your sites? Do you disagree think this comment should be approved? I'd love to hear feedback.
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In addition, we published three new articles this week:
Matt Baker discusses rules for applying functional programming principles to CSS so it can more effectively scale.
Functional CSS (FCSS)
Seth Vincent shares his strategy for deciding when to choose between npm, Bower and component for client-side dependency management.
Choosing Between npm, Bower and component