Added community flagging to filter out SPAM and abusive comments
There have been some postings asking for moderation:
"I know I breached this, but, perhaps, it will get the much needed attention of ANY moderator and delete these messages."
Spam and abusive comments have been a problem. The site gets quite a few comments every day and I have tried to automate the process of recognizing spam. I have compiled a list of 'bad urls' and also 'bad IP numbers' over the past 12 months. As of today (December 2006), about 30-40 such spam comments are posted daily. They typically advertise online pharmacies and so on.
However, it has been more difficult to find abusive comments. The use of the word 'idiot' alone is not necessarily abusive.
I have added today a button 'Spam' next to each comment which readers can press. If a message gets voted to be spam 3 times, it will be hidden from the public.
I will review the message then manually and either delete it or override the 'community voting'.
I think this process will evolve over time; maybe 3 votes is a too low or too high threshold. We will see..