Guest comments and voting

Posted Oct 08, 2012 at 6:07 pm in Threads > Opinions

Is it time to disable guest comments and their ability to upvote/downvote? I’ve noticed over the last several weeks that most of the trolling/hate speak/etc. comes from guest posts. I’ve also noticed that when I’m not logged in for whatever reason, I’m still able to vote on posts — then I log in again, and I can vote a second time. At the very least, if a commenter doesn’t want to go through the minimal effort to register, they probably shouldn’t be able to affect the ratings of other people’s comments (and thus, points).

  • SGB101

    Yes please kill the guest comments.

  • Bryan Stoner

    Yes. Terminate. Please.

  • walker

    Agreed, it’s really annoying to have trolls barging in and degrading anything against their bias preferences. They don’t enjoy discussions, they just like ruining the atmosphere and flaring at others.

    • Homncruse

      Case in point: walker is currently ranked 0 and, as of the above post, was only registered for 21 hours. And yet, here is walker in the Threads, wanting guest posts to disappear. Proof that people who want to comment will register.

      • walker

        I found this site only recently, after getting tired of Engadget. After a little while, posting a bit as a Guest, I felt that it was time to register an post as a member. I’m fine with a majority of guest posts, just some that get detestable with shallow, idiotic comments. Just don’t let them vote.

  • redraider133

    I agree it is getting bad with all the spam and stupid “final nail in the coffin for…” along with the apple trolls who only come here to comment on articles that have nothing to do with the iphone.

    • Homncruse

      Ironically, the “final nail in the coffin for …” guy spoofs my name ever since I called him out. It’s part of why I’ve become more critical of guest posts, since I’ve noticed that more of my posts have been downvoted lately, and I can’t help but wonder if it’s because some people are making the mistaken association between “final nail” and myself.

      • CTown

        I was just about to mention that user. He or she has got to be the most unoriginal user ever. Name is copied after you, the posts made by the user is exactly the same troll over and over again.

        Why is this user’s posts not deleted immediately after they are made. To keep this user from reposting again a rule should be made: If a user’s posts is deleted that person should be temporarily banned from making a post on that article (or the entire website if serious enough) for 24 hrs by using that user’s IP address something.

    • kazahani

      Hey! I like Final Nail in the Coffin Guy!

      He’s like my little internet pet.

      I adopted him.

      He stays.

      • Max.Steel

        You’re stupid.

        • kazahani

          Final nail in the coffin for Max.Steel

  • iamXiV92a

    I disagree… PARTLY, so don’t downvote me yet. Don’t kill their comments. SOME are actually intuitive and have content to contribute (those few really should just register), but DO kill their ability to downvote and effect our rankings (I’ll take an upvote from anyone)

    The “final nail in the coffin for…[manufacturer of choice]” – they make me chuckle, and it gets downvoted to an extent where you have to click to read it anyway.

  • Ardrid

    Count me for disabling guest accounts. While I can understand that some people may not want to go through the “trouble” of registering for a website, I’m of the opinion that if you truly want to be engaged in the conversation, you’ll take the minute to register. Anyone who can’t be bothered is either lazy or only interested in trolling.

    If guest accounts are to stay, they should lose the ability to vote on posts.

  • Clark Wimberly

    BetterWithRoot nailed it. A guest can vote on a comment, but that comment vote won’t actually affect anyone’s score. When you log in, we let you vote again, because we really want user votes to be heard (if you vote twice, once logged out and once logged in, *only the logged in vote will count towards a user’s score*)

    We’ve toyed with the idea of turning off guest comments, but overall we like the mix and like to let everyone speak his mind, however odd it may seem. A lot of our contests are user-only, and starting a thread is a power-user privilege, so we’re always trying things to persuade folks to register. Thinking of logged-out voting as another enticement. Want that vote to really count? Better log in!

    • Homncruse

      Well, I’m glad to hear that guest votes don’t *really* count for anything other than the tally. I think putting a notification when a guest clicks a vote would be a good idea. It might encourage more people to register.

  • jaxidian

    I’m with you. I think guest comments are necessary, but at the same time, in their current state, they are painful because of the spam and trolling. Perhaps we could have some level of community moderation support to help. Give us a “Report” button on comments so we can report a comment.

  • Dr.Carpy

    Yes. Some of the guest comments can be ridiculous, but there are some guests that are informative and entertaining. I agree, log in folks and vote up people when they say something that is edifying. To that end, Homncruse, don’t worry. Anyone who mistake you for the “final nail” person is nuts. You can spell, and “final nail” always says something nonsensical.

  • nivekkev

    Don’t mind the guest post but they should be judged harsher meaning like if they get down voted maybe 5 times or so, their post should not just be hidden but deleted all together, not sure if that would help with the trollers or not but just an idea so the good post still get posted.

  • kazahani

    Here’s one problem I see: Quite often in stories having anything whatsoever to do with the iPhone, we get iPhone trolls. This is to be expected. However I will notice a string of legitimate comments by A&M users that all have a -1 mod on them, followed by a guest troll saying something like “Welcome to fragmentation!” I am led to believe that this iPhone troll is downvoting all the legitimate comments, posting thier ignorant troll nonsense, and running back off into the wilds. Guest comments are neccessary, and I can see why guest modding could be valuable, but I hate it when I have to re-mod up all the comments in a thread to counteract an iPhone troll.

    Maybe we could limit guest mods to a certain number per day or a certain number per thread.

  • Max.Steel

    Can you at least delete the troll comments. Especially that Ben Johnson guy.

  • kazahani


    We need to stop the spam downvoting. I propose that we institute a time limit when someone decides to vote multiple times very quickly. If a user decides to mod a comment up or down more than 3 times in a minute, then have some sort of short cooldown that kicks in to prevent them from spamming up the thread with mods. Nothing long, just a 15 or 30 second cooldown before they can mod more comments. This would stop a registered user from spamming as well and would increase the weight of legitimate mods.