Disqus commenting and the DM saga

I've ditched the default Blogger commenting scheme in favor of Disqus. "Why, Mike," I hear you asking, "Why oh why would you do such a thing?" Well, Disqus has some really cool features that make commenting more interesting while making my life easier.

Mainly, I did it because I was tired of deleting spam by notorious troll Dennis Markuze/Dave Mabus/Douche Maximus. I mean, I am all for dissenting constructive criticism of anything I write – in fact, I feel like if I'm not getting some criticism, I must be doing something wrong. It's important to stimulate dialogue and to be challenged on your views. But the incoherent spam that "DM" posts everywhere isn't worth the bandwidth it's transmitted on. Blogger's spam filter was a joke. It literally did nothing. Every comment DM posted, I'd mark as "spam", but that didn't prevent him from using the same profile to post more garbage.

John Loftus offered up a sorta-okay solution with a Java script where you could block various Blogger profiles by sticking the spammer's Blogger ID into the script. You have to disallow anonymous commenting, which kind of sucks. But really it just egged on Douche Maximus even more, and he started creating one Blogger profile after another and continued his spam-fest unabated. Each time he created a new profile I would have to get the ID, go into my template and manually update the Java code to block him. The more steps I took to get rid of this prick, the more time and effort he seemed to expend in posting his blathering on my blog. In a way it's flattering that someone who prefers to harass people like PZ Myers would take the time to pay any mind to me, but I was fed up with blocking one profile after another.
There's no sure-fire way to eliminate spam, but Disqus allows me to ban specific users by their name and/or IP address, and comments marked as spam are instantly blacklisted. One click can delete a comment and blacklist the user ID, and two clicks permanently bans the IP address. I've noticed that other sites that use Disqus, like Blag Hag, don't have problems with DM or spam in general so hopefully this will do the trick.

But more than that, there are just some cool features in Disqus. For one, you can vote comments up. But better than that is the addition of comment threading, so you can reply to specific comments without disorganizing the whole comments section. Not only that, but Disqus makes it really easy to sign in with your Facebook profile or, if you have a blog, to make it so clicking on your name will instantly direct readers to it. It's a great avenue for a little shameless self-promotion. Even cooler is that if you click on a user's name, you can see all their activity, which includes comments on any other blogs that use Disqus. It's a great way to feed the community.

So, enjoy Disqus. I hope it works out. And David Mabus or Dennis Markuz or whatever the hell your name is... you need help my friend. I hope someone who cares about you helps you find treatment.


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