Further Down the "Bore Hole"

A look at comment deletion at RealClimate compared with WUWT

Guest post submitted by Ian Rons

Regular readers will doubtless be familiar, either at first- or second-hand, with the enthusiasm with which moderators at RealClimate.org seem to reject comments from AGW sceptics. Ecotretas’ recent story on Realclimate censorship (re-posted here) piqued my interest, since in addition to the usual tones of indignation, it suggested a method of estimating the RealClimate comment deletion rate by looking at the comment IDs (as revealed by WordPress’s use of the HTML (attribute), and counting the number of these IDs which are missing from the sequence.

Being at a loose end, I took up the cudgels and wrote a script using PHP and cURL which took about an hour to mine every available page on realclimate.org by accessing the page using its WordPress “post_id” value (from http://…/?p=1 to http://…/?p=8092, as at (14th July), extracting comment IDs with a simple regular expression and doing a bit of maths on the result. Naturally, the source code and the various output files are available upon request.

The figures are rather high, though doubtless some missing comments will have been spam.

However, at least in recent times, the RC site has employed the “re-CAPTCHA”service, which (unlike the Akismet service used by WUWT) does not create a new comment ID if the comment is rejected for being spam, so for instance the 56% of comments missing during June 2011 seems likely to be an accurate figure, unless some other explanation can be found.

A possible explanation might be the existence of a large number of comments on the site by an inner circle of users hidden on special-access pages, but I find it hard to believe this could account for a large proportion of (e.g.) the 933 comments which are missing in June 2011. Similarly, the apparent surge of deletions beginning July 2007 may also be truly reflective of events, since it has been suggested in comments here that it “coincided” with RC’s attack on the surface stations project. However it has also been pointed out that such interpretations are impossible to verify using this method.

Overall, there were 78,639 missing comment IDs, out of a total of 210,595, or 37.3%. As for the RC page known as “The Bore Hole”, which started on 6th January 2011 (the date being evident from the post_id of 6013 and the moderator’s response to the first comment, although they have since re-dated it 6th December 2004 for some reason), the comments on that page are of course counted here as “published” comments, however they are small in number (404) when compared with the number of comments which seem to go missing even after that date in January (5,000). At the risk of mixing metaphors, “The Bore Hole” could perhaps be regarded as something of a fig-leaf.

I ran a similar scan on WUWT (also a WordPress site) on the 14th July, extracting data from http://…/?p=1 to http://…/?p=43440. However, analysing WUWT with this method presented several problems that aren’t applicable to the RC site:

  • Some earlier comment IDs are out of chronological order (stemming, it seems, from the import from TypePad to WordPress in October 2007), so figures for early months are impossible to calculate. During this period there seems to have been some infilling of comment IDs (probably due to the TypePad import not setting the “auto_increment” values in the database properly), which would affect the overall total; however, the numbers involved (whilst impossible to calculate precisely) are probably at most in the very low hundreds.
  • WUWT has always used WordPress’s Akismet spam-filtering, which creates new comment IDs before marking them as spam. Anthony provided me with a screenshot showing the total volume of spam which had been deleted as of early on the 15th July to be 55,097. This can be adjusted down to 55,085 for the period covered by my data to late on the 14th July 2011.
  • The Tips & Notes page encourages comments from readers which are not intended to remain permanently on the site, so they are to be regarded as “legitimate” deletions. Anthony provided me with records of the numbers of Tips & Notes comments posted (then eventually deleted) for the period 24th March to 10th July 2011 (3,220), on which I based an estimate of 22,215 “legitimately deleted” comments for the period 23rd June 2009 (when the T&N page was created) to 14th July 2011 inclusive.

Overall, WUWT has 75,989 missing comments IDs, out of a total of 700,115 submitted comments (10.9%). Subtracting the above figures for Akismet and Tips & Notes gives us a problem, since it’s a negative figure: -1,311. I think this is most likely due to an over-estimation of the number of comments posted on the Tips & Notes page, combined with perhaps a few hundred from the infilling problem mentioned above. However, the combined additions from these two sources of error would have to be in excess of 8,000 to raise the number of deletions to 1% of the total submitted, which I think very unlikely.

Putting it another way, and assuming a total of 200 “infilled” comment IDs (a high estimate, in my opinion), I would have to have over-estimated the volume of Tips & Notes comments by some 58% to reach a 1% deletion rate. I therefore see no reason to doubt the claims made on behalf of WUWT that the deletion rate is less than 1%. In fact it may be considerably lower. It is, however, noteworthy that December 2007 and January 2008 show high deletion rates, with another bump during Sep-Oct 2008:

In summary, whilst there remains some uncertainty especially regarding the RC data, the data does tend to support the anecdotal evidence concerning RC’s tendentious comment moderation practices. It also tends to support (or at least does not contradict) WUWT’s claims of a <1% comment deletion record.

For reference, here are the monthly totals which I used for the graphs. This table excludes incomplete months and some early WUWT months as noted:

RealClimate Watts Up With That?
Month Missing Submitted Missing (%) Missing Submitted Missing (%)
Jan 2005 86 524 16.4%
Feb 2005 111 383 29%
Mar 2005 53 286 18.5%
Apr 2005 96 294 32.7%
May 2005 47 305 15.4%
Jun 2005 119 482 24.7%
Jul 2005 524 826 63.4%
Aug 2005 255 474 53.8%
Sep 2005 112 527 21.3%
Oct 2005 99 664 14.9%
Nov 2005 67 654 10.2%
Dec 2005 544 1150 47.3%
Jan 2006 277 944 29.3%
Feb 2006 306 1236 24.8%
Mar 2006 390 1292 30.2%
Apr 2006 660 2130 31%
May 2006 580 1477 39.3%
Jun 2006 174 995 17.5%
Jul 2006 142 1252 11.3%
Aug 2006 888 2123 41.8%
Sep 2006 253 1005 25.2%
Oct 2006 340 1055 32.2%
Nov 2006 114 1290 8.8%
Dec 2006 62 876 7.1%
Jan 2007 203 1791 11.3%
Feb 2007 223 2282 9.8%
Mar 2007 343 3107 11%
Apr 2007 160 1960 8.2%
May 2007 213 2271 9.4%
Jun 2007 188 2055 9.1%
Jul 2007 4061 5724 70.9%
Aug 2007 7171 9511 75.4%
Sep 2007 4140 5499 75.3%
Oct 2007 4561 7091 64.3%
Nov 2007 6064 8226 73.7% 108 476 22.7%
Dec 2007 4184 6073 68.9% 547 869 62.9%
Jan 2008 493 1938 25.4% 497 1217 40.8%
Feb 2008 452 1656 27.3% 536 2027 26.4%
Mar 2008 332 1444 23% 776 3212 24.2%
Apr 2008 854 2222 38.4% 396 3023 13.1%
May 2008 1159 3050 38% 465 3192 14.6%
Jun 2008 880 2526 34.8% 586 5781 10.1%
Jul 2008 1156 3086 37.5% 751 6651 11.3%
Aug 2008 922 2733 33.7% 514 6775 7.6%
Sep 2008 873 2827 30.9% 1596 9174 17.4%
Oct 2008 692 1892 36.6% 1918 8936 21.5%
Nov 2008 1466 3026 48.4% 931 7012 13.3%
Dec 2008 1089 3127 34.8% 436 7599 5.7%
Jan 2009 1063 3269 32.5% 508 11357 4.5%
Feb 2009 834 2587 32.2% 1053 12586 8.4%
Mar 2009 1232 3260 37.8% 857 16186 5.3%
Apr 2009 1635 4369 37.4% 662 16291 4.1%
May 2009 2037 4361 46.7% 641 14217 4.5%
Jun 2009 808 3183 25.4% 1236 13525 9.1%
Jul 2009 646 3664 17.6% 1561 14722 10.6%
Aug 2009 384 2341 16.4% 1606 13619 11.8%
Sep 2009 337 1657 20.3% 1802 15389 11.7%
Oct 2009 722 3699 19.5% 2187 19746 11.1%
Nov 2009 1518 5745 26.4% 2945 25712 11.5%
Dec 2009 981 6401 15.3% 4339 36716 11.8%
Jan 2010 728 5349 13.6% 2250 26840 8.4%
Feb 2010 966 6020 16% 2267 26640 8.5%
Mar 2010 873 5066 17.2% 2349 26051 9%
Apr 2010 883 4227 20.9% 2312 23259 9.9%
May 2010 966 3425 28.2% 2877 20174 14.3%
Jun 2010 983 2915 33.7% 2295 19584 11.7%
Jul 2010 1613 3808 42.4% 2789 23840 11.7%
Aug 2010 772 2324 33.2% 3211 27241 11.8%
Sep 2010 770 2072 37.2% 3414 24257 14.1%
Oct 2010 681 2267 30% 2547 24362 10.5%
Nov 2010 824 2698 30.5% 2667 20508 13%
Dec 2010 1942 3744 51.9% 1983 22411 8.8%
Jan 2011 685 2794 24.5% 2716 24451 11.1%
Feb 2011 963 2901 33.2% 2243 22524 10%
Mar 2011 1077 2326 46.3% 2371 23480 10.1%
Apr 2011 684 1674 40.9% 2124 17466 12.2%
May 2011 738 1679 44% 2457 20028 12.3%
Jun 2011 933 1677 55.6% 2544 20682 12.3%

====================================================================

UPDATE:

Thanks to Ian. It should be noted that I had no influence of any kind on his analysis, other than providing the input data he requested. It is published exactly as he presented it to me, with only some small edits for formatting, with no content changes.

I thought this might be a good time to show something I encountered personally on June 7th, 2009 at RC. Gavin posted up a thread asking for ideas about the blog.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/06/groundhog-day-2/

His central question to readers was:

“What is it that you feel needs more explaining?”

I decided I’d offer my suggestion. Big mistake. Here’s a series of screen caps I made illustrating the central systemic bias that RC has, even for basic and germane topics.

It starts out like this when my first suggestion was not published:

It never appeared, so I thought I’d try an experiment. Using my wife’s computer (on the same DSL circuit, same IP address) I decided I’d submit an upbeat generic comment that didn’t offer any sort of challenge to RC using a new email account to see if it was an automation problem related to IP or my name/email address, or if it was simply that RC does not like challenges to their position:

And amazingly, it went right through. So I knew I was not being blocked by IP address or name/keyword, as you can see below, it was approved:

So, I tried again, again on the same home network, my PC this time:

And here it is awaiting moderation:

Nope, it was consigned to the ether:

A few comments later, we can see who is moderating, Gavin himself, note the inline response:

I decided to send a polite email inquiring about my missing comments:

And of course, I never received a response.

So there you have it, even when they ASK for ideas, ones that come from skeptics are apparently deleted; real open debate from a Real Climate scientist, Dr. Gavin Schmidt of NASA GISS.

Update#2 Ric Werme asks in comments:

The next question is “Why do people even bother posting comments at RC?” I’ve found it easier to not go there at all, so I don’t get tempted to add a comment.

Apparently, other than dhogaza and a few hangers on, not many do:

Except for search engine hits, WUWT beats RC in every measure. See for yourself here:

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/wattsupwiththat.com+realclimate.org#trafficstats

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What a fantastic work!
Ecotretas

Darren Parker

WUWT has a very strict policy on language – i’ve had posts deleted because I slipped in a very minor swear word.

Jeremy

Thank god I’m not paying for this rejection of comments with tax dollars, oh wait…

Be careful with assuming CAPTCHA blocks out all spam. Spambots can even defeat those with regularity. The only way to block spambots is to put a simple question in that requires a human to read and comprehend. For example: “Can you divide five by zero?”

Generally if I’m bored or it’s just a slow night, I go see a Movie or read a book. Although I see where Statisitics could pass the time just as well.

Taphonomic

“source code and the various output files are available upon request”
What a bizarre concept. Why would anyone ever want to do that?
/sarc

Ray

This seems to be a good proxy to show they are losing the argument.

Crispin in Waterloo

Can you add a linear trend line to the graph? I expect every chart that has anything to do with climate or discussions of it to have a linear trend line. I am used to it now! I ne-ee-ed a linear trend line! I want to see if it changes with time and if the change follows the PDO or GCR flux or CO2.

Ron Cram

It’s worse than we thought!

ferdberple

RC = Religious Cult

George

Next, map the deletions to CO2 change? 🙂

Mike

Quality academic journals boast about their rejection rates.

Not always. Gavin accepted number of my posts (some are on bore-hole, but still lot of hits from there).
I am not posting this one, reasons are obvious.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET1690-1960.htm
climatic paradox = more CO2 is released the current temperatures closer get to those of the 1730’s.

MikeN

It’s pretty obvious looking at your post what the redacted portion of the e-mail address is.

Mac the Knife

Very Interesting! Full disclosure, at it’s finest…. Thanks!!!
This says a LOT, about the fairness and tolerance of WUWT!
Q: Do (3 ) “snips” count as (1) “delete”? };>)
I don’t think I’ve ever been ‘deleted’ here, but I do seem to remember a ‘snip’ or two, when I may have suggested that waterboarding could apply where FOIA had proved ineffective…. Some times my enthusiasm gets the better of me!

ferdberple

The RC Borehole might be better titled “The Best of RC”
This page posted to the Borehole is quite interesting
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC1.htm
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/the-bore-hole/comment-page-9/#comments
While correlation is not causation, it seems hard to explain the high correlation between arctic temperatures and the earth’s magnetic field as simply accidental. It is hard to see how a change in temperature at the arctic would influence the magnetic field.
However, it seems quite likely that a change in the magnetic field would affect incoming solar charged particle radiation and thus affect the chemistry of the polar atmosphere. This change in the polar atmosphere would then affect the polar climate.
It seems a large hole in the current mainstream climate theories to only consider a very narrow range of EM radiation from the sun, in those bands where our skin and eyes are sensitive, without considering that the sun emits both EM and charged particles, over a very wide range of energies and frequencies.
For example, the production of ozone and the “ozone hole” might be better explained in terms of changes in the ionization rate of the atmosphere over the solar cycle coupled with changes in the changes in the earths magnetic field, as compared to CFC production.
There seems to be an assumption in climate and atmospheric sciences then when something new is observed, it must be a result of human activity. In this climate and atmospheric science is correct, but not in the way they assume.
When something new is observed it is not necessarily because we created it, rather because human activity has created better instrumentation and methods. For example, satellite detection of hurricanes that were previously unreported, skewing the reporting rate of hurricanes, leading science to mistakenly conclude that hurricanes are increasing.
This is the fallacy of AGW and the lesson to be learned in science. Better instruments and better methods can make natural processed appear to be increasing or decreasing in unexplained ways. However, what is changing is not nature itself, rather the nature of the measurements.

nemo

“Be careful with assuming CAPTCHA blocks out all spam. Spambots can even defeat those with regularity. The only way to block spambots is to put a simple question in that requires a human to read and comprehend. For example: “Can you divide five by zero?””
Spam prevention mechanisms like this are rather easily overcome, regardless of the question asked.
The problem is that internally, the spam prevention has a limited list of symbols that it is permuting to generate known answers. For english readable math questions, that is a bit larger than for some other systems, but the syntax is still fairly predictable. In the end, you can’t expect your machine to outsmart theirs.
Systems like that are far easier to break than distorted text, and at least recaptcha is performing a useful service.

DennisK

I predict a “hockey stick” chart pattern of comment deletions in the near future leading to a catastrophic communication crisis.

RockyRoad

Gavin Schmidt is a government employee. He removes content that is critical of the government’s stance on climate. That amounts to suppression of free information by the US government. Welcome to our Socialist Utopia.

Give the raw data to Michael Mann and let him graph it 🙂

What was the RealClimate.crapola rate of deletions for November 2009 and the months immediately following?

Good work Ian. But, it tells us what we already know. RC is a political advocacy blog. That it is run by public employed scientists is an outrage, but there’s no evidence of illegal activities…… so far. But, it is certainly unethical. If this remains the case, after all of this climate hyperbole is done and over, we should pass laws that our scientific civil servants be better constrained to at least lend the appearance of an apolitical stance. As it is now, any blatherings coming from our science offices such as NOAA, NASA, USGS,….etc. is regarded as possessing the same validity as the blatherings from Greenpeace or the Sierra Club.
It is an intolerable and untenable situation. The public deserves much more than advocacy from these people. They have taken advantage of the public’s largess and general goodwill towards such enterprises and occupations. It won’t remain so if they continue down this path.

Mike says:
“Quality academic journals boast about their rejection rates.”
So do propaganda journals, like Nature Climate Change. In case you missed the point, this article exposes censorship of opposing views by government employees.

I love that smile4me2day email address! They must consider it is a respectable scientist, one more in the consensus…
Although this has biased Ron’s statistics, favoring RC! I wonder how much of the approved comments are the Team, and the virtualTeam posing as someone else?
It just keeps getting more and more hilarious!
Ecotretas

jorgekafkazar

Nice post! I once compared Warmist jargon to the Tower of Babel, here. Boom! Snipped. On the other hand, it’s highly significant that while Anthony lists Stoat, John Cook, and other Warmist sites on his blogroll, WUWT is not listed on “Real”Climate, nor are any other dissenting or even lukewarmist sites. The closest to a skeptical link on RC is Andy Revkin’s DotEarth. This difference in philosophy is reflected in the very names of the blogs: WUWT’s title poses a question–seeking truth. The very name ‘”Real”Climate’ is propagandistic–claiming possession of truth (followed by an appeal to authority, “Climate Science from Climate Scientists.”)

Anthony.
One way to get comments thru is to NOT link to CA or WUWT or Airvent.
Otherwise they see your question as a method to drive traffic to the sites you link.
I dont condone that practice, but as long as I dont link to sites they disapprove of my comments get through.
REPLY: Gavin had the opportunity to tell me that himself i.e. “lose the link and I’ll let it pass”. He declined to even acknowledge my email. Nuff said. – Anthony

ferdberple

Mainstream science and consensus science as reported in Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_wind
“Opposition to Parker’s hypothesis on the solar wind was strong. The paper he submitted to the Astrophysical Journal in 1958 was rejected by two reviewers. It was saved by the editor Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (who later received the 1983 Nobel Prize in physics).”
The current AGW is based upon work done 150 years ago. In contrast, recognition of the existence of a “solar wind” is much more recent. As a result, in large part this has not been incorporated into our understanding of the role the solar wind plays in climate, for example in cloud formation, ozone production and polar temperatures.

At 9:36 AM on 22 July, James Sexton had written about RealClimate.crapola:

That it is run by public employed scientists is an outrage, but there’s no evidence of illegal activities…… so far. But, it is certainly unethical. If this remains the case, after all of this climate hyperbole is done and over, we should pass laws that our scientific civil servants be better constrained to at least lend the appearance of an apolitical stance.

Under both regulations prevailing and longstanding custom, the officers and enlisted personnel of the U.S. military forces are prohibited from making public politically partisan statements or otherwise participating in the activities of elected civil government outside the privacy of the voting booth.
They are not disenfranchised, but the only way in which such a serving member of the military can so much as openly criticize the civilian chain of command requires that the individual in question leave the service immediately. A number of senior commissioned officers in the history of these United States have done precisely that.
Some similar standard of conduct, applied to los warmistas sucking at the public trough into which the taxpayers of this nation are so grievously bled, would be a consummation devoutly to be wished.
In a time of terrible and widespread unemployment, I can think of nobody in this nation who more thoroughly deserves to be unemployed.

pat

You all simply do not understand. This is called “homogenizing”.

nvw

Great post. Thanks for taking the time to collect and present this data.

Mark and two Cats,
If you get Mann to graph the data, I would bet that he would turn the inverse hockey stick graph of WUWT, and turn it into one of his own hockey stick graphs!
Ecotretas

son of mulder

Speaking of Bore Holes here’s Chris Huhne’s lates pronouncement
http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFL6E7IL0MF20110721
“Defying climate deal like appeasing Hitler-UK minister”

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

I’ve had comments deleted here, that were started with “Dear Moderators” in bold, that were only made to pass some info to the moderation team (typos etc), that I expected to be deleted. Sorry to contaminate the data like that. 😉
===
Question that I’ve been wondering about for awhile: When on RC a GISS employee like Gavin writes a post about or comments on a paper in a journal, to which they gained access through the paywall using their government-funded (taxpayer-funded) position, no money out of their own pocket, doesn’t that qualify as using government resources for their RC blogging, even when they claim they’re “on their own private time”?

ferdberple

James Sexton says:
July 22, 2011 at 9:36 am
That it is run by public employed scientists is an outrage, but there’s no evidence of illegal activities…… so far.
Is that in fact true? It seems likely that if government grants are being awarded to climate scientists, and these same climate scientists are knowingly using government funding to suppressing public criticism of their activities, then that is very likely illegal or fraudulent activity and should be reported to your elected representatives for action.
In the end the way forward for the USA is through the ballot, because AGW is not about science, it is about politics. In Canada our current government rejected the alarmist view on climate change and was re-elected with its first majority. This in spite of the CBC running hourly stories on the horrors of climate change, the deaths of polar bears, cities buried under mountains of water, etc., etc.
The Canadian people saw through this and recognized that economic prosperity is a much bigger threat to our children’s future. Do you believe that politicians like Gore act out of human kindness? Or are they predators that use our best intentions against us to enrich themselves and their friends?
Listening to Gore I’m reminded of the preachers that spew fire and brimstone over the evils of sin, that are later found to have deflowered half the flock. No matter how much they say they are trying to help others, they are really trying to help themselves.

I don’t recall seeing very many “snipped” posts and most of them only snip part of a message.
If snipping is as high as 1%, I’d be very surprised.

Crispin in Waterloo

Mike says:
July 22, 2011 at 9:09 am
Quality academic journals boast about their rejection rates.
+++++++
So does Mike.

James Sexton says:
July 22, 2011 at 9:36 am
> Good work Ian. But, it tells us what we already know. RC is a political advocacy blog.
Good science pretty much requires good numbers. We knew RC deleted comments, now we have a good idea of how many they delete, and what the deletion rate is over time.
The Climategate Emails also told us what we knew, but they quantified and provided background.
The next question is “Why do people even bother posting comments at RC?” I’ve found it easier to not go there at all, so I don’t get tempted to add a comment.

Richard S Courtney

kadaka (KD Knoebel):
You make a good point at July 22, 2011 at 10:14 am,
I have also posted comments that are addressed directly to Moderators at WUWT and include the words, “Please feel free not to post this comment”. I am pleased that such comments have been deleted but – as you say- they provide a false addition to the estimate of ‘real’ deletions from WUWT that Ian Rons has estimated in his excellent analysis.
Richard

ferdberple

One approach might be to post a complaint to Gavin at RC if you feel your comments have been deleted unfairly by the activities of government employees, and include on the post a CC to your elected representatives. It does seem unreasonable that NASA/Goddard pay someone to delete/censor the comments of concerned citizens from a website, especially in light of the apparent very high deletion rate.

kramer

Some of us should take screen movie captures of us typing in comments, submitting them, and then them not being posted and post these videos on youtube.
I used to comment at Romm’s site but now when I type in a comment, it doesn’t even make it to being moderated.
There is one site that seems to have taken all of my comments, it is Grist.org.

Long piece with mind-numbing details, ironically undermining our AGW friends’ claims that skeptics say stuff just to confuse the public, with no data to back it up.
One of my favorites was a reasonable question I posed to a site about why the blogger didn’t come down harder on Al Gore on refusing to debate skeptics. After all, a more effective defense would be to first show how skeptics’ climate assessments are wrong, and THEN put the final nail in the coffin by showing irrefutable proof such skeptics are paid to say what they say by big coal & oil. I wish I’d gotten screencaps of my actual question and the follow-up one I asked, which resulted in this gem: http://i51.tinypic.com/2zo8ygz.jpg
Oh, my…… now I’m quivering in fear, reduced to silence.

Tucci78 says:
July 22, 2011 at 9:52 am
Under both regulations prevailing and longstanding custom, the officers and enlisted personnel of the U.S. military forces are prohibited from making public politically partisan statements or otherwise participating in the activities of elected civil government outside the privacy of the voting booth.
====================================================================
Indeed, it was one of the compelling reasons why I left the service in the 90s. While rules and guidelines exist, it isn’t a moral dilemma to understand what is or isn’t ethical in this case. Obviously, while others possess a modicum of ethical compunction, this trait isn’t extended to many of the scientists at various agencies and departments in the service of this nation. I despise the thought of more laws regarding citizen behavior, but apparently, they are necessary for our less scrupled countrymen. Ultimately, our system of laws will fail if the public is tolerant of such people. The onus of proper conduct is upon the individual and not any government entity in this nation. Because laws don’t exist governing certain behavior doesn’t mean one should engage in such behavior. This simply reinforces John Adam’s posit on the laws governing the American people…….“Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
We haven’t listened to the admonishments of the past.
“None can love freedom but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license, which never hath more scope than under Tyrants.”—- John Milton

Pete H

Hmm! A graph related to RC that is not HS shaped! Impressive!

dp

This is a crazy survey. It does not establish the quality or worth of comments. A zillion AOL “Me Too!” comments are not worth a single meaningful post, for example, and this site has a large number of fan boy posts that really don’t add to the conversation. This site also gets an awful lot of posts from spelling and grammar nannies and while it is often helpful, they don’t contribute, otherwise
I know that Anthony means for this site to drive revenue and that makes a bit difference if the RC site you are comparing is not commerce-driven. I don’t know that it is or is not, but it has to be considered.
Dr. Curry is prone to dropping stinkbombs on her blog that will drive 200 comments even before your coffee is cold and many of them are argumentative, bickering, or “somebody’s wrong on the Internet” type posts.
So what I’m saying is, unless there is a way to quantify the value/post ratio there’s nothing to see here by just comparing numbers. You really need data mining software to analyze the worth of the two sites and not just play with the numbers. It makes it look like you’re pushing consensus and appealing to group think and not identifying what useful information those numbers indicate. In RC’s favor, culling useless posts improves the signal to noise ratio – regardless of whether one agrees with the signal.

Juice

I hate to be a grammar nazi, but it should be “Farther down the bore hole.”

ferdberple

son of mulder says:
July 22, 2011 at 10:04 am
Speaking of Bore Holes here’s Chris Huhne’s latest pronouncement
A shining example of the fire and brimstone preacher? The politician that loves to tell others how to live their lives, while living a life that few if any would hold up as a good example to their children?

John Whitman

Richard S Courtney says:
July 22, 2011 at 10:49 am
””””””””kadaka (KD Knoebel):
You make a good point at July 22, 2011 at 10:14 am,
I have also posted comments that are addressed directly to Moderators at WUWT and include the words, “Please feel free not to post this comment”. I am pleased that such comments have been deleted but – as you say- they provide a false addition to the estimate of ‘real’ deletions from WUWT that Ian Rons has estimated in his excellent analysis.
Richard”””””””””””
—————————-
Ian Rons,
I think kadaka and Richard S Courtney are correct.
I often send notes to the moderator about the status of my comment or concerning html tagging errors in a comment of mine.
Those seldom appear on the screen, so assume they are deleted.
Are those accounted for in your analysis of WUWT?
John

In the first years of RC, some real discussion (with e.g. Raypierre) was possible without much moderation. But with the years, the moderation did become more and more censoring of comments which did disagree with the moderators, even entirely on topic. I did give up commenting there when over halve of my comments were disappearing in cyberspace…

Bob Diaz

Interesting work!
Now for a bit of humor:
With a bit more work and a few million government grant, you should be able to show a connection between increased CO2 and CD (Comment Deletion). This ACD is getting worse and we MUST act now to reduce CO2 or, all comments will deleted in the future!!! ;-))

Hans Moleman

Hopefully this isn’t an example of the level of scientific rigor that contributors to this site typically apply to their subjects.
We get it: you guys don’t like Real Climate, but this is supposed to be a science blog not the Daily News. If this isn’t a joke then you’ve really lowered the bar for your competitors.