Recently, this blog passed a few milestones that I thought would be worth sharing with readers. For all of our critics and the vitriol all they throw our way, I challenge any of them to find a climate related blog that even comes close to the level of readership we enjoy here. We recently passed 300 million views and 2 million approved comments (more on that later).Here are screen grabs from the WUWT dashboard showing the numbers:
We also recently passed 40,000 email subscribers.
Given these events, I thought it might be time to refresh some of our readers on the most contentious part of operating this blog and that is the comments section. One of the downsides of being number one is that you’re also the biggest target. And being the biggest target we have a plethora of “anonymous cowards” who try to post comments here that are either wildly off-topic, inappropriate, angry, hateful, or otherwise uncivil. Some of the serial offenders use fake IDs, fake e-mail addresses, and even fake IP addresses to try to get their unwelcome point of view or hate-mongering across.
Because of that I’ve had to implement a strong filter to catch a lot of these people so that such inappropriate comments are not published. Occasionally some get through but fortunately readers tend to point them out and they get deleted by moderators or myself because they don’t adhere to site policy. This would be a good opportunity for all readers to review the site policy which you can view here.
Some of our critics say that we should allow for some of the other points of view to be discussed here such as barycentrism, atmospheric pressure theories, chemtrails, electric universe, geo-engineering theories, etc. etc. etc. In the earlier days we did some of that, and quite frankly a lot of that stuff proved to be nothing more than nonsense, and turned into food fights in the comment section. Been there, done that, not going to do it again. There are other venues and blogs to discuss those things, feel free to go there but don’t ask for them to be discussed here or make comments about those topics. They will be deleted. I don’t allow those topics here for the same reason I don’t share my home with a honey-badger; it’s not productive, it’s noisy, and somebody gets hurt in the end. And like a honey-badger meme, I just don’t care. ;-)
For those of you that have wondered why some comments may disappear that contain what you seem to think are very innocuous words, this is the reason; some of the most persistent fake commenters use particular word combinations or phrases that are part of their writing style that we have identified, and sometimes regular commenters fall into that trap accidentally. Bear in mind that each comment is reviewed and if it meets the site policy it will be published. Occasionally there are some comments that may not fit into the categories defined by the site policy but don’t get published. That’s why we have a clause for “on an event basis” to cover such instances. There’s no need to e-mail us to say my comment disappeared! We will find it and recover it if it meets site policy, if you don’t see it after a few hours, you can consider it out of bound for site policy.
There is also no need to keep posting the same identical comment dozens of times hoping that if you just keep trying it will somehow get through. All that does is just create extra work for the moderation staff to clean out duplicate comments. Speaking of extra work, we cannot move comments between threads if you somehow accidentally commented on the wrong thread, and generally we don’t have time to edit people’s comments when they request such things. It would be better if you would just post a new comment directly below it saying the previous comment had an error and fix it, or just simply repost the appropriate comment in the appropriate thread.
Some of our critics say that we should publish all comments because otherwise we’re engaging in censorship. To that I say, bollocks. We wouldn’t have reached 2 million comments in my opinion if this blog allowed a Wild West policy for commentators, and I think the success speaks for itself in the numbers. I challenge any other blog that covers climate to show me their numbers.
I’d also like to make a note about e-mail subscribers. We don’t have a management tool for e-mail subscribers because the entire system is run by WordPress.com and it is designed to be self maintaining by the end-user. Therefore if you want to unsubscribe you have to do that yourself. Each e-mail that comes from each blog post contains a link that will allow you to unsubscribe if you look carefully.
Finally, I’d like to mention that occasionally some of the ads here cause some readers problems due to the ads injecting inappropriate code or badly formed code. Over the past year I have worked very closely with WordPress.com to help them weed out some of the advertisers that have done stupid things with their ads like injecting code that causes the scrolling the jump right back to the ad every 5 seconds. Largely as a result of complaints from our readers about these problems and due to the efforts I put into troubleshooting and relaying the information to WordPress.com staff, I’m happy to announce that about two months ago they implemented a “predatory code filter” that weeds out these kinds of advertiser tricks. I’m happy to report that since this has been done the number of complaints I received has dropped to near zero.
That said, I still occasionally get complaints from readers about pages being slow or pages not loading completely, etc. a lot of this has to do with browsers and the state of the computer hosting their web browser. I have noted a common theme in many complaints like this which is: fear of upgrade. The Internet is an evolving animal and if you don’t keep your web browser updated and most importantly your computer updated you may find that you get left behind at the back of the herd. For those that are interested, I consider the best browser for viewing this website is Chrome with at least 4 GB of memory and processor that’s running at least 1.5 GHz. About two years ago Firefox was my browser of choice but it had become buggy and unstable and I abandoned it. If you are still using Firefox you might want to consider downloading Chrome for a better experience.
As always, I thank you the reader for making the success of WUWT possible. I also thank the many moderators and guest contributors that keep this blog running smoothly and make the wide variety of content available here.
My best regards to all – Anthony Watts
[note: about 10 minutes after publication, a number of typos were corrected that came from voice recognition dictation imperfections]