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RealClimate comment spiking

Before I beat up on RealClimate, I want to make sure that you understand that nearly every blog administrator must delete some comments. It is a sad fact that the more popular the blog, the more spammers will use the forum as a way to advertise products and services that most respectable individuals do not care to read about. If you thought your email was filled with “adult” offers, start a blog and you will be amazed at the adult traffic! Most of us use a tool such as Akismet for the heavy lifting and that filter service will occassionally catch a good comment in the mix of all of the spam.

However, it is pretty clear that the administrators of RealClimate.org intentionally “spike” comments. I know that my comments have been rejected in the past (Gavin said they deleted comments on comment 168 of a discussion a year ago) and I have complained that RealClimate does not always act in manner that is fitting with their profession, their education, and their leadership. I am unsure why they do this, there are plenty that agree with nearly everything they write so it seems foolish to silence their detractors.

I just read on Watts Up With That that there is a new site up for people to publish their rejected RealClimate comments. Go to http://rcrejects.wordpress.com/ and you can post your comments that were spike at RealClimate for all to read. This seems kind of sad and kind of funny. Brittney Spears, Paris Hilton, and U2 have fan sites for people to comment about their activities. This is the first time that I have seen a fan site about another blog that was created to deal with their lack of transparency.

Personally, I won’t use this new service for any comment that I would post.  I have already learned to keep a copy of my comments and if they are spiked then I put them here on this site. For anyone else that doesn’t have a forum like this, the RC Rejects blog may be a good second chance.

The best thing, of course, would be that RealClimate not reject comments.

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3 Responses to “RealClimate comment spiking”

  1. It’s RealClimate’s prerogative to spike dissenting comments. It’s their website, which they’ve built to push their own agenda. There are plenty of other websites with alternate opinions (for example, this site) so it’s not like RealClimate has a duty to provide a forum for the opposition.

    That said, I never spike dissenting comments in my blogs. I only delete comments that contain foul language, personal attacks, or of course, spam. I find that a more balanced (but respectful) debate is better for my readers and certainly more interesting than a bunch of drones telling me how right I am.

  2. Thanks for the link. I check in on WUWT a few times a week, but miss more posts than I read. I have mixed feelings about this new site. It’s good for a laugh and will probably reinforce my doubts about RealClimate, but it’s unfair in its conception.

    Since it is not a compilation of all deleted posts or a random selection, it will probably not play out as a fair representation of Real Climate’s deletion habits. Instead, it will become a site for RealClimate skeptics to reassure themselves that the site is run by polemicists.

    But as you suggest, if Real Climate doesn’t like it, they can shut it down by cutting off the supply of deleted posts.

  3. Ranter – yes, they probably have that right. Actually, I am not sure since there was some discussion a long time ago that they may be using public time or university time to create and moderate this site. I won’t get into that argument here but there are some people (primarily the people the RC criticizes) that complain that the site isn’t purely a private endeavor.

    More at issue is they propose that their site is an educational site for the discussion of a fairly complicated matter. They blend that with a political slant and have some very political viewpoints. If it is truly an educational site then I feel they should be very careful in their practice at spiking. Asking questions and challenging a stance is the core of education and understanding. If they are straight politics then they can push the conversation any way they want.