Further to my post about commenting in general entitled Announcement March 31st, some specific points on repetitious commenting:
Going back and forth on a point doesn’t advance discussions and, after enough rejoinders, other readers tend to tune it out. Repetitious comments made by a person or persons in a short period of time can be particularly problematic when a person replies, saying basically the same thing again, to every comment made in reply to their initial comment.
Such comments provide only redundant information and redundant thoughts/ideas while making a thread difficult to read efficiently. Some people suddenly learn of a problem with their real or alleged US citizenship and are in distress and need information f-a-s-t. As well, exchange of thoughts and ideas is hampered by repetitious and circular discussion. Please bear this in mind when commenting.
If you wish to go back and forth on a point with someone, you can ask for a person’s e-mail address – then a moderator asks that person’s permission to forward it to you (persons almost always say yes, btw).
Another strategy for dealing with repetitious comments is to pull (delete) them. I hope that our new “move comment” feature is helping streamline the site and that it will allow for the occasional repetitious conversation ( with “move comment,” at least a repetitious conversation relates to the thread’s topic, and any particular “boring-to-most-people” conversation may be of interest to a sizable minority). Also as a mod, I’m not categorically opposed to what I personally consider repetitious commenting because different people would draw that line in different places. But if I feel that repetitious commenting is bogging a thread down, I would consider pulling a comment and have done so on occasion in the past. In that case, there is nothing to prevent the person from commenting further (except for if they put the same repetitious comment up again, that will get pulled).
Brock being a community as well as a website, as far as doing any moderation more stringent than removing a repetitious comment, such as putting a person (as opposed to only a comment) in moderation, if the person is a regular commenter – not a troll or some jerk who just showed up to deliberately cause trouble – my modus operandi is to warn the person they’re skirting with moderation because of [the reason]. But pulling a comment that is basically repeating a recent earlier comment is no big deal. In such a case, the person still gets to have their original recent comment on the thread (also if a person said the same thing two hours ago, they know they did, so nothing to warn them about).