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Making Lib Dem Voice More Useful

August 1, 2014

ldv-sanitiser-screenshotLiberal Democrat Voice is an independent website run by volunteers which accepts article contributions and allows discussion on a wide variety of Lib Dem-related topics. I don’t read every article there in depth, but it’s basically essential reading for Lib Dems, even if you just skim the headlines to get a sense of what’s new.

Unfortunately like most news websites these days, the comment section has become a regular shouting match for derailment and disruption rather than discussion on the topics at hand. There are two particular categories that irk me; one is Mens’ Rights Activists who try to derail any post on equalities with their “but what about the white cis straight mens!” nonsense. The other is the anti-Clegg faction who will spam every post on the site with calls for Nick to resign. In my opinion these people are getting in the way of debate, not contributing to it.

greasemonkeyI have finally got sufficiently fed up with this to do something about it, and written something which will filter out particular users’ comments from LDV posts. This should make LDV more useful and less rage-inducing. By filtering out the predictable comments from the predictable people, I should be able to get more out of the LDV comment section. It’ll reduce my temptation to feed the trolls and post things that make me look bad, like the comment in the screenshot. If others use it, it’ll hopefully increase the signal:noise ratio further.

There’s a plugin for Firefox and Iceweasel called Greasemonkey which allows the user to install small programs to edit webpages after they’ve loaded. There are equivalents for Chrome, IE, Safari and other browsers as per the Wikipedia link provided. I have started work on a simple killfile for some of the LDV commenters I find particularly disruptive, which you can download here. Once you’ve got Greasemonkey installed, that link should load my script and start running it on Lib Dem Voice pages. It’s only a first draft at the moment, and I expect future improvements if I can be bothered, but your Greasemonkey should pick them up when I do.

And to make the obvious liberal point: Freedom of speech does not equate to freedom to be heard. These posters are not violating LDV’s comment policy, but I do not want to, and do not have to, read what they have to say.

  1. Simon Radford
    August 1, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    You don’t think Clegg should resign??

    • August 1, 2014 at 11:51 pm

      No matter what my opinion of Clegg, I don’t think that every post on Lib Dem Voice should be derailed by the same small group of people into a discussion of whether he should resign.

      • Simon Radford
        August 1, 2014 at 11:52 pm

        Agreed. Get it done and move on.

  2. August 2, 2014 at 8:16 am

    What a fantastic idea! The kind of rudeness/verbal bullying you describe is a total turn-off to me and my least-liked aspect of political activism. Politics has become a dirty word and all of that stuff is a huge turn off to the pubic too… but just as one does not have to pick up the door or answer the phone, one should not be forced to read such bile either – especially from *our own* side!!

  1. August 2, 2014 at 12:55 pm
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