Restricting Bugzilla comments

Justin Dolske dolske at
Tue Aug 5 18:49:08 UTC 2014

On 8/5/14 10:36 AM, Kev Needham wrote:
> I honestly hope we never, ever do that. I would rather call bullshit out
> vs. filtering it, unless it is spam and/or against the ToS, in which
> case the comments are still visible with the author name and a "this
> comment violates policy x and has been removed" vs. filtering.

We've been doing it for a while, 55 bugs as of today:

Generally these have been bugs whose innate subject attracts flames and 
other nonconstructive comments, which makes the bug useless as a problem 
tracker (i.e., it becomes a complaint forum). Engaging is no longer 
useful when people ignore previous discussion and decisions on the topic 
(even within the same bug!), and are just venting or rehashing the same 

There was also a recent batch of such bugs due to repeated Australis 
Nazi spam, where restricting comments was one of the few anti-spam tools 
available at the time.

When the comment-restricting feature was first implemented, there was 
concern about how to use it without abusing it ("omgcensorship!"). That 
hasn't been a problem in practice, and I think it could stand to be used 
more often.

Still, restricting the whole bug often feels like too big of a hammer. 
Even per-comment moderation can be challenging when it's a mix of  being 
constructive and non-constructive, or when the problem stems from the 
aggregate of marginal comments. I suspect we need a better way to 
politely let users know their comment doesn't quite meet the standard we 
aspire to, and that they should consider revising and resubmitting.

But there's still the problem of that being a retroactive tool... 
Developers who primarily follow bugmail (and are often the subject of 
said abuse) still have to deal with the initial brunt of it. I don't 
know if there's a good solution to that.


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