Exactly one month ago, I was interviewed on IndyLive Radio about the Holyrood electoral system and the perils of attempting to game the system. I've just spotted that the programme is now available (in slightly edited form, I think) on YouTube, so you can listen to it at your leisure HERE. The first half is Dave Thompson making the case for gaming the system, and the second half is me making the case against. It's fair to say the issues involved are explored quite thoroughly, so if you've yet to make your own mind up, it's not a bad place to start.
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A couple of weeks ago I announced I was changing this blog's settings to only allow comments from people signed in to a Google account. I know some of you were delighted by the change, because it seems to have finally put a stop to contributions from GWC and his ilk. However, from my own point of view it hasn't worked out, because the pornographic spam on older posts has continued unabated - to my surprise that seems to come from Google accounts, and no matter how many times I mark it as spam, it just carries on. Additionally, as you've probably seen, a Jockophobic troll from south of the border has been copying and pasting the same handful of comments (including extreme racist and homophobic language) up to several hundred times a day.
There's no simple solution to this. Individual accounts can't be blocked or banned on the Blogger platform. All that's open to me are crude options such as switching on pre-moderation (which kills the flow of conversation), or turning on word verification (which irritates people). In the hope of giving myself a short break from deleting hundreds of comments a day, I'm going to try word verification for 48 hours or so, and then I'll review the situation again.