Changes to Handling of Comments

Posted December 22nd, 2012 at 11:15 am

Over the years one of the most frequent suggestions from visitors to the site is to more heavily moderate the comments. All feedback that comes in is appreciated but generally the thought of going that direction with the comments was resisted as the idea behind them was to provide an opportunity for everyone to freely speak their mind on a given subject. Once moderation gets in the way though it can lead to some feeling as though they’re being prevented from doing just that. Changes are being made now however out of necessity.  

The general thought towards the comments from my perspective was that they were exactly that…comments…and not meant to be more extensive discussions. Because of that people could drop their thoughts and move on. Even if there were disagreements on subjects they would briefly occur in the matter of a few replies and that would be it rather than dragging on into arguments or personal insults.

Unfortunately not everyone out there can handle having that freedom in comments. Attacks on posters started to become more the norm. Again, very few were ever deleted (really had to cross the line), and the number of users banned over 5 1/2 years could be counted on one hand. Sadly though multiple gimmick posters emerged followed by inevitable imposters or mockers, some company employees have been found to be disguised as regular users, and in general those looking to incite or insult started to become the focus in comment threads.

Considering the site averages over 1 million visitors a month it’s important to understand that the number of problem posters is miniscule in the grand scheme of things and they shouldn’t spoil that element of the site for everyone else who might want to participate in it. That meant there had to be some crackdown on those who were making the experience for the vast majority less enjoyable. It’s come to a time now where something had to be done with the best interest of the site and visitors in mind.

For the time being all comments that come through will be manually approved before they appear. That means they won’t immediately show up but will go live in batches throughout the day. Some thought was given to eliminating the ability for guests to comment, and even just getting rid of comments altogether after evaluating destinations like Yahoo Sports, but ultimately this seemed the best route to take for now. Tweaks could still be made along the way if deemed worthwhile.

It’s important for everyone to understand that the philosophy towards comments doesn’t change. Practically every article on the site has positive and negative elements to it and comment threads should as well! Comments that are in disagreement or that are critical will absolutely be approved. Only those that add no value to the topic at hand or are meant solely to take things off the rails will be filtered out.

Continue to speak your mind in comments. As this site has proven dissent can lead to positive action when handled in the right way. Everyone has a voice in attempting to contribute to that.

  • Lillam

    Thank you. I stopped even reading the comments along time ago because of that. Have always appreciated that you allow people to state their opinions but at some point it just became a circus.

  • seattlesportsbypetitt

    Thank You. I’m a long time reader who was unwilling to post comments due to the aggressive nature of your readers. It’s a video game website after all.

  • Any chance of a forum being implemented for lengthier discussions?

    • Had a forum until about a year ago at which point I decided to shut it down. The activity over the years degraded, mostly because of social media kind of negating the need for a forums. It’s something I can always look at doing if it makes sense at some point but right now I don’t think it would be heavily utilized.

  • Tuan Nguyen

    the picture alone– was worth the click, lol

  • Good stuff! Now out the company employees!

    • Keith.

      I’d love to know who they were/are. Bet it wasn’t anyone from PES! 🙂

  • Jimmy Kraft

    Yeah, it was becoming a little much. I love a good debate, but when things get personal, and the blatantly coarse language becomes the rule, it really turned me off. At any rate, thanks for the moderation.

  • forsure, i’ve been coming since… 4 years now, i lost count, and even though i don’t have my xbox anymore, i actually gave it to my bro, i get some info from this site still. i do read the comments, especially about madden updates. I do find it ridiculous how much people slam the game, it’s just a game, don’t buy it. just keep up the good work, and remember change isn’t something new, change is results of progress

  • cabrillo24

    Pasta been here since the beginning and welcome this. I’ve stayed off the comment sections because of the circus it has become.

    • Cabrillo24 man missed you we use to go go back and forth on the nba live vs 2kbasketball comments, i wish we could start up that rivalry but wait a minute..there is no more live lol! but welcome back!

      • cabrillo24

        I was never anti-2K. I was appreciative of the work Mike Wang was doing for the Live series and recognized their efforts and progress. At the end of the day, I like a balance of good basketball and enjoying video games. And thanks. I’m still around, I just don’t comment as much because of the craziness in here.

    • Mason Drews


      I would, however, REALLY like to see no more “guest” comments as they’re usually the culprits here. Plus I’d love to see the clowns faces that post half the things they do as well, and it would be much easier to “ban” a user if he was in fact forced to use his account.

  • Chiryder

    See what happens kids, when you abuse your privileges? Daddy has to take them away. Good job Pasta!

  • Chiryder

    Wow, I’d hate to be the poor sap who has to sit here and moderate all these comments.

    • 🙁

      • IFeelBad

        good luck lmao

      • Chiryder

        lol at “Mod” next to your name, whoops! That’s why you hire “interns”

        • It’s not that big a deal really. I’ve actually had people volunteer to moderate comments, but given that how it’s handled reflects on the site/me it’s not something I’m real comfortable with. Rather just keep that responsibility.

      • here everyday

        all this being said. i certainly couldn’t do it

    • Poor sap? Please. I’m sure Pasta is getting paid pretty well from this site, especially if his 1 Million view per month average is accurate (and I have no reason to think it isn’t).

      • Chiryder

        I thought he had someone else doing it.

  • princepointe26

    I’m happy to see this. I can think of 3 people that prevented me and a couple friends from ever posting because of the constant trolling. Well one and welcome change

  • chewgy

    censorship is wrong, internet arguments are what this site so great, down with censorship!!!!! BRAH BRAH BRAH ARTGGGG

  • Well, it’s your site dude. You should do whatever the hell you choose. That said, I have a hunch about where this is headed, and I suspect several names we all know and love will disappear in the process. But I just hope Chief Keef is not one of them. Love him or hate him Pasta (and I’m sure you don’t love him), he adds much needed spark to this comment section, because quite frankly it was pretty damned boring for quite a while.

  • tish

    I agree that over-the-top offensive posts and blatant trolling should be deleted. With that said, you’ve just given your comments section the death sentence by going to a system where you moderate each message before it will appear. I know of several other sites that do it that way, and it really turns people off from commenting. Good luck with that.

    • If that’s ultimately the result…I’m ok with that. Like I said I even considered just scrapping comments completely. The thing to remember is the number of comments on a given article represent a miniscule fraction of a percent of the number who are actually reading. Comments aren’t what makes the site tick…it’s just something extra that allows people to extend the discussion or provide immediate feedback.

  • mcmax3000

    Glad to hear this. Disagreements are fine, and can lead to great discussion, but some people around here have taken things way too far in the past. There’s no need for personal attacks.

  • No Censorship

    Most recently, people have made some very legitimate accusations about the primary purpose of your blog Pasta. I’m sure that message resonated with many of your regular site visitors. When you suddenly decide to censor the comments, that act alone, DOES add even more strength to the accusations made against you and your site. You are basically copping out here by censoring comments, and not answering those accusations head on. Its a sad day for you Pasta. You might as well just get rid of the comment section if you can’t handle being called out like that.

    Why would you want to run a site where everyone has to agree with what you post everyday? I don’t think it was the daily personal attacks on other site visitors that prompted this reaction, I really think it was the arguments made against YOU that see you reacting so cowardly here, by censoring your readers comments. Trolls will be trolls. People can either read their opinions or move on. Were all grownups here. You might just as well just close all the comments sections, and then continue to post your personal slant on those limited sports games that you choose to cover. But be full aware that some of us are of the opinion that this was a very cowardly move. After all, this is video game blog, so how bad could it really be?

    Someone must have shed some real truth about your motives, in order for you to take suck a drastic, cowardly step at censorship. Do you really want a flock of sheep to just come here and agree with every article you post? Good luck with that. You might as well hang it up altogether, if this is your chosen way of handling the criticism.

    Gee, I’m starting to wonder if you are even gonna allow this comment to be shared with the rest of the flock.

    • Good example of missing the point entirely.

      And if you think I’m going to respond to ridiculous libelous statements, intentions of which are only to try and get under my skin, that’s even more crazy.

      • No Censorship

        No. You’re missing the point. The entire point of censorship is to control the message. Your site visitors can go ANYWHERE, even to Facebook to talk about Madden and all the other EA games that you cover, all day long, but that’s not the conversation they want to have. If you get 1 million site visits a month as you stated, then why are you afraid of all the valid criticism. You’re not censoring to protect the other site visitors, you’re doing it to protect yourself from criticism FROM YOUR SITE VISITORS. This is about your own lack of integrity being in question, when posting your articles. Most of your regular site visitors know what this is really about. Pasta, there are no libelous statements to defend here, these statements are called “opinions”. If you don’t respect the opinions of your site visitors, or you find that you can’t honestly defend against them, then this is your only last option to quiet the dissenting voices. CENSORSHIP. I never thought I’d see the day when you decided to become Operation Sports, or the EA Forums, and start to censor your readers comments, because YOU couldn’t handle the criticism.

        1 million site visits a day, and for what?

        • Still don’t really get what youre saying here. If one or two people want to make up outrageous accusations, it might be funny to you, but they’re still fake and not worthy of acknowledging. That has no value to anyone. It’s no coincidence that statements such as those are never made through other avenues…just in the comments section, because they’re meant only to try and generate a reaction from others.

          There is no censorship going on now, or ever. No one’s opinions have been or will be prevented from being posted. Only statements made to incite trouble or insult others (or just generally way off-topic). As the vast majority of people responding here have shown that is something they desired.

          • No Censorship

            Outrageous accusations? What outrageous accusations?

            Tell me something Pasta, since I seem to finally have your ear right now. What happened to those recent Community Polling Results, where someone stated that the polling was rigged to have Madden 13 win every category? I find it funny that you have never posted the results after someone went and made that accusation. Was that an example of an outrageous accusation, or are you gonna suddenly start ignoring me now?

            Some of us just wonder how you justified recommending Madden 13 to all of your 1 million monthly site visitors, when the majority of us who purchased the game, were very quickly disenchanted with it? I don’t ever see anybody on my friends list, who still plays the game.

            You were also accused of still going ahead and choosing to recommend the game to your 1 million monthly site visitors, whether the game be good or bad, which in this case, its BAD. But the trick is, it is the only game that will last throughout the winter season, outside of NBA2k13, that you could continuously write articles about, to keep site visits at a decent level.

            Is that also an example of an outrageous accusation? You see, we just want to be able to talk about stuff like this with you and other readers, without your threat of censorship. Why is that so bad?

          • The polling continues through December, as stated in the article. Probably will extend a few days into January. Then the results will be posted and winners crowned. I find it especially laughable that someone could feel their opinion trumps all those who are voting for something!

            And I never “recommended” Madden. I can’t remember a time where I ever told someone to buy that game or any other game. I liked it a lot though, as many people do. Read my impressions articles and reviews and follow-ups over the months and there is plenty there to inform people of where that game comes up short. It’s up to them then to decide whether its the right game for them to buy or pass on. I have no investment in that decision.

            If you want to be critical of sites “recommending” games there are plenty of those out there. Had a good laugh this week when IGN gave best 360 sports game to NBA 2K13, best PS3 sports game to Madden NFL 13, and Best Overall Sports game to FIFA 13!

          • No Censorship

            You see, here is where we have a problem. You had a good laugh at IGN’s expense for their “recommendations”, but you yourself, are the only popular videogame blogger out there, who posted YOUR positive reviews of the game on Amazon. Your review of the 360/PS3 version of Madden 13, somehow it kind of amounts to a “recommendation” when read by MOST people.

            Then you went and posted the Wii U review of Madden 13 on Amazon also. Last I checked, there were only 2 reviews for Madden 13 for the Wii U on Amazon, and one of them was yours. I certainly don’t see IGN posting reviews of Madden 13 on Amazon, and then conveniently having a link on their own site to also buy the game on Amazon…EXCLUSIVELY… even though there were better deals to be had on the game elsewhere. And just so you know, all this is coming from an Amazon prime member. I love Amazon!

            Something here sounds a bit fishy Pasta. Does it not? I would like to ask your 1 million monthly site visitors if this all these posted reviews on Amazon, sounds more like a RECOMMENDATION to buy Madden 13? If you thought the game was bad and not worth recommending, would you still have posted reviews on Amazon, and would you have still offered a link to buy it on your website? I personally seem to think that answer is still gonna be “yes”, and that you DO have a personal investment in that decision. That investment is…….”1 million site visitors a month”, and that also equates to money to most intelligent people, Pasta.


          • Of course. I link to deals on every game when there is one worth mentioning. Have done so for NBA 2K, MLB The Show, UFC Undisputed…all of them. And a while back I ended up posting the reviews to Amazon for all the games. I fail to see how that makes it a “recommendation” when it includes all the same positives and negatives laid out for people to read.

            again, its about providing the most information for someone to make a purchase decision on their own. I never have said that a game should be bought. The information is there for someone to decide if the game fits what they are looking for.

          • No Censorship

            I often wonder if 2k had signed that exclusive NFL contract, would your passion and coverage of their NFL game had been the same as the passion you show for Madden. I guess we’ll never know. Thanks for the chat Pasta. I am probably the sole reason for the censored comments. I have called you out on many an occasion. I have posted under the names “Crimson”, “Truth in Reporting”, “Madden Propaganda Dept”, and many others. I never meant to harm the readership of the site. I just……I just I hate Madden football. I hate the game from bootup to the quit game icon. I hate it. But, I think I am gonna resign myself to just fighting other causes. The NFL will wake up one day and choice will be back, before I’m too old to still enjoy a good game of videogame football. I can only hope. I don’t think we’ll ever see eye to eye, Pasta, and I’m sorry to all the people I’ve offended, or argued vehemently with, but it was well worth it to me, just to try and knock Madden sales down enough for the industry to take notice. I hope Keith continues to post here, as he is probably one of the most intelligent posters commenting on this site everyday. I always enjoy talking with that guy. I’m gonna withdraw from posting and allow harmony to take hold on the site again, but censorship is never the answer, Pasta.

            I am crazy_black_man- on PSN. Look me up people. We can argue about stuff and play NBA2k13 until the 2k14 version of ANYTHING other than EA’s Madden comes out . Peace.

          • Ah, so you’re the Crimson guy, huh?

            You’re the guy who attacked me relentlessly back when I first started posting under this name/account JUST because I didn’t dislike EA games, right?

            What’s funny is you never (that I remember) had a legit discussion on what was wrong with, say, Madden or how it could improve/needed to improve. It was always insult after insult after insult.

            Yet you say you never meant to hurt readership?

            I’m sure you single-handedly drove people away from this site – including me – because you simply couldn’t respects others’ opinions and have a productive discussion with them.

          • He didn’t drive us away from the site, he just saved us time in not looking at the comments. Now that there is censorship, I’ll gladly read some positive/negative feedback from different people.

          • there payed off to lie by the company dont you get it?

          • Skihawks

            Wow. You really think all of what you referencing is important in the big scheme of life? Pasta already said he wants to get rid of personal attacks and other comments that are designed to do nothing but create problems.

            I could care less about polls, Pasta’s gaming preferences, etc this site is here for is to obtain information about GAMES and share our opinions. Don’t like the changes? Move along then. Pretty simple.

          • eagleyedesigns

            Sure there is, Pasta…I already had my “full” comment censored…

          • Referring to the removal of an unnecessary F word. Didn’t change the context of your comment at all.

          • eagleyedesigns

            I’m not talking about context. I’m talking about censorship. The “F” word was censored. “There is no censorship going on now, or ever…” Removing the “F” word is censorship to me…It has nothing to do with context. Lame, Pasta…Real lame. You will lose your following by the wayside…Good luck flipping burgers when you have no site.

          • Stop the Trolling

            You’re right, the number of viewers will drop by 6. That always ruins websites

          • here everyday

            that is the very definition on censorship.
            what is an “unnecessary f word?”
            “fuck” can be a verb, noun, adjective, exclamation etc….

          • here everyday

            don’t turn into the word police please. i come here everyday and enjoy reading people’s unfiltered opinions. if you don’t like raw language, get off the internet.

          • andy reid’s moustache

            Wow, some seriously whacky stuff going down in this thread:

            One guy thinks it’s a scandal that a guy who runs a site about sports games has the audacity to talk about his impressions of those sports games.

            Another fellow is convinced that people come here to read f-bombs in the comment section, and that they are such an essential feature of sports game discussion that the site will cease to exist if we can’t cuss each other out left and right.

            And here’s a third that says he comes here every day, then turns around and proposes shutting the site down entirely (we *do* realize what the result of the guy who runs the site getting off the internet would be, right?) rather than moderating the comments.

            Great stuff. You guys are a riot.


            “I’m sorry to all the people I’ve offended, or argued vehemently with, but it was well worth it to me”

            The funny thing about saying the thing you’re pretending to be sorry about was “worth it” is that it’s opposite of apologizing. Just thought I’d help clear that up as there’s obviously some confusion.

          • here everyday

            I’m sorry, I worded that in correctly. I meant to say that if readers cannot handle “salty” conversations, they are using the wrong medium. The internet (forums/ comment sections especially) is raw. Tv and radio already offer milder, filtered information.

            I understand pasta’s intentions. And if I were in his shoes, I may have done the same. This is a sports gaming site (no games featured are rated MA?). The rudeness can become overbearing when there are 10 “Internet Tough Guys” posting for every one mild mannered site visitor.

            But I love this site man, It’s my main source of info on all the games i play. I
            just hate how hyper sensitive we have become. “N- word,” “F-word,”
            “the other F-word” “C-word,” “R-word” its just getting silly.
            I suppose I’m just babbling and not adding anything to the discussion.
            I just hope the time delay doesn’t discourage us all from having these conversations.

            happy holidays everybody

        • Keith.

          Well said.

  • pasta i hope ea didnt put you up to this? because the truth hurts, dont it. pasta i do understand that some people do get really personal but you need to understand that its not you personally its about the lazyness on ea-sports part to give good product as well as the other sports titles, but its hard to understand why you dont tell josh, and the rest of them the truth about madden, nhl and any other sports gameing that they release out. i think that you do a good job, but here lately you seem scared to tell ea-delevopers the honset truth like you did ian, phil, and the other former madden delvopers. how can you expect us to respect you if you dont respect us pasta.

    • How many articles critical of EA until you are satisfied? Basically that’s what you’re suggesting. That some threshold of negative articles be determined by you.

  • Happy to hear it. The trolls who do nothing but hate will finally disappear

  • Keith.

    Guess we’ll see how this goes, and how much people who have been afraid to post in the past will really add to any discussion. I can already get my fill of certain game-defending at other sites.

    With that said, Merry Christmas everybody!

  • Josh Hoch

    Pasta, I read through the article and ALL of the comments (especially the ones dissenting your decision to moderate the comments). I want to start off by saying I’ve been a user on this site for about two years. In the first year and a half I was a weekly reader and now I’ve become a daily one. I also want to let you know that I am an average XBox 360 sports gamer. I get the yearly editions of Madden and NBA 2K, and I get FIFA about every 3 years. I also play games like GTA, Skyrim, and Minecraft. I may go as far to classify myself as your typical teenage gamer. Now I rarely find something about a Madden game that I don’t like. I’m not saying its perfect, but I feel it’s pretty good this year. I am upset with roster update problems with 2K Sports but I think this year’s is the best NBA 2K yet.

    I found this site about two years ago when I searched, “Madden roster update” and I’ve been hooked ever since. Though I only play football and basketball on my XBox 360 frequently, I’ll read every post that is put out, every day. Moderating the comments will prove a good thing for this blog, and i fully support you. Reading the comments on this one, I want to express that your blog is second to none, and the only one I will use as it continues to be so. So here’s something you don’t hear enough from your viewers: good job. And keep up the good work.

  • Rob

    Wonder how daley feels about this?

  • Tony

    The best thing to happen to this site was getting rid of Fred. Keep up the good work Pasta!

  • This was the first video game site I actually started posting on. When I first started it was great and fun but later on it got wild. Some topics usually Madden get out of hand.

  • MB

    I think that the intention of this is well meant, but I just do not think that it is needed. Were the trolls and back and forth keyboard battles really that distracting from the overall presentation and content of the site? I’m sure that some would say yes and they have, but I do not think that it did. If readers do not like what is posted in the comments section from time to time, don’t read them, it really is that simple.

    The site still offers great news in relation to sports gaming. Even though it is, in my opinion, a little heavy on the EA end, but how can you have a sports gaming site without the mention of EA? I know they are the sports gaming equivalent of an evil empire, but for all their shortcomings, they do get things right here or there in their games, and a couple of their games are great, FIFA anyone?

    Now, with that said, this is not my site, and if pasta wants to make this change that is pasta’s decision, the world will continue to spin and I will still be a daily reader of the site regardless.

  • i hope ea goes away really because there greedy and they dont have a clue anymore about sports gameing products. its darn shame that the nfl dont wake up and see that . but in 2014 , the days of crappy football is over. yes i said it., ill give them one more chance next year

  • jkguy16

    Good for you Pasta. Anyone complaining about ‘censorship’ or whatever other misinformed word they are using, are probably part of the problem. Just like playing on Xbox Live, the internet has become full of angry online tough guys.

    If you don’t like what Pasta has done, just leave. It is very simple. If you disagree with him all the time and think his blog sucks, why are you here? It’s a logic I’ll never understand.

    • here everyday

      Censorship: The practice of officially examining books, movies, etc., and suppressing unacceptable parts

      Don’t diminish another person’s views because you don’t understand them.
      misinformation is the problem kid, not the misinformed.

  • fact

    whats the deal ………….why can’t you vote down comments now

    • That’s a Disqus thing. Not sure if it’s even an option. Only registered users can downvote. I’ll check on that though.

      • fact

        thanks Pasta .. it just became easier to downvote and move on rather than getting involved the nasty posts w/ the attacks and naming calling

  • Thank you for this, Pasta. I appreciate the work you do and your opinions – whether I agree with them or not – but the constant EA bashing and trolling on this place has made the comments sections miserable for anyone who doesn’t want to paint the world of sports games as black vs white, good vs evil. I feel like you have become harsher in your views on EA but they still aren’t enough to appease the angry villagers. If we could discuss the pros AND cons of sports games in a reasonable manner, it would be fantastic.

    • how can you call it bashing when we have ask them for years to put some of our ideas on the games. dont they have a comment forum? josh looman didnt give a damm about us. he wanted to sell is crappy game from the past. yes the new engine is good,but wouldnt have made common sence to kept what was good going huh? you guys for forget that ea had a great idea it was called owner mode not franchise mode on the ps-2 and the past xbox days. and they got rid of it . every year since madden has been on 360 and ps-3 has this game really been that good ask your self that question and ask yourself if madden 14 is the same crap will you spend $60 bucks on it.

  • BrianFifaFan

    Pasta, really glad you decided to make this move. For too long, the discussion has been turning away from the merits, or lack thereof, of a game. Rather, it’s turned into the validity of a person’s viewpoint. And I’ll be honest, I can’t stand profanity, it’s nice to see it edited out. When I was a mod for OS, it was quite clear in the TOS that it was a site for EVERYBODY, meaning kids might be reading it. I like that my kid will be able to come up over my shoulder and not see a word I really don’t want him to see. Thanks. 🙂 All that said, I really hope to see a wide variety of critiques on these comments. It’s a big deal to see all the various viewpoints, and to see a lively, passionate community. Instead of a uncivil war, which a few guys have made this place into. BTW, Madden is nowhere near either NBA2k or Fifa. I don’t care what system it is for! LOL! Especially on PC with mods. Just sayin’!!!!!

  • I think this is the right decision. On principle, I dont like the idea of curbing freedoms and censoring opinionss… but I had stopped reading the comments; it was just too much. It wasn’t constructive or even topic related… you could even guess what the trolls would say before they posted it. so good decision Pasta!

  • Sports Gaming Lover

    Wow I really enjoyed this site when I first found it a couple years ago. I enjoyed how people would give their opinions about sports games, how what they would do to make the games more enjoyable. But over the last year or so the site has really gone downhill . I used to check the site out once a week to see what everyone was talking about, and once in a while I would post a comment of my own. But it seems to me the site has really become one big advertisement. Don’t get me wrong I do not see anything wrong for wanting to make money from your website. More power to you brother! Thats the American way. But when you become dishonest with your customers and they are customers when you are selling something which you are. It would be easier if you just came clean about your motives. HOWEVER, not that you are going to be censoring the users comment, the very people who keep this site making money. There is no point to ever return to this site. The reason I come to this site was to read the opinions of EVERYONE, regardless if I agreed with them or not. Anyhow, I know most of you on here visit other sports gaming sites and I look forward to reading your comments on those sites. I’ve had a lot of good laughs here, but it is now time to call it quits on PastaPadre. From one sports gamer to anther, Peace!