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Tiverton-LC Patch Moderated Again, Thanks for Helping

I've been getting a lot of feedback and support from Tiverton-Little Compton Patch readers about the state of the site and how it has been abused and manipulated by trolls.

I just wanted to let everyone know that I am working on cleaning up the site, deleting content from troll users, restoring comments that have been flagged and slowly undoing the damage that has been done.

I appreciate the help and support from readers who want to keep this site as a useful community forum.

If you have any thoughts or concerns, email me at mark.schieldrop@patch.com and I will restore any comments that have been flagged. If you spot site abuse, please contact me immediately and I will take care of it. It might take a few days for the garbage to be cleaned up and removed, but I will work on it. 

Fed Up February 20, 2014 at 10:04 AM
if a comment that was deleted does not violate the terms of service, will it be restored?
Renee Cwiek February 20, 2014 at 10:05 AM
Thank you Mark!
Renee Cwiek February 20, 2014 at 10:06 AM
WOW! look at all those old posts coming back! You rock!
Mark Schieldrop (Editor) February 20, 2014 at 10:11 AM
Yeah, I'm restoring every comment ever deleted from day one. Then I will purge every troll account — that means every post, flag, comment, message, etc, will vanish along with that user account. It doesn't take much time for me to do this so any resurgence can be wiped away quickly.
JA Souza February 20, 2014 at 10:29 AM
It might be worth going back to reading this Patch again. Good luck!
Mark Schieldrop (Editor) February 20, 2014 at 10:35 AM
Yeah, sorry it got so bad. It's remarkable how much time and effort one person put into trolling the site. Based on the number of comments I just restored (took a few seconds for me) he's obviously spending hours upon hours upon hours doing it. I have a job, a wife and a kid. Can't imagine wasting so much time on something that can be wiped away with a couple keystrokes. I think a dose of pity for the man is due in addition to the frustration that he is behaving like a child. Thanks again, everyone. Soon, I'll be able to turn off flagging and users won't be able to post comments or anything unless I manually approve the account. It's coming.
Hingle McCringleberry February 20, 2014 at 10:41 AM
Who is the person doing most of the flagging?
Fed Up February 20, 2014 at 10:44 AM
Thank you Mark for doing this work.
Mark Schieldrop (Editor) February 20, 2014 at 10:48 AM
Looks like one person using multiple accounts to abuse the flagging system. I nabbed a bunch of accounts but I'm sure there are more. I'll just squish them as they come in until we have a permanent solution. It's very simple and quick for me to deal with it as it happens, but I do need people to give me a heads up the troll decides to pull an all-nighter in his mom's basement and I don't catch on to it because of other obligations. I can erase the troll's effort in five seconds. ;) Thanks again. I know how much this site has meant to the town over the years.
Hingle McCringleberry February 20, 2014 at 11:09 AM
Unfortunatley Mark if it is who most of think it is he does not live in his Mom's basement and is even elected to a town commission. This person had an account suspended for making death threats and around the same time he admitted to having dozens of emails to establish accounts from. His name is Joe Sousa the handyman and the patch is his playground as was the EastBayri.com section until he had that shut down for a long time.
Mark Schieldrop (Editor) February 20, 2014 at 11:16 AM
Well, I will delete anything of his as soon as I see it. That is the current terms of service on Tiverton Patch. We'll never close down the comments section since the community at large shouldn't suffer because of one disrespectful and abusive person. We're building a new system that will make it much harder for abusers to abuse, but in the meantime, I will do my best to clean up after him if he decides to waste more of his time. And it's great that you folks are helping me. Thank you!
Renee Cwiek February 20, 2014 at 11:26 AM
Mark, just curious because I've looked and didn't see anything in the TOS. People are not required to use their real name when posting, correct? I personally use my maiden name, though most people know my married name anyway. (I just like it.) =) I see certain users make comments about people not using their real name, which I don't blame them at all with some of the threats that have been made on here. I just wanted to double check the TOS in regards to that.
Mark Schieldrop (Editor) February 20, 2014 at 11:34 AM
Right now real names aren't required but it's likely that the new system will require Facebook sign-in or some other form of verification. There are pros and cons to each approach.
Local Bargain Jerk February 20, 2014 at 12:06 PM
Everyone appreciates the work you're doing, but it would be easy for anyone, including the troll(s), to set up a fake Facebook account. It's done all the time.
Mark Schieldrop (Editor) February 20, 2014 at 01:40 PM
Understood. That's one of the things we're thinking about. The solution might be a hybrid with some custom stuff combined with Facebook login.

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