Monthly Archives: December 2009 is back to normal

Replacing the faulty disk didn’t quite go to plan, and the RAID array needed a bit of help to be coaxed back into life (think defibrillator), but things have been up for a while now, and the patient seems to be recovering well. Will be keeping things under close observation, but I’m confident enough to reopen the site to new reviews and comments. Hopefully this is the last disk related issue for the foreseeable future, as I think has had more than its fair share recently.

Disk issue with the server

It seems to be the year for disk failures.

The good news is that the RAID array has done its job, no data loss so far, I’ve got completely up to date backups (which I know restore properly), and engineers are looking at the physical server right now.

As a precaution, new reviews, new comments, and the members area have been disabled till the problem has been fully resolved. Don’t want to risk losing anyone’s new contributions if things go horribly wrong. It’s also probable that the server will be offline for a period while hardware is replaced. Fingers crossed the faulty kit will be replaced soon, and we’ll be back to business as usual.

Policy changes on

Things have gotten out of hand with a small number of people who are spending significant parts of their waking time beating each other over the head with basically the same arguments, day in day out.

Things are getting more personal, and the volume of comments is increasing. Enormous amounts of my time are being spent trying to keep things vaguely civil, to the detriment of the rest of the site, and frankly my own quality of life.

The people involved need to accept that they’re never going to convince the people who hold the exact opposite views.

Starting from today, the following policy changes are being made:

There is going to be a very low threshold of toleration for comments that essentially repeat points made elsewhere on the site, especially if those comments are not about your experience with a particular model, but are essentially part of a wider discussion about politics or economics.

Less toleration for unpleasant comments. I’m not going to spend time editing comments that contain unnecessary jibes. Those comments will simply not be posted to the site. People can learn to tone their comments down, rather than having me edit their comments to make them acceptable. New visitors will get a little leeway on this, as they’re less likely to understand where the boundaries lie.

As a general guide, here are some things that examples of things that I consider acceptable/unacceptable:

Acceptable: Posting a single comment about the recent recall of a vehicle by a manufacturer, which hasn’t been mentioned elsewhere on the site

Acceptable: Posting new information about an old recall

Unacceptable: Posting multiple comments about recalls already mentioned elsewhere on the site, which simply repeat information available elsewhere

Acceptable: Posting a single comment about your personal experience with a model to a relevant review, and then following it up with relevant replies. This can include your experience with competing models

Acceptable: Posting multiple comments that address queries raised by other comments about a particular model

Unacceptable: Posting your unsolicited views of a particular model across many reviews

Acceptable: Stating that someone’s views on a car are mistaken, with explanations of why this is the case

Unacceptable: Any comments that directly or implicitly are negative about other contributors to the site. It’s fine to say that someone’s wrong, but not to suggest they are an idiot or a traitor.

Or to put it another way:

I don’t expect to see essentially the same comments being repeated either across different reviews, or within the comments of a single review. We live in an age of search engines, and designed to be easily searchable. No need to repeat arguments ad infinitum.

I expect everyone who participates on to have a sense of respect for the other people who’ve taken the time to add their contributions to the site.

My hope is that these changes will improve the signal to noise ratio of, as well as the general atmosphere, without restricting the subjects that can be discussed.

As usual, complaints or feedback should be addressed to, or added to the blog comments on this site. Please don’t add comments about this to itself.

Steven Jackson, CSDO Media Limited