2010-09-24 14:19:16Emailed commenters that you've just moderated
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.185.151.34

I've added a new feature. Very basic, bit of an experiment, we'll see how it goes. Kieren emailed me suggesting that it might be helpful if moderators are able to email users whose comments they've just moderated. This would be particularly useful for new users who haven't quite got a handle of the Comments Policy which does happen from time to time. So a typical email would be something like (using accusation of fraud as the example):

Hi, just letting you know your comment on Skeptical Science has been removed as it violates our Comments Policy:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/comments_policy.shtml

You're welcome to repost your comment but please refrain from making comments that include accusations of fraud or deception.

So when you moderate a comment, you'll see a message at the top of the page saying "This comment has been deleted. View Deleted Comments. Email user." Clicking 'Email User' will open up an email window. Note that this will come from you personally so you will be giving out your personal email address to the user. The Deleted Comments page also includes a Email Commenter link alongside each comment.

I may develop this feature further if moderators think it's a useful idea. The next step would be clicking on the 'Email user' link will take you to a form that prepopulates it with some text, perhaps the original comment and rather than use your personal email, it uses noreply@skepticalscience.com.

Keep in mind that this is for the primary purpose of helping commenters to abide by the rules, particularly newbies. So it's a gesture of good will, not a chance to engage in an abusive email or a personal flame war. Remember that as a moderator, in cases like this, you're representing Skeptical Science.

2010-09-24 14:43:31I think noreply@ would be best
kdkd
Kieren Diment
diment@gmail...
130.130.37.12
I think the noreply@ would be best, as it prevents any "chance to engage in an abusive email or a personal flame war".  In that case it might be sensible to store a copy of the reply in the database somewhere so there's some sort of audit trail/social engineering to encourage civility.
2010-09-24 15:55:27
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
93.147.82.77
The pther moderators should know that an email has been sent tp that user and the content to avoid duplicates (some times more than one post is deleted by different moderators) and/or contradicting messages.
2010-09-24 20:27:19
kdkd
Kieren Diment
diment@gmail...
124.171.3.155

agree with Riccardo.

"daniel" has been bugging me, as he has potential to be a reasonable so-called sceptic, but he is yet to understand how to present his case properly.  I made a workaround for the mailto: link and made a 'Skeptical Science Moderator ' dummy account in my email client so as not to expose my identity (there are really some nutjobs around, especially in this field!).  This made me realise that any reply should also have the deleted comment quoted in its entirety in the reply mail.

p.s I have engaged in extremely robust discussion on other sites (e.g. http://xrl.us/bh2c4x ) and continue to do so.  However SS has taught me the value of a moderate approach, at least initially, and these days I only pull out the Paul Keating mask after severe provocation ;)

2010-09-25 01:12:23
doug_bostrom

dbostrom@clearwire...
184.77.83.151
I agree w/kdkd regarding "noreply@." I've seen too many people gradually unmask themselves as freaks to trust using my email address on a first response. 
2010-09-25 06:03:09Fair enough
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.185.151.34
Tried the path of least resistance but obviously that wasn't adequate :-( both anonymity and tracking responses are important so I'll whip something up.
2010-09-25 11:48:58
doug_bostrom

dbostrom@clearwire...
184.77.83.151
Sorry!
2010-09-28 11:15:21
kdkd
Kieren Diment
diment@gmail...
130.130.37.12
There is a work around, but it still provides for no tracking.  Just make a new dummy email account from Skeptical Science Moderator .  Still no tracking but as an interim step :)
2010-09-28 15:29:59Nah, I'll do the job properly
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.186.160.198
Will do the tracking thing, might as well get it right first time
2010-09-29 00:42:12
doug_bostrom

dbostrom@clearwire...
184.77.83.151
Meantime, be careful!  I was about to apologize to some harmless skeptic for accidentally deleting their comment last night, at the last minute noticed the return address was my wife's, at the U of Washington. I'd set up Thunderbird to grab an archive of her mail and didn't remember to delete the account.  Grounds for divorce...