Wednesday, 30 September 2009


I am sad to announce that "comment moderation" has been introduced on Broadsword. With immediate effect, all visitors' comments will be reviewed and approved by me before they are posted on Broadsword.

As a staunch believer in everyone's right to hold and express even the most radical views, I have refrained for years from interposing myself between a visitor and his/her post. But the kind of views expressed in recent days have forced me to review this open policy.

One major reason is the kind of obscene and personally offensive comments that visitors have been posting, something that tarnishes the quality of this blog. I will not lend my name to a forum where people slander each other in the crudest of language.

Secondly, visitors seem to think it is perfectly fine to post a comment on, say, China on a thread that is dealing with, for example, the Light Combat Helicopter. Henceforth, we will remain on subject.

Finally, every serious follower of defence is fed up with having to plough through dozens of comments from visitors whose love for posting is rivalled only by their abysmal ignorance about issues of defence, security and strategy. Henceforth, if you wish to air your views, do everyone the favour of studying the subject adequately before inflicting your views on the general public.

This is not to say that conflicting or critical views are out. This blog will continue to encourage dissenting views and a healthy debate, even in robust language. But three things are out, starting NOW: obscenity, irrelevance and stupidity.



Rahul said...

Good one Ajay

Rahul said...

Good one Ajay

Anonymous said...

What a relief

Indian! said...

Ajai SirJi,

Very good move....very much appreciated.

Better late than never.

Venu said...

Right move. Also stop allowing the comments which rant on others. Let equal justice prevail.

Aaditya said...

Good decision! comments section was always invaded by ignorant trolls.

Anonymous said...

People who use obscenity r mentally sick

Tejaswy said...

No more Vincent....Yiye!!!!!

Anonymous said...

That is actually good for readers (real ones); as I don't have to read junk comments.

But certainly, it would increase your workload, as you have to read them and sort out which ones need to be published etc...

Rishi said...

It was need of time, apart from foul words I saw some spam in mandarin too in last few days.

eagerly waiting for the next post

Sid said...

Ajay, I applaud your sense of responsiblility to fans of your blog. A suggestion/ word of caution: moderating can suck up a surprising amount of your precious time that I am sure you would rather spend researching your articles. You could try allowing a small number of trusted friends moderate as well to supplement your effort.

Anonymous said...

Trully a relief & about time. It will make reading more pleasant

Anonymous said...

It was about time Ajai.

Anonymous said...

Good move Ajai. I appreciate it for 2 reasons -

1. It filters out all the junk.

2. It gives interested people the chance of asking you some good questions.

I would request you one thing though: in-spite of your increased workload (on account of the filtering work that you will have to do), please spend some time answering genuine questions.

Sam said...

As many reader have expressed relief Finally we can have some better opinion.but please do be ready to take some critisism.

Anonymous said...

Gr8 2 know of this ajai. Being an ardent fan and a regular visitor of broadsword since years now, this blog is as much mine as it yours and it pains 2 c such dimwits creating a ruckus here. Thanks again, ajai.


Anonymous said...

Gr8 2 know of this ajai. Being an ardent fan and a regular visitor of broadsword since years now, this blog is as much mine as it yours and it pains 2 c such dimwits creating a ruckus here. Thanks again, ajai.


Daanish said...

sorry to hear that this has to happen but when we are dealing with idiots we have to do what is natural.

sorry about the extra work load :(

Awadhesh said...


Anonymous said...


I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I am happy in anticipation of a cleaner forum. On the other hand, it pains me to see that even a simple exchange as this needs supervision.

We (as a group) seem to be completely incapable of showing responsibility. It is unfortunate that filters between mind and the fingers is lacking.

But, in the larger interest, I would request you to let this be a warning (final if you may) and give self-moderation of posters one more chance.


ppnair said...

very good decision

Anand said...

Good thought Mr Shukla, I believe your blog has the highest standards and should be a forum to express opinion for readers rather than making it a free for all. Keep blogging.

fighterclass said...

thanks god for this development ! no more vincent please !

JTZ said...

Thank you! An excellent move on your part - although it is more work for you- the quality of your blog will only improve exponentially.

Anonymous said...

These are the chinese boat that u are talking about in ur past post
They are quiet good and i am Tibetan and wish India will will free it and some day as many flag of Tibet flying in Lhasa .

Anonymous said...

An interesting reflection on being Indian:

1. Lack of Civility

2. Talking like an expert about things that one has no idea about. Ignorance and arrogance rolled into one.

India can't change if Indians won't change.

In some other nations, one would be ostracized for being uncivil.


Jovian said...

Hi Ajai,

This is indeed a good move. Hope to read more good comments soon.


Anonymous said...

I've been a huge fan of your blog but have always stayed away from the comments section. Sadly this is reality all over the net and I totally agree, a little censorship isn't such a bad idea.

Having said that, this will definitely make the comments area on your blog more interesting knowing the 3 rules people will have to follow in order to leave a post.

Anonymous said...

Ajaiji, your latest BS article on Santhanam enjoying Tajik Vidka and watching Cartoon Network in his south delhi home doesnt appear on your blog. How come?


Vincent said...

Excellent decision. Now the room is quiet enough for me to emphasize my golden points.

Adivasi said...

I'm Passive member of this blog, I feel really irritated to go through Vincent's comments, is it possible to blacklist him.

Broadsword said...

Dear Adivasi,

We can't have blacklisting on the basis of who you are. But if anyone's post is objectionable, it will not be posted.

If Vincent has views different from many who post here, that's fine. He's entitled to his views and, at the risk of being lynched, let me say that SOME of them make eminent sense! But his proclivity for obscenity will run up against a wall of censorship!!

It is surprising that all the views expressed are in favour of moderating the blog. I promise that I have not filtered out even ONE view saying... we shouldn't have comment moderation. I wonder why.

Will definitely try to answer specific questions.


Anonymous said...

Dear Ajai Shuklaji,

Vincent embeds humiliation and scorn of India amidst pieces of useful information in a careful bbc-esque propaganda aimed at instilling inferiority complex in anything. Just look at his frequent references to caste, hindutva, brahmin etc and typical white man's confusion about other people having same amount of self-respect, on a defence blog carefully planted within bits of redneck defence info.

There may have been idiots(underinformed laymen civilians) and I know who you are pointing at but atleast they have well defending against Vincent's masked propaganda.

The point is will you moderate a comment from Vincent that provides little bit of info besides humiliating propaganda?

Jay said...

Hi Ajai,

Been a lurker on your blog for a while and found the articles well researched, well written and realistic :). I agree with you that on some of the issues that Vincent raises are extremely relevant to India and we would be foolish to ignore them at our own peril.


Anonymous said...

Man, another sock puppet "Jay" to support himself - ie Vincent

Ajaiji, I believe its just been a few years for you posting on the net, so you might be unaware of the dynamics that take place...Vincent is what is known as a troll. He comes, disrupts and leaves, a fake name, a deliberate intent to infuriate, annoy and disrupt discussions is his intent..

What happens then is people flame back, it reaches critical mass and then you have to introduce comment moderation...and the work swamps you and people like Vincent continue to sneak in their pointed barbs..

Simple thing would be to identify the troll and put his agenda to rest...its that straightforward...just delete Vincents posts a few times and the troll will get an idea that his tactics dont work and especially if other members know that Vincents posts will get deleted and dont respond in turn..

Thats how 90% of the successful forums on the net work...they recognise the valuable contributors from those who come just to make trouble..

It would help your time management as fact the troll phenomenon was first documented way back on usenet when these discussion groups first took off..and things became unmanageable thanks to other "Vincents"..

jay said...

Anon@ 21:21,

I am not Vincent. I agree with some of the things that Vincent says whatever else may be his personal agenda. In may view we must never be shy or ashamed of imbibing ideas, knowledge from people one disagrees with :). Indian history if it has taught us anything is that infighting amongst us due to pride, jealousy, greed, caste differences and an inability to cooperate with each other has always led to our downfall.


Anonymous said...

and vincent is here to promote each one of those dividing lines and divide and insult us further. just because someone is shouting hoarse doesn't mean he has a valid point.
donkeys bray all the time, if you catch my drift !
so i don't understand what is to be gained by listening to him other than boredom.

Broadsword said...

You guys really don't get it, do you? Comment moderation has not been introduced to keep out certain individuals (e.g. Vincent). He is welcome to post, provided he avoids The Three Nos: Obscenity, Irrelevance and Stupidity.

I will happily post a message from Hafiz Saeed, provided it is sensible and relevant. Obscenity in language, I presume, is a no-no for him, even if his existence, itself, is an obscenity.

In fact, Vincent sent in an otherwise fairly apt comment, that I had to reject for publication only because it contained obscenity and threats. Had those components not been there, it would have been up on the comments board.

So set aside your petty little internet squabbles, and focus on the issues please!

Anonymous said...

ajai, I do get it.
I was simply opining that vincent's posts fall under the third of your banned category, namely stupidity.

Jay said...

Thank you Col. No internet squabble from me :). I return back to my lurker status and will continue to enjoy the informative and well researched articles you post here.

Jai Hind

Anonymous said...

Web design
very useful, thanx a lot for this blog .. This is exactly whatI was looking for.

Anonymous said...

Hey great post. Thought I'm not sure I agree with you 100%. Keep em coming. Are you interested in having anyone guest post opposing views?