Editor's Blog: A Word On Moderation

Running MotoMatters.com is the second most rewarding thing I do as a person, second only to my marriage with my wife. It is a source of intense pleasure, pride and satisfaction, of the response and appreciation we receive, as well as the support from both inside and outside the racing community.

The thing that I am most proud of, however, has very little to do with me. Though I do my best to provide intelligent, thoughtful articles, I am all too often put to shame by the quality of the comments. So many people who contribute comments to the stories do so with such wit, intelligence and clarity of thought that it is truly humbling to read the comments and see the gaps in my own thinking and reporting. The comments are a constant reminder that I will have to up my game if I am to be anywhere near the 50th percentile in terms of knowledge and intelligence. They are also a rich source of inspiration, and I steal freely from the ideas discussed when researching stories.

I am not alone in my assessment. I have had several of the biggest names in the paddock compliment me on the intelligence of the comments, and the extraordinarily high level of the debate on the site. Compliments have come from riders, journalists, team managers, race officials, people are impressed most of all not by what I write, but what you write.

Sometimes, though, it gets a little tough. Since Valentino Rossi collided with Casey Stoner, the site has been flooded with comments on the subject. Given the characters involved - as I wrote yesterday, two of the riders who most polarize opinion in MotoGP - it is hardly surprising that tempers are running high and the tone of the comments is becoming more heated than usual.

In a (probably vain) attempt to stem the flood of comments and keep the debate in check, I have been forced to remove a whole slew of comments. Normally, I need remove only perhaps one or two in a hundred comments, but that number has increased tenfold. In part, that is because I am being very conservative in what I allow, preferring to err on the side of caution - in this case, deleting comments that either may be inflammatory, or invoke inflammatory responses - rather than let the debate run its course, with the potential of ending in the sewers.

So if you log on in the coming days and see that a comment you have added has been deleted, then you have my apologies in advance. Your comment may have been deleted for its content, but it may also have been deleted because it was a response to another comment which was also deleted, or deleted because I feared the responses it may have provoked would have lowered the tone. As a rule, I do not like deleting comments, or any other form of censorship for that matter, but I fear that if I do not keep a tight hand on the reins, things will run rather too quickly out of control. I console myself that since I am only keeping my own corner of the internet in order, this can hardly be construed as censorship; after all, there are hundreds, if not thousands of blogs, websites, forums, chatrooms and message boards where you are free to express your opinion, unhindered by my sensibilities.

I hope you will all bear with me as I weather the storm, and I hope you can all understand why I have chosen to follow this course of action. I remain both proud and humbled by the quality of the contributions here, and I hope that these contributions will continue once the storm has blown over. With four weeks until Estoril, and two weeks until Assen World Superbikes, it could be a little while yet.

If you are unhappy, please feel free to vent your spleen below. This story is the only place I will not censor - with the obvious exception of black-hat SEO spam, which gets deleted very quickly - but I have to try to keep the rest of the site relatively clean.

Back to top


You have my full support David, there are many other websites where people can go to throw mud at each other, this is not one of them!

Keep up the good work


and I only wonder what would have resulted if Rossi x Gibernau at Jerez had just taken place nowadays. =P

I try to keep myself in check and think I do and have... but just by a slim margin..

I too enjoy the comments almost as much as I enjoy your articles (which get better all the time btw).

But it's easy to get too impassioned and, we all know that if you want to do that their are sites for heated discourse - I rarely frequent those anymore due the amount loathing and hyperbole (like really, we just have an opioion about things - no one is actually related to the rider right?).

Keep up the great work.. and I hope you don't have to spend too much energy delting comments.

The reason most people here come back is precisely the depth of the content, the sanity of the tone and the quality of the articles. Anyone I know who reads your work appreciates the way you run the site. If you didn't take pains to keep it polite and sane, I wouldn't value the site as much. It's probably a pain in the butt but we do appreciate it.

Both you and Dennis Noyes produce two of the highest quality columns on motoracing I've ever read. Whatever you consider necessary to protect it against the vandals, will be ver much appreciated.
Hope you don't mind mentioning Dennis :-)

And well-reasoned too. It is indeed your site and you're free to do with it whatever you wish, which includes comments.

I for one very much welcome the deleting of certain comments which bring the conversation to an undesired low level, fishing for anger and adding nothing but insults to riders, the sport or other commenters. Or all of the above. There are unfortunately more than enough motorsport sites where one can wallow in the mud and which provide an excellent breeding ground for trolls. But on here I regularly and happily read every comment to a particular topic without immediately losing all my faith in humanity. So, thank you for going through the trouble of moderation in the first place, very much appreciated. :)

Thanks for a great site...long time lurker and reader here!
One of the more sober and cool places out there!
I do not watch much racing anymore, but it is good to read about it here!

Thank you David for your moderation of your website. I am constantly amazed at some of the inflammatory postings I see on other sites, and as a result I rarely even bother going to them any more. Your articles and the intelligent debate and commentary that follows them are always enlightening and gratifying so do not apologize.

If you could "partner" with Dennis Noyes it would be a moto news match made in heaven!

; )

...For an awesome website. It is a breath of fresh air in a sea of mediocrity.

Let me start with an insult as back-handed compliment. If you feel you need to 'up your game' to be near the 50th percentile, then you are a sadly deluded individual...

...the articles and reports on this site are beyond anything comparible I can find, anywhere. The quality of reporting, insight, language, vocabulary and humour are a joy to behold.

Motomatters is my first port of call for my daily intake of what's hot, what's not, and what's either happening, about to happen or has happened. The depth of background, mixed with analysis and clear thinking are unsurpassed. It's a joy to find someone who can actually WRITE about bike racing, rather than just report it.

Which brings me to my main point.

I come here to read what is written on the site by the people (okay, person) who runs it, not the people who add comments to the articles. Whilst the standard of comment on Motomatters is indeed higher than almost anywhere else, it comes from people like myself who are not professional writers and who's opinions are subjective at best.

In the modern world, the internet is a fantastic means of communication, it's democratised access to information, and allows free participation for those who want to 'join the debate'.

The downside to this is that there are no effective barriers to participation. Anyone can comment, and many do. There is however, no quality control in this type of environment, and people feel free to say things in electronic form which they would not dream of saying in a face to face situation.

'It's Rossi, stupid' -

There are two main kinds of people in this kind of debate;

Those who are dedicated followers of the sport, who understand it's history, intricacies and idiosyncrasies. These are the kind of people, myself included, who have been involved with or indeed competed in motor sports over a number of years and who have an intimate knowledge and passion for the sport.

The second type are probably best described as 'fanboys'. People who watch sport on tv, get hooked and decide to support either a certain individual or team. *deep breath* The kind of people, in short, who support Ferrari, Manchester United and, yes, Rossi.

These people don't really understand racing, not in it's purest for anyway. They watch it on tv, sure, and are knowledgeable to an extent. But they don't understand where their knowledge stops. And they tend to be blinded by their 'love' of their chosen rider and or team.

Hence, when we get an incident such as the one on Sunday, fireworks ensue. What happened wasn't unusual. The same, or at least very similar, incident took place at least a dozen times on Sunday throughout the classes with nary a raised eyebrow. But when two 'galacticos' collide, the world, the media and the fans lose all sense of perspective and people let their emotions rule their heads.

People become instant experts, postulating wildly despite having little or nothing in the way of hard, factual knowledge.

And because the internet allows instant, unfettered, access for people to vent their emotions, the kind of internet squabbling you have described ensues. Which is a shame, because it detracts from the main issue, which is the racing.

The editorial writing on the site is peerless and speaks for itself. And in the modern world of 'add comment', so do the comments from the public contributors. If they weren't there , the site would not be the worse for their absence.

The internet is a wonderful thing, with many uses, but informed debate is not one of them.

A point made rather well by Charlie Brooker, columnist and writer;

"All internet debates, without exception, are entirely futile.

There's no point debating anything online. You might as well hurl shoes in the air to knock clouds from the sky. The internet's perfect for all manner of things, but productive discussion ain't one of them. It provides scant room for debate and infinite opportunities for fruitless point-scoring: the heady combination of perceived anonymity, gestated responses, random heckling and a notional "live audience" quickly conspire to create a "perfect storm" of perpetual bickering.

Stumble in, take umbrage with someone, trade a few blows, and within about two or three exchanges, the subject itself goes out the window. Suddenly you're simply arguing about arguing. Eventually, one side gets bored, comes to its senses, or dies, and the row fizzles out: just another needless belch in the swirling online storm.

But not for long, because online quarrelling is also addictive, in precisely the same way Tetris is addictive. It appeals to the "lab rat" part of your brain; the annoying, irrepressible part that adores repetitive pointlessness and would gleefully make you pop bubblewrap till Doomsday if it ever got its way.
An unfortunate few, hooked on the futile thrill of online debate, devote their lives to its cause. They roam the internet, actively seeking out viewpoints they disagree with, or squat on messageboards, whining, needling, sneering, over-analysing each new proclamation - joylessly fiddling, like unhappy gorillas doomed to pick lice from one another's fur for all eternity."

It's only bike racing people.

Roll on Estoril....

(anyone taking umbrage at this post, you're probably part of the problem)

I like your style, SofaRacer.

You are one of the few "dedicated followers of the sport, who understand it's history, intricacies and idiosyncrasies."

Moreover, "anyone taking umbrage at" your post, is "probably part of the problem."

I'm guessing you've never lost an on-line debate either.

A comment longer than the original post on the futility of comments.
A jab at commenters that ends with "if you comment on this you are already wrong"


However you are missing a third type of follower.

Namely one that may have watched the sport for a very long time (possibly remembering when the current Kings of the Sport were barely on 125s).

These people become disillusioned with being lumped in with the "fans boy" are quietly sad that the sport they are following has become "mainstream" and are desperate to appear as knowledgeable "elite" fans so that they can sneer and look down their noses at casual fans (usually a claim to have raced or been "involved" in motor sport is thrown in). These people often profess to dislike the most successful participant, usually supporting one of his main rivals, blaming the most popular rider for all manner of ills and to claim that they are killing the sport.

Sadly some of these people (in my humble internet opinion) care more about being "better" than the fans who have only been watching for a short time, than they do about the sport or the results.

I love your site because I get the best insights to what is going on. I also like it because there is no BS, no bickering and the comments are peoples thoughts or opinions that nicely round out the entire article. No one is flinging poo at eachother or taking things too personally. I love what your are doing and support however you want to police "your" internet space. Let the others be the public bathrooms of cyberspace.....but everybody should flush the toilet, wash your hands, and wipe down the counter when your done here @ Motomatters.

Like most GP followers,I am biased,based on my own perceptions as to who is and who is not.
On a machinery level,what is and what is not.
Do I love the inside line I get from your site? I certainly do. The problem with restarting the Honda. My two pins worth.
Thanks a lot for your efforts and to those who post here.Keep them in line and myself included.
Enjoy the break until Estoril GP and the Assen SBK round.

No worries mate it is one of the reasons I make motomatters my 1st stop before I move on to the drivel sites. I usually appreciate the comments here as well but I too do not want to see inflammatory comments. Leave that for places like MCN and Crash that attempt to insight responses by their obvious baiting and wordsmithing.

Censorship is an unfortunate part of private media, but it is necessary to keep the site differentiated from other sites. The motorcycling community already has crash.net for impertinent cyber-flaming. Crash seem to tolerate the mayhem and leverage it to their advantage; however, I don't see any particular benefit in copying crash's comment policy or their market niche. MM has it's own niche.

Imo, censorship really isn't censorship if people post on MM under the pretense that all comments will be refereed for tone and quality of insight. If MM is getting flooded with ranting and raving from the anti-censorship crowd, maybe you could add a disclaimer somewhere. Maybe in an About section for the sight or maybe as part of registration. I haven't registered in a long time, but if you put a check-box disclaimer on the registration perhaps you can discourage the hit-and-run crowd. If they know their comments will be removed, will they bother? Tough to say, but an ounce of prevention might spare you a pound of cure.

Guess what? I didn't finish reading your comment coz of what david is trying to say here. If its hard just try to grow up a little it would do u no harm. David we love your work the articles are great and the photos are magnificent i just hate when a nobody throws insults at a f.i.m racer no matter who it might be. Delete delete delete em all! Peace!

As one who's had a 35 year obsession with motorcycles and competitive motorcycle sport, Motomatters has become my first port of call for insightful, balanced, elegant race reports, updates and commentaries. Your reporting is second to none David.

I too feel very humbled by the knowledge of a number of very clever posters - particularly from a technical perspective.

The only way for for this site to survive and grow is to nip the nonsense in the bud and build on the constructive observations of this diverse global community.

As an arbiter there's few as balanced as you anyway David. Good on you for reminding us of the standards that have made Motomatters so exceptional.

I've also had a lifetime of motorcycles and being involved in motorcycle racing, with a few more years at it than yourself. MTM is where I get my bike racing news and then I'll scan other sites for a few interesting articles or find them through David's references or articles mentioned in the forums.

SofaRacer wrote "There's no point debating anything online. You might as well hurl shoes in the air to knock clouds from the sky. The internet's perfect for all manner of things, but productive discussion ain't one of them."

Sorry, but I must disagree with this statement. I've been online since way before there was anything related to point and click. When a mouse was still something that scurried across the floor. Over the years I've always seemed to find a few places where civil and intelligent discussions can be had about motorcycling and bike racing. Are they the normal site/forum/list? Nope, but they can be found. If you don't believe that, I invite you to visit the forums here on MotoMatters and see for yourself. Other than the uproar caused over the recent Rossi/Stoner racing incident on Sunday that got a bit out of hand for a day, there's isn't all the fan boi, mud slinging type defecation that you see on almost every other motorcycle (motorsports) racing forum. And if you think that takes the heated discussions off the table, you'd be mistaken. The biggest difference I see is that folks try to give actual facts to support their beliefs rather than relying on emotions to build that base. Are some hardcore fans of certain racers? Absolutely but if/when that seems to be clouding their perception, someone usually reminds them gently that the mist may be clouding their view. ;)

David, thanks for all that you do. It's a pleasure to be able to have this site to gain knowledge and insight and be able to discuss this sport, which we all feel so passionately about. If it takes trimming some thorns to keep things as they should be, snip away. I'm grateful it's done. Keep up the great work as usual.

Don't you just hate those websites where comments always descend into 'Flossi is a big girl's blouse' vs 'Stoner is a whining toerag'?

That's why I come here and nowhere else.

There are enough people who love bike racing to ensure that the editor can moderate away those crass comments to keep away the meatheads whilst still retaining a large enough following to make the blog a worthwhile investment.

The fact that David is taking the time to read and filter all the comments is a huge undertaking in itself, let alone the time required to produce the brilliant stuff we read here daily.

So thanks David, and long may it continue.

that this means extra work for you David.

Glad it means a better site for us.

But again as I would recommend to focus on what really matters (i.e. racing not speculation on behaviours) I also would recommend to what is the true value of MM.

1) David articles
2) Great comments from great people
3) Less rubbish comments.

But point #3 comes only as third. Point #1 is always there and at worst you have to browse through and skim to get #2. The only real damage would be if #3 manage to alienate away #2 but I believe this is a strong community and it won't happen.

I believe it's also up to the reader to ignore some comments and focus on the real one. I tend not to express too many opinions even if I follow 500 since Spencer days because I am quite ignorant. I love to watch motorbike racing. I don't know how to ride one :)
But insightful comment comes not only from technical people. As an example when I heard on BBC Stoner reply to VR I thought it was slightly harsh but then I said:"in the heat of the moment it's more that acceptable".
Then someone from the other side of the world put the right contest around the sentence and suddenly it looked completely different and it fits the picture well. And that came from the comments here (sadly not from the BBC commentary which is anyway good).

So thank you David again, thank you great commenters. And the moderation work is very appreciated but if it will be too much to cope with we can understand. At least I will! Cheers

I am not usually a big fan of "harsh moderation" or "censorship" and it's something wonderful that initially your website did not need any of the above, just because I guess, quality writing was more appealing to quality readers (all you need is a headline if you wish to argue endlessly in pointless comments).
However the site seems to be growing more and more each day (do you have any numbers? just curious) and appealing to a broader audience leads to some change in tone in the comments section.
I don't like "elitism" but there is a reason why motomatters is my main source of information about motorcycle racing, and also the only website where I leave comments. This is on the very rare websites where one can actually have a clever and fruitful discussion with other racing fans. Your writing is wonderful, objective well beyond standards, yet passion is not absent from it neither. And I enjoy learning new words (I suspect some native speakers do to ;-) )
If harsher moderation is needed to keep motomatters standards so high, so be it. I guess that's the reward of success.

David, with the exemplary readership you have, I'd bet that this would all sort itself out if there were a 'vote up / vote down' system for comments. I think that most of the regulars are able to discriminate between troll bait / insults and intelligently expressed differences of opinion.

It goes without saying that this is one of the best places on the net and I, at least, support whatever it takes to keep it that way.

Was thinking of the same thing. Then I thought about the sites where this system works and realised that they were a lot less specific than MM and usually about topics that are less likely to envoke fanaticism.
If this system were put into place here then there would be the opportunity for a hoarde of trolls to wallow in and upvote comments about their particular favourite rider. Take a look at the agree / disagree numbers on comments made over at crash. Within days the highest rated comments would be Moaner / Flossi crap and the more intelligent debate would be swimming in a sea of shit..
Krop would be reduced to flogging 'bye bye baby' shirts as this site's only valid source of income

Like others have stated; I come here to read David's take on the the state of the sport. Not the comments of followers like me. The editing out of inflammatory posts is a good thing as long as David is doing the editing.

As a long time reader I found the small commenting community in years past to be refreshing. But as the success of the site brought more readers, the riffraff came along with it. I used to read every word in every comment thread and appreciated all the great details people added. Now the trash has won out and even in the rare event that I'll read a few comments it quickly becomes apparent that it's best to just forget about it. The knowledgeable pontificate and the less informed just blather nonsense.

I'll just have to mourn what was and keep up with the main content. I'm thankful for the info Mr. Emmett provides. It would be nice if discussion stayed in the forums and true comments on the content of the original post would be the only thing found on the black background. But as long as there is an option for someone to share their overvalued 2 cents, they'll do it. And the 'Reply' button just turns it into a pissing match.

And here I am, guilty as charged, clicking 'Save'...

Brookspeed I respectfully disagree.

" Now the trash has won out and even in the rare event that I'll read a few comments it quickly becomes apparent that it's best to just forget about it."

It requires a little more application/dedication to scan the comments.

Actually, I have found it almost quite the opposite. I rarely read the comments here because that's where the riff raff has always posted (I am not pointing a finger at anyone in particular here). The forums here are where 90% of the intelligent debate goes on. The bad discussion takes place here simply because those who don't want to be taken to task with their comments leave them. I agree the discussion should be on the forums.

Sometimes a good comment is made after an article but I would love for that person to take active participation in their comment and bring it to the community on the forum as more often than not comments are left behind but the discussion can often carry on. This is not to invoke pissing contests but a sound and well rounded discussion on events.

Every now and again one of our forum Mods or Regulars will post comments, but those same will discuss those opinions in the forums and will generate a (typically) clean and well rounded discussion. The forums on other sites may not be so lucky to boast this either. So I put to you good sir, bring your self to our forums and I don't think you will be sorry.

As I write this comment, I'm wearing the motomatters.com t-shirt my fiance gave me for Christmas. Why is this relevant to David's post? Because I've become a HUGE fan of motomatters ... it is simply the best blog in the industry. Each well-written and researched posting provides insight and often sparks very intelligent debate.

THAT is why the t-shirt was one of my favorite gifts! If you don't have one you should put in your order ... it's very well made, quite comfortable and supports this site that we all love.

Keep up the good work David!

That's sad, Brookespeed. The terrorists have won. Your comments were among the reasons I came back to this site a second, then third, then fourth, etc. time after first stumbling across it a couple years ago.

Motomatters.com is like a favorite restaurant: You want to tell everybody because it's so good; and you want to tell nobody because you don't want it to lose whatever it has that makes it so good--plus you'll never get a table after it becomes popular.

Ah, the double-edged sword of success. For Mr. Emmett, and for us readers. First, Mr. Emmett has to work harder, picking out the weeds so thoughtful comments can bloom. Second, we have to work harder, sorting through more and more comments in order to find the nuggets, like that there might be something in the Honda's gearbox design that makes it harder to push-start (first saw that reference buried in the comments following, I think, the original race roundup story; Mr. Emmett proceeded to get to the bottom of it in a subsequent story--which, apparently, should have been titled Pins and Needles), or that CS is still having problems with the Ducati's front end.

I've been fortunate enough to miss all the idiocy--everything's been moderated by the time I got to the comments. Which I have mixed feelings about. On one hand, I'm curious as to what the fuss is about. The basic attraction of carnage. On the other hand, civility rules.

And, while attraction to carnage eventually wears thin, an educated society will always strive for civility. Please continue to run your site as you see fit, Mr. Emmet. Brooksepeed, please don't let the terrorists win.

To be part of this amazing website... The stunning level of intelligence and passion about this amazing sport, make this my number 1 website.

I hope that over time, the site will requires less and less moderation when more and more people convey their thoughts in a articulate manner.

Thank you all. :)

Actually David - you are wrong.. and I think I speak for most of us - it's mainly your great reporting and insightful articles that keep us coming back to this site. To be fair many of the comments are very interesting too.
Debate, on the internet or anywhere else, is one of the best ways of learning about things - just so long as one keeps an open mind and doesn't descend into puerile arguments.
Keep up he great work. My conscience has finally got the better of me, aided and abetted by those naggingly intrusive adverts, and I have subscribed to this great site.

P.S. Why Kropotkin?

Wikipedia >>
Prince Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin (Russian: Пётр Алексе́евич Кропо́ткин; 9 December 1842 – 8 February 1921) was a zoologist, an evolutionary theorist, geographer and one of the world's foremost anarcho-communists. Kropotkin advocated a communist society free from central government and based on voluntary associations between workers. Because of his title of prince, he was known by some as "the Anarchist Prince". Some contemporaries saw him as leading a near perfect life, including Oscar Wilde, who described him as "a man with a soul of that beautiful white Christ which seems coming out of Russia."[1] He wrote many books, pamphlets and articles, the most prominent being The Conquest of Bread and Fields, Factories and Workshops, and his principal scientific offering, Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution. He also contributed the article on anarchism to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition.[2]

I've been reading your column/blog for a couple of years now and it is in my opinion the best on the subject. Comments from readers are great but it takes a great source to inspire the feedback. Keep up the good work!

Hi David,

I'm glad you're doing this. The reason this site is so fantastic is because of the in-depth and intelligent reporting and I trust you to weed out the comments that are not in the spirit of the site.

Also, I hope this serves as a reminder to all those who post; we come here to get great news and comments so lets keep it that way.

I have mostly read the tecnicaly articles and i hate the "crash.net" profiles that has been spamming lately.

keep up the good work.


See You in Estoril :)

As a long time reader, I have refrained from posting as I have never felt that I have had anything of value to add to David's insightful and thoroughly well balanced reporting. Sometimes I agree with the comments that are added, sometimes I dont. I've never had anything to say which actually adds to the story, so I've chosen to moderate myself; I'm sure there are many many more who have behaved in the same way.

There are plenty of places where gutter level 'debate' based on little more than national stereotypes, blatant favouritism and various other bias can be played out.

When those posting fail to moderate their own comments in the context of this special place, you do us all a service by filtering out the 'noise'. I am sure that there are numerous trusted members of long standing who would be prepared to support the difficult but important work of moderation to spare David so that his efforts can be spent more productively.

I'm off to place a long overdue t-shirt order ;-)

Really? You lost all my respect with that line. I understand why you're deleting the comments...but don't try and deflect your clear ambition of censorship on the premise that there are other websites for other people to "vent" on. You are incredibly pretentious. So disappointing... I really loved this website.

+1 D'Oh didn't wait long enough, sorry, you can have a +2 as well

We are guests in David's house. Like any good host if one guest is starting fights or shouting obscenities he will ask them to leave. Feel free to rant and rage elsewhere, just don't do it in his house. The only ambition I see here is to keep a certain level of decorum in the discussions.

David we would all be lost with out you.. left to roam the net for tastless information about nothing.. like the billions out there every day! but this site is like a religion for the racing fans!
Every day/night first thing i do when the computer gets turned on is visit your site, even before emails.
I have seen and been apart of a close community for a few years now of people who comment on stories, and that is one reason why i like this site. we have all learnt to think bout our replies to stories and other members comments which has kept it clean and save. But i agree now that you have to moderate the site every day as it seems there are hundreds of new people making comments.
So new guys help the man out and dont be stupid! think about your comments and dont take swipes at each other help keep Davids inerest in the site just for racing! not being a police man 23 hours aday, as that will burn him out and the interest from him will whale...

I was going to try and write something funny but realised that would be ambition over reaching talent.

I thought about it for a long time. If I really wanted to vent, since here I can, what would I say? A few Colin Edwards quotes came to mind.
But I really feel no reason to. Ofcourse I have riders I like more than others, for their riding style or personality, but really none of them give me a reason to extremely dislike (hate?) them. Because I don't really know any of them personally. The more I hear / read of personal experiences / encounters people have had with any of the characters in our favorite game, the more I know things are never what they seem. And that is what most frequent visitors / posters on this site seem to realize.
This board (fortunately, unfortunately?) really is unique in our beloved sport. And if it wasn't for David's moderation (next to his outstanding craftmanship ofcourse), it would soon be like any other shoutbox on the web.
So no, I will not vent, even not in this topic. An opportunity wasted...

...in a bit of a quandary. I won't claim to be THE biggest proponent of getting back to the truly intelligent discourse which defines the real veterans in the community of MM, but I feel that I AM one of the biggest...well...I'll just say that I really want our community returned to its high(est) standards. Then, yesterday, I momentarily became part of the problem.

I have held my tongue ALMOST completely...until yesterday. It was then that I finally reached my breaking point with one of the crash.net refugees. I've winced my way through the comically brainless and mindlessly hateful comments about riders, but a direct attack on the honesty and credibility of our esteemed moderator/reporter/friend was the final straw, and I went postal/nuclear/medieval on said troll. Speaking The Truth and refraining from foul, cretinous language didn't negate the fact that it was an unwise and wholly regrettable act on my part, as well as a wholesale lowering of my standards. In fighting against the temporarily flagging standards, I was hoisted by my own petard. In the future, I'll not lower myself to their level, and I'll hope that, once ignored, they'll just go away.

There are some real members here in MM with whom I regularly disagree, and many with whom I often agree. As I've said before, I respect all of their opinions, and I consider both camps to be my friends, as I often learn things from them all. I'm man enough to admit when I'm wrong, so I hereby offer my apologies to my friends here, and have returned to focusing all my efforts on doing my part to keep this THE premier destination for thoughtful, mature, intelligent, and respectful discussion, commentary, and discourse.

Thanks for all your efforts, David. We (the ones who count) really appreciate it. I apologise also to you for my outburst, and again, I vow to support and uphold the peerless standards of MM. And thanks to all of you on this site, the real members here who are also responsible for making it what it is. I appreciate you all, too.

this is just a note to support you. I started reading about motorcycle racing when Surtees was breaking the lap record at the TT from a standing start. I have worked in the industry and spent decades riding and racing (still riding!). I visit this site because it is about my passion, motorcycle racing. It is not censorship when you try to keep your site true to its mission, the reporting and discussion of motorcycle racing at the highest levels. There is no need to dilute the discussion with...never mind, it's all been said, no need to be negative. I am only sorry that this is causing you to do more work. Even so, I am sure that it will not effect the high level of reporting to which we all have become accustomed. Thanks also to the intellegent, informed and passionate followers of this site whose input has added greatly the our appreciation of the sport. Thanks again.

By far one of if not THE best site for some inside scoop. I'm always enlighten by visiting this site and following you on twitter (you and Birty are brilliant on there).

I wholeheartedly agree with the direction you've taken.

I also enjoy reading the comments, and often find myself seeing something from a different perspective. It's a great feature of the site, and needs to be treated with respect by us all.

I for one am thrilled that there is enough excitement and emotion in MotoGP that events on the track elicit such strong emotion. This is what I want from my sport - true intensity, emotion and human drama. It's the stuff of life boys!

That said, David I support you 100% in censoring those who cannot conduct civil discourse. There are places for neanderthal behavior but motomatters is not one of those places.




You have my support 100%. Whatever it takes to keep this site in it's present form, I am all for it.

Perhaps you could invest in a 'report' button for each comment, so that at least in some regard we are able to self-moderate to a point and direct you around the site when in moderation mode.

One of the best aspects of having such wonderful contributors to the site is that it provokes more of the same from others.

Hopefully I don't wear the wrath of your moderation stick too often :)

Cheers mate.

... and not a matter of life and death (at least, not for us spectators). So, I support David in his effort to properly moderate the discussions, and to allow us to continue (in a civil manner) agree and disagree with one another. And when we don't do so, to cut out our nonsense. From the responses so far, it appears most folks agree.

Keep up the great work David!

Its your site and my most valued... and I am the last to be patronizing. Therefore I feel youre entitlement to keep things mellow and on topic is beyond reasonable

I posted a thread on my beloved R1 forum about 'has the motorcycle culture died'... Well in certain ways I feel yes, but in the larger respect NO. Its places like this that make it clear its not.

It is places like this I find sanctum, knowledge, and very very cool insight to something along the lines of a personal sickness, er, I mean passion. My pension for titanium, carbon and in-the-know websites is semi-ridiculous lol

Your contribution to motorcycling, MotoGP and everything you cover is legit and I sincerely appreciate it.

With respect


You do a great job with this site. MotoGP.com, Motomatters, and Soup are the only sites I need. Soup keeps up to date on more motorcycling issues in the US and has lots of good pics but is mostly just a posting of press releases.

For analysis this is the site. It seems you spend a ton of time working on this site and for that I think we are all grateful. I found this site about a year ago now, quite by accident, and have been coming here almost every day since.

I think your take on deleting some posts is justified and proper.


Censorship disallows the truth from being shown.

It's why Dictators use it to oppress people. It why people will always revolt against. It's why people in the Middle-East cannot be heard as they are censored. One person is all it takes to become that powerful and wielded properly David you are being sung praises reserved for Sainthood on a Motorbike web site where you want our contributions as a visitor.

I ask, where is the youtube video posted here that showed the real truth of this mistake/incident. Are we to rely on video footage provided from Motogp camera angle, which really shows a one sided impression of Valentino Rossi and the Marshals seemingly at fault. David …. it your pond and you are the big fish in it. So of course you can eliminate other post that try to tell the story as the see it. You can also make this website tell you side of the argument and sometimes let the other side remain if it is a weak point. You are on your way to becoming the Dictator of your prize possession, this website.

The praises are being sung, soon to follow are you many laws, quickly dealing with the law breakers. You long prophetic message of why you need to keep people in check convinces yourself of what is right. Who are you to be the judge of what others feel? Who are you to censor us?

You have a very good following of very knowledge people and your insights are mostly on target. The information you provide shows much depth that you are in tune with your audience. Why use this now to censor and on the road to becomining a Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe, Omar al-Bashir, Sudan, Kim Jong-Il, North Korea, Than Shwe, Burma, King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia, Hu Jintao, China, Sayyid Ali Khamenei, Iran, Isayas Afewerki, Eritrea, G. Berdymuhammedov, Turkmenistan, Muammar al-Qaddafi, Libya. I could go on. LOL I expect to be censored in 10 secs or less. The truth have to be stricken forever for Dictators to live.

you would know that your post will not be erased. Sorry that he will not make a "martyr" out of you.
If you knew what you were talking about, you would know that the only comments deleted on motomatters are not because of the opinion expressed in them but because of the way they are phrased.
People have never had any problems expressing their diverse opinion on this website, as long as it stays a polite and civil discourse.
The mystery to me is how do you even dare to compare people risking their life for their freedom and yourself behind your laptop fighting for the right to post useless comments mainly consisting of aggressive opinions and crass words?
I am sorry to have to answer this comment, I know I'd better ignore it but the lack of any kind of decency is just outrageous. "People in the Middle East" as you write would laugh/spit at you at best for what you just wrote. Obviously you have no idea what you are talking about on this topic neither, you could not miss the absolute ridiculousness and pointlessness of the comparison.
Once again I'm sorry to lower my standards here, sometimes you just "have" to react, and this is a typical example of why David's moderation is useful for us all indeed.

What a dramatic life you lead. I've just had a brief look through the Magna Carta but sadly I see no reference there to the oppressive deletion of youtube videos, maybe you could contact the United Nations as a means of freeing you from your shackles.. Maybe you could scuttle back to crash.net

Edit- apologies for feeding the troll

...didn't I just keep my cool the other day... I threw away YEARS of good conduct for one of THESE clattering buttocks? It wasn't worth it.

Under the terms of my accreditation from Dorna, I am not allowed to post youtube videos from MotoGP events, of either the official footage or fan videos. If I do, they pull my pass.

I´ve posted a Youtube video on a comment on another post. Should I not have done that? Did that generate some sort of problem for you?

If that is the case i´m trully sorry I didn´t know.

Links to videos are OK. Embedded videos are not. So don't worry about the links, they're not the problem.

Dorna's no joke, one of my favourite Nicky Hayden videos (a "best of" clip set to Motorhead's Ace of Spades) was pulled not because youtube deleted it, but because Dorna emailed the youtube-user who had made the video himself (using motogp.com video clips, of course) with some threatening legal language lol. Quite ridiculous if you look at just the content in question, but it's no mystery that Dorna is just protecting their "property".

Most organisations and entities experience growing pains, especially if the growth is rapid and unplanned. On other forums a reference to MotoMatters has come to be seen as a reference to research, consideration and balance, used to offset extreme or ill considered arguments or to generally inform.

The result of this is that a lot of people are accessing what was once a much less known site and in doing so we are inevitably changing the site. The old timers are not happy because their "club" has become a public area.

I think a solution is patience and reinforcement of the existing values. The current Jerez generated drame will abate and some of the new posters will leave when incessant Rossi v Stoner arguments are not encouraged.The continuing removal of extreme posts will help, as will the removal of those who post badly too frequently.

I don't view this as censorship but more as housekeeping. In my professional and personal life I face constant expectations that I will act and speak reasonably and with consideration for the views of others. I don't see the internet and this (or any other) forum as being any different.

Just want to drop a note that I, too, fully support, as I much as I appreciated, to your work and moderation. I'll keep visiting MM each and every day.

It has probably been over 2 years since I last commented on this site although I visit every day and enjoy reading the educated comments left by the other visitors to this site. If censorship is required to keep the high standard of discourse going then count me in.

For a long time have really enjoyed the coverage you provide, David. The depth, the story, not just a headline.
Also, the level of the comments from other followers of the site. In the main considered, knowledgeable and polite.
There's always something to learn, even if I may disagree with what's being said.
Nothing, so I tend to read rather than comment. Debate does not have to descend to a choleric charade.
So a vote of support.
In fact, off now to take a subsription.
Many thanks, David

well, completely incidentally , I'm following MotoGP right from first 125 Rossi season ; he's my pet rider from first race , and still is . but - there are 2 important things :
1- even if my pulse goes to double rate before each race (I'm watching on TV ) start , I can't say that racing is more important than plain , common , everyday life . so - I'm always puzzled about nature of majority of both articles and reader's comments ....... "get a life" means something here ?
2 - all of them , each and every one having enormous guts and bravery to live and breath their extremely dangerous passion - are just human ; no more , no less ; they have all rights to behave as human , not as prescripted robots , with each further step weighted in some scientific lab .

so - maybe we , generally, can give them some free air - to behave and think as normal people , without need to see every move as major crime , or major success of Universe .....
- meaning - we must give them right to err ; NB that I'm not talking about Rossi , but all of them - give CS right to be ill , Spies to be slow in first part of race , Nicky to be hard worker etc.

English isn't my native , so I'm somewhat bored of typing , but I hope that someone ( not normal regulars on this great site ) will catch my drift , so to speak

edit: sorry - almost forgot - David - you really have safe house here ; tnx for that .

I found this website searching on the net for comments of the epic Stoner/Rossi battle in Laguna Seca. After some search I "stumbled" on your race report....what a breath of fresh air!!! - I relived the whole race on that report!

Since then, i´ve daily searched for news & insights from my favorite sport from you David.
I "felt" your trouble when your bike broke down & I also get desperate without any news when you change headquarters or update the website!

So keep it up, keep this freshness/quality, keep raising the level.

Thank you !

I think sometimes people passion for a subject is typed out on a thread.

I have never once bad mothed a rider on the net nor in life.

There are lots of "fan-boy" sites out there that seem to welcome stupid comments, this however is NOT one of them.

I dont reply to many posts on David's site, but I do read all of them.

If deleting stupid posts is what it takes to maintain this standards then so be it. Delete away Sir !

There once was a writer named Emmett
on bitching, he'd just reached his limit.
With all the keystrokes, from all of his blokes
that described how Rossi did bin it.

Some people just take free speech beyond the limits of decency. I just hope you do not spend all your time moderating instead of reporting and writing the high quality articles and insights we all enjoy. Please keep up the good work David.

Motomatters.com is a great website for motogp related news and David pumps out some fantastic reading. Nobody wants hateful rubbish and totally biased comments from fans. This site usually serves up intelligent debate and long may it continue.......

BUT please, enough of the sycophantic drool.

Too many times I have seen grown men fawn over racers or people close to racing and it is sickening. Tone down the "I'm your #1 fan David" . hahahahaha

...you have my full support on this move and motomatters will continue to be my first choice for MotoGP and WSBK news and analysis. Keep up the GREAT work and thank you.

Deleting posts may be censorship in the technical sense, but this really isn’t censorship of content. The posts would stand if they had been formulated with a bit of tact, thought and fair play. I’ll never understand why people feel that a negative or adversarial tone adds more weight to their argument. This strategy is often a result of a weak position or just immaturity. A message board is not an arena where free speech is guaranteed. But if you adhere to the forum rules in terms of attitude and behavior, you can still convey good content. And since this is a content driven site, I applaud the higher standard, as I’m simply tired of the normal diatribe you can find seemingly everywhere.

Keep up the good work Mr. Emmett.

All things said, it's your house and you' re as much entitled to run it the way you feel right, as is everyone else to visit it or not.
I connect willingly almost every day, accepting that you might occasionally err, or midjudge. But you R Not a judge, neither supposed to handle absolute verdicts. On the contrary, I love motomatters because it offers personal insight and opinion regarding matters of fact --which means, personal interpretations of motomatters. And 4 me this is more important than striving to "be right" and "objective" and all this bull... all the time. We need opininions, not fanatics with godsend rules.
It's like art, if you allow the exaggeration, which represents the view of the world or a part of it by the artist.
Be opinionated, be free.

As others have mentioned, motomatters is a bastion of insight and provocative thought and conversation as it relates to motorcycle racing. One aspect of being a dedicated two-wheel racing fan (of most every kind) that I really enjoy is the high level of commentary and discussion as most fans are "die-hard" to use the obligatory term.

With most sports it's becoming more and more difficult to sift through the refuse that has become popular sport to get to the real stories, the real issues and the really enjoyable conversation. MM does that for me, and part of that process is articles like this one. The very fact that you have taken the time to address this issue up front and candidly speaks to the very reason so many of us come here first.

Thanks in advance of the multitude of quality info and debate that's sure to come this year and on down the road.

Must admit I do have a degree of fascination with the ugly, stupid comments I read on other sites and therefore am a bit disappointed to miss the stuff David deleted!! Having admitted to that, my go to site for the best info is here on MM, and there are true gems in the comments I read here. The group dynamics of the followers of the various sites and forums are...um....interesting.

Thanks David. I can't or wouldn't place blame on anyone for some of things that are sometimes said (that shouldn't be) about some of the things that we all enjoy, being moved to the wayside. We all get overly passionate at times, but never hurts to have someone watching over us when doing so when needed.

Great job here as always!

Mike 'Stu' Stuhler
Indianapolis, IN

You have done no harm to anybody to apologize. You reserve the right what post to be delete and what not to be delete using your own disgression.

I always go to Crash first (I find it akin to picking at a healing cut - I must be a sadist). When I am finished reading a few comments, making comments (if I can keep my composure, to formulate a coherent response)...a red veil of rage descends over my eyes; at this point I quickly click to motomatters and like a dose of valium the rage subsides and I remember why I love MotoGP, so thanks David for a brilliant site that really does encourage interesting, intelligent and respectful debate.

Has given all the followers of hit much to entertain themselves with. Your inside track to the events have helped many feel closer linked to the events. I have noticed this year in particular a ton of new posters that seem to post without any regard every time they post. And to me you are not too harsh, (me included in post being deleted.)

But to maintain the TYPE of posts on the site, I can understand you censoring. It is not like this is the only site that censors. There are plenty of sites that censor hateful or any posts that might incite anger. Hope no one goes on a this is America Rant about being able to say what you want, because that is not true either. If someone says "bomb" on a plane they will get slammed to the dirt and arrested. Deservidely so due to the way it might make people freak the hell out. So if you post in a way that is trying to piss someone off it should be taken off. Because that is not constructive.

Keep doing what you do David. Those of us that love the site will continue on reading and posting. Because this is, in my opinion, the best site to post on.

Call it housecleaning, call it moderation, call it trollhunting, but please don't call it censorship. It's your site, you can do what you want with it. If it takes a direction we don't like, we'll vote with our visits. Noticed the steady growth on the site? There you go, you're doing something we like. Please keep it up!

This is the only site where I actually revisit an article I've read to read the new comments. They add value to the original post, and I like that you respond to questions and further clarify points you raise, or even spin off a separate post from a comment.

The 'free speech' concept seems to be raised by the people most likely to be abusing it. Free speech means you can express an idea freely, it doesn't mean you can be abusive. This type of comment should be removed because it contributes nothing and just incites further abuse.

I agree with your tactic of just deleting the post. Editing them would be a lot more controversial, and more importantly would take more of your time. Being purely selfish about it, I'd rather you spent the time on writing more articles!

I find there are only two options that matter concerning moto racing, mine and yours.

...but seriously since i have started coming to this site in 07ish (moto"gp"matters)
you have kept the quality of your readers high, i know this because
i time or two you have asked me to rephrase my comment either
or on the forum. it's quality control not, censorship. censorship is
not allowing a person or topic to be spoken about, quality control
making sure that what ever is said is expressed in a tone or manner.

you should not concern yourself with censorship, because i do not know
you to do this. but concerning quality control, this is why those who come back
do come back, this makes your site the only place i review. quality sadly is worth
policing but that is the pain.


you could try a peer review quality control of comments, youtube and lifehacker both use a system like this as that your must regular readers seems to valvue high quality as well, i do. just a thought.



I highly value the intelligent and thoughtful content I find on MotoMatters. There are plenty of other places on the 'net for people so inclined to rant and vent. I support your decision to moderate the commentary on MotoMatters and keep the site up on the high road.


John Fishbeck
Haslett MI USA

Foe whatever it's worth. http://www.waynegardnerapproved.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=ca...

[Editor's note:

I have removed the text from this post, as it is copyright of Wayne Garner, and I do not have the rights to reproduce it. Instead, please use the link to read the post on Wayne Gardner's website. And though I welcome links to material on other sites if they provide interesting and useful material, copying and pasting them here is not fair on the owners of the sites where the material originates. Feel free to summarize and post a link, but please do not cut and paste material here. The reverse is also true, please feel free to summarize my articles on other forums, and provide a link back to the original, but I would appreciate it if you didn't cut and paste them elsewhere.


David Emmett]