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Home » Blogging, Rants

Comment Moderation: Is it moderation or elimination?

Submitted by on September 26, 2008 5 Comments
Blacked-out text by scol22 (http://www.sxc.hu/photo/783590)
As blog owners, we have the right to moderate our blog comments as we see fit. We have the commenting feature enabled so our readers can interact with us, the blog author, as well as, each other. This is the ideal world, but the “ideal” seldom resembles reality.

It is appropriate to remove or prevent comments that are off topic, rude, spam, or contain unacceptable language.

It is unwise to remove or prevent comments based on a difference of opinion. This behavior destroys your blogs credibility and is counter to why we have a commenting system in the first place.

As I have expanded my reading and commenting, I have come across more frequent occurrences of bad commenting and terrible comment management. Over the last two weeks, a full 20% of my comments have never been released from moderation by the blog authors.

I take time to write thoughtful comments, but my comments are not released for posting because they are not in agreement with the blog author’s opinion.

I do not attack or make things “personal” in my comments. I offer a different, but respectful, opinion to the mater that was posted. All should follow the commenting golden rule: “comment on other blogs, as you wish your blog to be commented on.” I do not feel that comments should only reflect the blog author’s opinion to be valid, included and beneficial to a blog.

The only thing that I hate worse than over moderation of comments is the engagement in personal attacks amongst blog authors and commenters.

I find this mainly on political sites. I recently read an excellently written political post, that I totally disagreed with, and the associated comments. A commenter wrote and very good and respectful counter point to the post. The blog author called the commenter “a hate filled ignorant troll of a human for thinking that way”. I posted my support for the commenter, not is opinion, and my disgust at the blog author, which after six days, still has not been released from moderation. I reviewed a few other posts and comments on the blog, and found that this behavior was a pattern by the blog author.

As blog authors and commenters, we should write and engage in respectful dialogs. This is the power of the Internet and the blogging system. We should not eliminate comments from people who are critical of our writing or our views. However, we should not tolerate any derogatory comments directed towards us or other readers. We are able to set a positive standard in our comments, by how we respond to our commenters.

We help by spurring ideas and dialog, we should never stifle it!

5 Comments

  • With all the political and economic strife going on, I am seeing more and more comment filtering. People are upset and want to vent but cannot, or will not, deal with any views that are not in-line with their own.

    I know that many blogs do a great job at keeping comments true to their purpose. But it seems to me, that the blogs that are not used to dealing with hot button issues tend to ignore critical comments.

  • Paul says:

    I’m glad that you wrote this article. I too have noticed my comments not approved because of a differing opinion. The only comments I have disallowed are ones that add nothing to the discussion and have spam websites or spam blogs in the links. I don’t mind if someone with a spam site posts something interesting on my blog, so long as the content is good I would approve it with or without a spammy link.

    Pauls last blog post..Missing My One Project

  • Emma says:

    I completely agree with you! On one of my other blogs, I have moderation enabled, and I always approve a comment even if it goes against what I said in the post, or what I beleive. Only time I disapprove a comment is if it has foul language or is simply spam.

    Emmas last blog post..5 Blogging Platforms To Consider

  • Great comment, thank you.
    All blog authors want traffic and too much moderation of comments will lower traffic. I know that I will not go back to sites that filter comments, so that only comments that agree with the blog author are posted, or where they use dissenting comments to trash the commenter.

  • nukeit says:

    I really take this matter very seriously with my blogs and forums. I do my best to prevent spam in every way so I can allow all posters to make their points without the hassle and worry of moderation. I believe this should become a “best practice” of sorts for all bloggers. Let the people voice their opinion, it will result in more traffic if nothing else.

    nukeits last blog post..One man’s trash…

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