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!