Most of my hubs are innocuous--quotes about happiness, grammar tips, history. but sometimes I write on a controversial subject. Recent I wrote about atheism and theism. It was objective reporting about ad campaigns. I am fine with people leaving either positive or negative comments, but is it appropriate to get into a debate with me about my reply to their comment? Also two people got into a heated debate with each other leaving long comments addressed to each other. Not me. Finally I asked them to "take-it-outside." (Metaphorically speaking.) They said they would stop debating in my comments area so my issue was resolved.
The whole thing got me thinking about what is appropriate for comments and if an author is unhappy about comments, how should the author handle it? I don't think the comments rose to the level of reportable abuse, but it was getting close.
Yes, the author has the freedom to accept or delete comments. I think I was asking more about what is good manners regarding comments. I know I have the power to draw the line wherever I want, but is there a consensus of opinion of what oversteps the line.
For instance, abusive comments like name calling or cursing would be against TOS.In my case. I was not comfortable with people "fighting" with each other or going off topic. I understand when people have strong beliefs on a topic it is easy to get carried away.
I don't want people to think they can't disagree with me or ask a question.
I just wondered if there were any informal standards about what is good manners?
What would cause you not to approve a comment?
P.S. I will check out my comment settings. I think I may just have left them at defaults.
We can delete any inappropriate and not related to the subject comments and may also inform the commenter to be to the point. In case of heated, hate sparking comments you should immediately delete them without informing the commenter.
Sometimes, the comment thread goes for long in terms of both text and period which needs some limitation as to the length. Some suitable and appropriate limits need to be fixed for this and the thread should be closed after that lapse of time and limit.
It's very simple Catherine. Just use your discretion to gauge whether a comment adds value to your hub or not. If it doesn't, just disapprove it.
You can delete inappropriate or any comments you don't want. I have mine set for approval before they are seen.
It is completely your choice. If you think they detract from the hub content, go ahead and delete. But I've seen these kind of comments left on a hub and it's perfectly fine. Controversial topics are bound to bring in different points of view.
A debate in the comments section can bring in more views. Some people get tons of views on hubs just from commenters fighting it out. But if you don't want your hub to become a forum, you can delete the posts, or change the hub's comment setting so that they have to be approved by you first before appearing. As said above, you have complete freedom to manage the comments however you want.
Is this the first you've written on atheism? It's very emotionally charged for Americans and you can expect some immature reactions to anything that doesn't say bad things about atheists when talking about them. I used to get threats of death and threats of rape on a regular basis when I kept up with my atheist blog. It's cooled down a lot lately, though. I've been threatened with rape only twice this year and my last death threat was almost a year ago. Not only that but my last really foul contact from an upset religious fellow had to do with a page on homelessness, not atheism!
My rule is to not allow posts that contain profanity, threats, or personal attacks. I also do not allow off-topic comment section discussions or the posting of duplicate content as Google sees all. Atheist content attracts big chunks of cut and paste Bible verses better than honey attracts flies and I'm pretty sure Google sees that as duplicate content.
If a few commenters are able to have completely on-topic discussion in my comments I let them have at it. If it veers too far off, I usually contact them and let them know I appreciate their comments, but, hey, they're confusing Google by putting a large number of off-topic words on my page.
In general, I moderate with a light hand on controversial topics. There can be backlash in the form of harassment if one does not.
Kylissa, you have been very helpful. I feel like you have shown me how to handle this. Compared to you, I guess I'm ahead of the game--no threats of violence. In fact everyone has been pretty nice. I take things too personally sometimes. I think I was disappointed because I was hoping for some "Right-ons" and some "You've given me something to thin about."
Although the subject represents a minority viewpoint, I tried to be careful to not be offensive. And although it was probably clear what side of the billboard wars I was on, I never overtly stated it. I am not anti-theism, but I wanted to explain why people should not be anti-atheist. People can have different views and still be good people. But now I am getting off topic.
My hub was not telling people to be atheists. It was telling people to stop hating atheists. Technically, the hub was not even about atheism; it was about ad campaigns. The ads just happened to be about atheism and the response to those ads.
All it takes is use of the word atheist on the page for the comments to need close moderation.
I welcome all comments, but the mean ones usually puzzle me--and I would say so!
I think comments are good for the popularity of the post. But it should be related to the topic discussed.It may be between two commentators without linking to author.I feel no problem in it.
I think I was just upset about the angry tone one of the commentators took. Like everyone, I want people to like me. But you are right abut the people who don't like me making me rich. (Well, not exactly rich, but I have gotten a lot more views for this than for the other two hubs I did last week.) It is ironic because the hub was about how the people who disagreed with the atheist ad campaign actually made the campaigns successful for the atheist groups. If everyone had just ignored them, they would have just faded into oblivion.
This hub has gotten fewer comments than usual despite all the extra views. I think that is because most of the people who didn't like the topic were too polite to say so. It's all been a learning experience.
95% of my hubs are entirely non-controversial, but every now and then I will do more hubs on the subject. My purpose is not to criticize anyone's beliefs or to try to convince anyone to change their beliefs. Just the opposite, I take great pains to simply inform and not express opinions. For instance, when I put in an amazon capsule, I could have chosen one of the dozens of best-seller books written by prominent atheists. Instead I choose to feature a book written by a rabbi whose theme matches his title, "Good without God."
Just this morning, a friend told me that for years after she left the religion of her childhood, she just felt lost. She had never heard of secular humanism. Once she stumbled upon it, she recognized it as a philosophy that felt right for her. I want to let people who are searching know they are not alone.
Thank you everyone who took part in this forum. I decided, in the interest of free speech, I would leave the comments that upset me visible. Let everyone see how some of the people who disagree with me comport themselves. However, if anyone crosses the line into abuse, I will report them.
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