When to Moderate Blog Comments

Having your own blog means you get to put the final stamp of approval on every aspect, including comments from your blog readers. In other words, you get to decide which comments are approved and which get deleted. This should not be a willy-nilly process however; you should have a method for such deletions as randomly nuking peoples' comments will not make you very popular and could discourage people from commenting at all. If your blogging platform only allows for approval or deletion of comments, the how of moderating them should be pretty obvious. If your comments software allows you to edit those comments, I advise you to NEVER use this function as it will totally discredit you -- it's impossible to know if you changed a comment to suit yourself or not and I never leave comments when this type of editing is possible.

1. Spam

Spammy comments should be removed regardless. Some people leave them up because one spammy comment looks better than zero comments of any kind, but spammy comments don't help your blog at all. Not only do they annoy other readers, they make it look like you don't care enough to delete the viagra spam.

2. Nonsensical comments

Occasionally I'll get a slew of comments from someone who seems to have forgotten their psych meds for the last week or two. Comments that make absolutely no sense are no better than spammy comments. They will distract your readers, they will annoy you and leaving them up only encourages the nutters to keep leaving them. Delete these as soon as you get them.

3. Personal attacks

Personal attacks of any kind tend to get deleted immediately on my blogs; my rationale being that if you can't express yourself like a grownup, there's no reason I should treat you like one. I'll tolerate dissent of any sort as long as it's conveyed with some measure of civility. Anything less and you're just looking for attention and I'm not your mommy. Some people enjoy personal attacks because they think it sparks controversy -- this is not true, it sparks a fight and few of your regular readers will enjoy that in the long run.

4. Epic comments

Sometimes I get epic comments which just plain old hurt my eyes to read. These deletions aren't personal but rather for the sake of sparing myself and others a headache. If you've really got that much to say, blog about it yourself.

5. Self promotion

If you get comments where people are saying, "Hey! I blogged about this too! Read it here!" and then they link to their own blog -- but have absolutely nothing else to say about your own post, they are just promoting themselves and don't give a toss about your post. This is self promotion and it's both rude and disrespectful.

6. Constant correcting

Once in awhile I'll get a reader on my advice blog who feels they've got better advice to give than I do. I've no problem with people offering alternatives, but I've patience for people who act like the questions were asked of them (as opposed to me) and totally ignore my own advice and offer theirs as though I never even tried to give any myself. This is obnoxious. If you know everything, and if you want to advise the world on everything, start your own blog.

7. Personal information

Personal information is just that -- personal. I don't allow people to publish the names or other private info of anyone on my blog. That goes for their own information as well; no phone numbers, no address, etc. Email address are one thing but the rest of it should stay private.

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