Comment policy revisited

The other day, I briefly mentioned my comment policy, which is, boiled to its essence, that I reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason, but that I only very rarely exercise that right. Browsing around Blogger's controls, I see that Blogger has added a new feature that allows me to moderate comments. Basically, if I were to turn comment moderation on, I would have to approve each comment before it would appear.

I'm not going to turn comment moderation on, though. For one thing, it's fairly uncommon for me to get truly obnoxious comments, and Blogger's Word Recognition has eliminated almost all comment spam, which, prior to my turning it on, had started to reach annoying levels. For another thing, although I realize that I occasionally post the quick plug for a carnival or answer a comment from work (although I try not to), it would definitely not be acceptable for me to be moderating comments from work, and that would mean an average of 10-13 hours a day during the week when comments wouldn't appear. It would totally destroy the exchange of ideas here by readers here for no good reason. In short, it would be too much work, too disruptive, and therefore not worth doing without a compelling reason.

Even though I have made up my mind not to use comment moderation (unless things change radically), I was wondering if any other bloggers who still use Blogspot had tried (or thought of trying it out) the comment moderation feature or what people think of moderated comments on blogs. Let me know.


  1. I don't use Blogspot, but MovableType, which I do use, allows moderated comments. I thought of turning it on, but it seemed to be too much of a pain in the neck. It's not like my blog is any hotbed of activity or anyone's exchanging ideas there or anything, but I don't always log in every day to blog things, and unless I have it send me mail when someone posts a new comment, I might not remember to check, and well, it just seems like a big pain in the neck to me.

    I do use authenticated comments, not dissimilar to the way Blogger lets you set up a requirement that people log in to Blogger to post a comment, and that works okay (well, it works so far; I've been blogging since 2000 and only recently decided to turn commenting on, heh).

    So I agree with you. Big timesink, big hassle, little reward.

  2. Autism Diva turned the moderation setting on recently to calm down a storm of nasty posts.

    The cool thing is that it will send the comments to your email and tell you which blog entry they belong to. It slowed down commenting quite a bit. It seems to be a bit intimidating for the commenters.

    Autism Diva used it for maybe 2 or 3 days, and took it off again. Another way to slow down the whackos a tiny bit is to not allow anonymous commenting. Finally, if you wanted comments from say, 6 particular people who all have blogger ID's you could limit comments to those made by those 6 (or whatever number) of people, by listing them in some setting feature thing...

  3. Liz here from I Speak of Dreams.

    I use Typepad, which allows moderated comments. Right now I have moderation on because a couple of posts were attracting spam comments. These things seem to go in waves. In a bit I will again turn it off.

    Typepad sends me an email message when there's a new comment, moderated or not. So even when I turn off the moderation, I'd be able to filter out the spam stuff.

    Typepad also lets you close comments after X days. I haven't done that because a lot of my valid comments come from very old posts.

  4. As you might have noticed, I use the word recognition thing now too because of spam but I don't moderate or delete comments ever. The closest to moderating or deleting is to suggest that various trollesque commenters have inappropriate relations with donkeys.

    -Socialist Swine

  5. I have seen moderating used in different forms. In some blogs you have to have your first comment approved, and then you can post to your hearts content, in others, posts with too many links or containing certain wordshave to be approved (to avoid spam).

    Those types of moderation I don't have a problem with.
    However, I do have several problems with the "approve all" appraoch:
    1) It ruins the flow of the conversation.
    2) You can't be sure that you'll see all comments. If a comment is deleted after it has been posted, you will at least have a chance to see it before it happens. If it has to be approved, you're not sure you'll see the comments.
    I can think of several blogs where critical comments are not approved off, while the blogger states that no one can refute his/her points.
    3) It causes the same point to be repeated by many commenters, as they can't see that someone already have stated it.
    4) It puts an unnecessary workload on the blogger.

  6. I don't want to use it for the exact reasons you cited. I only frequent one blog that does use moderation.


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