Monthly Archives: August 2012

To delete blog comments or not to delete blog comments, that is the question

Tim Berners-Lee thinking things over

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, thinking things over. Image courtesy of Paul Clarke, Wikimedia Commons.

After I’ve published a blog post, comments arrive from people around the world within minutes, hours or days depending upon the commenter’s time zone. Most of the comments are thoughtful and positive in nature, sharing information that the commenter thinks I and other readers would enjoy reading. I love these comments because anyone reading this blog can see it too and learn from it.

Other comments go straight into the spam folder thanks to WordPress’s Akismet plug-in. These spam comments are wacky — I’ve been offered all sorts of bizarre things and I wonder “Why do they bother sending this stuff?” since Akismet will catch it anyway. Delete, delete, delete.

But occasionally, a less-than-positive comment will arrive from a reader that makes me wonder if I should allow it to appear on the blog at all. For these borderline comments, I’ll hold onto them for a day or so and think over the situation. Does the comment match the tone of the blog or is its content way, way off from what I’m talking about? Does the commenter have a good point in what he or she says? Is it going to start off a “comment war” between two commenters reacting to each other? (I faced this last question after being Freshly Pressed. In that case, I allowed the comment to go through and a war didn’t start. Phew! *breathes sigh of relief*)

I try never to be offensive (after all, these posts are going to last for a long, long time) or to discuss topics in bad taste, but I recognize that not everyone is going to agree with my wording of a thought because each reader has different ideas of right and wrong. I’m posting in a public forum and there is no way to please everyone. My personal policy is to moderate all of my comments and read through them carefully before I approve them.

Overall, I’ve allowed hundreds of comments to go through and appear on the blog, with only a few exceptions. Sometimes I’ll permit a comment to appear when I deem that the information it contains is more valuable to my blog readers than my ego. I’d rather keep it real. Enough said.

Bloggers: What is your personal policy for handling this situation? Let’s get a discussion going.

(Worth noting: Jill of All Trades…Expert of None wrote a wry and hilarious blog post in June 2012 about the strange spam that we bloggers receive, called “Holy Spamalot, Batman!” For a good giggle, take a quick trip over there. It’s definitely worth your time.)

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