Thursday, September 28, 2006

Comment Moderation

Vox populi: Civility in the blogosphere" addresses the issue of civility in an electronic age. Cronin notes that the "technology of blogging is a marvelous innovation." But the concern he raises is: "The pivotal issue is the atrophying of civility in the public sphere and the emergence of a brutish me-centeredness which acknowledges no social norms, no form of cognitive authority and wraps its barbs and banalities in the cloak of First Amendment rhetoric. Blaming the technology for the dubious and deviant is, of course, infantile..."

Bothered by unacceptable commentaries in your blog? And desirous of elevating the civility and relevance levels of comments in your blogsite?

Instead of completely eliminating the comments option, maybe comment moderation is the answer.

Here's one personally recommended as a model to follow, extracted completely from Donald Sensing's blog, One Hand Clapping:
Comments policy

Commenting is provided as a courtesy only. I review all comments before they appear. I do not edit comments, I only approve or delete. My criteria for approving or deleting generally correspond to the following guidelines but in the end are subjective.

Comments using profanity automatically get tossed into the bit bucket - I never see them and neither does anyone else.

No personal attacks, name calling or commercial commenting. Links to your own blog site or relevant other web pages are fine.

Please be brief and relevant to the post.

I rarely answer comments, I just don't have the time.

Many high-traffic blogs, especially those that are essentially one-man operations, inundated daily with hundreds (or thousands) of comments, of course, will find this solution quite burdensome and tiresome.

But there are enough blogs out there whose traffic levels will allow the hosts to have time to permit moderation.

Will the desired or desirable effects of moderation be reason enough to try it to improve the tenor and civility in the blogosphere?


  1. If any of my blogs get popular, I'm going to disable comments. If anyone wants to comment that hard, they can do it by posting a comment on their blog. Comments are a necessary evil for a low-traffic blog, because they lower the barrier to communication. But for a high-traffic blog their problems come to the forefront. First of all, comments get conflated with the content. For example, MSM keeps using malicious (often long-deleted) comments to smear LGF. It's not necesserily malicious, but why bother? Also, comments are often outside of a backup scheme, unless the blog engine is run by the blog owner.

  2. On the other hand, I witness in some very high-traffic blogs that comments are made to obviously impress visitors not only of number of visitors but also of number of comments.

    Thus, you have single word comments like, Hi, Yes, you bet, etc. Or some phrases or clauses totally out of context.

    Thus, serious readers are at times stymied having to wade through clutter.


Welcome. Your comments are appreciated.