25 May 2010

My Policy on Comments

A few months ago, the chessexpress blog posted a piece titled My policy on comments, an often overlooked aspect of blogging. The post addressed three policy points:-

  • To allow anonymous comments (or not),
  • To moderate comments (or not), and
  • To delete spam comments (or not).

The chessexpress answers were 'Yes', 'No', and 'No'. At that time my answers were 'No', 'No', and 'Yes', although I had never given the questions any real thought.

Re anonymous comments, I see no need to allow this. Many people who leave comments use a nickname or a pseudonym which makes it impossible for me or for any casual visitor to identify them. Although there is a profile attached to each identity, there is an option to hide it from view by others. These capabilities mean that all commenters can hide behind a mask of anonymity if they wish.

Re moderated comments, until recently I had never had enough comments requiring deletion to make moderation necessary. My daily routine ensures that, if necessary, a comment is deleted maximum 24 hours after it is posted.

Re deleting comments, I wouldn't leave an unsightly comment on my blog any more than I would leave garbage or other crap on the sidewalk in front of my house. On top of being unsightly, there is always a risk that a blog visitor might slip and be hurt if the comment happens to lead to some sort of malware.

Lately I've been getting more unsightly comments, to the point where I have to delete one or two daily. While I don't mind doing this, especially since it takes less than a minute, it means that the junk will accumulate anytime I am offline for an extended period of time, like on vacation.

For this reason, I've decided to moderate comments. I apologize in advance to anyone whose legitimate comment sits on the moderation queue longer than it should. I value all real comments, even those that are negative, and always read them attentively. Without comments, blogging wouldn't offer half the pleasure that it does.

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