Monday, August 18, 2014

Why I moderate comments

Many blogs have a rather free-form comments policy. I chose from the beginning to moderate comments on this site. Here's why.

Sometimes comments are inflammatory, or attempt to derail the discussion and take it in a different direction, or are personal attacks on the author or one of the other commenters. That's not what this blog is for. This blog is meant to entertain, to make one think, and to give me, the author, someplace to vent. Once I got an anonymous comment chewing me out royally for saying how I felt about someone — for showing some emotion and expressing an opinion. Um, am I not allowed to have my own feelings or opinions? If that's what you think, then you can go eat rocks.

Many comments say things like "Love your site, glad to hear you talking about this," followed by a link to someone else's site. That linked site is always spam. The comment is basically unpaid advertising. If I were to allow these comments, then anytime someone looked at my blog, the linked-to site would get a boost in its ratings, and some Web users would think that the site was reliable or trustworthy because its link appeared on my blog. I don't want to be responsible for that, and I don't want to give spammers any assistance. So these ones automatically get the boot.

I have approved comments that disagree with something I've written, or provide an alternative viewpoint. I'm not at all afraid to do that.

Most people who discover my blog like what they see. They like to read what I have here. I want to keep it that way, for their benefit. As for the rest, well, nobody's forcing them to read this stuff.

UPDATE, AUGUST 28: I received a comment on this blog entry today. It was a spam comment.

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