March 06, 2009

A Comment Policy For The Blog

If you spend enough time blogging sooner or later you will be the recipient of offensive comments. When this happens you are going to need to determine how you wish to respond to these comments. If you are interested in having a robust discussion you are going to need to pay attention to what happens in the comments section because a troll or two can drive everyone off.

So it behooves you to spend a little time thinking about what you are going to do when those offensive comments come into play because sooner or later they will.

For the sake of the post we are going to include a whole slew of things under the province of offensive comments. Spam, racist commentary and or comments that people leave that make you wonder what planet they are living on.

All of the blogging platforms provide tools that the bloggers can use to moderate the comments that are left on their blogs. The primary options include moderating comments so that they do not appear without first being approved by the publisher or moderator, limiting commenters to those who have registered and using Captcha.

In addition I have seen a few blogs in which there are no comments. Many of those used to allow their readers to comment but have since closed down the comment section. Personally I don't really understand why they do this as interaction is a critical component of blogging. If you don't allow comments then you are not really a blogger anymore, you're something else. That may not necessarily be a bad thing, but I am not an advocate of it as sometimes the comments are what provide the spice of the blog.

Here at The Shack we have our own way of doing things. I like to think about this place as being part clubhouse, part bar, part library, part Bat Cave and part home. If you were to look inside the melon on top of my head you'd see that is really how I envision it. You'd also see the bouncers hiding around the corners. Get out of line and they'll send you out the door face first.

That is a goofy and indirect way of saying that I try to maintain a very loose and liberal comment policy. I don't agree with every comment that is posted here. I am a believer in trying to allow pluralism to flourish. That doesn't mean that I think that every idea is equal in merit or deserving of the same attention.

But provided that it doesn't cross into hate speech I usually let it go. A blog is a personal thing so much of what happens really depends on the whims and desires of the blogger. That is part of what makes it so interesting.

What do you think?


The Misanthrope said...

Two comments:

1. your policy is right on.
2. don't you hate it when you ask a question and no one comments? So, I am doing my part to remedy #2.

Jack said...

I very much appreciate your help. Thank you.

The Misanthrope said...

Obviously, your readers just missed this one because the later one has 14 comments at this moment. You certainly don't need my help. ;)