Comparative blog comment moderation policies

I care about moderating comments and I think that if you invite responses it’s caring to make it clear in advance what you will not tolerate. It’s reassuring for everybody concerned if you make deletions transparent.

After finding a giant of a blog moderation policy on Alas, I got curious and started looking at others. It emerges (unsurprisingly) that one size of comments policy doesn’t fit all. Evidently, different blogs with different preoccupations are dogged by different, more, or fewer commenting problems.

I thought The Alas policy was really good, really respectful and really savvy – the author is clearly a veteran. He attempts to balance free speech on controversial subjects with genuine respect (not the superficial respect of, say, the UCU Activist list which is only sensitive to inflammatory language and renders itself incapable of dealing with bigotry, chauvenism or racism that is politely expressed. Dorks) and with its own ethos.

Crooked Timber’s is more concerned with maintaining the circumstances for a scrupulous, sincere debate.

The Huffington Post’s objects to bad language.

Liberal Conspiracy comes down hard on trolls.

Overcoming Bias is concerned about domineering or rude commenters.

Climate Skeptic is hoping that anything goes.

Guido is having a laugh.

Norm isn’t having any of it.

Mmm-hmm. Just thought I’d share.

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10 thoughts on “Comparative blog comment moderation policies

  1. Hello sweety – how are you? How is Cassie and San Diego?

    I don’t get all that many comments myself in fact.

    Um, for how to get banned on here have a look at my comments policy which is hidden in the About page. Just be racist, or say things that could get me banged up or fined. But if you would like to be banned, probably fine to just have a quiet word with me off-list.

  2. as you say, depends on the nature, volume and type of comments, I am fairly open about my moderation attitude (I wouldn’t call it a policy), I don’t like rants or fascist filth, but apart from that…I am mostly tolerant.

    I suppose if you write stuff on Israel, etc you will eventually get one or 2 wordy cranks, if they are taking a break from CiF or a Stormfront forum

    but you could look at it another way, it is great for future historians, they can see patterns of arguments, funny characters, lines of reasoning as they develop on-line, so I think opening things up a bit is useful in an indirect way, if that makes sense?

  3. Yeah Mod. I am used to thinking of comments as very educationally important. I am a great reader of old threads in which I had no part. Commenting helps people develop, articulate, defend and challenge arguments.

    At the same time I’ve become aware – post Jonathan Hoffman’s CiF report – that considerable numbers of Jews are run ragged by CiF, MPAC UK and some other spots. Close family members of mine are doing more than is good for them attempting to combat hatred and lies there – it’s not free speech they’re scared of, it’s hatred and lies becoming normal. I imagine that other minorities have this problem too, although I don’t have any evidence.

    These are the things that conflict when I think about moderating comments.

  4. hmm, not a happy time, you’d think that in the 21st century it wouldn’t be necessary eh?

    btw, try and get a good quality chemical ice pack, a flexible one, not the cheapo ones from Boots as they go hard when frozen, it might help a bit with the leg

  5. You’re supposed to chill it?? I’ve been warming it. Oh crap.

    Don’t know about the 21st Century – there are atavistic, recidivist movements in every century, I reckon. And every movement needs a devil…

  6. it depends on the muscle and type of pain, for inflammations I chill, but not too long, but THEN using a warm, not hot, towel/hot water bottle to flex out the muscles it tends to help.

    Ice pack tend to work well, but you’ve got to be careful not to leave on too long, they’re great for the back, knee problems, etc., if used carefully

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