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.