This post originally appeared on this humble weblog May 30th of 2010. I decided to include it as one of the lessons in my larger series known as "The Blogging Class." I've learned a lot since I first began blogging back in 2001, and like many other netizens, I believe in the free flow of information. I wouldn't charge you a dime for this online series, which somebody else might turn around and pirate for $99 a pop!Some readers use commenting in thoughtful, intelligent and spirited ways. Others, like David Funk and Mariuca, apply their sharpies to the screen,
UPDATE 5/31/10 1215hrs ::: Hopefully ashamed and embarassed (or trying to protect their names)the perpetrators behind the hate blog have inserted a redirect into the script which takes anyone clicking on it to a porn site. I have included a link to the Google cache of the original page.angrily tossing word-bombs and even posting pictures that are offensive, cruel, hateful and / or inappropriate. Still other bloggers, like Lady Java, can't accept a little critcism in the comments (she went 'over the top' when this reader commented regarding a problem he had posting a comment to her blog) and end up banning anyone who dares to challenge them on any issue!
As with any nice thing, we want to continue to have comments. But if comments cause more distraction than they are worth, there's always the chance bloggers will have to put them up on a really high shelf, digitally speaking. The way to accomplish that is by password protecting or otherwise locking one's blog.
Few things make me more upset than to read an article on a blog and then check out the racist, sexist, homophobic, ageist, dogmatic, anti-Semitic, or libelous comments posted below it.
OPTIONS ::: Here are a few ideas that run the spectrum from free-for-all to thought police -- of course, there are pros and cons to each:
(1) Remove the ability to comment entirely » Of all the options, this is the only one I'm opposed to.
(2) Hold all comments until they can be read by the blogger » This would limit harmful comments, but it would also delay immediacy and "bounce" that could lift the post and spread the article and topic across the Net.
(3) Allow comments through until someone complains that one is bad » This is the system that I use: most sites do this one, although many times you'll see a notice on blogspot or wordpress that the "comment must be approved before it will appear" which brings us back to (2)!
(4) Ban all anonymous online comments » This system would require all commenters to be "registered" or "verified" or be among a select group of subscribers. Unfortunately, there are kinks. I've had several "spam" commenters fly in under the radar posing as legitimate blogspot bloggers. I keep an eye out for them now, and any comment added to older posts gets "flagged" for my approval!
SO ::: Are COMMENTS (and stretcthing that further, C-Box and ShoutMix) becoming an issue for bloggers and blog readers out there? If they are an issue, why so? What do you suggest as the best way to monitor what comments are posted?
I was going to do this as a "poll" but I think I would rather enjoy reading your raw thoughts on this...
Tags: How to manage blog comments, How to handle offensive blog comments