Ignoring blog comments

Sometimes people find a post I wrote months or even years ago, and  decide to join  a discussion or start one up.  I don’t mind this at all unless the comment is deliberately confrontational, in which case I simply ignore the remark.  Also, some of my older posts are linked to items which are no longer available (for instance on BBC iPlayer) so the post is now outdated. I’ve moved on. Not all blog posts are everlasting, after all.

Like many other bloggers, I moderate all comments here,  (this allows me to bin any obvious spam which manages to slip through WordPress’s spamguard) so, unless I’m in a mood for a spot of heated debate (highly unlikely), if a reader shows up obviously looking for an argument (why??) I press the delete button.

Sometimes people leave extremely long comments, almost whole blogposts, and I tend to delete those too, or edit them.  After all, really wordy comments make it harder for everyone to move down the thread (it’s annoying!)  and I just think that there’s nothing to stop people from starting their own blog or posting there, if they feel a topic warrants a long essay.  In my opinion, the ability to manage comments is one of the advantages of a blog over a Facebook page (comments can be deleted there, too, of course, after they’ve appeared, and whole threads can be deleted if necessary).   Staying in charge of your own small corner of the internet  means at least you’re in control of something!

Most people who comment here regularly have become friends, either in real life or over the internet, and there are no regular readers (I don’t think!) who I’ve excessively moderated.  I do wonder what confrontational commentators motives are – but not enough to actually ask them (perhaps that’s my loss).

I’m curious to know what other people’s experiences are.  Do you set any rules? Do you have ‘comments policy’?  Feel free to leave your thoughts here – I promise not to be over-zealous with my moderation!


19 thoughts on “Ignoring blog comments”

  1. I moderate all first-time commenters. If a person is polite and reasoned I will allow all future comments from them without employing moderation. I welcome commenters who disagree with me (provided that they express themselves politely/don’t indulge in personal attacks).
    I recently (for the first time in fact) edited a comment. I had published a post on bloggers who swear on their sites and the commenter included expletives in his response. I allowed the comment but deleted the swear words (employing dashes to signify the deletions).
    I hope my comment is not unduly long. Best, Kevin

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I never edit for length, but will delete or simply not approve rude, confrontational, or inappropriate comments. Fortunately, few of these come in. I don’t like comments (from mostly new bloggers) which consist of URLs and requests to be followed. I’ve been allowing those, but I’m not sure why, as none of those practitioners, as far as I can tell, have bothered to otherwise engage with the blog. I try to reply to or acknowledge every legitimate comment.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I think this is a sound policy. I agree with you about people dumping URLs – I don’t like that at all unless it’s relevant to the post I’ve written. Again, like Kevin, you sound like a kinder blogger than me! Thanks for your thoughts. – Josephine

      Liked by 2 people

  3. i don’t moderate, but then i am a smaller blog & so far the only people who regularly comment are people i’ve come to trust, who write something worth reading; its an ongoing conversation really. i’d hazard that the bigger the blog the more traffic needs to be moderated, i may find myself in yours or Bobs situation at some point.
    i think if i started to get people constantly asking me to read their posts or blog i would begin to moderate, i don’t like that tactic as it feels like a form of blackmail. i never did this to get readers, i always engaged with a blogger who i could see myself forming an ongoing dialogue & if they happened to read my blog that was a plus, but it was never the prime reason.
    i would certainly, if i were you, at least want to know why people would be rude or confrontational. Could you give me one instance of this you experienced, i am simply curious about what someone could say on a poetry blog?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comments, Daniel. It sounds like you have an excellent set-up and thoughtful relationships with your readers. I don’t think of this blog as a ‘poetry blog’, I must admit, but more of a general blog, a place where I post news about different aspects of my life as well as (often meandering) thoughts, ideas, and memories. People do have strong opinions about poets using blogs to talk about their work or to promote their work, it’s surprising! More recently, it’s mostly posts about *other*, non-poetry related topics which have caused a few people to want to strike up an argument. Thank you, again, for contributing! – Josephine

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t moderate comments but I do delete fairly offensive ones from time to time. Sometimes a random person (never a regular reader) will find one of my older posts that might be a bit more political, and comment something like “ugh, feminism”, which can be disappointing. But I’ve never asked why they might bother to do something like that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Anna! I think you’re brave not to moderate (perhaps I am revealing myself as something of a control freak here!) but it obviously works well at your site, which is a brilliant place to visit, by the way, for film recommendations and discussions. You seem to have a high-calibre, well-informed group of commentators who add value to your posts, so congratulations on achieving that. Thanks, again, for calling in! – Josephine


  5. It sounds like you’ve got the right balance, IMHO. I don’t tend to reply to comments on old posts from people I don’t recognise as they’re usually spammy (it hasn’t happened often though). I once had to ask someone to ‘play nice’, and on a couple of occasions I’ve deleted comments that I felt were particularly rude or intentionally off-topic. I do know of bloggers who’ve had to deal with flame wars breaking out in the comments of their blog, and the best thing in that case is to ignore, rather than engage with the attention-seeking.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I do not moderate first, and have only ever had to delete shameless self promotion/spam. Very occasionally some do post looking for a fight, but soon lose interest when they do not find one.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I get the occasional hate comment on my blog and elsewhere, since I’m Christian/Catholic, Gay & chaste, and a political conservative. On my blog I disallow the hate comment. On Facebook pages I may just point out the person is being hateful and say I’m praying for him. And correct any misspellings.

    If people think they are being civil but have failed I usually allow it, mainly because I’m trying to build up my blog readership. I do think each blog owner has the right to set their own rules. I have some friends who are easily crushed by mean comments, and I advise such persons to have very strict rules about which comments they allow. People who post cruel comments are not likely to become blog fans anyway.

    If I ever get a really awful comment, I will not only leave it up but I will use it as the centerpiece of a blog post about how to write effective blog comments — and how not to.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I used to have a comments policy when I had an advocacy blog. I have found that since blogging on books /poetry I haven’t needed to bother.

    As far as I’m concerned it’s your house, your rules so to speak.

    Liked by 1 person

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