Late last year, I wrote a post offering tips for handling negative blog comments. I said it then and I’ll say it again, I’m not a fan of deleting negative comments. I think blogging is about giving everyone a voice, and if someone disagrees with you, they should be allowed to voice their opinion. Sure, you might not like what they have to say, but it can spark a good discussion while showing your readers you don’t shy away from criticism.
Now, having said that, I’m not completely against deleting comments. I do firmly believe there are 3 types of comments you definitely should consider deleting from your blog. The reason you should delete them (more on what the 3 types are later) is that you’re responsible for creating an environment where readers are comfortable sharing their thoughts and interacting. If you allow the 3 types of comments below to get through, you might be keeping others from leaving their own comments.
1. Personal attacks – It’s totally fine for someone to disagree with your point of view. It’s even fine for them to be a little rude when they disagree with you. But it’s NOT fine for them to throw low blows with unrelated personal attacks. For example, someone leaving a comment that says “I hate you. You’re an ugly, fat SOB.” is not adding to the conversation. In fact, they’re bringing the comments section down, and if things get nasty and personal, people won’t want to get involved and comment. Feel free to get rid of these kinds of comments.
2. Vulgar and offensive remarks – Now, this does depend on what type of blog you run, but for the purposes of this post, I’m speaking to business bloggers. It’s probably not a good idea to allow comments on your blog that are littered with 4-letter words and offensive slurs. You need to keep it clean so you don’t offend any readers and discourage them from commenting. So, if a comment is too over the top, delete it. You should publish a brief statement on your blog outlining your commenting policies so there’s no confusion.
3. Spam – This one’s pretty self-explanatory. I don’t know about you, but as an avid blog reader, whenever I see a blog that has a lot of spam comments, I’m certainly not going to comment. It just seems pointless. Keep your comments section spam-free so readers know you’re running a legit blog where they can interact with others. If you have WordPress, the Askimet plugin should definitely help, but you still have to pay attention because clever spammers can sneak their way past the filters.
What’s your policy for moderating blog comments?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here: http://www.ereleases.com/prchecklist.html