Last week, I wrote a post talking about the best ways to handle negative blog comments. You may have noticed that almost all of the tips on the list were about responding to negative comments, not deleting them. That’s because I’m usually not a fan of deleting blog comments. I think blogs should be a place where everyone has a voice. As soon as you become a dictator, controlling who gets to speak and who doesn’t, your readers will begin to lose interest.
That being said, there are situations where I believe it’s acceptable, even recommended, to delete blog comments.
- 1. When the comment is left by a troll – What is a troll? I’ll let Urban Dictionary define it for you. A troll is “A depraved individual who sits in front of a computer all day and posts flames of an idiotic or pseudo-intellectual nature on public forums and private websites.” These comments are written only to get a rise out of others, and they never really add to the conversation. When a troll visits your blog, feel free to delete their comments.
2. When the comment is profane – If you’re running a company blog or a blog with a wide audience from different backgrounds, it’s probably a good idea to delete comments with profanity or other offensive language. You don’t want to lose readers or discourage others from commenting because one person couldn’t express their thoughts without being crude.
3. When the comment is spam – Every blogger deals with spam comments on a daily basis. Deleting spam keeps your blog professional. The last thing you need is a comments section full of ads for increasing the size of your…well…you get the picture. I recommend using Akismet to filter and delete spam from your blog.
4. When the comment is libelous – Never allow false, malicious comments that can damage your reputation on your blog. You have a reputation to keep, and you don’t need potential customers to avoid you because of a libelous comment.
5. When the comment is way off topic – Blogging is a conversation between you and your readers. Your posts begin the conversation, and the comments add to the conversation to explore the topic further. If someone leaves a comment that is way off topic, you may consider deleting it. Likewise, if you get the sense that someone is leaving a brief, meaningless comment (e.g. “Nice blog.”) just to be seen or to get a link back to their blog, delete that too as it adds nothing to the conversation at hand.
Do you think it’s okay to delete blog comments? If so, under which situations is it allowable? Share your thoughts in the replies.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit: http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/subscribe/.