It seems that many bloggers fear that if they restrict commenters, they’ll lose readership. Well, I would prefer to lose the the bad actors and preserve as safe and comfortable environment for all.
Question: What do you do about negative and nasty commenters?
Answer: I moderate all comments and I have a comment policy.
* Personal attacks: Comments that stray from addressing the published topic and venture into the inflammatory and/or defamatory realm will not be posted.
If a commenter violates ANY of my policy guidelines I delete their comment and that’s that. The bottom line is that it is your blog and it’s your call. If you do not want nastiness posted on your blog then delete the comment and get on with your life.
There are nut cases and trolls in the blogosphere and IMHO the best way to deal with them is to shun them. Once you have set up your blog and published a couple of dozen posts it’s a good time to develop your own comment policy. Sooner or later you will get a negative comment and it’s best to have a comment policy in place to deal with it.
How you choose to moderate the comments on your site will affect who feels comfortable to participate on your site, and who will want to come back again and again. If you let rude, obnoxious, spiteful comments persist on your blog, you are basically telling all of your commenters that it’s okay with you to behave badly on your site. This covert permission can act like a magnet, drawing in hooligans and bullies, making the reading of and participating in your comment section uncomfortable for many. I learned long ago that people will give you as much crap as you are willing to put up with. If you tolerate abusive commenters, they’ll just keep coming back. Source
In his post Blog Comment Policy Lee Odden presents five very sound points to consider when developing a comment policy including: Comments are welcome and encouraged, Comments should add value, Keywords in the “name” field are spam, Links must be relevant, and No signatures in blog comments.
One of the most satisfying and useful metrics for a blog is whether posts generate comments or not as well as the quality of the comments. With increased traffic and visibility comes increased interaction but it also attracts comment spam or comments of no value.
Question: What do you do about comments without any substance from link droppers or commenters who post signature blocks in comments?
Answer: This clause in my comment policy that would be applicable:
Commercial links, post links and signature links: Including a link to your “personal” blog and/or website may be acceptable but all links are subject to review and may be removed prior to posting. Specifically, provided that the bloggers commenting are actually adding something to the discussion, I do not remove their links. However, if I believe that they are just link dropping in an attempt to divert readers to their own blog then I do not feel the same way. I delete the links.
thriftshopromantic: If a link [in a comment] is relevant to the discussion and useful for readers, it stays. If it’s put there solely for blog advertisement purposes, that’s just tacky, and I don’t publish the comment.
petlvr: … it’s pretty bad etiquette for bloggers to comment in someone else’s blog – and then after the comment leave a ‘signature’ or link back to their blog. It’s already there when you click your name on the comment – the duplicate signature URL you add is truly spam. STOP IT! thanks.
Taking care of business and taking care of your “self”
We are all responsible for our own emotional health. It takes just as much energy to take offense as it does to give offense. If you do not take offense when something you do not appreciate is said — the statement and the person who delivered it have no power.
If, you do choose to take offense and give the statement and the person who made it power then, needs be, you turn to others to commiserate, expecting that they will stroke you and mother you and they do. When they do you this you choose to feel self-righteously indignant, rather than taking responsibility for your own emotional health and, once again you have given your power away to others.
Please understand that this refusal to live up to our individual responsibility to take care of our “self”, to deal with criticism independently, decisively and effectively is the foundation for the “victim” mindset that pervades our societies today.
Your blog is not YOU. The commentator cannot touch your inner self, unless you give them permission to so don’t open that inner door and give your power away. Take responsibility, develop a comment policy and either post the comment and refute the contents or delete it and blog on.
Updated October 9, 2013 to include links to related posts.
Related posts found in this blog
WordPress.com Comments and Discussion Settings
Anonymous commenting on a WordPress.com blog
Why blog comment moderation is a good thing
Crazymaking Blogger Comment Settings
Blogging: Comment Baiting
Encouraging blog readers to comment
A Comment Policy for your Blog
Crafting Quality Blog Comments