7 July 2010

A Small Rant: Blog Comment Policies

So I was over at this new blog the other day. It was my first time visiting. I was browsing around, and about halfway down the home page I came across this post titled "Commenting Rules". I soon realized this person had written a manifesto of why he/she would delete your comment.
If you leave a comment and link to your blog, I'm deleting it.

If you leave a comment that doesn't pertain to the question I asked, I'm deleting it.

If your spelling and grammar aren't correct, I'm deleting it.

BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.

I had barely started reading this blog and I already detected a stank attitude. Needless to say, I won't be going back anytime soon.

I understand having a comment policy for spammers and blatantly rude trolls. We are all adults, but for those adults that can't play nice; delete them or moderate them or whatever. Having some kind of policy for that behavior can be necessary.

But, a list of rules for legitimate commenters? Get a life.

In the end, this particular blogger (a.k.a. the bossy hall monitor) can say "Well, it's my blog I'll do what I want." That's true. But taking it to such lengths is as absurd as an internet troll saying, "It's my keyboard, I'll write what I want."

It goes both ways. And, for me, as a blogger, I have great appreciation for my readers and the comments they write. I have had a few not-so-nice comments over the years, and as the owner of my blog, I guess I have the right to do or say whatever I want (?) But I would never go out of my way to knock down people who are leaving legitimate responses. I'm not always going to agree with all of my readers, but isn't that why there's a comment section? To exchange ideas, thoughts, etc.?

I guess I feel like bloggers like the bossy hall monitor need to step back, take a breather, and remember why they started blogging in the first place. I *hope* the reason wasn't because you hoped to become the Comment Police.

I don't know, am I off base here?

As a blogger, do you have a policy on comments? As a reader, what do you think of such policies?

15 comments:

  1. It is a bit intimidating to see when someone has "rules" about their comments. On one hand, it is his/her blog, so if they don't want to post comments that are "mean" or are blatantly soliciting, then I guess that is their prerogative. However, I've never been one to delete comments on my own blog, even if they kind of get under my skin. Its a fine line: you're putting yourself out there as a blogger for people to comment about your life...so you've got to expect that your readers might come from various backgrounds and viewpoints. And that does include various levels of education. As much as I cringe over poor grammar and spelling, I also try to keep in mind that not everyone has my standards...haha!

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  2. If I was reading a blog and saw a tirade like that I'd be gone for good. As a blogger, I don't have a comments policy, but pretty much the only person who reads it is my husband, and he can say whatever he wants. ;-) Mine is a very small blog, created for myself as an outlet for expression, so I did write an intro post stating that this was the purpose, and that if you don't like what I have to say then you don't have to read it. It wasn't nearly a tirade, but I wanted people to know that there was a good possibility I would offend someone at some point, but that I didn't appreciate nasty comments. I think that's pretty typical ("please don't be a meanie if you don't like what I wrote"). My writing style has morphed quite a bit since the beginnings of my blog, so it's probably more reader friendly, and I have never had any comments issues. But like I said, nobody really reads it but hubby and I.

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  3. We don't have a policy. As long as the comment isn't offensive or isn't spam, then it's fine.

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  4. No rules on commenting. I do delete spam on recent posts but sometimes I get spam on month old posts which I leave.
    I have had a handful of negative comments but such is life!

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  5. A policy like that indicates that the author has no interest in drawing in readers. I understand the purpose of comment policies to keep out trolls and spammers, but such an extreme policy will push away lots of non-spammy people as well.

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  6. That policy would totally turn me off... mainly because I have horrible grammar and spelling ;-)
    I don't have a policy on my blog but I delete spam and would probably delete a rude comment if it was complete out of line. However, I don't have enough followers to get a troll so that is nice :)

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  7. A policy like that would bug me, I feel like that type of policy is basically stating that the person doesn't really care what you have to say, so I guess what's the point of commenting then?

    I don't have an actual "policy" for my blog, but I will delete offensive comments, comments attacking other bloggers or spam.

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  8. Haha. Sometimes I wonder why people don't just turn comments off if they can't deal with occasional negativity? Or just try harder to maintain a decent tone of voice? Because if you don't ever post about being controversial then you won't get controversial comments. It's pretty simple.

    Bookishbella is right --- comment policies like that mean "this is my blog, i write whatever I want, and unless you love me and tell me so all the time, then eff off." It's a one way relationship and it's totally insulting to the reader, I think.

    I stay away from blogs and bloggers that don't engage with their audience and readers. I take the time to notice who's commenting, and if they have a blog, I subscribe to it, at least for a trial period (more than likely, forever). I comment on blogs that inspire me or that I like. It annoys the crap out of me when people think they are so compelling that they only want people to read their blogs, but they are "too busy" or "too important" to read or comment on other blogs, and "too sensitive" to read negative comments. Eff off. Either turn all your comments off, or accept that not everyone shares your same worldview and learn to live in THE REAL WORLD.

    Well, looks like I saw your rant and raised you another rant :)

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  9. Having blogged for almost a decade, I've certainly gotten my share of mean, trollish comments that outright attack me for no good reason. I've also gotten many disagreeable comments that upset me or get on my nerves, but those are to be expected when I write about controversial subjects.

    However, I've NEVER deleted a comment (save for the obviously spammy ones) because I don't want my readers to feel censored.

    I understand why certain bloggers choose to have comment policies, and the example you posted seems to be an extreme one. However, my personal opinion is that if you are a blogger who posts stuff online for the world to read, you need to accept the fact that everyone has different opinions and/or different backgrounds that shape who they are (whether it be their grammar, spelling, educational level, etc).

    As such, I tend to avoid blogs that overly moderate their comments. Like Cathy said above, those scream to me, "this is my blog, i write whatever I want, and unless you love me and tell me so all the time, then eff off."

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  10. I can understand policies that will delete overly negative comments or personal attacks. But the rules on the blog you wrote about above, definitely turns me off.

    I like seeing discussion in the comments, even if I don't comment in the end. I think so policies discourage that conversation.

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  11. No comment rules for me really. Blogging is part of a discussion, and there are bound to be people that don't agree.

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  12. I find the spelling and grammar rule to be the most offensive (probably because I'm guilty of not always proofing... don't judge!). That rule is just being pretentious.

    I'm not really fan of comment policies for the reasons already mentioned above but I do understand why some blogs have them. Personally, I get a kick out of bloggers who confront negative comments head on. It adds another depth to their blog. Either way, I hate to sound cliche but you know what they say about haters...

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  13. @Cathleya: I feel the same way! Lately I have stopped actively following a few blogs (not intentionally, but have just lost interest), because they don't ever interact with readers. My favorite blogs are the ones that are inspiring AND try to take the time to respond to readers. I continue to work on responding to comments in a timely manner. I read every comment on this blog, but sometimes it takes me awhile to respond :)

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  14. i don't have a comment policy, but i also have never really received hurtful or spammy comments. i think those are the only ones i would ever delete.

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  15. I would have to agree with several comments above - how insulting to a reader that would think before commenting! That list that you described is like a checklist for membership or something. On my blog, I don't have a comments policy just because, like you said, I genuinely appreciate comments from my Peeps. I love the interaction and the sharing of ideas. Another great post, Carly!

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