Moderating blog posts is an important aspect of running any blog that allows comments. In a way, they are an extension of a blog’s content. They appear immediately after every post and are there for anyone to read after they finish reading the content. In some ways, they reflect the blog on a professional level. Therefore, comments should be carefully moderated and that moderation should be tailored to the tone and topic of the blog.
Before setting out to moderate blog comments, a few things should be taken into consideration. The first consideration is the tone of the blog. Is it utterly casual, business professional or something in-between? If it is the former, there may be very little moderation. If it is the latter, there are several types of blog comments that will need moderation. The next thing to take into consideration is the terms of service on the blog’s hosting site. If it is run by an outside company, there may be certain rules like “no hate speech” or “no vulgar language.” These rules will need to be adhered to in order to keep the blog in good standing. The last consideration is advertising. If the blog attracts advertisers, the needs of the advertisers will have to be met in every aspect of the blog, including comments. Some advertisers are very lax and others are very strict.
If all of the above considerations boil down to any comment is okay, then do not worry about moderation. Interact with users and simply delete comments that are blatant spam or trolling. If they above considerations mean moderation needs to be strict, be sure to remove sexually explicit comments, hateful comments and spam comments.
Even on the blogs that are the strictest concerning comment moderation, not everything negative should be deleted. If the blog is popular and other users see a comment that is perhaps negative but polite about a company or service and then see that it was deleted, they will get the impression that the blog is whitewashing its reputation. Instead of deleting such comments, defend the blog against the negative comments by commenting back politely. Allow fans of the blog to do the same. This helps build community and allows for both sides of the story to be expressed.
Certain types of comments should always be deleted, regardless of the tone of the blog. It is very risky to allow illegal acts, such as racial violence and rape to be glorified in any comments section. Even the most lax blogs should remove such comments. They can frighten and alienate users. When a reader sees something that is virtually universally unpleasant, they may not want to return unless they are assured that the blog’s owner is taking some kind of action against it.