Commenter Police


The recent SEO case is basically the reason for introducing the comment policy here on the The question is – who creates comments that may disturb others resulting in a) a law suit and b) the installation of counter-measures for your own blog’s protection?

Of course, none of the spammers will ever create scandalous or pesterized comments, instead they’re interested in increasing the pagerank for their sites and of course lure visitors to their grounds. That for sure, the only help against them is an automated process like BadBehavior for WordPress and the idea to put every incoming signal (comments, pingbacks, and trackbacks) into the moderation queue before auto-approving the sender. As example, the Angel Blog just wrote about their own attempt to fight the comment spam.

Real People vs. Trolls
This leaves us with comments that are usually written by real people with a brain to think. The vast majority of blog readers know how to behave properly, and most blog authors hate to censor their readers. I have censored two times in the last years for a good reason. But who knows what may happen if people are commenting about whatever is on their mind including their emotional break-thru of anger and hatred? Or their thoughts concerning something else which was mentioned in the blog? As example, I write about the XYZ-ABC company and review their website, but one commenter explicitly makes sure that he/she does hate the company for a reason. While loving the idea of free speech, does this mean I have to delete it in order to prevent myself from the XYZ-ABC company and their legal machine? And what about myself as blog author – what if someone has the urge to pull a plug and unleash their personal hatred towards the blog author for no real reason but the birds in blue sky?

A blog is not the place to read a comment filled with hatred, and the decision about deleting or leaving it untouched is even more difficult for the blog’s author. Leaving it untouched will disappoint other readers as they see the poor comment and wonder why such crap exists on their daily read. Deleting it will only anger the one who got deleted – resulting in even worse comments from that person.

Its a thin line to walk on, and by informing the reader about what to do (writing comments!) and what not to do (the stuff explained the comment policy), you minimize the problem – I think. Of course, things can turn out wrong and even worse, but isn’t this what makes life interesting?

For example, German law requires one to declare that the website owner / blog author is not liable for external links. This is done via the classic disclaimer, which has to be of course in German within the Impressum or contact area of a site. I even declared that authors of comments are liable for their writing. As result, by German law, I am apparently not liable for that what you, dear reader, write. Now there’s the idea of the Commenter Police: Wouldn’t it be best for a blog author to get the comments being rated by the commenters themselves in order to create a mini-social-network? Leaving it up to the commenters to fight among themselves, and not the blog author? But on the other hand, a comment policy is still the best to use to keep everybody informed.

1 Kommentar
  1. anonymuis sagte:

    i sometime enjoy comment filled with hatred, for a reason. I meant, when someone hates, she or he should not lie, but should give a good reason that persuades me hehehe …

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