Thursday, December 03, 2009

Thoughts on the Ethics of Comment Moderation

I put a comment on someone's blog the other day, and then just now I went back to see if there were replies. There were. But also there was my comment, with the guts torn out of it, basically. The blog owner had changed the name under which I posted, and had taken out most of my comment, leaving the beginning and the end but not the main part.

I wrote back and asked her to just delete the whole thing if she was going to edit it.

So let's open this up to discussion: What do you think of editing a post on your blog? I mean, actually changing the words?

Here's my opinion: Comments moderation should be all or none. Either you delete the whole post because you object to the stand taken or the language used or whatever - or you don't. In my opinion, editing the content of the post without the consent of the writer is dirty pool. I have deleted exactly one comment from my blog because it used racist language. I didn't edit out the language and leave the post to stand.

My guess is the blog owner will whine, "But it's my blog, I can do whatever I want." True. But it seems to me that if one were to do that, one should be up front about it. As it stands, she has me saying something quite other than I actually said, and I don't like it one bit.


Connie said...

I have comment moderation on my secondary blog for comments on posts that are more than a week or so old. I've deleted one, it was by some anonymous dude (I presume male) who felt that women having short hair was unfeminine. Or something like that; it's been a while.

I believe in all or nothing moderation myself. I rarely object to language, and I don't believe that I've ever "moderated" a comment by someone I know, but if the comment is both wrong-headed (IMO) and anonymous, then out it goes.

Anonymous said...

I have been known to edit a comment by deleting a link in it; if it was made by someone I didn't know and I wasn't sure if it was spam or not. Every now and then someone posts a comment that sounds genuine and thought-out but that looks like maybe it was just posted to bring traffic to their site. I leave the comment but take out the link. Now, if it's someone I know or whose blog I read, I leave links stand. It's just when I'm not sure if it's spam or not. :)

Catherine said...

I`m with you. Delete it or leave the comment as it is, word for word.