Kurt Greenbaum at Virtual St. Louis has posted a thought piece on comment moderation. His take on that can be summed up by this quote.
“I’ve always considered that a small price to pay for the instant gratification a reader can get by seeing a comment immediately.”
That’s a bold choice in these days where spam bots can quickly overrun a blog. However, modern blogging software and hosting systems have become much better at sorting out spam comments.
The WordPress hosting service has captured hundreds of spam comments for my blogs. There have only been a handful of false positives where a true comment went to spam.
A bigger concern isn’t spam, but hateful or malicious comments. In the case of Virtual St. Louis, a blog focused on a very opinionated community, it’s likely that the comments will get heated at times. The question then becomes should the occasional over the top comment be allowed in order to reward the majority of commenters with seeing theirs right away.
Blogging tools offer various ways to moderate comments. In the WordPress.com tools, the blogger can require all comments to be moderated, only first time commenters to be moderated, or no moderation to take place. Also, the number of links in a comment can be set to trigger its moderation.
So far those options have worked well here at The Broad Brush, and apparently well enough at Virtual St. Louis. As spammers get more sophisticated and our tolerances change, will these tools be enough? Will blogs like Virtual St. Louis be able to keep their open comment policy?
What measures have you taken towards spam prevention and comment moderation at your blog? Are they working? Will they stand the test of time?