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Question Time X: Moderation

question time 10

This week I’m aiming to find out whether we all use protection on our site. Just to clarify (for the filthy minded ones interpreting it wrong!) I mean I want to find out who uses the comment moderation tool, or do you just let anything and everything get posted on your site?

Here on WordPress we have the option to hold every comment posted by a reader until we have checked and verified it, then we can manually submit it. I know some sites use this, as every time you post a comment it says ‘your comment is pending moderation‘ or something along those lines. Other sites don’t, and your comment is posted straight away. I’m just curious as to how you run your blog, and why you use the method you do.

For me, I do hold all the comments and manually approve them. The main reason I do this is because I get anywhere between 50 – 100 spam comments a day, which are normally caught by the spam catcher, but sometimes the odd spam comment comes through as a normal comment. My worry then is if I couldn’t get on my blog for 3 days for example, and the ‘make a new sex tape here‘ comment goes live on my site for all that time, not only is that annoying and wrong, but it looks very unprofessional for my site, and makes me look bad for letting it be posted. Therefore I find it safer to manually approve comments, so no spam makes it.

I will also admit that whilst I will never willingly want to delete comments from some people, there have been a couple of occasions where someone has made a nasty or negative comment about someone else. This has only happened a couple of times, and both were on guest reviews or a desert island list (not because I’m personally immune from abuse, someone once told me one here I was retarded and lots more expletives because I didn’t like James Spader). The person writing the negative comment was blocked, as it was totally irrelevant to what was being written. But if (and I’ll use his name as I know he won’t mind, and it wasn’t him involved, and he loves me) Eric for example had seen a comment on his review that said he was a ‘fucking moron who knew nothing about films and should be banned from writing‘, which was the real comment used about someone else, not only would he be pissed off and maybe a little hurt, he may wonder why the hell I have let it be posted. Again, if I can’t access my site for a few days, and that was posted, it all comes back to the sites reputation, and I just feel it’s better to be safe than sorry for freaky instances like that.

I have also been known to edit the odd comment from some people (the more I write, the worse I sound, I’m not really controlling I swear!). If someone has replied to a comment of mine, and included a link to their review of something relevant, normally I would leave the link there. However, there are times people who are normally first time commenter’s join a discussion and post a load of links to something random, or their site, and I will edit the addresses out. Everyone who has a site has it linked in their name, and if someone says something interesting and I don’t recognise their name, I’ll click it to check out their work. Blatant site promotion on a comment is weird though, and what I mean by this is either leaving a comment and then underneath in capital letters saying : EVERYONE VISIT MY SITE AT ……….. or even worse not commenting and just leaving their site advert. I will delete them, mainly because I don’t think it looks professional and it’s not something I would dream of doing on someone else site.

Alright, that’s me and my way of running things. Personally I don’t feel I lose anything by holding comments, and I approve them and reply pretty quickly normally. Conversations still flow, and I luckily still get a lot of comments so I don’t feel it has put too many people off from stopping by and commenting. But, how do you work on your site? Do you do things the same, or a lot differently? Do you moderate comments and why? Or do you just let everything get posted and manually delete things if necessary? C’mon, if I don’t like what you say, I’ll just edit your comment to something nice! 😉

If you would like to see all the other questions from this series, please click HERE and check them out!

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112 Comments

  1. I’ve gotten some spam comments before that have gone past the filter. Another time I got a nasty comment which I deleted.

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    • I appreciate what askimet does, but its frustrating that so many get through. I wish once you tell it something is spam, it stopped it altogether. Nasty comments aren’t cool though!

      Cheers buddy!

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  2. We all know you don’t trust us Tyson, that’s why you hold our comments 😉

    Seriously, I have it set up (i think it was the default) that a person’s first comment must be approved and if it is then next time it’ll go straight up. This cuts out pretty much all the spam. Fortunately, I haven’t had anyone post anything abusive or insulting on my blog but if they did then I would simply take it off and maybe tell them to chill out if they want their comments posted up again. I trust most people to not be a tool though.

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    • This i show I do it to. Once I approve someone’s first comment, then they’re approved to comment again without me having to approve them. Up until now it’s worked great, and I’ve had some great discussions with some great people.

      However, I haven’t had a TON of comments yet, so nothing nasty has popped up. And the only time I would edit someone’s comment is if it contained some vulgar language, which I don’t really want on my site, for the same reason Tyson edits. It doesn’t look professional or representative of what I’m doing on my blog.

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      • Yep, again the 1 time only option seems popular for moderating. I dont mind swearing, I try not to do it too much, but Im happy for people to do it. Fuck it, go read Jessica’s Exorcist review for me, full of swearing that girl!! 😉

        I am going to head over to your site and fill it with swearing. I demand everyone follows!!

        I joke, I love your approach with your blog, and thanks for sharing your thoughts William, always appreciated. Now go get your novel wrote! 😛

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    • Same for me. Spam gets blocked this way and I can filter out people who only come to my blog once to leave a link to their own, but the people who frequently read/comment get to pass through without moderation. WP set me up for this by default and I’ve never had trouble with it, so I haven’t bothered to change the settings. Luckily, I haven’t had any abusive or rude comments either!

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      • The way you say ‘pass through’ does make me sound worse, like I want to vet everyone each time! 😉 I don’t, I promise!

        Thats great you havent had any issues though. If you would like some, feel free to insult James Spader and his fan club will hunt you down!!

        Thanks for joining in Lindsey 🙂

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        • I might have to write a scathing post about Spader now, just to provoke them. The thought of a bunch of 40-somethings who loved him in high school hopping around the internet defending him is kind of hilarious!

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        • I’d be careful. The self proclaimed fan club leader had some harsh words for me. And he was right, I was definitely in the wrong and have since changed my opinion and joined them 😉

          Good luck 😛

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    • Just you I don’t trust 😉

      Yeah the one post option sounds good, and now a few others have said they use it, I must admit I’m tempted to change it to that. Although one of the bad comments was from someone who had made a few posts…..shame. Always 1 that ruins it 🙂

      Cheers dude!

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  3. First time commenters usually have to wait for moderation on my site. After that, I just let it flow. Of course if I find someone posts something offensive or irrelevant, then I just delete it. However if once that comment is deleted once, spam detects it more often and even if that person posts a normal comment, its still withheld more often also. The spam usually is overzealous though and have blocked more than I usually want it to. But thats okay, better doing more than less, right?

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    • Yeah it’s good that it stops what it does, but when you have several hundred to go through it gets annoying. It should be able to know who has posted legit before…..still, its free, so I wont grumble! I can’t imagine anyone posting anything offensive on your site Kim! 😛

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  4. I don’t moderate anything man. I’m completely open. What you type is what you’ll see. I can’t honestly remember the last I got a spam comment so there’s no need for me to moderate that. I’ve had the occasional asshole call me stuff but I don’t mind that either. I’ll just respond in kind. One guy dug me up on my opinion of Titanic. He thought I was a F@#king Idiot (or something of that description) because I detest the film. As a result, I got stuck into him in return. It makes for an exciting comments section. Bring it on, I say. There’s no censorship in my establishment. LOL.

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    • I expect nothing less from you dude! I’ve never really seen any arguments on your site, but Im gonna look for your Titanic review now! I dont mind people disagreeing with me, as long as its all civil its all good, and I wouldnt delete anything like that. But when its some troll causing trouble, I find it easier to moderate as I go 🙂

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    • I loved your Titanic response and started following you because of it 😉

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  5. I let everything through. Akismet does a good job of keeping the job free of spam and thankfully, I’ve only had one troll whom I blocked and erased all his comments. If the trolling ever became a huge factor I’d do the moderation but until then, what’s the point?

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    • Fair enough, if it works for you then no point changing!! My issue is getting so many spam comments come through as ‘real’ comments, its easier to delete them before they get posted. For me anyway. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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      • Ah, I didn’t even think of it but because your blogging subject is on movies it might give you a huge increase in spam. Makes sense. Sorry you have to deal with that crap.

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        • Its so varied the spam, from so many places, some of it is actually quite funny! But I still dont want it getting posted, you know? Im jealous you dont have that issue! Keep up the good work 🙂

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  6. I do use the comment moderation tool. The vast majority of the comments I receive are kind and decent, but once in a while, someone goes on the attack in an inappropriate way. When that happens, I simply delete the comment. Not saying I delete comments simply because someone disagrees with me. Only if they are rude and disrespectful about it.
    Cheers,
    Bill

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    • Thats it, theres a difference to people disagreeing – which is fine – to then getting rude and angry about it. Personal attacks etc. Ive seen them on some sites, and personally like you I would just delete the comment. No need to be disrespectful anywhere.

      Cheers Bill 🙂

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  7. Well, here is a kindred spirit who feels and operates exactly like I do. I understand your reasoning down to a tee, and no, it is not controlling, it is just one of those things! Well done!

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  8. wordschat

     /  January 31, 2013

    Ah I wanted to make an off color dirty bytes joke. I’m glad you thought of me for the warning LOL. Kidding aside I don’t get enough site traffic yet to warrant moderating comments but do see that WordPress’ es spam filter has caught over 400 true spam in two years. I will edit a comment to change Anonymous to a friend’s first name or similar as they can’t figure out how to enter correctly. I’ve left a couple somewhat nasty or snarky comments just to show that I can disagree 100% and still not censor as long as a point I’d made by them. As you day Tyson its a judgement call. As for the jokes I try yo keep them clean within my posts and comments. They catch the reader and heck it takes a naughty mind to pick them up as much as it does to write them in. Good topic my friend.

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    • The warning was there specifically for you! I know how your mind works 😉

      I dont know if it is traffic related or not the spam side of things, but I get 400 in a few days, Id swap for your two years!!

      Disagreeing is fine, hell I enjoy it but as long as its done as adults its all good fun. Thats essentially what my Face Off series is, grown ups arguing in a nice way!! 🙂

      Jokes are cool, I never take any of them out, and always enjoy people making me smile when I read their stuff 😛

      Cheers buddy!!

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  9. Ya. I use the moderation option, default setup I think. Spam sucks!

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  10. I let the spam filter do its thing and I moderate as I go. I have had to delete the odd spam comment, but never anything nasty. I would probably leave the nasty comment if it was about me or my writing, but would delete it if it addressed someone else. Not that others can’t take it, but I don’t think anyone comes to my site to be abused by a troll.
    Of course, I would have to be much more conscious of this if I had contributions from others, as you do. I completely understand why you don’t want to take a post from someone and then have them get slammed. Wouldn’t feel right.
    I’ve been known to add a link or two in a comments section, but only if it A) is from the same exact film and B) adds to the conversation. I wouldn’t be offended if these disappeared. I understand the nature of those things.
    I haven’t thought about it before, but on my site I would actually encourage those ACTIVE in a conversation to post links to their site if they reviewed the same film.

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    • Thats it, the ones I deleted were about other people, which is not nice when they are writing for my site.

      I think I have seen you put links in, and even joked about it, but I would always keep them in as its relevant to the post, and always a great link. BUT when some one is just spamming their site, not gonna let that happen.

      Great comment John, thanks for joining in buddy!

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  11. I too use the default settings, but I am very careful to pull out spoilers. They can ruin the site. I have rules of my own like no fighting, civility only, no endless debates on anything … and if you miss me off, you’re gone. My blog is not a democracy … I am a benevolent despot with the emphasis on despot.

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    • When I was chatting with you on your site the other day about religion etc, I always steer clear of that as I know if I go into it people will dive in and get mad. Religion is a tricky subject to talk about calmly and rationally, and whilst you and I agreed, I think there are people who could cause a row with stuff like that. And we didnt go into a big debate about it, which was good!

      Love you saying its not a democracy! You’re right, and doing a great job with it! Thanks Marilyn 🙂

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  12. theipc

     /  January 31, 2013

    I filter out those comments you leave me about Penis Enlargement, Free Casino Money, Cheap Humidors and How Relevant Your Cousin Think My Site at Isaa Pictre COnclusions Articles are.

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    • Filter them out to save for later and purchase all those things? Im annoyed my cousin likes your articles, I bet she tells you what an amazing blogsite you have and how your such a princess too 🙂

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      • theipc

         /  January 31, 2013

        She does!! They are insightful and super imperative to today’s relevant issues! She also continues to bookmark my site for future articles!

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        • If she tells you its arguably the greatest site with the best content, but needs better seo help then we are no longer related 🙂

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        • theipc

           /  January 31, 2013

          Well – she does BUT she also has a lot of trouble opening my site in her browser and she needs me, the webmaster, to click her site and help her.

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        • You know, I was going to do a post about what everyones favourite spam message was. I think mine is still this one which Im pretty sure isnt spam, I believe someone really means this :

          This design is steller! You definitely know how to keep a reader amused.
          Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job.
          I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

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        • theipc

           /  January 31, 2013

          You should – and search engine terms – you can imagine, I get some instant classics!

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        • theipc

           /  January 31, 2013

          As we all do : )

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        • I’ll be honest, I thought you had wrote it, since I know its what you think. Especially my videos!

          Maybe I will do that, and the search engine bit 🙂

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        • theipc

           /  January 31, 2013

          I do LOVE your videos!! Especially the ones of you dancing and stretching!!!

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        • Told you to keep that private! Now everyone will want to see it 🙂

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  13. I used to try and keep up with the spam comments because ever once in a while one would get marked as spam and I’d never see it. I get so many now that it just takes to much time to go through them. I don’t have to moderate the regular visitors comments but anyone commenting for the first time I always make sure that I approve it first because you never know when the occasional douche will slip in.

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    • Occasional douche = perfect!! 🙂

      I do try and keep in check with the spam, but if I go away for a week and forget, coming back to several hundred is quite daunting to think about looking through. I just empty it and hope no one real is in there!!

      Cheers Ryan

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  14. When my site was running on a regular basis I used to get a bunch of spam comments. But once I started using the Trojan Sheepskin Computer Condom it just stopped just like (SNAP) that. It’s real simple; you just fit the TSCC over your monitor while your site is displayed and you never have to worry about spam or unwanted computer pregnancy ever again. And we all know what a pain it can be to have an unwanted infant laptop around.

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    • Do you have a link for this Trojan Sheepskin Computer Condom John? Or I’ll take yours since your into semi-retirement 😉

      Cheers buddy!

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  15. Great question Tyson. I set mine at ‘Comment author must have a previously approved comment’ but I still do get about 20-30 spam a day, but fortunately Akismet caught those. I don’t mind the manual approval thing, what I hate most about comments is those pesky captcha thing on blogger, very annoying!

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    • The captcha things are the worst. I get the words wrong every time, especially when it is meant to be a proper word, and it doesn’t look like anything I can recognise. It does put me off Blogger sites, and I have told a couple of sites, they werent aware they were even on (Phobos was one I recall, god love him!)

      Another vote for the previously approved comments, that seems the most popular choice so far. Thanks for joining in Ruth, much appreciated 🙂

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    • God does love me.

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  16. Garry Armstrong

     /  January 31, 2013

    Guess I’m one of the filthy-minded ones, mate!! Most of this is Greek to me. Forgive me, I’m just on my second cup of coffee.

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  17. I used to moderate comments, but I had it set to let the person’s comment go through after I approved at least one of their comments. I’ve never really run into problems, which is why I now just let them all go through. If stuff like that happens, though, I probably start moderating again.

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    • I just know if I took it off, then as soon as I go away for a few days all hell will break lose, and any slight reputation my site had will be ruined 🙂

      Good for you though not having issues, keep doing what your doing man! Cheers Austin 🙂

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  18. I have the first comment moderated. After that people are free to post. If it gets too much, I will unapprove them and send them an email telling them why. Although I have never had to do that on this site. Luckily on my last one, I kept the death threats and they didn’t get on for public display.

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    • Very polite way of doing it, lucky you not had to do it yet!

      Are you serious about the death threats? Surely not?!

      Cheers Alastair 🙂

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      • I am indeed. My very first entry on this blog says that I had to move it. It says: THIS IS MY NEW BLOG PAGE BECAUSE OF A PARTICULAR **** THAT HAS BEEN CAUSING ME PROBLEMS. THE OLD PAGE WON’T BE BEING UPDATED ANYMORE.

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        • Wow really? Damn, must of got quite serious. Ive seen someone else recently close their site down due to people being horrible, but death threats!! Damn what a messed up place the internet is!

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        • Oh yeah. He lived in the same town as me as well. So I moved a couple of times and decided to test some people into who was giving him information on me. But after the police were involved, I never had any more “serious” trouble from him

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        • because you killed him? 😉

          I joke, man that is messed up. You even moved house. Apologies for bringing all this up, its just so fucked up. Especially since he was close…..the internet most of the time is full of loud mouths protected because they think they are tough hidden behind their computer in their parents basement……..but in the same town…..creepy stuff. Glad its all over for you man

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        • Oh he was closer than that … my mother gave birth to him LOL

          Don’t you just love families

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        • Holy shit!!! Family is a strange thing 🙂

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        • Totally 😀

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        • You just made this post worthwhile. I’ll be in touch about the movie rights soon dude 😛

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        • 😀

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  19. WordPress is pretty good about catching spam. I do use the “First Time Commenters Need Moderation” though. Occasionally they do miss some crap.

    I’v actually just started experiencing some commenters who get overzealous, etc. I’ve given out a couple of lectures and they go away…

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  20. My settings and moderation is the same as yours. I have never had an issue of overly negative comments though. Some disagreements which is one one thing but never anything hostile like your James Spader commenter. By the way that is one of the dumbest yet funniest things I have ever heard someone flip out about LOL. I have never been a fan of people leaving links to their review of a movie that you just posted about. I allow it but like you said you could just click on their name and find it just as easily. Plus searching their blog for their related post gives them views which I am all for.

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    • Yeah, I had a little moan about Spader beating James Gandolfini to the Emmy win a few years ago and someone from the fan club turned up firing the abuse. Quite funny really!!

      Good to see your on the same wave length as me. Cheers buddy 🙂

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  21. Nice question! I let everything get posted and then I delete the occasional spam comment manually if for some reason it didn’t fall directly into the spam folder.

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  22. I use the hybrid system – once I approve someone, they can always post without me moderating them. I like that.

    I’ve only ever had to go “erm, no” to someone’s comment. All it said was “STAR WARS WAS MADE IN 1977 YOU DUMB ASS”. I didn’t think it contributed much to the article… although I did correct it!

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    • Hybrid system eh? Nice 🙂

      Glad to see you corrected it! If that comment came from someone you had good banter with, its fine right!? But when its from someone you dont know, as such, theres just no need to say it. Rude more than anything. Cheers dude 🙂

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      • Exactly – if it was from one of you guys that regularly drops by that’d be banter. But it was from a guy that came once, clearly looking for Star Wars, and left. Lesson? Never vex Star Wars fans… by getting a date wrong!

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  23. I used to use the “1st time commentators need approval” setting, but I found that it was just a little more effort for no additional gain. Right now, at least until I start noticing a problem, everything that Akismet doesn’t flag goes through. Out of 12000 spam comments, only 3 have gotten through, and one of those fooled me the first time around, so I’d say it’s working well enough. I get what you’re saying about not wanting it up there a few days if you’re not able to check in, but on the other hand, I would consider it worse if I couldn’t put up a legitimate comment for a few days.

    So far I haven’t had any problem with people trolling the site or flaming or anything like that. When I do, I’ll probably deal with it on a case by case basis. If it’s hateful but coherent, I’m likely to leave it up and just counter it politely.

    Haven’t had too much aggressive sharing either. Little bit. Just kind of give them the polite nod so far. If anybody gets too overzealous, I’ll thump ’em.

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    • You make a point I hadnt considered. I guess it would be worse to not post someones comment for a few days…..hmm….food for thought.

      Thumping is always a good solution though!

      Thanks for the comment Morgan, very insightful and helpful, cheers buddy 🙂

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  24. You raise some good points here. I honestly just leave it open since people from non WordPress sites comment on my blogs. I haven’t even thought about how unprofessional it could look if something bad got on there. I might have to readjust my thinking.

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    • Always nice to make someone think! Maybe its just me being paranoid, but its been really good seeing how everyone else does things. Cheers buddy 🙂

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  25. You, sir, are retarded for not liking James Spader.

    But yea, I don’t moderate anything, because I really don’t get that many comments to begin with. I just manually delete/move to spam if I need to. If someone were to say I suck at writing and should die in a fire, I’d leave that comment up and just mock the hell out of them. I have no problem hearing stuff like that from anybody stupid enough to say it.

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  26. I’ve always wanted to moderate all comments (not that I get a ton…just a couple a day), simply because I was afraid of spam, or people being overtly rude or foul-mouthed. I’ve never had that happen (yet), and the spam catcher does a pretty good job, so now for me it’s mainly a punctuation thing: a few friends like it when I make their movie titles italicized, like I do for mine, plus sometimes I find minor mistakes, like periods one space too far past the end . So I fix those little goofs, too. Yes, I am Mr. Anal Retentive.

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    • This makes me look better, so thanks for that!!

      I have changed a couple of comments, slightly. Before I used the guest reviewers name in the heading, people would congratulate me on their review. As much as I want to be praised, I changed the name to whose it was meant to be. Im nice like that!

      Cheers Todd 🙂

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  27. For a while I used the WP setting that blocks everyone’s first comment. That way regular commenter’s get through just fine, but since my site is low traffic I just let it all through now.

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    • Just you wait, the spammers on my site will see that and head over to annoy you know!! 🙂

      Cheers Bubba, appreciate you stopping by!

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  28. I’ve been known for editing comments that contain a ton of spoilers, but only to write a Spoiler Warning above it. As all of my reviews (except one) are spoiler free, I reckon it’s good to warn people. Having said that I’m not all that strict with it!
    Otherwise, I moderate somebody’s first comment and then after that they’re good to go 🙂

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  29. I don’t get a lot of comments, but luckily for me the spam filter has caught all the spam so far, and I just delete those.

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  30. I don’t get a huge amount of comments, so don’t run into too many problems. I think the first time someone comments, it has to be moderated by me. Which allows me to filter out basically all of the spam. I have never not approved a genuine comment, though I am conscious of people attacking other commenters (I am not really fussed about people having a go at me though).

    I’m with you though, I am not really a fan of people endlessly linking to their own posts. Seems a weird self-promotion. Though I don’t mind people doing it if it is really relevant to what I have written (I have linked to my own reviews on occasion and am always really worried I will come across as shameless).

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    • Sounds like your on the same wave length as me. I don’t mind someone disagreeing with me, but insults are not tolerated anywhere. Luckily had no real issues so far……

      I too feel bad leaving a link, however relative it is. Rarely do it. Thanks for the comment buddy, appreciate your thoughts 🙂

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  31. I have not had any trouble with my current blog. On my old blog (a music blog) I had to because I was getting half a dozen pieces of spam per day. I approved any comments that were about the posted topic even if they called me names because I love a good argument.

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  32. Great topic. We use Akismet as a spam blocker and that seems to work pretty well, sometimes too well as I will sometimes find legit comments in the spam folder.

    We let comments go live right away. Occasionally, have to remove a comment or take out a link that someone posts. I don’t mind if a regular contributor links to something but otherwise no.

    Also we don’t use any sort of Captcha as that sucks a bag of dicks. Just seeing if you are going to moderate that lol

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    • Yeah I have a couple of people whose comments always get thrown in spam. They may talk shit but that’s for me to decide surely?! 😉

      Glad your against the link spamming too! And no, swear away man, I won’t edit it. 🙂

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  33. One more thought on this …. I still catch myself at times making the classic error of trying to reason with a crazy person. Both in the comments and on twitter. Trying to get better at recognizing when someone is nuts right off the bat and just letting it go.

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