[Meta] Help me crowdsource moderation

I very rarely step in to moderate comments on the blog, because it’s very rarely necessary. But I thought it might be interesting to lay the process open for discussion.

1. Allowing a comment in the first place. WordPress allows various options for moderating comments – you can let them all go through, moderate each one individually, only allow comments from people who have signed in, etc.

My main goal is to not allow spam because I find it annoying. But once I trust someone not to spam, I don’t especially want them to have to wait for moderation to see their comments appear. So the option I picked was to get people to sign in (you can just put a spoof email address if you want, it’s for id, not because I care about your email) but once you have had a comment approved on your sign in, anything more should just go through automatically.

2. Moderating comments that have been posted. Like I say, it’s rarely been necessary. I have a few rules though, which have been unwritten until now.

  • No personal attacks. No offensive sexist/ racism/ homophobic/ group attacks. I’m probably quite lenient with these as long as comments are relevant and let people sail quite close to the wind, in the interests of lively debates.
  • let people know that their comment has been moderated, and why. If you do get a comment moderated, the offending phrase/s will be removed and replaced by something like <<moderated for racist language, please don’t do that>>
  • No dodgy links. I do check links that people put on their comments, if I’m not happy that one is kosher, it goes. And by that I mean advertising something irrelevant or looks as though it might be virus ridden. Links to relevant blogs or blog posts are great.

These aren’t up for debate, although please speak up if you do find something offensive.

Question: What about adverts which are also relevant comments?

People get smarter and sometimes I get comments which actually are relevant to the post and the discussion, but also used as adverts to link to commercial pages/ blogs. Do you want to see those comments, or would you rather that they were moderated out?