On Moderating Comments

When I began this blog, I decided not to moderate comments. I just think the truth is best found through free and uncensored discussion. And I don’t really mind some of the really outlandish comments that get posted  here. I figure they show the kind of thinking that leads to the mistakes I’d very much like to correct.

But some comments try the patience of my readers, and when this happens, I figure it’s time to put the poster on moderation. “Moderation” means that I have to pre-approve all comments from that person … which is a pain in the neck for me (and the commenter), but sometimes less of a pain than not moderating.

Anyway, WordPress has this feature that lets me poll the readers. So I thought maybe it would be a good idea to let the readers weigh in on who gets moderated. After all, no one ever emails me and asks that so-and-so not be moderated. This way, I won’t be moderating someone that most of the readers enjoy hearing from.

So what do you think?


17 Responses

  1. I don’t see any need for moderation. I do think when someone is not bringing anything fruitful/Spiritual to the conversation they should be kindly asked to take it somewhere else.

    I like what you said here:
    And I don’t really mind some of the really outlandish comments that get posted here. I figure they show the kind of thinking that leads to the mistakes I’d very much like to correct.

    And also like you said moderation does make it harder on you and does make it harder to have as good a dialogue.

  2. I would say that if the person after being warned continues making comments that aren’t fruitful perhaps moderating that person would be the appropriate thing to do.

  3. I’m not sure. I might be banned.

  4. I know some people don’t like me but I prefer you let them speak Jay. As you stated if it bothers other readers it may be prudent if good people are withholding their comments for fear of exposure or retaliation.

  5. Jay said:
    “But some comments try the patience of my readers…”

    With respect to anyone who has complained, it isn’t difficult to ignore comments. There’s a place for moderation, but I think the choice should be yours.

  6. You should decide whether you have the time, energy and patience to moderate particular individuals. Me, I probably wouldn’t. If a person becomes a problem, I’d address the issue with them, with clear explanations. If they continue to be a problem, they’d get one warning, and if they continue again, I’d ban them for a certain amount of time.

  7. I agree. I and all the other readers have the choice to read what we want and ignore what we want.

    Grace and peace,


  8. I would smash him like a roach! When someone crosses me I know that they are outlandish. We know what is the guilty party.

    What you should do is decide what you think is outlandish.
    Then, you should decide that you are so absolutely correct that it justifies some pretty outlandish making those who have NEVER used or approved of instruments and refuse to use instruments and those who are ANTI-instrumental who will not stop teaching the Bible with all of the RACA words such as legalistic, sectarian, patternists, ultraconservative.

    Then if you decide that all known evidence is just flat wrong and you are willing to stand before Jesus Christ with those views then absolutely you should pin him on a stake (not a cross).

    However, I would worry about publically promoting judgmental views of Godly people but not be willing to give an account.

    You might want to send me an email at blituri@hughes.net and prove that I have posted anything which is not provable from the Bible and all of church history. People learn to think in a PATTERNISM and theology-think is not your regular way of thinking and if the Church of Christ is shrinking–which it is not–I am certain that it is because the internet has exposed the folly of the ADDED patternism of preaching, singing and charging a very high admission for the “holy entertainment.” The stats are that the mainline church is growing–those who voted against the instruments something like 18,000 to a dozen or so.

    Let me know but be dogmatically sure that I have said anything outlandish: that’s a pretty heavy handed judgmental word.

  9. Jay,

    Is there a way to impose a comment length limit? Just a thought…

  10. But some comments try the patience of my readers…

    One of the ways online communities discipline inappropriate behavior is by posting protests of the behavior. That is the first line of defense and it usually works, as the offender either changes his behavior or decides to take his comments elsewhere. If that does not work, then moderation may be called for.

    Some communities enable members to put another member on “ignore.” But that is hard to do when anonymous posting is allowed. For that matter, individual poster moderation might have the same difficulty.

  11. Jay, I don’t know how you find the time to post as much material as you do; so I cannot imagine how you would moderate all the comments.

    I think ultimately, the problems correct themselves — or you can act on the outlying exceptions.

    I trust your judgement, as many others have already said.

  12. Ken,

    Why do you think this post was about you? I don’t recall Jay ever mentioning any specific individual or comment as being outlandish.

    Grace and peace,


  13. I’ll not ever moderate all comments. I do moderate some commenters — two in two years, so far.

  14. Can you please moderate me? Sometimes I say things I regret and need an extra layer of filtering! 😉 You know I am kidding here. I think moderating is a waste of time unless something is entirely profane. We, the reader, should be smart enough to self-moderate. If there is someone I don’t particularly like to read in the comments here, I can just skip them myself!

  15. And here I am with a completely different opinion.

    From time to time a poster shows up out of the blue who tries to co-opt the site for his own purposes. There is every reason in the world for the moderator of the website to moderate those comments.

  16. Jay,

    I agree with most of the others. I would lean to the liberal side of free speech, and allow unmoderated comments unless or until the commentor becomes belligerent or highly offensive to the readers. For example, no name calling or character assassination allowed. But then, as I have understood it, these have tended to be your rules anyway. So, I guess I’m saying I think you’ve had it right on this issue for a while now. Keep up the good work.

  17. I think that it is your blog and we are guests and invited to reply. Therefore, the tone and the judgment should be yours. Just be kind. 🙂

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