MODERATION, FILTERING AND CENSORSHIP

It never occurred to me that moderating comments avoided third parties receiving spam. It never occurred to me because I don’t believe that is what usually happens. However, this was the reason I was given for a moderation being set on a blog site. It raised a number of thoughts and questions.

There are bloggers who, for clear reasons, do moderate comments sent to them. Perhaps they have had direct offensive experiences. It is unfortunate that the blogger still has to filter out unsavoury material to maintain a blog as s/he wants it to be.

The group blogs also have moderators. Moderating in a group blog, is I think, rather different to choosing to set up moderation on a personal blog, though the outcome may be the same.

Sometimes, people write and close off responses to a particular post. We can all respect this, and as far as I have seen, we do.

Setting a filtering mode means you as the blogger can maintain the superior stance in any exchange of ideas, especially if only selected responses are shown. It doesn’t offer contributors a total picture of the differing points of view or, of the the overall discussion that takes place It mirrors what the unbalanced, biased media do.

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0 thoughts on “MODERATION, FILTERING AND CENSORSHIP

  1. I don’t usually delete things, even adverts by others, if they were relevant to the topic, though I have done if they are really annoying or someone who I don’t know trying to take busness away from a firm I like I have blogged about. My normal stance on othre types of comment is that I let anyone say what they like on my comments, and don’t pre-moderate, but expect to have the last word on a thread on my own blog, even if that means me having to think of something amusing.

  2. i have moderated comments to avoid both abuse and spam but always allow any comment left to stand unedited providing it falls into neither of these categories.
    i don’t see why my blog should be employed as free advertising for somebody trying to fleece others.

  3. I have moderated comments to delete spam and remove offensive words. I can understand why some people filter on the basis of past experiences but I’m not keen on it. It feels like a social barrier and I often wonder whether some people are just so thin-skinned that they imagine offence where none is intended.

  4. That’s what works. 🙂

    Not sure about the broader business protection policy, but…

    It is very interesting that having the last word is so important. You’re not the first person to say this.

  5. You are totally in order; I realised what you were doing when you started to moderate your site. You have a sparkling blog, IMHO,it often tiptoes to the borderlands, and you manage it very cleverly.

    Like you, I don’t oblige with free advertising to disturb or fleece others. There are so many decent bloggers here who follow that same maxim. It is good to see it.

  6. Your latter point had crossed my mind. Place that with trust and an inability to risk trusting and I think there may be a big clue to a problem.

    I agree that offensive language is totally unnecessary. Some people take offence more easily than others; you have to get to know your forum. I don’t go beyond a few ‘stars, ampersands and stripes’ as you may have noticed. Spam doesn’t deserve to see the light of day.

  7. I do not moderate comments…I feel ok with that…but with fanatics…who moderate…makes it seem more biased…with sensible people who moderate…Sienna..for example, I feel comfortable with that.

    But…blogging is a type of media and a lot of media is biased…

  8. I moderate because I have had a LOT of spam comments on my poetry blog ( I get up to 6,000 visitors a day on busy times of the year) and so I naturally moderate on all my blogs as a result.

    Spam is not just annoying. If it comes with a link – the link can lead people to malicious sites with virus loads that infect a visitor’s computer as soon as the destination page uploads to their screen.

    Spam is also a method for Black Hat SEO techniques. By using keywords and links spammers make use of the preferential status given to personal blogs by search engines such as Google and can skew search engine results to the extent that good websites are forced down in the search results allowing malicious websites to rise in the ranks.

    I doesn’t take many such personal blog spams to achieve their aims.

    So there are extremely good reasons to moderate. SEO is a multi-million dollar/pound industry and personal blogs are a very popular tool in the Black Hat (bad) search engine optimiser’s armoury.

    I choose not to be part of those dirty tricks.

  9. Just to say – that even if you remove such comments subsequent to noticing them, by that time the links etc have been picked up by Google and cached and the SEO’s aims have already been achieved.

  10. If you don’t believe me – check out a website called Rentacoder.com

    This is a respected website where people offer paid IT odd jobs to people.

    There are many many paid job offers on there asking for people to place a fixed number of comments on personal blogs and others with links.

    They offer these because it is a way to ensure that the comments come from different people and so are not easily spotted. The usual number of comments requested are around 100 and the pay can be as much as 40 dollars per ten comments placed.

    This will give you an idea of the sort of financial gain involved in this kind of spamming. It is sometimes used by companies who employ black hat seo’s to blanket bomb their competitors out of existence.

    Many smaller websites have been seriously damaged by this technique as larger websites seek to reduce the competition by hiring SEO ‘hitmen’.

    The internet is a much more complicated animal than many bloggers realise and there is much more at stake than simply moral concepts and intellectual concerns.

    People have been bankrupted by spammers.

  11. You have said it in a nutshell.

    I don’t moderate either, apart from spammers, and I hope I am never in a position where I feel I have to.

    You’re spot on about the new media element. We all have our points of view and particular use of personal blogs. There’s nowt wrong with a reasonable and interesting exchange, even if it doesn’t match your own thinking.

    It would be so boring if we were all clones.

  12. I think the majority of people would agree with you about spam. It is a problem when personal computers are not properly protected. It is a shame that we have to build fortresses around our communication to protect ourselves from the very issues you raise and more besides. Sadly, there are many people who naively think that only opening stuff from people they know, will protect them.

    In daily living there are the same experiences with the uses of debit and credit cards, identity theft and so on. It takes more than awareness to deal with all these issues.

  13. I assume you do know that BCUK has an agreement with Google; I don’t know how far the gateway is open these days. There was a time, not long ago, when bloggers had to take the Blog Co. to task. For a while, the advertising stopped on IE sites, till some agreement, we were told, was reached between the two organisations. I am still dubious about it.

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