I started moderating comments in late April. I felt forced into doing it when I got some abusive comments that included expletives and some personal attacks. I don’t mind if I’m told I’m a dumb idiot, but some take it too far and don’t offer any actual points of discussion. A couple comments were so vile that I was physically ill and frankly a little scared.
I strongly dislike moderating comments because it is a cumbersome process and snatches little pieces of my day away from me when I have to run to the computer. By putting comment moderation in place, nasty comments have decreased to almost nothing. Aside from spam, I have rejected a total of FOUR comments in three months.
Additionally I read that the blog author is responsible for all comments on the blog (can’t find the citation right now). And there’s another reason to continue doing it. Some know my real name (they are my friends or interviewed me). God forbid someone slips and addresses their comment to my real identity. Even if my first name gets out that could jeopardize what I’m doing here.
One thing I dislike about Blogger is that if a reader chooses an old post and writes a comment on it I can’t find the blog post on which the reader commented. So it limits my ability to respond. Because of that in early July I went and closed all comments for all posts dated earlier than July 1st. Going forward I’m going to close comments on posts within a week or two of posting them.
Last week I closed comments very prematurely on the McDonald’s post. Within just a few hours of posting the blog post, it was unindated with more than 40 comments. I hadn’t expected that the post would elicit a response like that and as such I posted it on a day where I was not going to be able to be near a computer. When I noticed it exploding I made a decision to close comments. Had it been a different day where I had more time to dig into the comments, I might not have shut comments down. I thought that talking negatively about fast food was not controversial. Go figure. Don’t worry, I’m going to tackle fast food again on this blog, but hopefully it will be on a day where I can participate in the discussion more fully.
Also last week I shut down the comments on the tofu omelet post when two readers started getting into it. I like healthy discussions, but I could see that it was going nowhere. I really enjoy seeing readers interact in the comment section, but I will bust up a “fight.”
1) Abusive language and expletives not permitted
2) Comments will be open for at least a week circumstances permitting.
I hope that explains my actions a little better. Please do continue to post comments. You have no idea how many times I smile every day because of you!