Like a lot of blogs I get my fair share of people that don’t like what I write and sometimes leave comments that are inappropriate or are personal attacks. I don’t worry too much about these and don’t generally censor commenters. However sometimes I get some very odd first time comments, several of these have ended up being deleted (Like the one from some guy in India who thought my blog would be appreciated by the Chistians in his country and wanted me to translate my blog into Urdu. massive WTF?). Some spend a little in the queue before I moderate them, mainly so I can find time to respond, or to see if the person is serious (I assume they would write back if they didn’t see their comment posted?).
By way of explanation; comment moderation is switched on on this blog such that the first time someone leaves a comment I have to moderate it, after that they can write pretty much what they want. I only do this to help stop spammers or people who are completely off topic. If you as a reader leave your first comment and you have a blog or website, or put a link in the comment, I will check it. If the links are dead or irrelevant and your comment makes no sense or is overly abusive quite likely you will never be moderated. If any readers suspect this has happened to them they are welcome to leave another comment, which will also require moderation, questioning what happened to their previous comment and perhaps apologising if they think I didn’t moderate because of what had been written. Why am I writing this? Well recently I received the following comment from a person called Jeffrey, which was left on the Bible Study of the Day post:
Wow, and I was just on another atheist blog commenting that I didn’t believe that all atheists were ignorant and uneducated. Now I have to go back and do an addendum that “While not all atheists are ignorant and uneducated, clearly some are profoundly so! For proof just go to ozatheist.wordpress.com.”
Your ignorance is only exceeded by your arrogance.
I have left this un-moderated for a few of reasons:
- It is quite rude and a personal attack, especially for a first time comment.
- It was sort of off topic, and no explanation was left as to why they thought what I had written showed I was ignorant or uneducated. (I’m not overly sensitive, if you think I’m ignorant fel free to tell me, but at least have the courtesy to explain why you think that)
- The first sentence seems like it was written on the person’s own blog, or perhaps as a comment on some other christians blog. However, there is no link to the original comment and the person writing it didn’t leave a URL in the comment form.
- I wanted to find the time and inclination to respond to the comment.
I decided rather than just moderating this comment and responding in the Bible Study thread, I’d post it as a new blog. I will not be moderating this comment, however, Jeffrey if you read this you are welcome to leave another comment (which will end up in the moderation queue) , this time hopefully you will be a bit more polite for a first time comment and perhaps stay on topic and explain why you think what you say, especially if it is abusive or a personal attack.
Interestingly enough, whilst writing this I have received another new comment, which I will be allowing through moderation, from someone trying to convince me the Bible is all true. Strangely he has left this on my latest post about the atheist bus campaign rather than the one about bible study. Feel free to explain to Chris why he might be wrong.
I’d also be interested to hear from other bloggers how they handle comment moderation, and perhaps you can tell us about some of your weirdest comments. I’d also like to know if you think I have been wrong in the way I’ve handled this, or how you would have done it?