Rethinking My Comment Policy

If you have commented here before, your comment will immediately show up. If you’ve never commented on FOG before, your comment will be held for moderation until such time as I approve it. I do this so that I don’t miss new commenters. If I didn’t hold your first comment for moderation, it might get lost in the shuffle, as they sometimes do, and I might not even see it. Also, I have a terrible memory, so unless you specifically say “this is my first comment,” I wouldn’t necessarily know if you’re new or not.

That’s how my blog handles real people. But, apart from those of you who are actually reading (or skimming) the words I write, there are the others. The others fall into several broad categories: spammers, promoters and haters.

Spammers are most likely caught by my very smart Askimet spam detector/deflector. Askimet looks at all comments that come in, and if it finds a comment sufficiently spammy, it shuffles it off to a folder where I might look at it six months from now before I empty it. I look in this folder before emptying, because I have had real people end up in there. Askimet is not foolproof.

Promoters are real people spammers, not spambots, who promote some cause or their own blog. There’s a blogger, a real person, who comments on every Freshly Pressed post published with the same generic comment like “great post.” I won’t call him out, other than to say that he is dedicated. He has commented on all four of my Freshly Pressed posts, which is rather impressive since the first one was in 2011.

Haters, well, we all know the haters. They’re the ones who (possibly) read something you wrote in order to find fault with it and comment. They usually scream at least one or two words in ALL CAPS and have nothing constructive to say. They spread hate, and well, fuck them. I’m thinking of changing my commenting policy, because I am sick of the haters.

Originally, my comment policy was to approve all non-spam comments and reply to them. Then, a throwaway post I wrote about tattoo trends went semi-viral–it still gets views every day a year and a half later–and people leave comments on it all the time. Most of them call be a dumb ass.

It got so bad that I added this to the top of the post:

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But, no one pays attention to blue author’s notes either since I continue to get vitriol, usually calling me out on exactly the thing I explained in the author’s note. If people took five seconds to read that, they wouldn’t seem like such fly-off-the-handle jerkwads with no reading comprehension, but they never do. They continue to call me an opinionated bitch, idiot, or idiotic bitch, but never bitchin’.

Here are two comments that cleared Askimet this morning.

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Well, this is MY blog, where I feel entitled to have MY opinions. Also, please refer to the author’s note, which had you read it, would have answered your questions.

Screen shot 2015-09-29 at 11.24.45 AM

Seriously, so much hate over tattoos? I could see if I got comments like this on any of my atheist posts, but on a post about tattoos? Really?

So, after so many comments like that where I stupidly tried to reply to someone who would never read it, because they were too busy spreading hate elsewhere, I decided that I would approve them, but not answer them. It would annoy me if I had something to say somewhere and it wasn’t approved, because I didn’t agree with the original poster. That’s called censorship.

But, this morning, when I approved that first comment up there, a thought occurred to me. I run this blog. Me. No one else. If you don’t like what I have to say, you don’t have to read it. If I don’t like what you have to say, I don’t have to approve it.

This is not a publicly traded corporation, political organization, non-profit or any other type of business beholden to the public. In fact, FOG isn’t even a business. It costs me money to have an ad-free blog and it hasn’t seen even a nickel’s worth of profit ever.

So, you know what? Starting today, I am not approving uninformed comments. There’s enough ignorant hatred in the world; I won’t have it here. I went back to find that first comment up there and trashed it. It felt good. Then, I trashed a few more. Wee!

Fuck the haters. Haters gonna hate, but they can do it elsewhere.


Do you have a comment policy? How do you deal with haters?