Curating Civility on The Deets

A friend of mine commented to me the other day that he gets a kick out of comments on The Deets where anonymous commenters tell me I should get a life, a job, a girlfriend, out of the basement, etc. Like him, I get a kick out of stuff like that, so let those comments fly. Since they tend to come from first-time commenters, they go into a moderation queue and I have to proactively approve them.

However, I don’t approve all comments on this site. Here are a few things I do that I believe improve the quality of the discourse on this site.

1. I moderate spam, since no one benefits from comments clogged up with pharmaceutical offers.

2. I clean up overly promotional comments where people put a signature file in their comment. I’ll crop that out. I don’t otherwise touch a person’s comment unless they leave a link that breaks or something similar that can be easily cleaned up.

3. I usually delete personal attacks on people other than myself. I may make exceptions to this for people I know who’ll enjoy teeing off on someone who attacks them.

4. I’ll generally allow profanity through, as long as there is a fair balance with substance. Here’s an example comment that did not make the cut:

Example of a Moderated Comment

That doesn’t add anything of value. If someone wants to say things like that, they can start their own blog. It’s not welcome here.

5. I’ll approve trackbacks from websites and twitter aggregation services as long as the linking site contributes something of substance to the conversation.

That’s what comes to mind. I may have other unwritten rules but I can’t think of them right now. In a nutshell, if you’re going to disagree with what I write, have a point.

2 thoughts on “Curating Civility on The Deets”

  1. I remove comments for:

    1. Spam

    2. Harassing text (but like you I do allow them to attack me b/c I love making fun of them)

    3. Fake e-mail addresses (I always send a verification e-mail to the address provided and if the person doesn’t respond I delete the comment).

    4. Astroturfing (I absolutely despise this but if I can’t prove it, I allow it to go through–we have had some interesting discussions arise from people who are obviously ‘tufing with one of my readers going so far as to track the lineage of the person and let me know)

  2. One more comes to mind. You don’t fact check comments (as it should be). But when I left a comment that contained a factual error, you did put the person who complained to you personally in touch with me, and I fixed my mistake (also as it should be).

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