Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Comment Moderation In Blogger Blogs

Comment moderation, with native Blogger blogs (published to BlogSpot or externally) is pretty simple, with very few choices and no options. You can, if you choose, moderate before the comment is published. You can do similarly, later (after the comment is published). In either case, you can either allow the comment to be published (or remain), or choose to not publish (or delete) the comment.

  • Optionally, moderate before the comment is published.
    • Publish the comment.
    • Don't publish the comment.
  • Moderate after (if) the comment is published.
    • Delete the comment.
    • Don't delete the comment.
Pretty limited options? Admittedly so, but still they are a more realistic solution than trying to block commenters or visitors.

You enable / disable comment moderation, using the Settings - "Posts and comments" wizard. Here, you have a number of settings to consider.
  • Show or Hide comments, for the blog. Note that you'll also have settings for each individual post, in the Post Editor "Post Options" section.
  • Who can comment? Here you select authentication levels required. This setting has many implications, which result in relevancy regarding spammers, and in security settings needed by your readers, among others.
  • Comment Location is another setting which is affected by your readers security settings, and by the status of the post template.
  • Comment moderation is where you enable moderation before publishing, and you designate the email address for the moderation required email notifications.
  • Comment Notification Email is where you designate the email address for the comment published email notifications.
  • Show word verification is where you enable CAPTCHA screening for all non blog members seeking to publish comments.
These are but a few settings which you need to deal with. All of these settings will affect both the abilities of your readers to comment on your blog, and email activity in various Inboxes - so choose them wisely. You moderate comments before publishing, using either messages in your email, or the "Comment Moderation" wizard. You moderate after publishing, using the "Comment Moderation" wizard, or using the "Edit Posts" menu You can click on the comments link for any post, to go straight to the published comments for that post.

As a "Grants Tomb" type remark, I will point out that, if there are no unmoderated comments for the blog, and you click on "Comment Moderation", you should expect to see the advice
No Unmoderated Comments Found.
This does not indicate a problem, it says simply that there are no unmoderated comments - which means that you are wasting time clicking on "Comment Moderation". If you are deleting a malicious comment, such as hacking or spam content, you'll want to use the "Remove Forever" option, after selecting the trash can. Otherwise, the comment remains there showing the name of the commentor, with a possibly malicious URL linked to the name. Use "Remove Forever", and remove a malicious comment completely.

And finally, if you moderate comments using email, use the right email messages - and use the right links in the comment moderation email.

If you decide to upgrade your blog to use Google Comments, you'll face a whole new series of abilities (and lack of abilities) to moderate comments.

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1 comment:

Yohanon Glenn said...

MY problem is a Sino-language comment that pops up on both my blogs - I'd really like to block non-Latin characters (in truth, all non-Latin except Hebrew, but . . .) but I don't see a way to accomplish that. Meanwhile, I delete/reject the comments, but that's a bore.