Friday, April 23, 2010

Blogger Commenting, And Social Networking Relationships

Every week, we see the anguish
How do I get user xxxxx blocked from commenting on my blog?
because many people enjoy FaceBook and Twitter, where there is no spam, and no unwanted comments. They think that Blogger comments should be controlled, as social networking like FaceBook and Twitter are controlled.

With FaceBook, each person controls their own Wall, and their own neighbourhood. With Twitter, each person decides exactly who they wish to Follow, and sees tweets from only those folks that they follow. Neither FaceBook or Twitter encourages you to open up your neighbourhood to the world; both allow you to establish each contact, one by one, at your discretion.

With Blogger commenting, you are encouraged to allow anybody - or anybody with a required level of authentication - to comment on your blog. This encourages freedom of speech, and extends your neighbourhood far beyond the walls that you setup with FaceBook and Twitter. Some commenters, and other readers of your blogs, may later become part of your FaceBook and Twitter neighbourhoods - but at their discretion, as well as yours.

With both FaceBook and Twitter, any established account has some implied value, which is a function of the size of its neighbourhood. Nobody can use a FaceBook or Twitter account for persistent spam, because people control their own neighbourhoods. If offended, they can easily discontinue a FaceBook or Twitter contact. There is no real anonymity in either FaceBook or Twitter - each contact there is identified and validated, by its neighbourhood of contacts.

With Blogger, anybody can setup one or more Blogger accounts, for posting comments on any blog that permits comments. A Blogger account has no value, equivalent to a FaceBook or Twitter account. A Blogger account won't be identified, or validated, by its neighbourhood of contacts.

The owner of any blog has a few options, as to what level of anonymity may post comments.
Who Can Comment?
  • Anyone - includes Anonymous Users
  • Registered Users - includes OpenID
  • Users with Google Accounts
  • Only members of this blog
  • (For private blogs) Only members and readers of the blog.

Beyond those 5 choices, there is only the Blogger heuristic comment filter, which has to be persistently trained, by each blog owner. You, as the blog owner, moderate either actively or passively. You allow / disallow / tag as "spam" before publishing comments, or you delete / don't delete / tag as "spam" after comments are published. That's the choices that you have, as a blog owner.

You cannot negatively filter comments, by blocking specific individuals. If you were to add a filter for one individual, the owner of the filtered Blogger account could setup another account, and pester you from that account, with impunity. They could even use multiple different accounts, using botted computers, if they wished.

When you publish a Blogger blog and allow commenting on your Blogger blog, you open yourself to the world. For good, or for bad.

>> Top

6 comments:

Dudel said...

Isn't a "bad comment", unless spam of course, still a "good comment"? It is someone taking time out of their day to type something up on your blog, be it positive or negative.

Chuck said...

Isn't a "bad comment", unless spam of course, still a "good comment"? It is someone taking time out of their day to type something up on your blog, be it positive or negative.

Very true. I try to publish all comments, except "Nice Blog" spam and similar garbage, and lame requests for technical assistance that should be handled in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.

But we should note that the "Nice Blog" spam is very fuzzy nowadays, so I have to moderate fuzzily too.

Dave Riley said...

I highly recommend IntenseDebate as a much better comment moderation system than Blogger in house.worth installing for the very issue discussed here: banning.

Roberto said...

You're just a 'fuzzy old fellow', Chuck.

Whilst I agree with your post sentiments, I think you were too soft on people. Somehow, somewhere, sometime, the average blogger has to take responsibility for their own realm - mummy can't do it for them, and Blogger certainly won't either.

pab said...

There is no point in comparing Blogger to FaceBook or Twitter, when it comes to preventing comment spam on Blogger blogs. The question is how effective Blogger is.

Chuck said...

There is no point in comparing Blogger to FaceBook or Twitter, when it comes to preventing comment spam on Blogger blogs. The question is how effective Blogger is.

As long as bloggers try to compare the spam problems in Blogger, FaceBook, and Twitter, and try to justify one concern with Blogger based upon their experiences with the other, there is a point.

Maybe you understand the differences. Not all bloggers do.

If you permit the public to post comments to your blogs, you're going to get spam. You can moderate it, or not. That's your choice.