Friday, November 04, 2011

Blogger Does Not Censor Comment Content

Periodically, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, we see a naive query.
How do I report a person who posts nasty things, in comments, on my blog?
And the unfortunate response here is
You can't report unwanted comments. There is no comment censoring agency.
Blogger considers comments to be protected as freedom of speech. Outside of moderation for spam - which is a collaborative activity - comments are up to you, the blog owner, to treat as you please.

You, the blog owner, may choose what level of authentication to require, from each commenter.
  • Anyone - includes Anonymous Users
  • Registered Users - includes OpenID
  • Users with Google Accounts
  • Only members of your blog

You, the blog owner, may choose how to moderate each non spam comment.
  • Moderate before publishing.
    • Delete
    • Publish.
  • Moderate after publishing.
    • Delete.
    • Don't delete.

Those are your choices. Blogger won't censor, nor do they accept reports about, undesirable content.

Since Blogger leaves these decisions to the blog owners, Blogger also won't un censor content. There's no comment review process, similar to spam review, where they re activate comments when properly requested by the would be comment publisher.

If you post comments which are not appreciated by the owners of the blogs where you post your comments, and you end up labeled a spammer, that's your problem which you must bear.

Like blocking specific viewers, blocking specific commenters, who choose to make unwanted comments, will be as productive as a game of Whac-A-Mole. Blogger chooses to not play that game.

Moderate the comments on your blog, because Blogger won't do that for you. Moderate, and help train the filters. Don't moderate, and accept the decisions made by other blog owners.

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1 comment:

D.B. Echo said...

Well, as long as Blogger isn't Congress and isn't making laws, I don't think it has to worry too much about First Amendment violations.

During the 2008 election I began receiving abusive comments from an apparently psychotic racist. Turned out this guy had a blog of his own - on Wordpress - and as he gleefully pointed out to me, he received about 50x my traffic every day. His site was aessentially one long racist anti-Obama rant, calling for the violent overthrow of the U.S. government if Obama should win. His posts were in clear violation of Wordpress policies - or at least they WERE, until those polices were revised on the day that I was writing to them to file a complaint. (Wordpress makes it almost impossible to file such a complaint, and tightly restricts who is allowed to claim injured-party status. Essentially, unless I was Barack Obama, I had no business filing a complaint - and even then, they would have made it nearly impossible.) That was when I started using comment moderation, deleted all this guy's comments, and refused to let any more through. After a series of increasingly angry and frustrated posts, he eventually went away. Later, his site did too. I hope he had a visit from the Secret Service. I still have comment moderation turned on to this day.