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Comment Moderation Provides Limited Correction Options

Not every blog owner understands the limited ability to moderate comments - and to correct a moderation decision, previously made in mistake.

We see occasional evidence of confusion in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.
I deleted a comment by mistake. How do I get the deleted comment back?
and
I marked a comment as "Not Spam" - but now it's not in "Awaiting moderation"!
The ability to move comments, in the moderation queues, is limited - and it's not symmetrical.

There are 3 queues, which are visible from the dashboard Comments page.

  1. Published.
  2. Awaiting moderation.
  3. Spam.

Besides the 3 queues, there is a fourth possible state - Oblivion - which is not visible, and from which comments cannot be moved. Some blog owners may confuse Oblivion with a desktop computer standard - "Recycle Bin" / "Trash Can". This confusion can cause problems.

  1. The contents of "Trash Can" can be viewed. Comments in Oblivion cannot be viewed.
  2. The contents of "Trash Can" can be recovered. Comments in Oblivion cannot be recovered.

A comment, starting out in the "Awaiting moderation" queue, can be moved in several ways.

  1. Into "Published", using the "Publish" button.
  2. Into Oblivion, using the "Delete" button.
  3. Into "Spam", using the "Spam" button.

A comment, in the "Published" queue, can be moved in two ways.

  1. Into Oblivion, using the "Delete" button.
  2. Into "Spam", using the "Spam" button.

A comment, in the "Spam" queue, can be moved in two ways.

  1. Into "Published", using the "Not spam" button.
  2. Into Oblivion, using the "Delete" button.

It's apparently possible to move comments back and forth, between "Published" and "Spam". Presumably, either movement provides some training of the comment spam filters.

  1. From "Published" to "Spam", using the "Spam" button.
  2. From "Spam" to "Published", using the "Not spam" button.

There is no similar symmetry of movement, for the "Awaiting moderation" or Oblivion states.

  1. A comment in "Awaiting moderation" can be moved into either of the other 3 states - Oblivion, "Published", or "Spam". Once moved, a comment cannot be moved back into "Awaiting moderation".
  2. A comment can be moved into Oblivion, from any of the other 3 states - "Awaiting moderation", "Published", or "Spam". Once moved, a comment cannot be returned from Oblivion.

If you're moderating comments, you need to understand the asymmetry. Once you move a comment, and you recognise a mistake, you cannot always move it back to correct your mistake.

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