Site Maintenance: Discussing Closing Comments on Old Posts
The more popular a site gets, the more spam comments it attracts. This site receives between 100,000 and 200,000 spam posts each year. The spam filter catches most of these, but spammers are always working on clever ways to get around that filter and make me delete those comments manually. Most of those comments are on old posts, often ones months or years old.
Also, a fairly high percentage of comments on old posts are irrelevant, often in a funny way. Many—dare I say most—comments on older posts are made by people discovering the post on a Google search, and expressing regret or excitement over a story that is often several years old. We see posts of condolences to Stephen Hill’s family on his passing, and posts of excitement (to this day) that Tim Duncan has joined Canton Junction or that David Phelps, Michael English, and Mark Lowry have returned to the Gaither Vocal Band. These posts can be a rather funny, but I can feel quite guilty laughing at someone else’s expense!
For these two reasons, I have been contemplating closing comments on posts older than, say, one month. I would probably add in a message something like: “Comments on this post are now closed. If you want to discuss this topic further, visit one of our weekly Saturday News Roundup / open threads posts [link].”
With all that said, I’m open to be talked out of this. I’m just leaning in this direction—I haven’t made a final decision. I’m also open to being persuaded to setting a different time stamp than one month. Do any of you have opinions on the matter?