How strictly should I moderate comments?

I try to hold strictly to some basic guidelines when I post here. Among them: Keep things positive, and say nothing that I wouldn’t mind people saying about me if the shoe was on the other foot.

But sometimes I wonder what to do in the comments. I always delete anything slanderous libelous (libel being written defamation – thanks, DH), and anything else that obviously shouldn’t go up. But I sometimes wonder how far I should go in moderating comments.

I’m open to thoughts and suggestions.

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19 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. It’s your website – so you can do whatever you want!! My personal opinion is that whenever you get a comment that is questionable and doesn’t add good fuel for discussion, I think you should trash it. I am SOOOO glad that you keep this on a positive track, unlike another very popular SG bloig site which I can’t visit very often any more because it’s mostly trash.

  2. Thanks for your feedback. I know it’s ultimately my call, but this is an area where I’m interested in feedback from the readers before deciding.

  3. Here’s an interesting question….how many “questionable” comments do you deal with on a regular basis?

  4. It all depends on how recently there’s been a high-profile group membership change or other potentially high-profile story.

    I’d say this year, excluding the Penrod threads, I’ve probably deleted 3-5 comments and considered 10 more. Counting the Penrod threads, maybe 20 and 40.

  5. On my blog, aside from slander and completely off topic junk (like links to sites that sell drugs, etc.), about the only other thing that causes me to not approve a comment is if it belittles someone. I don’t expect every comment to be positive. I don’t expect everyone to be agreeable. However, I do draw a line if the person is just being a jerk, even if they’re agreeing with something I’ve already written.

  6. Good point.

    I also generally delete unsubstantiated rumors (e.g., “so and so was fired,” or worse, “so and so was fired for being drunk,” etc.)

  7. Daniel, I honestly do not regularly visit other blogs, but I think you do a tremendous job with this site.

  8. Thank you!

  9. Daniel, I have been visiting your web site for a few months and the reason I keep coming back is because of the positive comments and views. I tend to stay away from forums that have turned negative and verbally abusive. I may not like certain music or singers but in a public forum I would not say that in writing. People need encouragement and constructive feedback instead of verbal abuse and anger. Just my opinion.

  10. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
    Phil 4:8

  11. If you are wondering whether something is questionable, then it generally is. I, too, think you have done an admirable job in your comments moderating, and would suggest you continue in the same vein. Your question reminds me of the slogan of the radio station I listen to (this is a bit paraphrased): “If there is a question whether it is family-friendly, well, there really isn’t a question.”

  12. I very much agree with #9 & #11 (not to exclude other comments).

    You’re hosting it. You have the right to hold it to standards you’re comfortable with. I very much appreciate your standards, although I know sometimes you “take some flak” for them.

  13. Thanks!

  14. i say it’s your website…not only can you do with it what you please, but you are also responsible for what goes across this webpage for the WHOLE WORLD to see….so with that in mind, do what you believe the Lord would have you do, and if somebody else gets mad, they’ll have to just deal with it…just obey the Lord, man.

  15. Just follow what you been doing.
    You be fine because you asking the question tells us alot.

  16. Thank you!

    I know I’ve had people comment every now and then, typically when I apologized for letting a borderline comment go up, that I’m not responsible for what goes up in the comments section. But truth be told, ultimately, I am, which is why I want to be so careful. 🙂

  17. I’m gonna jump on the bandwagon and say y’all do a great job…

  18. Seriously, a SG blog that comes up on the first page of Google could influence the opinion of someone who wasn’t very familiar with the genre.

    I’d a lot rather it be this blog than another one that I try not to read any more. 😉

  19. Yes, sometimes we can forget how important it is that people will be looking in from the outside.