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How are the comments sections moderated?

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πŸ“… Published on March 5, 2016

"How are the comments sections moderated?"

Written by

Estimated reading time β€” 2 minutes

Yes. Comments go through two stages of moderation – the first is an automated anti-spam service that I pay for, because this website has gotten itself on quite a few spambot hitlists over the years. To give an example of how insane this is: from 2008 to 2012, the site received 44k legitimate comments. It has received 45k spam comments in the last three months of 2012 alone. If, for some reason, your comment triggers this filter – I’m sorry, but I will probably never even see it.

The second stage of moderation is manual and done by myself and a small team of comment moderators. We approve most comments, but there are some exceptions:

  • We manually trash any comments that we deem abusive to myself or other users – so for those of you who think it’s cute to stalk particular users around the site, leaving them obscene comments, it’s pointless. We won’t approve them and thus, the target of your weird internet obsession/crush will never actually see any of your efforts.
  • Any attempts to invade the privacy of anyone – myself, mods, authors, readers, other comment-leavers, etc – will also not be approved. Please respect other people’s privacy. Just because this is the internet, that doesn’t make the people you’re interacting with any less real or human.
  • Generally obscene comments that have nothing to do with the site or pastas will also be deleted. Racism, inappropriate sexual comments, overly violent threats, misogyny, and their ilk will not get through unless someone is really tired while going through the queue and doesn’t notice the offensive comments. In that case, please use the report function and we will remove the comment if it is in fact offensive!
  • If a moderator believes that your comment is not really relevant to the post, it’s at their discretion to delete said comment. This means that you shouldn’t be surprised if comments that just say “lol” and nothing else, comments that are just tired memes, roleplaying comments, etc, will probably not be approved.

If Google or any of the other site-watching services that I use alert me that a link in a comment is to a malware-providing or otherwise malicious site, I will remove the link. If you notice that your comments are having links removed, this is almost certainly the reason behind my doing so. I’d suggest looking into it and seeing why your site is being flagged as suspicious!

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