Consider this scenario: A blogger presents his idea through a blog post and allows for commenting. He has the option to moderate the comments and publishes the favorable and neutral ones while deleting comments containing opposing views. What is wrong with this picture? A lot!
Distinction Between Offensive and Critical Comments
Before we go into the nitty-gritty of deleting comments, let us first make the distinction between plainly abusive comments and comments that present an opposing view. Offensive comments are usually malicious and generally go against the common standard of courtesy and respect. These comments can be very personal as to be directed to the author himself or to a group in a general sense. However, offensive comments are usually presented in abusive language and tone that is intended to malign or hurt the object of the comment.
Although most offensive comments contain a view opposed to that of the author, it does not follow that all critical comments are offensive. A critical comment simply presents a different appreciation of the subject matter at hand. Simply disagreeing with the view of the author is not an automatic offense. It is merely answering an opinion expressed by the author.
The Purpose of Commenting Option
Any writer worth his salt would know that the commenting option is not a venue for adulation and praise. Commenting presents an opportunity for the readers to be heard with regards to the discussed topic. Authors on the other hand, are given the valuable opportunity to learn from these comments. Different perspectives can enable learning that is not possible when a person only sees his own view.
Commenting is a rich source of real interaction between a blog as represented by its author/owner and the audience. Receiving favorable comments is a big ego booster. It can be a source of inspiration to maintain quality. This will not always be the case. Critical comments will come sooner or later unless the commenting option is closed.
Should You Delete?
An author who is not open to unfavorable comments must simply eliminate the commenting option. Those who choose to allow commenting must adopt an open-minded stance when addressing opposing comments. Outright deletion of unfavorable but valid comments deprive the public and the author himself of the value of being exposed to views other than their own.
Word can get around if a blog is in the habit of censoring comments that simply opposes the author’s view. This gives rise to the perception of high handedness which is seldom favored by the public. A critical comment is best addressed point by point rather than deleted. This manifests the ability of the writer to defend what he has proposed in the first place.
About the Author:
Teresa is a researcher-writer who covers a wide range of topics in search of useful information to offer to her readers. She currently maintains four personal blogs.