Why I Don’t Moderate Comments and You Shouldn’t Either

I avoid moderation at all costs (I don’t moderate any content on any of¬†the social networks I manage, my facebook page, blog comments…none of¬†it).

The main reason you’d moderate is to stop people saying crazy things or posting inappropriate content.

The problem with moderating is that it makes your readers feel like¬†you don’t trust them…don’t you love the way they compare your receipt¬†to what’s in your cart at Sam’s Club as if you’re trying to steal from¬†them.¬† Moderation also robs your users of the instant gratification of seeing their content on your site.

I’d prefer to have the occasional comment that I have to delete after the¬†fact than to create a full time job of moderating comments (and askimet or disqus will filter most real spam¬†automatically).

If something does slip through the cracks, folks understand that it¬†wasn’t you who posted it…and I promise, someone will let you know¬†about it really quickly.

I’ve got thousands of people on social networks that I oversee and I receive about one¬†content complaint a month.¬† It’s not worth telling your readers you don’t trust them to prevent the one idiot who’s going to abuse the system.

I can’t wait to see the comments this post gets!

Update: A reader sent me this post from Guy Kawasaki: The Top Ten Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption (check out #11)


9 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Moderate Comments and You Shouldn’t Either

  1. Jon
    You don’t know how much I had to stop myself from posting something you would have to delete. Good post man. I agree.

  2. Hey John, just caught you on triiibes and thought I’d come over here and leave you some beans. Nice blog. Even nicer tenacity.

  3. Buck says:

    Your Sams Club thinks people are stealing when they compare your receipt with your cart?
    Ours is much more diplomatic: they are “helping to ensure you get the merchandise you paid for.”
    Yeah right! 🙂

  4. Alex Damien says:

    That’s a great take on comment moderation. I hadn’t thought of it that way. But yeah, it does feels kind of bad when comments are moderated. Thanks for the post!

  5. Well moderating people who disagree doesn’t make sense, but moderating hateful or obscene content seems perfectly acceptable to most people….no?
    (I think it would be pretty easy to prove your statement wrong)

  6. Sam, I completely agree. It’s absolutely appropriate to remove obscene comments. But you can do that after the fact.
    I’m referring to having moderation turned on so that user’s comments don’t display until you’ve gotten round to approving them.
    I’m not suggesting that you let jerks use your comments as a platform to spout obscenities.

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