Blog integrity requires thorough policing of comments

I am a natural cynic, so when I see apparently obscure comments in feedback to a blog post I’m naturally suspicious. People on the social media scene do all sorts of things to try to get clicks, we know that, but for those trying to genuinely add value it does rather spoil the show.

And if you’re keen to protect the integrity of your content, then you need to screen comments.

Take this comment written in response to a post  which appears to be genuinely aimed at imparting useful information:

 

“I have read several just right stuff here.

Certainly price bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how
much attempt you place to make any such fantastic informative web site.”
Now, it’s not just the dodgy English that raises red flags. The comment doesn’t refer in any meaningful way to the article! Anyone genuinely posting a comment of this nature has clearly either got far too much spare time or else is a little bit deranged.
So, is it a well-meaning well-wisher or a spam comment? Google that text and you’ll find it, verbatim, on other blogs of all sorts and, in various guises, in many, many more. It’s so obvious, why let it in? Surely this damages the integrity of the original blog poster more than the extra stat of a sought-after comment enhances it?
But there’s more, because the second comment (there are three, one is just a comment to say that the post has been re-posted elsewhere) is also a bit iffy:
“Howdy! This article could not be written any better! Going through this post reminds me of
my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this.
I most certainly will send this article to him. Fairly certain he’s going to have
a very good read. I appreciate you for sharing!”
Seeing a pattern? Again, no content in this comment at all – as well as the requisite dodgy English. Head for Google and… oh look, there’s that same comment all over the web. Amusingly, in many places (such as here) it appears in a raw form – part of a snippet intended to be edited to make it, vaguely, appropriate to the post. Here’s a snippet:
“{Hi there|Hello there|Howdy}! This {post|article|blog post} {couldn’t|could not} be written {any better|much better}!
{Reading through|Looking at|Going through|Looking through}
this {post|article} reminds me of my previous roommate! He {always|constantly|continually} kept {talking
about|preaching about} this. {I will|I’ll|I am going to|I most certainly
will} {forward|send} {this article|this information|this post}
to him. {Pretty sure|Fairly certain} {he will|he’ll|he’s going to} {have a good|have a very
good|have a great} read. {Thank you for|Thanks for|Many thanks for|I appreciate you for} sharing!”

My WordPress spam filter has blocked a huge number of spam comments, and I’ve manually declined a few too (I have WordPress set to require my permission to publish a comment). Everyone should do this, if they want to protect the integrity of the content they share. We can’t spot all the self-serving spam comments, but we can at least reject the obvious ones.

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About mikbarne
I'm a writer and freelance communications and collaboration consultant with nearly 20 years experience in UK telecommunications, specialising in VoIP, Unified Communications and Collaboration, and building effective communications architectures. Visit my Google+ Profile

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