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Where Do You Draw the Line on User Comments?
By: KC Morgan
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    Table of Contents:
  • Where Do You Draw the Line on User Comments?
  • Comments in Black and White
  • Establish Comment Guidelines
  • Managing User Comments

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    Where Do You Draw the Line on User Comments? - Establish Comment Guidelines

    (Page 3 of 4 )

    Before you add the comment feature to your siteís content, youíll want to create a set of guidelines. These are rules users will have to follow if they intend to reply. What if they donít follow the rules? Thatís where you, and your content management, come in. Above all, you have to know the comment guidelines on your own site, and youíll have to stick to these rules at all times.

    But first, youíve got to figure out what the guidelines are going to be, and how youíre going to let users know about them.

    Often, a new page or pop up will appear when users choose to add a comment to any Web site or piece of content ( is pictured above). This would be a good spot to include any rules and regulations your site might have for commenting. Many sites will also include a disclaimer which states that not all comments will be published live on the site. Because youíll be deleting comments which qualify as spam or as being otherwise inappropriate for your site, itís a good idea to let users know that not all comments will pass muster.

    But what will those guidelines be? Itís your job to figure that out. To do so, consider what is and is not appropriate for your pages.

    You donít want to allow any spam or advertising from users on your site. Why would you? However, some users may post links within their comments as a way to help, point something out or even take your own content topic further. Youíll have to decide whether or not links are allowed at all in user comments on your site. If you do allow links, youíll have to keep out a sharp eye to discern the spam and ads from the genuine comments.

    You donít want to allow highly offensive, violent, vulgar or racist comments on your site. You may want users to express themselves freely, but you canít allow them to do so at the risk of alienating other readers and visitors on your site. While comments like ďyou suckĒ or ďyour site sucksĒ can be personally hurtful to you as a site creator or the writer who wrote the comment which inspired the words, these types of comments donít really hurt anyone. Use good judgment to weed out comments which could be considered terrorist in nature, racist or otherwise highly offensive -- and make it known that such comments wonít find inclusion on your site.

    There are many other things you may not want to allow on your site, and in time the list of things you wonít add may change. Itís okay to update the rules, but make sure you stick with them on all the comments throughout your site while they are in effect. Rules arenít established to simply be ignored.

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