On Comments and the Management Thereof

How do I manage comments at Fight Aging! - what is my policy? Well, first off, I don't have a "policy," as such. But let me describe the sort of response a comment will elicit from the combination of this publishing software and my review.

  • All comments are moderated by the software. It's the only way to keep things absolutely clean, but it does mean there will be a delay in posting, usually a matter of hours. Conversations in the comments here at Fight Aging! tend to happen across days, so pace yourself accordingly.

  • Spam is deleted, mostly by the software and occasionally by me. For what it's worth. It's easy to tell what is and isn't spam, but those putting it out will never read this post to see just how pointless their efforts are. It's a waste of everyone's time, but the faceless spammers of the world aren't going to stop anytime soon. It's easier to spam as broadly as possible rather than show any selectivity based upon results.

  • The more subtle human-mediated forms of spam, such as link-fishing, are dealt with on a case by case basis. If your comment is interesting and relevant, but festooned with links to odious locations, it might be left as is minus the links. Again, it really is easy to tell the difference between spam and a legitimate comment of value; trying to put one past someone who knows the topic is a waste of everyone's time.

  • If you're fishing for links back to your blog - your real, actual blog, containing real, actual, interesting content - then this is the way it goes: valuable and relevant comments buy you the right to keep your link. Trivial or repetitive comments do not.

  • Legitimate and helpful comments bearing many links might take longer to clear through moderation; they sometimes end up in the spam bucket and need fishing out. This takes longer than a simple approval.

  • I don't like it when folk link to or advocate commercial products in the comments. Discuss by all means, but don't hawk the stuff. At some point, such as for threads on protandim and resveratrol, I get tired of repeating myself on that point and close the post to further comments. Even though all comment links are marked as "nofollow," those links still benefit the recipients in a number of ways. Not all search engines respect the nofollow standard, and in most cases those who add links are looking for clickthroughs rather than enhancing their relevance in Google or similar places.

  • Ad hominem attacks and general unpleasantness are mostly likely going to be deleted. There's more than enough of that back in meatspace. No need to bring it here with you.

  • Utterly irrelevant or otherwise strange comments ("I like fish!") are also bound for the deletion bin. Fascinating no doubt, but not here please.

  • People occasionally post requests for information, or messages to various people in the comments. I usually delete these and respond via email if the request merits a response. Many do not. Requests to pass messages on to person X, Y or Z, for example, will usually just be deleted - in this day and age of the internet, it isn't hard to get in touch directly, or get out there and do a little research. Make the effort.

So, basically, don't be a jerk and don't try to make blatant hay from the existence of Fight Aging! Other than that, have fun and be constructive.

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