Tuesday, August 26, 2008

moderating blog comments: newspapers

How to handle blog comments was a recurring topic at the social media talk I gave earlier this month for IABC Washington, especially from corporate communicators. I mentioned that I'd reviewed federal government blogs for a federal client, and found--to my surprise--that allowing anonymous comments seemed to be a common thread in federal blog policies. (This isn't to say that comments go unmoderated, mind you, and all federal agencies list what they will and won't publish in comments, and when.) Now Editor & Publisher offers a similar review of the 10 top-circulation newspapers' comments policies, which vary but appear to be somewhat less supervised than traditional letters-to-the-editor, for example. Most require commenters to register, but not all require them to show their true name, for example. From the article, the most surprising and liberal policy:
Interestingly, Wall Street Journal has the most "liberal" policy of the papers reviewed regarding user- posted material: it neither requires registration nor provides moderation. For WSJ free blogs, those wishing to comment must sign in but they don't have to register or give an e-mail address, which allows posters to tag their comments with whatever name they like. However, WSJ encourages readers to police themselves, and report offensive comments to the section or blog editor.
What do you include in your comments policy for a business blog?

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