Why moderated comments can be a problem

You might know already that I don’t like moderating comments; I did for a long time because of spam, but nowadays I prefer filtering comments out with mod_security based on User-Agent and other diagnostics. One of the reasons why I don’t like moderated comments is that, often times, comments can correct a wrong blog post and make it not extremely bad.

I don’t pretend I’m extremely good at what I do and that I never make mistakes; I’m sure I do, but if I say something very stupid, usually somebody corrects me on the comments, and the post still keep a value. When I see posts about people reinventing the wheel, and making it hexagonal for some reason (like reinventing grep --include -r with a script using find and a for loop), and find out that the comments are moderated, then I’m usually appalled. First, because lots of users that don’t know better will read the post and apply what it says without thinking twice about it. Second, because in the comments, that appeared in a batch right away, beside a number of duplicate suggestions, there has been even more suggestions in a number of polygons, but just a couple of really round wheels. You probably know what I’m referring to if you follow some of the planets out there, I don’t really want to name names here.

Today, another example of moderated comments that hinder clearing up a blog post that isn’t really proper. When you rant about a software or a feature, especially when you explicitly say you don’t understand why it does what it does, leaving open comments allows for people to actually solve the mystery for you; if you moderate it, you’re probably wasting time of more than one person who has the answer, since they’ll probably try to explain it when they see no comments present already.