A note on Mumbrella’s comment moderation policy

Life is never boring when you run a big site where comments are not pre-moderated.

However, I’m reaching the point where each morning is becoming a little too stressful as I log on to find out whether somebody posted a horribly libellous comment overnight.  

I am, for now at least, opting for the quiet life – and switching to pre-moderation.

Of the 44,564 comments we’ve had over the last two years, the vast, vast majority have been absolutely fine. Unfortunately, it will be one of the tiny minority that gets us into trouble, and we’ve now grown to the size where even a minority of malicious comments is a meaningful number.

Recently, we’ve had a run of comments from people pretending to be somebody they’re not, or making untrue claims about another person or agency. In too many cases, this seems to have been motivated by people looking to hurt rivals, rather than having a basis in truth.

So unfair as it is on those who simply want to have an uninterrupted conversation, I’m closing the ability to post unscreened comments. The alternative is even more unfair to those who come under attack – and indeed leaves us exposed to legal risk too.

I realise that at times this may slow up the conversation – although we will endeavour to pre-moderate speedily.

But on the plus side, it’s going to be better for my peace of mind.

Tim Burrowes

Editor – Mumbrella


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