Thursday, April 13, 2006

Editing Comments

For those of you who have blog software allowing comment editing, do you ever edit a user's comments? Under what circumstances? I found myself doing that this morning to correct a misspelling on a comment, and wondered to myself whether I should actually be doing it or not.


This Post was written by Jen Maiser from Life Begins at 30.



26 comments:

Sam said...

i left a comment on you this morning - was it me?
I make typos all over the net and wish I could edit them. On blogger it is not possible so I just learnt to live with it and hope people are understanding. I dont think there is a need, unless the typo makes a mistake that makes a rude word!

Jennifer Maiser said...

It wasn't you. :) I just meant to bring up a greater question ...

Andrew said...

I never correct comments - especially sams as there are usually far too many typos (joke). I did remove some unnecessary swearing once though.

thing is if you have the google search bar (and yahoo too I think) they have a built in a spell checker so no need for such sloppy, poor quality, work people! call yourselves writers... etc etc

sarah said...

i actually remember reading an article a while back about editing comments...i think it said something about how you take responsibility (liable for them, i guess?) once you start editing them. but of course, this is food blogging, which, i think, is a little different.

i don't edit comments for spelling, typos, etc. i think that should be the responsibility of the commenter (my comments are always rife with typos!). i also try not to moderate at all, though it's hard because some comments hurt my feelings, but i leave them there anyway. i *try* but there have been a few times i did delete comments that attacked other commenters. (i felt like a kindergarten teacher lol!)

McAuliflower said...

I edit people's comments to include links were appropriate.

I think if I were to get snarky and rude comments I would edit them- all the way off the site.

I don't correct spelling unless someone sends me an email requesting it.

kitchenmage said...

I have edited a few comments on the request of the writer, usually to fix typos or the like. I think I've deleted one or two, also on request. Plus, I kill spam. duh

Beyond that, I can't see editing comments. I would HATE it if someone did that to me, so I wont do it to others.

cookiecrumb said...

I would not edit comments except on the request of the commenter. I might fix a faulty link.
Oh, and deleting spam is fine.
Ultimately, it's your blog, and the content is your business.

Vanessa said...

i wouldn't edit someone's comments but if i felt appropriate i would delete them.

i'd rather not misrepresent someone intentionally or accidentally. i'd rather remove it all together if there's something obscene.

i realize that i will, every so often, go in and redit a post... which i should probably stop doing but they're usually grammatical type errors

Elise said...

Hi Jen,

I've always treated my various blogs as publications. I try to keep high standards for my own writing (and am embarrassed when I see typos or grammatical errors). I edit a lot of the comments coming in for spelling and punctuation. Somewhere in the last 10 years people stopped using capital letters. I did this too for a while, when email started to go mainstream 10 years ago, but now it drives me nuts for anything except IM. I view comments not as email, but as an extension of my publication. So, when I have time, I "edit" comments as a magazine editor might edit letters to the editor. I also pull out swear words (there are children who read my site and they don't need to see them). And, snarky comments usually don't see the light of day. Constructive feedback is always welcome. I don't like SHOUTING, so I usually take the all caps away.

David said...

I've deleted comments, and edited them. The comments that get deleted are the people that bait people, are blatently offensive, or call me names...like the recent one that called me 'an asshole'...(I think that merited deletion.)

I've edited people too; usually if they bait others or say something nasty. Sorry, but it's my blog and if people don't like it, they can start them own.

I used to sometimes correct peoples spelling so they wouldn't look bad, but I figure it's ok just to leave it (and it's their responsibility.)

I do live in fear of leaving a comment on Elise's site, though, and I triple-check everything before I hit the 'PUBLISH' button...

...Just kidding Elise! : )

Elise said...

Oh yeah, I forgot about the "baiting" comments. Those don't post either.

Also, on one post in which I praised another food blogger, someone left a comment which disparaged her while praising me. This comment I felt was inappropriate, as if the commenter was using my blog as a place to bad-mouth my friends. So, it didn't post either.

Sam said...

hang on - how does one edit blogger comments? Cookie - how do you do it? I didn't think we could???

drbiggles said...

I enjoy leaving misspellings and errors in comments. It makes the author look like a goof and keeps a nice random feel to the flow of things.

I've edited a few comments lately because the author left their email address in the body of that comment. But that's about it.

Biggles

Owen said...

I'd have to say that it's all or nothing for me. I will remove offensive comments completely. But otherwise I leave them alone. I've always felt that 'colloquialisms' are part of the charm.

I didn't even always correct them in the book I published (take note Guy!) because the original warts and all had a charm all of its own.

Barbara said...

Interestingly, while I do think of my blog as more of a personal magazine than an online journal, and thus try to keep my writing standards very high because of it, I do not edit comments in the way one would "letters to the editor."

Why?

Well, because while I see T&S as a magazine, it isn't--it is part of a new online publishing medium, and as such, there are different norms in action for that medium than publishing a print magazine.

So, while I will go back and edit my own posts because I catch an egregious typo or some questionable grammar, I leave other people's comments alone.

I belong to an online community which takes as a central tenet of online communication that "you own your own words." That has become part of my own philosophy such that I do not think it is my place to edit other people's words, unless I am acting in an acknowledged editorial position (as I did at the Well Fed Network.)

That said--I have deleted comment spam with extreme prejudice, and if I got a drive by, completely abusive comment, I would probably delete that, too.

However, I am lucky--while some of my posts engender lively comment and conversation, my readers all tend to be pretty well-mannered and good-natured.

That makes me happy.

cookiecrumb said...

Sam: I have no idea! I guess I would never edit comments, only delete. Tee hee.
I guess I'm with Owen.

Cindy said...

I edit comment when there's spelling mistakes but that's it.

lindy said...

I have removed a comment or two because they were insulting to a non-public-figure third party in a petty and spiteful way. Your blog is your party, and if someone is behaving offensively, you can throw them out.

I wouldn't edit anyone else's comments though, except when asked to do so. It would be akin to misquoting them, and they are entitled to present themselves as they choose.In my mind, this extends to grammar and punctuation errors. They may, after all, be intentional. I would guess that e.e. cummings would not have appreciated someone adding caps to his work.This is probably also true of some internet users!

You are not, however, required to listen to everything anyone says, and can always delete anything which you find totally appalling, uninteresting and worthless.

This is not a free speech issue, the deleted can start their own blog, and say what they want.

Raspberry Sour said...

tI think a blog is a bit like an online magazine, so it's up to the discretion of the blogger. But as far as nasty comments and libel goes, I think it'll take only one litigation suit for many of us to change how we view comments. At the end of the day, my blog is mine, and I'm responsible for its content. Many of the policies in traditional media stem from legal fears more than any adherence to style guidelines and the rest. I'm actually curious how such issues will evolve with blogs over the next few years.

Raspberry Sour said...

tI think a blog is a bit like an online magazine, so it's up to the discretion of the blogger. But as far as nasty comments and libel goes, I think it'll take only one litigation suit for many of us to change how we view comments. At the end of the day, my blog is mine, and I'm responsible for its content. Many of the policies in traditional media stem from legal fears more than any adherence to style guidelines and the rest. I'm actually curious how such issues will evolve with blogs over the next few years.

Raspberry Sour said...

Ok, apologies for the double comment and the typo- my mouse just went stir crazy on me. I leave it to the powers that be whether to delete said typo and double comment ;)

kitchenmage said...

Elise's comment brings up this minor quirk of mine that shows up in my comments on other people's blogs. I type in both 'correctly' formatted text (caps, punctuation, etc) and ee cummings style (lowercase, nominal punctuation, *lots* of dots...) depending on whether what I am writing is well thought-out (maybe even edited) or off-rhe-cuff. The typing style reflects the sort of mental process that went on behind the scenes and people who read much of my writing come to figure this out.

Given this, I don't want my text edited to impose someone else's idea of how it "should" look and I would probably resent it enough to stop posting comments at that site. (sorry Elise)

Sam said...

I am glad we blogspot bloggers are not able to edit comments - like I had the time, eh?

Kitchenmage - I am with you - I think I would get narked at having myself edited.

i see commenting a bit like verbal conversation, -words blow out like the wind - and I think everyone understands that, no?

SaltShaker said...

I don't think I'd ever edit a comment. I will remove one if it's offensive (or obviously if it's a spam type trackback link or something). But I don't think it's my place to edit what someone else said, even for typos (unless, as Sam said in the first comment, it's because of a mistake that makes a "rude word").

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