Updating Blog Comment Policies

The difference between only distributing an online press release and opening up the benefits from a blogging community can be found in how your agency encourages and manages comments and engagement. An easily-referenced comment policy lets authors and contributors know what your agency’s guidelines are in order to maintain an open, safe collaboration space.

For example, here is a recently updated blog comment policy:

“In order to foster an engaging digital environment, we reserve the right to restrict comments that are generally understood as any of the following:

  • Violent, racist, obscene, profane, or hateful
  • Comments that threaten or harm the reputation of any person or organization
  • Advertisements or solicitations of any kind
  • Comments that suggest or encourage illegal activity
  • Off-topic posts or repetitive posts that are copied and pasted or automated
  • Personal information including, but not limited to, identification numbers, phone numbers, emails

We also reserve the right to delete comments related to content we substantially revise or remove, in adherence with federal records management guidelines. We are committed to transparency and responsiveness in our engagement policies: if you believe your post meets the following guidelines and has been not posted within 24 business hours of submission, please notify us at (contact email)

The difference between only distributing an online press release and opening up the benefits from a blogging community can be found in how your agency encourages and manages comments and engagement. An easily-referenced comment policy lets authors and contributors know what your agency’s guidelines are in order to maintain an open, safe collaboration space.

For example, here is a recently updated blog comment policy

The three most important features in this comment policy are:

  • Clarity: The policy clearly states not only what comments are appropriate, but why perceived restrictions are made. This can help prevent confusion before it occurs.
  • Expectation: The policy outlines not only what can reasonably be expected, but also sets a customer service timeline. Many difficulties organizations face in engagement policies stem from confusion over expectations of responsiveness, which makes it important to establish them in your policy.
  • Feedback: Your comment policy is designed to protect the rights of your contributors as well as promote meaningful engagement for your agency — mistakes in moderation are bound to happen, and contributors need to know there is a productive path for discussion.

With this aspect of your comment policy locked down, the question becomes, “Since contributors now know what kind of comments are restricted, what are you doing to let them know what kind of comments your community encourages?”

We would like to hear some of the best examples you know of how organizations are positively encouraging comments and engagement. Please leave them in the comment section below — we won’t delete them.

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