engadget

Is it any coincidence that just a few days after Apple’s iPad was announced, Engadget.com, probably the leading tech blog on the planet (who blogged the announcement live as it happened), announced that they were turning off reader comments for a while. As a longtime reader and fan of Engadget, I have to tell you I was shocked.

Here’s what they said:

“Hey guys, we know you like to have your fun, voice your opinions, and argue over your favorite gear, but over the past few days the tone in comments has really gotten out of hand. What is normally a charged — but fun — environment for our users and editors has become mean, ugly, pointless, and frankly threatening in some situations… and that’s just not acceptable.”

Click here to read their post, and why they did it. Thankfully, it appears that they have reopened comments once again, but I have to tell you, on some level, especially after some of the comments here concerning my iPad post, I kind of understand why they did it.

Here on this blog I feel very fortunate that we have built such a great community that it usually isn’t an issue (unless you mention Apple of course, and then all bets are off). However, a lot of bloggers I’ve talked with have decided to turn off commenting permanently, and they are stunned that I don’t at least moderate the comments here before they’re released. My policy has been—-if you make a comment—it goes up immediately, and so far that hasn’t been a problem.

That being said, here’s my policy: you can disagree with me—no sweat (and if you’ve read this blog for any time, you know that happens on about a daily basis)—-just don’t be mean about it. If you’re really mean to me, or to anyone else here, there’s a pretty decent chance I’ll just go and delete your comment (this isn’t The New York Times after all).

If you post a comment here and you get a message saying it’s awaiting moderation, that means you’ve probably put some web links in your post, and my spam filter thinks it’s a spam comment, but it’s not entirely sure, so it holds it for me to check it out. The problem is—I might not get to check it out until the end of the day, so your best bet is not to include a bunch of outside links. One isn’t usually a problem, but two or more and it’ll hold it for moderation.

I get literally hundreds of spam ads comment attempts here each day, most of them put there by automated spam bots, and believe me—you don’t want them to get through. Many are absolutely filthy (shockingly so in some cases), and besides, you probably already have enough Viagra, Cialis, and discount fine watches to last you for a while, right? ;-)

Anyway, I thought it was sad to see things get so bad at Engadget that it came to that. Again, I understand, but it was still sad. I surely don’t ever want to see that happen here, so as we move forward, even if I do wind up mentioning a topic you feel very passionate about (Apple), just remember we’re all friends here (except for Brad Moore. If he posts anything—blast him!). ;-)