I do not filter comments on this blog. In fact, all comments are immediately published unless caught by the spam filter, which has on occasion snared the legitimate contribution. Fortunately, this is rare and I always clear the comment when I find it.
Moderation can be useful feature when there is an inordinate amount of spam or contributors with nonsensical statements. The former is managed by a better spam filter and attention to what is posted. The latter, well, is best handled by the same unless you simply want to keep out the riff raff and limit the discussion then you’ll moderate each comment individually.
Newspapers and radios moderate in print and on air comments because of finite resources, be it paper or air time. Blogs, well, they aren’t under the limitation although too many comments and the arguments can get lost in the crowd. So, moderation in the blogosphere has the effect of limiting discourse and creating an impression of elitism: I don’t want your opinion.
I don’t encounter too many blogs were all comments must be approved before posting. I have experienced only two blogs were I did post a comment only to learn (by looking for the comment online) they were rejected by the moderator. The first time was about three years ago and the subject was private military companies.
The second incident was this past week when I posted a rejoinder at the American Foreign Policy Council’s blog about tweeting. I’m not bothered that my comment was rejected, but I did get a laugh that a discussion about public diplomacy that says “public diplomacy and strategic communication are not about total transparency” would censor comments. Well, AFPC practices what they preach.
By the way, this post was based on the comment I submitted.