To Moderate or Not to Moderate

That is the question.

I have never moderated blog comments here at Our Red House as I want to encourage open discussion. While sometimes readers have disagreed with my views on things, no one has ever been rude or offensive. The vast majority of comments are kind and friendly.

However, recently I have experienced a spate of spam comments and comments in other languages which I suspect may link to non-family friendly (to say the least) websites. I have also discovered that spammers have been leaving their comments on some of my older posts, especially the ones that continue to get large numbers of hits. It is both tedious and frustrating to have to remove these comments.

So the question is, should I do as so many others do and begin to modify the comments that my blog receives?

Factors in favour of not modifying are:
A sense of immediacy: often a dialogue will start between commenters when I am out of the room, as it were. Modifying comments would discourage this.
My time commitments: I work four days a week and rarely have much time to spend on the blog during those days - when I am home, family comes before the computer. If I modified comments I would need to check the blog more often.
Respect for my readers: by far the greatest majority of comments that I receive are positive. Many come from other bloggers whom I have come to 'know' over the past few years, and I do not wish to deter these people from commenting.
Volume of comments: While in the past, when I used to post almost every day, I could get 20 or 30 comments on many posts, this volume has dropped. It is not particularly difficult to check the comments I receive after they have published and remove any inappropriate ones.

The Decision?

I have changed my Blogger settings so that I will modify any comments attached to posts more than 10 days old (often the targets of spammers), but more recent posts will not be modified. I will review this decision every so often and decide if it is still the best course of action.

So tell me:
Do you modify the comments on your blog? What has led you to this decision?

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