As a blogger, you owe it to your readers and the performance of your website to delete spam comments. (And don’t feel guilty about it!)
I guess I’ve had a lot to say recently on blog comments. For years, I advocated against comment moderation. Then I changed my mind on that. But I never changed my mind when it comes to whether to delete spam comments. I maintain I’m still right on that point.
They’re rude. They’re inappropriate. As a blog owner, you should have no guilt over removing them from your site.
Spam comments rarely add to the discussion. Spammers have no intention of adding to your discussion. They simply want to pull your readers to their websites, phishing sites or scams. That’s their goal.
Sometimes, they compliment your post with the most generic of praise that makes it clear they didn’t actually read what you wrote. Other times, they write long rants that have little if nothing to do with your post topic.
In either case, at the very least, there’s at least one link to a website they hope you’ll visit.
Some do feel guilty when they delete spam comments.
This is America, after all. Aren’t we supposed to value free speech?
I get it. I understand the concern. Sure, we are supposed to value free speech. That’s in our Constitution, after all.
But free speech isn’t as absolute as some think it is. You can’t yell “fire” in a crowded movie theater to cause a harmful panic and be protected by free speech. Even in public spaces, you could still face arrest for exercising free speech without first getting a proper permit.
There are guidelines for everything, including free speech.
Some bloggers won’t accept contrary ideas. They don’t want to hear contradiction or disagreement. It’s their way or the highway. No problem; there are gazillions of other blogs for those who disagree with something you write.
I think it’s a little immature to delete a post just because it disagrees.
I don’t think it’s immature to delete rude, insulting comments. If you can’t respect the blogger, just leave. I have no problem deleting instances of disrespect.
Bloggers have an even more important reason to delete spam comments, however.
It’s not about upholding standards or requiring bad behavior. Spam comments don’t just represent bad behavior.
ManageWP, in advising bloggers to delete spam comments, pointed out a few problems with them. For one, they can lead to malware that you wouldn’t want your users to encounter. Second, they can hurt your credibility as a blogger. But consider this third point: they can adversely affect your website’s performance.
I imagine there are special circumstances here. Digital Reach Agency pointed out that spambots that fill out forms on your website could clutter up your database with data that could affect performance. That seems to be the notion behind spam comments affecting performance. If there are enough of them — if you let the comment spam go unchecked — that could begin to slow things down.
Regardless, anything that affects your website’s performance should be examined carefully. That’s why you shouldn’t feel guilty when you delete spam comments.
They don’t serve your blog’s purpose. They don’t serve your readers.
To the extent that they could affect how your site loads, that’s simply one more reason they need to go!