Intense Debate Doesn’t Allow Blog Owners to Edit Comments

I asked Intense Debate whether blog owners have the ability to edit comments using their commenting system and received the following response:

While I completely understand your interest in being able to delete profanity, shorten a URL extending into the margin, or fix a link, this would be an extremely controversial feature to add in. This feature would jeopardize a commenter’s trust that their comments would not be tampered with or distorted, and would potentially destroy the credibility of Intense Debate.

With that in mind, we cannot give blog owners this ability.

The search for improved commenting continues.

4 responses to “Intense Debate Doesn’t Allow Blog Owners to Edit Comments”

  1. Michael Koenig Avatar

    Again Brent, this is not a feature that we are completely closed to, but must proceed carefully with, as this features enters into a very gray area here – where do you draw the line on what a publisher can edit in a comment left by a reader on their blog?

    Editing out profanity is one thing – we’re looking into a possible profanity filter for this (one that would replace certain letters with different characters). Still, giving publishers full power to edit comments as they please could be problematic.

    Perhaps I spoke too soon in our conversation on Get Satisfaction that you quoted above (full conversation here: But again, this is not a feature that we will implement without thorough conversation and examination. Our user’s trust in us and our product is paramount.

    As always, we welcome any feedback on this subject.

    Michael Koenig
    Intense Debate

  2. Rob Avatar

    Allowing bloggers to edit their readers comments would be disastrous. As a blogger, you have the right to control who speaks in your house, but you cannot change what they say.

    If you don’t want profanity then use moderation to block their comment and ask them to change it. You cannot change their words because the rest of the world assumes that when you read a comment from someone, it’s actually what they said.

  3. Josh Fraser Avatar

    I’d comment… but what’s the point if it’s going to be censored or changed? I don’t want my words to be misrepresented. You might just want to fix typos’s but if I can’t spell then that’s just a bad reflection on me. I deserve to look like an idiot.

  4. Brent Logan Avatar

    @Michael, I’m glad you’re open to the idea of allowing editing. I’ll be watching.

    @Rob, if you read my reasons for wanting to be able to edit comments, you won’t find anything to do with changing the substance of the comments left. The examples I gave dealt with profanity, URL formatting and the commenter unnecessarily quoting large portions of proceeding comments.

    Blogs (and not necessarily blog comments) are one of the very few areas where what is printed is exactly what the person wrote. Letters to newspapers and magazines are edited. Articles in magazines are edited. Any book you would want to read has been edited.

    By the way, is currently using the standard WordPress commenting system. I have full ability to edit anything and everything in your comment, as does virtually any other WordPress blogger. Disastrous? Doesn’t seem to be.

    @Josh, your response is tongue in cheek, but you make a good point. I don’t believe I have ever edited a typo in a comment unless asked to by the commenter. If asked politely, I generally don’t see a reason not to fix typos. After all, until recently, commenters haven’t had the ability to preview comments here.

    I do have a comment policy:

    I reserve the right to delete any comments not appropriate for my blog. Fortunately, I rarely get comment spam now. If I think your comment is spam, I’ll delete it. If your author link is not to a personal blog, I may delete the link. I won’t delete your comment just because you disagree with me, argue powerfully, and make me look stupid. If you stay on topic and use clean language; your comment will likely remain.

    Likewise, if you read a comment on my blog you deem to be offensive, have the clarity of mind to recognize that I didn’t write it and probably don’t agree with it. Sometimes, not deleting the posts of those you disagree with is the best way to expose their (lack of) thinking.