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Comment Settings & Moderation on Your Blog

By default, visitors can leave comments or respond to comments that others leave on your blog. You can disable comments, limit access to commenting, edit comments, and hold comments for approval before they appear on your blog.

Discussion Settings

Comments are controlled by Discussion Settings:

  1. On the lower block of the Dashboard toolbar, click Settings, then Discussion. The Discussion Settings screen will open.
  2. The Discussion Settings screen shows you the different discussion options available. Check the box next to your desired option(s) and click Save Changes (at bottom).

Turn Commenting On or Off

You can turn off comments for the entire blog, or for particular posts or pages.

Allow or Prevent Comments on All New Posts and Pages

Note: This setting may be overridden for individual posts or pages (see below).

  1. On the Dashboard toolbar, go to Settings, then Discussion. The Discussion Settings screen will open.
  2. On the Discussion Settings screen:
    • To show comment entry boxes on all new posts and pages, check Allow people to post comments on new articles.
    • To prevent comment entry boxes from showing on new posts and pages, uncheck Allow people to post comments on new articles.
  3. Click Save Changes (at bottom). A Settings Saved confirmation message will appear at the top of the screen.

Allow or Prevent Comments on Individual Posts or Pages

  1. On the Dashboard toolbar, click Posts or Pages. Create a new post or page, or edit one already on your blog.
  2. Scroll down the screen to the Discussions panel. If you don't see the Discussion panel, it may be hidden. To add it, at the top of the screen, click Screen Options and check Discussion.  The Discussion panel will appear below the Edit area. Click Screen Options again, to collapse the Options panel.
  3. On the Discussions panel:
    • To allow comments, check Allow Comments.
    • To prevent comments (from any visitors, including blog members), uncheck Allow Comments.
  4. Click Save Draft, Publish or Update (top right of screen). An update confirmation will appear at the top of the screen.

Restrict Commenting to UMass Amherst

Preventing the general public from commenting on your blog may reduce the amount of “comment spam” you receive. You can limit comments to members of the university community (e.g., students and colleagues). With this setting enabled, only individuals who have logged in to Blogs at UMass Amherst with their NetID will see comment entry boxes on your blog.

  1. On the Dashboard toolbar, click Settings, then Discussion. The Discussion Settings screen will open.
  2. On the Discussion Settings screen, for Other comment settings:, select Users must be registered and logged in to comment.
  3. Click Save Changes (at bottom). An update confirmation will appear at the top of the screen.

Once you activate this option, anyone who wants to leave a comment must have an OIT NetID and log in to Blogs at UMass Amherst.

Set Up Comment Moderation

Moderation allows you to control whether or not comments appear on your blog. With moderation enabled, comments will not appear on your blog until you approve them.

  1. On the the Dashboard toolbar, click Settings, then Discussion. The Discussion Settings screen will open.
  2. On the Discussion Settings screen, for E-mail me whenever, choose whether or not to receive an email each time a new comment is posted or held for moderation. By default, both options are selected.
    Note: Emails are sent to the address entered on the Settings > General screen, by default the owner of the blog.  If this is an email for a subsidiary account, and you don't regularly check or forward messages, we suggest you edit this adress.
  3. To hold all comments for moderation, for Before a comment appears:, select Comment must be manually approved.
    To hold only comments from particular URLs, emails, or IP addresses without holding all comments, see Set up Comment Moderation Criteria to Prevent Spam later in this document.
  4. (optional) For Comment Moderation, you can enter a maximum number of links a comment may contain before it is held for moderation. The default setting of 2 is intended to limit spam, but depending on how you use your blog you may wish to increase it.
  5. Click Save Changes (bottom of screen). Comments left on your posts from now on will be held for moderation before they appear on your blog. (See Approve Comments, below)

Approve Comments

To approve comments held for moderation (see above):

  1. On the Dashboard toolbar, click Comments (at left). The Comments screen will open. Comments awaiting moderation will be highlighted yellow.
  2. To sort comments and see only those comments that have not yet been approved, click Pending (top) .
  3. If you move your mouse over a comment, a list of links will appear. Click the action you would like to take for the comment: Approve/ Unapprove, Quick Edit, Edit, Spam*, or Trash.
  4. You can also moderate multiple comments at the same time: Check the boxes next to the comments you wish to moderate, and choose the appropriate action from the Bulk Actions menu (at top).

*Note: Marking a comment as Spam will cause future comments from that User/IP Address to be held as spam, but you will still have to delete them manually to remove them from your list.

Avoid Comment Spam

Your blog comes with a few embedded anti-spam features. You also have the ability to create your own Comment Blacklist, and to hold comments from certain sources for moderation.

Blogs at UMass spam filtering is always on: Blogs at UMass Amherst uses the Akismet spam filter that runs behind the scenes and automatically blocks comments containing more than two (2) links or known spam words. Comments that are similar to previous entries are also filtered by default.

Set Comment Moderation to Prevent Spam: Use the Discussion Settings to set criteria to prevent comments containing specified terms from appearing, or mark comments from certain sources to be held for moderation.

Use the Comment Blacklist
You can create a list of blacklisted terms. Comments containing any of these terms will be automatically removed from your blog (no moderation required).

  1. On the Dashboard toolbar, click Settings, then Discussion. The Discussion Settings screen will open.
  2. Scroll down towards the bottom of the Discussions Settings screen, and in the large text box next to Comment Blacklist, enter the terms that you wish to use to ban comments.
  3. Click Save Changes (at bottom).

Flag Comments to be Held for Moderation
Unlike blacklisted comments, which are deleted automatically, comments held for moderation require your approval before they appear on your blog.

  1. On the Dashboard toolbar, click Settings, then Discussion. The Discussion Settings screen will open.
  2. On the Discussion Settings screen, under Comment Moderation, make the settings you wish to change:
    • You can change the number of links that will flag a comment for moderation. The default is two (2).
    • You can enter specific words, email or IP addresses, or URLs that will flag a comment for moderation.
      Note: Use only one entry per line.
  3. Click Save Changes (bottom of the screen).