Thanks to a new ‘default settings’ plugin, your blog should be getting a lot less comment ‘spam’ than it previously did. When I backed up all of the old blogs, I discovered that some blogs had as many as 2,000 unwanted comments on them! So, the new default settings for all blogs only allow registered users of this site (which is only students and faculty) to submit comments on your blog. These comments will still go into a ‘moderation queue’, and will not appear on your blog until you’ve approved at least one comment from that user.
While these settings are great for most class-related blogs, in some cases you may want to allow more people (for example your students during your student teaching experiences) to submit comments to your blog. To make changes to these settings, click on ‘Discussion’ from the ‘Settings’ tab of your blog dashboard. You’ll see this screen:
To allow more than just Pacific students and faculty to submit comments to your blog, the setting to turn off is the one labeled ‘Users must be registered and logged in to comment’. Be sure not to turn off both ‘Before a comment appears’ settings, though. With those off, unwanted comments can immediately appear on your blog without you having the chance to decline them.
What are ‘spam’ comments, anyway? Typically, these are non-relevant (and often poorly-written/translated) comments containing links or references to various commercial websites. Often these comments are from computer programs rather than actual people, designed to try to make use of social media sites (like blogs) for advertising purposes. Basically, if you get a comment on one of your posts that seems really non-relevant, mark it as spam. If you approve it (something that the poster is hoping you’ll do), with the default security settings on your blog the poster will then be able to post (a lot) more comments advertising their products or websites on your blog without having to be approved.
Can I just allow comments on some of my posts and pages? Yes. To get to the settings for turning off comments on an individual post or page, when you’re editing it go to the ‘Screen Options’ tab at the very top of the page, and check the ‘Discussion’ box. This will reveal two new checkboxes at the bottom of each post and page, allowing you to turn on or off comments for that specific post or page only.