Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Comment Ownership

The intuitive answer, an opinion shared by some prominent bloggers, is that once a commenter comments, they submit the comment with the knowledge they've lost control of that comment forever. Of course, there's more than one way to look at it, but there is also more than one platform (or publishing model) to consider, and at least a couple of legal aspects to explore.

A newspaper or magazine editor, for example, elects to publish response letters from readers. Not all responses are published, and thanks to some legal language, letter-writers are often informed they lose, to some extent, ownership of those letters.

In a sense, blog comments are similar. A blogger can elect not to publish a comment at all, or she can edit or delete a comment for various reasons. But there are stark differences, too. Most of the time, there is no written agreement about comments as there is with submitted letters. Another difference: Once a print publication publishes, the content can't be unpublished. Along some (strong) lines of logic, though this hasn't been fully tested in the legal system, this sense of permanency subjects print publishers to greater liability than digital publishers. - WebProNews
I subscribe to a bunch of website/blog marketing related newsletters etc that give me tips on a variety of related subjects. A lot of what they send is crap, but that was something I found a bit interesting.


  1. I actually posted a short entry that I decided served no real purpose other than provoking the person who hacked my site twice. It wasn't you was it Glen???

    However, Google caches all kinds of stuff so even if you delete the comment it can show up somewhere else later. Finally, in business it is clear to be very careful what you put in an email. Talk about losing control....

    Interesting stuff, Glen.

  2. I saw the post and wondered why you deleted it/disabled comments. I would have to be a master hacker of sorts to learn about your website and hack it in under 10 minutes! As you know, I am not that good with computers (with the exception of posting on blogs)


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