The question of should you trust comments in blogs or not, discussed in the present text, is directed only to ordinary visitors of millions of sites on the Internet.
So this is for consumers who are not involved in any site-building activity, and who are not familiar with the mechanism of receiving comments on sites.
Those who run sites of any kind, and receive comments on their texts, know the truth only too well. And the truth is simple: take everything with a bit of salt, as the old Latin proverb tells us – cum grano salis. Here, I shall try to explain why this is so.
I shall add another text about the benefits of comments in posts and how they work, and this will be aimed only at bloggers. In the present text, the issue of post comments is discussed from user’s (visitors’) perspective. This is not supposed to be a long post because the issue is simple.
There are at least two good reasons why you should not take comments seriously:
- Comments are completely under the control of the site administrator. It is as simple as that. But you then understand what this implies: they can model comments as they want, reshape, retype, remove if they do not like them (but this is a waste of resources, see later).
- There exist comments platforms where people can order comments. In other words, there are people who write comments for money. One example is shown below, this is the service at Wealthy Affiliate where users can earn credits for comments and then use those credits to receive comments on their sites, and they can also earn money:
I can tell you, people on this platform are choosy, and they will not accept anything they dislike. So imagine how genuine those comments may be. On the other hand, no matter how the comment is initially created, the site’s owner can always rewrite it and change its meaning. As you see from the screenshot above, my own statistics shows no activity, it will remain so.
An example of a post comment in my back office
See what I am talking about. Here is one of the comments which I approved here under this text, you will see it if you scroll down. When I was writing this text, as an example I used a comment from some other post. Then later I replaced it with the comment submitted to this actual post:
So the resolution is not great but you realize that I can edit it and do whatever I want with it. The same holds with the comments that are not approved yet. So even if the comment would be completely negative, I could make it positive.
Obviously I can reshape this text as much as I want, there is nothing that can prevent me, except some ethics and morality (if I have them).
Most importantly, remember, if this would be your own comment, you could do nothing about changes I make in it! Once you have submitted it, the comment is in my hands.
Now back to the original question: Should you really trust post comments? Should you trust comments in some of my posts here?
I cannot answer this in your name. I leave it to you. Your answer will probably depend on how much trust you have in humans in general. What you as a reader can do? Not much really. But this you can do: make a screenshot of your comment if you suspect that it could be manipulated or misused. Test me, submit some comment below, there is a comment box.
Some ‘smart’ ideas I have seen
Do I trust comments when I read them? Well, I have been in this business for some time, I have seen and read a lot of stuff related to this. The answer is no, I don’t.
Can you believe this: one day there was a ‘great idea’ by somebody, related to ‘useless comments’ and ‘spam comments’.
But let me explain terminology first. Useless are comments of the type ‘hay there, great post, well done, keep up’, and something along that line. Spam comments, I guess everybody knows what those are.
Now, the man’s idea was: ‘Hey, why to waste useless comments, they contain addresses and names of real people. Why not retyping them as we want, and then have them in the list as genuine?”
Then there was a continuation in a similar tone about spam comments. You know, we receive hundreds of them. The ‘great idea’ was: just ‘approve’ them, they appear in the list of comments and then ‘edit’ them as he wants. It may take him some time to do this, but with this, his posts can grow to enormous proportions and this can bring his site to top positions in ranking in Google. So if you are a blogger now you know what to do.
I have no idea what this smart guy has done about it. I do not want to know. But I do want you to know what really is possible to do with comments.
Here is yet another example. One day somebody at Wealthy Affiliate came with another great question: “Why should I not write a comment myself and submit it to my site, you know, to initiate discussion and such things?” His only concern was if Google could find out about it or not.
It is hard to believe that people are ready to do such things. But from these two examples, you realize what the situation is. Bear this in mind next time when you are undecided about something after reading some sweet words convincing you to ‘take action now’. And then you scroll down the page to ‘see a bit what other people think, just in case’.
Are you sure you are really reading what real people think?
But thank you for reading this page. Please leave some comment below. It shall not be edited. Can you be sure? No, you cannot. Perhaps you can come later to check. And then what? What if it is edited? What can you do about it? A general advice: if you have criticized the text better do not check.