38 Percent of Comments Tossed For Being Negative

A little more than a week ago, we were discussing how we’re only able to accept 21% of comments left by our users.

That discussion caused us to create a bunch of article comment rejection codes so that we could begin to see what the breakdown is as to why we couldn’t accept 79% of the incoming comments. Here is the first 6 days of December, comment stats (31.2% accepted):
Comments for First 6 days of Dec 2007
Deleted Comment Reason Breakdown

While I don’t feel bad about the “Promotional” comments that were deleted, I’m concerned about the 17.9% of comments that were deleted for having bad grammar… I think we’ll be raising our tolerance of bad grammar on article comments that are substantiative.

Irrelevant Trivia:
Brrrrrr it’s cold. Check out my temp gauge on the way into work today:
1 Degree F. Today...
The day started out at -4 F and warmed up to 1 degree F (-17.22 Celsius) on the way into work.



Hi Chris!

According to my opinion your list of rejections shall be:

1. Promotional
2. Invalid Poster Name
3. Not related
4. Spam

All the other comments must be accepted and you must send them to the authors and the authors must answer, if we want to build a constructive relationship with our audience.

We already talked enough about the meaning of negative comments. They help the author understand how his/her readers feel. Negative comments are very good for EzineArticles because they oblige the author continue writing in order to explain his or her points better.

On the other hand, nothing is better for an author than to convince his or her enemies that he or she is really right, after better explaining everything!

Now, about ‚¬“bad grammar‚¬ and ‚¬“nothing substantial‚¬ I really cannot understand why you decided to reject that kind of comment in the first place, since these are the usual comments in All sites of the Internet.

People don’t write too much when they leave a comment and they write everything with several grammar mistakes. This proves that the comments are real, or at least they seem to be real.

If the readers are simply thanking the author, this is very good, even though that kind of comment is not substantial.
Why do you reject samples of gratitude from the public? I cannot find a logical explanation to justify this attitude!
You should love samples of gratitude and admiration.

Comment provided December 6, 2007 at 10:51 AM


Ross Yingling writes:


The old Govt one-liner: What Gets Measured Gets Done strikes again. I really like seeing these numbers, because it offers an opportunity to make positive change (which you’re doing). I have contended for many years that email, forum comments, online gaming, etc., are easy forums for people to hide behind the “vail” of no eye contact and therefore assume accountability is nonexistent.

My question is when does negative transform to Negative? In other words, what standards do you put in place to say someone has cross the line from a potentially two-sided debate to categorizing the comment as Negative?


Comment provided December 6, 2007 at 10:54 AM


Ramon Greenwood writes:

I don’t understand why negative comments should be rejected across the board. Yes, if course, they should get the axe if they are mean-spirited and negative just for the sake of being negative.

But negative thoughts can be constructive if offered and received in the right spirit.

Comment provided December 6, 2007 at 11:07 AM



Some of the most thoughtful 300-600+ word comments sent in by users are designed to discredit the author, assert their [sometimes] secret agenda, create legal word wrangling, or express distress against the author for not treating them personally very well as a customer.

Because we already give the author an easy ability to delete any article comment they don’t like plus we also notify them via email every single time a new comment is accepted on their articles… I’m looking for some arguments about how we can build more trust with our users by accepting some of the negative comments that are done in a respectful tone.

Comment provided December 6, 2007 at 12:10 PM


Thomas J. Cummins writes:

in a perfect world we would never need negativity but as the contrary is true then the question is how to phrase negativity in an objective way and therefore it would be more conducive to productivity.

With text messaging and im’s and such becoming the norm for every day folks to communicate there has developed a form of writing that is truly sad and pathetic and it is magical that a site such as EzineArticles.com has a required standard wherein one may not deviate and this is how it should be. If everyone were allowed to write verbatim with slang the english language as we know it would fall to shreds and it is imperative that bad grammar stand corrected and this applies to all of us availing of this wonderful service. Good job Chris Knight and fellow associates…….. long live constructive opinions that strengthen and do not weaken any voice. Keep up the good work too on the guardianship of the use of the written word.

Comment provided December 6, 2007 at 12:16 PM


Pamela Beers writes:

Thanks for the high standards, Chris & staff.
Constructive criticism is always useful. It helps me to be a better writer.

Nasty comments are another issue altogether and are not in keeping with the spirited comraderie I’ve grown accustomed to at EzineArticles.com


Comment provided December 6, 2007 at 3:24 PM



Good for you Thomas J. Cummins — I agree whole heartily in what you wrote.

It is imperative, that bad grammar should stand corrected. Others will learn by the good grammar in the ENGLISH language. I have come across blogs that does not make sense and some, the spellings are notorious. Also others will learn by the good grammar because it will teach those that are just starting out in the english language.

love and peace to all

Comment provided December 6, 2007 at 6:48 PM


Dale Shields writes:

It would appear to me that since this is a marketing site that differing opinions would be welcomed. Many of the posted articles are geared to sell you something. A good many of those are benign in nature. But some could have dire consequences if used. Alot of the articles in the health category can if used have substantial health consequences. Comments related to such consequences should be allowed. But because you deem them Negative, none are posted.

Also it would appear that in not posting this type of negative comment, you are endorsing a hazardous product. Is that not bad for business also.

Comment provided December 6, 2007 at 9:46 PM


Chris Hunter writes:


Negative comments should be allowed as long as the commentor isn’t verbally abusing the writer. By verbal abuse, I mean name calling, making derogatory remarks about the author or his/her family, or insulting the intelligence of the author.

A negative comment can be informative just as a well written article can be informative. There can be two sides just about any viewpoint and, ultimately, I feel the reader should be free to make an informed choice concerning the information presented.

Not to mention that a well-thought, intelligently-presented negative comment can also inspire the author to write better articles by knowing that he/she is now accountable for his/her words, so they better know what they are talking about instead of just churning out recycled content onto the internet.

But that’s just my $.02. Add another $1.47 and you can get a coffee from McDonald’s with it.


Comment provided December 7, 2007 at 12:00 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

Regarding the comments, this is pretty good, I think that it all makes sense. I often read articles by authors here. About ten per day or so.

Sometimes I get hooked on a superb author and read all their articles sometimes that takes quite a while. I will often rate them, if good or great, if not I generally stop reading them and click out. If someone is really good and on the money, I leave a comment. It is easy to make a few mistakes when typing into a little box.

Some comment sections on news sites, show you what you posted for approval and give you a chance to read what you wrote and accept or not. It is amazing the things you might catch if you do this, this would eliminate much of the bad grammar or bad spelling errors. But in the end, it is a real person who is less than perfect. So, just comment. – Lance

Comment provided December 7, 2007 at 3:26 AM


Bernie Mac writes:

I think negative comments should be moderated. Some times that kind of criticism is helpful. Mean spirited, abusive comments should definitely be removed. Incoherent comments should be excised. Comments with poor grammar and spelling mistakes, if what is being communicated can be comprehended and salvaged, such remarks should be edited for clarity.

I believe comments should always be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Comment provided December 7, 2007 at 9:04 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

Bernie, I totally agree and yet the editing of posts is a tough call. Fixing minor things can be done while reading them, but if they are too far gone…delete.

Comment provided December 7, 2007 at 7:39 PM


Beckie writes:

I completely disagree with not posting any negative comments. I guess to me you are saying the validity and information posted in an article needs not have any validity or research to back it up in order to stand unchallenged. I recently submitted a “negative” comment that actually stated REAL stats on an issue & pointed out numerous areas where the author was not only inaccurate but dead wrong – and I know so because the author was posting about a health issue I PERSONALLY have dealt with & researched. I offered your staff the opportunity if desired to have me provide links & data to show how inaccurate the article was – but instead I got an email directing me here & my comment was never posted. This was my first experience with this website & I have to say it leaves an incredibly bad taste in my mouth. Why should I even bother to read further if the first article I read had glaring errors regarding a health issue & all it was trying to do was sell a product & when I pointed out those errors I was considered “negative”? I was rude – I was merely trying to point out where the author was inaccurate & to save others from believing things that simply are not true. I will continue to check over the next couple of weeks to see if there is anything addressed with this article & if not – I not only won’t be back. I will also not ever recommend anyone visit this site for anything. Why would I? Heaven knows whether anything you read has any merit at all if any negative feedback is deleted at the discretion of the author. I realize you cannot research every single article for accuracy – but when someone provides you with evidence that an article is misleading – there should be some accountability for fact checking “information” that you are sharing with potentially millions on the web.

I am hoping I am misunderstanding what you call “negative” when in fact that you mean you delete things that are rude or mean spirited & not simply all items that disagree with the author…. To me it would make no sense that you could expect any standard of writing whatsoever if there were literally no checks & balances involved.

Comment provided December 8, 2007 at 12:26 AM


Beckie writes:

I need to apologize for an error in my previous post. I thought I had read it thoroughly before posting – but I misspoke in one sentence where I said “I was rude – I was merely trying to point out where the author was inaccurate…” I of course meant to write that I was NOT rude. Sorry for the error in typing.

Thank you – Beckie

Comment provided December 8, 2007 at 12:30 AM




I hear you… and in fact, I researched the article you left comments on and have decided to remove the article.

This is a complex issue that I’m sure seems painfully simple … It’s one that will get addressed in 2008 for sure.

Comment provided December 9, 2007 at 9:43 AM


Dale Shields writes:

Beckie, I would personally like to thank you for your thoughtful comment. Much of the content found on EzineArticles can be very informative. But much is simply just a pure marketing ploy. Many of the articles are simply glorified ads. There is no research or thought behind them. Especially in the health category. That is a major cause of concern with me.

As someone who works in the health care field, I am appalled by some of the vast statements and guarantees of products people are pushing. I’m all for Internet marketing. But not when it supports frauds or scams that just dupe people out of their money . Worse still, it endangers their lives.

If an affiliate marketer wants to write an article in support of whatever product or site he is pushing, they should research the product first.

I also fault those here for supporting it.

Comment provided December 9, 2007 at 10:09 PM


Ron Day writes:

Beckie is absolutely right. I also wrote a rebuff of an article that was ‘just plain wrong’ in the lifestyle section. It seems the ‘experts’ who post articles cannot be challenged on the grounds that they give wrong, biased or misleading information.
I had no knowledge of this site until one of the authors contacted me to begin a discussion. He pointed me to the site and told me to read his ‘convincing’ articles. I found the articles factually inacurate and condemning of the mainstream Christian church (but it seems the editors WILL allow that kind of negativity).
I will follow Beckie’s actions on this site – you’ll lose me as a reader too!

Comment provided December 10, 2007 at 3:40 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

Interesting point and yet when it comes to the mainstream church, one might make a comment that everyone loses in that regard. After all isn’t that why some of set sail to come here in the first place? Sail away, sail away, sail away.

Comment provided December 10, 2007 at 7:17 AM


Ron Day writes:

Lance, you’re losing the focus of the debate. I don’t mind what people write… free speech and all that… but I think it’s unfair of the ezine to block ‘negative comments’ especially concerning the accuracy of the so called ‘experts’. You’re jumping on an example, not adding to the debate.

Comment provided December 10, 2007 at 4:34 PM


Thomas J. Cummins writes:

My oh my open the floodgates and a wash of witch hunts will flow in abundance and with dogmas attached to boot.

There is a saying that says ‘doctors differ and patients die’

It seems that those who are so opinionated about their own testimony are not open to the voices of others and dictate that the information is misleading and false and then have the audacity to release dogmatic dictatorials of do this or we will do that scenario which is positively tripe and EzineArticles should not play into their little game.

For every arguement there will always be another one contrary to the first and so on it will go until eternity.

So to the affected sensitive and obviously unenlightened few I say go play with your tiddleywinks and when you are ready to read do as Socrates would have you do and that is open your mind, educate yourself on the battle of the debate and click on the direct link to the offending author and chat it out as an adult and not as a wimp expecting others to act as your defendor of what?

I tell you but the world has fallen on wimpiness and I pray that it will regain stature where we each fight our own battles as in days gone by and let those who have a job to do be allowed to complete their job without having to play judge, jury, policemen and prison gurards all under one uniform.

Long live freedom of speech even if it wrong. That is a double edged reasoning. Figure it out if you can.

Comment provided December 10, 2007 at 6:20 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Indeed, well stated and such is the sound and fury of mankind in a never ending revolving spherical pattern and yet in all this chaos and controversy about the same, are we promoting its continuation for the sake of truth or merely to increase the further rhetorical discourse to no avail.

In true Internet traffic spirit one might add that more debate will add additional interest and well that’s the ringer, and I defer now to the great Jerry Springer.

Good day fine Sir.

Comment provided December 10, 2007 at 6:59 PM


Russell Webb writes:

If I’m not mistaken there is a group working on an open source project called the ‘stupid filter’ which catches slang phrases and poor grammar before any comment can be placed – perfect for this particular issue.

In there own words “Because the internet needs prophylactics for mimetically transmitted diseases.”



Comment provided December 18, 2007 at 3:41 PM


Bobbi Linkemer writes:

Hi Chris,

Since I am a contributor to EzineArticles.com, your reasons for rejecting comments are important to me. As a writer and editor, the “bad grammar” reason got my attention. Substance is important, but I think delivery counts almost as much. I go over everything I write to be sure it is as clear and coherent as possible, especially my comments on other people’s work. I don’t think it’s too much to ask of people to put a little time and effort into what they commit to writing, wherever it is published.

Comment provided December 18, 2007 at 9:08 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Dear Everybody,

I would like to say that I have never had he EzineArticles Team, toss out one of my comments, I leave probably on average 1 to 2 per day. I read probably 15 articles a day, I am signed up for about 50 or more “Topic Alerts” and each day pick thru those articles, which “pop off the email screen” for me.

Indeed, I have never dissallowed a comment either and am sure a couple of comments may have been rejected, one that I learned about later from an irrate nut-case, who emailed me, I can only imagine the comment he tried to post based on that incoherent and borderline out of control email.

So, I would just like to point out that whatever EzineArticles is doing it certainly works for me. I have a lot of comments obviously due to volume. For the first 1.5 years, I did not take comments, now they flow in, I think it is all-good. I just want to say, no matter how you feel about all this, it is working. So, even if you disagree with the parameters listed, it works. Okay, that’s all I wished to say.

Comment provided December 19, 2007 at 9:19 AM


Debbi Secaur writes:

I have also come across a submitter to EzineArticles that had bad grammar, poor sentence structure, and just plain wrong “facts” in their article. I left a “negative” comment not just for the writer but also for the staff of EzineArticles, which I can only assume was discarded as “negative” and went no where. The person still publishes articles with bad grammar, poor sentence structure, and incorrect facts.

Will I submit another comment about this writer? No, because my comment will be discarded as “negative”.

I think this practice of discarding all “negative” comments should be reviewed. Yes, if someone is posting a “negative” comment that is just plain mean and nasty, discard it. If someone is posting a “negative” comment that points out problems with the article (grammar errors, sentence structure, incorrect facts, and so on) then that comment must be reviewed, the article should be reviewed, and the comment passed on to the author of the article.

Not only to I submit articles here for others to publish, I have also published a few articles from here in my newsletters and on my website. However, I do this very rarely due to so many articles containing poor grammar, poor sentence structure, and spelling errors. Maybe if the “negative” comments were taken a little more seriously instead of being tossed, there would be fewer articles with such errors in them.

Comment provided December 19, 2007 at 12:40 PM


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