You see, with AdSense, everything on your site matters. Whether it's your written contents, or images and videos, or even the comments your visitors leave. Visitor comments are considered "user generated content" and as publishers, we are responsible for contents generated by users of our sites.
What that means is that as a publisher, if you are using AdSense on your site, then you need to monitor and review all comments that are posted on your articles. Because even those comments can get ad serving disabled on your site.
Comments that contain a lot of profanity, or provide links to prohibited or illegal contents are just as much a policy violation on your site, as that content would be if you posted it yourself. You need to set your comment system up so that you can review and approve comments before they appear on your blog or site, no matter what type of comment system you are using. For Adsense publishers, there isn't really an option - if you allow comments to be posted directly to your site without your review, you are opening yourself up to several kinds of abuse (spam comments is only one issue), and you are placing undue risk on your AdSense account.
The type of comments I refuse to publish on my articles are:
- obvious spam
- comments containing links to spammy websites
- comments with profanity
- comments where it's clear the person hasn't read the article
- bot comments (also considered spam)
- comments containing affiliate links
- comments containing hate speech
- comments containing potentially libelous statements
And it's that last bullet point that I consider to be one of the more difficult ones to decide on. At least, it probably is for a lot of ordinary publishers.
You see, a libelous statement can be one where false allegations are made, and if you don't know whether an accusation is false or not, you may not even know if the statement is libelous or not. I refuse to publish comments that might contain libel, such as the one I deleted:
AdWords ads may send traffic if an advertiser has purchased ads, and if that's what this person was referring to, then AdWords actually has recourse for the Advertiser to have their funds return to them. I don't deal with AdWords in this blog, so I won't address that except to say that advertisers can request investigations directly from an AdWords rep - they have direct contact with AdWords staff.
So for those of you who do not moderate your comments, you just might want to begin doing so, and go back and review some of the previously published comments on your site.
Who wants to lose their account for comments someone else has made? I dunno about you folks, but I sure don't.
posted by J. Gracey Stinson