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Comments, and when/how to moderate

Some of you may have been reporting on Black Lives Matter protest recently. While this is not a new problem for us, our reporting on yesterday's protest in Lichfield has invited many comments, some of which are less savoury than others. So I have some questions for you all about how you manage comments...

Do you have a commenting policy?

Do you have a policy for comments on social media, as well as your website?

Do you pre- or post-moderate and why?

What technical solutions, if any, do you use to help with managing comments?

I stopped running reader comments a long time, they stopped adding things to the story or people would just have a pop, my heart used to sink every time I had a notification of one. 

I find the social media stuff very difficult; I tend to avoid publishing "sensitive" stories to Facebook full stop, and often "hide" irrelevant comments from people who are only engaging with the headline than the story. 

We had a court case earlier this year involving a councillor of Nigerian origin who was caught owning property while living in a council house (I broke the story). During the case I took a proactive stance and just did a Twitter search each night for anyone who mentioned her and made racist comments, and blocked them. It's not going to stop them being racist, but I wasn't going to have my reporting used by them. (They had Guido and the Mail to use anyway...)

Obviously this is more difficult with the wider BLM stuff.

None of this makes business sense, it limits reach (though not so much on FB as interaction is so poor) but it helped my sanity, which I prize above all else.

Centre for Community Journalism