How to Allow Users to Report Inappropriate Comments in WordPress

Running a blog website or a social media page is a fantastic opportunity to build a successful online business. First, you get to chance to make some money. Second, you get to communicate with people all around the world. Finally, you share your thoughts and experiences and get feedback from the readers. There is no better feeling than running a blog with many followers. However, every once in a while, you must witness inappropriate comments. Online bullies, trolls and spammers, and a selected group of social justice warriors will often get easily offended by what’s said online. As a result, they respond in a rude manner, to put it lightly. This kind of behavior will affect the popularity of your website. Slowly but surely, it will drive away your faithful followers. That’s why you should take every comment seriously, and deal with it quickly and with style. One of the best solutions is to allow users to report inappropriate comments in WordPress.

Why should you allow users to report inappropriate comments in WordPress?

Have in mind that allowing users to report inappropriate comments in WordPress might turn out to be a double-edged sword. Even though most people will use it to report rude comments and harassment, there are those who will use the option just to spam the website, and even report normal comments. Nevertheless, there are more advantages than disadvantages to this option.

First of all, you cannot track the entire website on your own. Having just a few articles is not so bad. However, as your website grows, it becomes harder and harder to browse through each and every comment. That’s why major bloggers have teams of people working with them. By allowing users to become “moderators” of your comments section, you are getting valuable help. Furthermore, you can allocate your time to other sections of the website.

A silhouette of a person talking to another person.
Inappropriate comments can quickly drive away your readers.

Even though this truly is the most productive way to save time, there is an even better reason why you should include your users in this process. By giving them a chance to report inappropriate comments, you are making them active participants of your website, and you are putting control in their hands. If they are a part of the community where they can make choices and protect themselves from rude people on the internet, your users will feel grateful and satisfied.

Finally, you will keep your website clean, so it remains attractive to new users. If a new user comes to your website for the first time and sees a bunch of inappropriate comments, they will not stay for too long.

What are your options?

There are three main ways in which you can allow users to report inappropriate comments in WordPress:

Hiring a programmer

Having a professional build you an app or add a feature to a WordPress website is always the best option. You get a unique solution just for you. However, it is also the most expensive option. For that reason, I always suggest installing a free or paid WP plugin to get the desired functionality.

A screenshot of the comments section on the WordPress website.
Dealing with inappropriate comments can be done in a couple of different ways.

Install a WP plugin

Looking for a useful WP plugin for comments can be a tedious process. There are many plugins on the market, but not all functions without bugs. One that I can recommend is the Zeno Report Comments plugin, by Marcel Pol. After activating the plugin, simply go to the Settings -> Discussion section. That’s where you need to check two boxes:

  • “Allow comment flagging”
  • “Allow your visitors to flag a comment as inappropriate”

After clicking Save, you will get a couple of new options. First of all, pay attention to the “Flagging threshold” section. This is a very useful option that lets you set how many times a comment must be flagged as inappropriate so it is sent for review. This way you can stop spammers from flagging valid comments.

To set e-mail notifications when a comment is flagged, visit the “Administrator notifications” section. After you are done setting up the plugin, click Save again, and you are ready to go!

Why should I use WordPress experts if I can set up a plugin in a few minutes?

This is a completely valid question. Nevertheless, there are multiple advantages to using WP expert services. Besides taking care of inappropriate comments, they can help you in managing the entire security section of your website. For example, blocking bots, setting up protection against hackers, and managing the entire structure of your website. This includes backups, new layouts, and anything else you can imagine.

Sad, neutral, and smiley face, representing different stages of customer feedback.
By protecting your website and dealing with inappropriate comments on time, you are improving customer satisfaction.

Sure, a WP plugin is free and quick to install. However, it has limited options. If you pay money to keep your WP website safe, you are investing in its future and longevity.

A few words of advice for the end

Besides setting up an option to allow users to report inappropriate comments in WordPress, here are a few useful advice. First of all, always check your comments on a regular basis. This should be done at least every two days. Not only that helps to quickly discover bad comments, but you also read the good ones. That’s when you have to reply to your users and keep them active and interested. Next, do not postpone dealing with inappropriate comments. As soon as you notice one, fix it the way you see fit. Most important of all, try to notify your users when an inappropriate comment has been taken care of. This is a fantastic way to show them that their voices count on your website! And that’s how you deal with spammers!

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