by Meridith Levinson

What Kinds of Comments Belong on

Sep 06, 20072 mins

Would you remove questionable comments from the site? Should we?

I write about a lot of IT executives on Movers & Shakers. Sometimes, a CIO named in one of my posts will generate heated comments from readers. When my colleagues and I find these comments, we’re not sure whether we should remove them or leave them up. Legal precedents set in this area have conflicted.

We do have a terms of use policy on that basically says, among other things, that users can’t post any material that is “defamatory, libelous, obscene, indecent, abusive, threatening to others, or in violation of any law.” It also states that has the right to “modify or remove any messages or postings that it deems…abusive, defamatory…or otherwise inappropriate for the Service.” But I want to ask you what kinds of comments belong on Is it okay to leave sarcastic remarks about a CIO’s fashion sense? His or her personal hygiene? What about the CIO’s love life, particularly where it involves a co-worker? What should do when someone is attacked for their character or personal actions as opposed to their actions as an IT professional?

We may not change our policies based on this discussion because we are beholden to whatever legal precedent is set, but we do want your feedback. Where would you draw the line on comments if you had control over this site? How do other sites handle this issue? What do you think is appropriate for

–Meridith Levinson