How To Manage Negative Comments on your Blog

I need your advice. Someone has left a fairly negative comment on my blog. What should I do? Approve or Delete?

The reason I ask is this.

I want people to give their opinion and, even if it offends me in some ways—let’s say they made some sarcastic remarks or found a typo—I’d still approve it.

Feedback can be a great learning opportunity.

But, where do you draw the line?

Avoid Flame wars

If I publish the comments, it may (i.e. will) offend those mentioned in the comments.

They may then respond in kind and the whole thing ends in a nasty squabble.

Legal eagles

There is also the possibility that someone may feel wounded by these remarks and take legal action. I don’t want this. Especially as the comments are not even mine.

Ignore the comments & the person

I can delete the comment but this undermines (to a certain extent) my wishes for the site, i.e. to be an exchange of opinions.

Give them attention & email them

I could do this bit feels like a ‘halfway house.’

I may also provoke the person in stronger (more unpleasant) remarks.

They may also start ‘flaming’ on other sites.

Where do you draw the line?

What approach do you take when you get these comments?