Dealing with Annoying Subscribers

email subscriberss links We all blog for validation and that means we want subscribers.  The vast majority of subscribers will be great people you want to have following you but there may be exceptions.  The exceptions could someone you are connected to like an ex-partner, a relative or a business associate, or they could be an internet troll you have never met.

Knowing how to deal with a deluge of annoying or negative comments from off-beat subscribers and commenters comes with the territory of being a blogger.   They cannot trigger your emotions, unless you allow them to do so.   You can handle online attacks effectively. If you must respond,  then wait and do so calmly, without losing your cool.

Subscribing to WordPress.com blogs RSS Feeds

rss feed iconAll WordPress blogs have RSS Feeds built-in and we cannot stop anyone from subscribing to those RSS Feeds in a feed reader on any blog set to “public” visibility, nor can we remove anyone once they have subscribed.  Unless you change the Site Visibility options (Privacy Settings), the same goes for subscribing to comments, category feeds and tag feeds.

This is the RSS Feed URL for posts (entries): http://NAME_OF_BLOG.wordpress.com/feed/
This is the RSS Feed URL for blog comments:

http://NAME_OF_BLOG.wordpress.com/comments/feed/

This is RSS Feed URL for a category:

http://NAME_OF_BLOG.wordpress.com/category/categoryname/feed/

This is RSS Feed URL for a tag:

http://NAME_OF_BLOG.wordpress.com/tag/tagname/feed/

Subscribing to WordPress.com blogs by email

email symbol1.   Blog Subscriptions -  If you enable blog subscriptions by email there is no way to block any subscribers, other than changing your blog’s visibility to “private”.  When it comes to private blogs the weak links are your users. If a single one of them links to your blog or to any of your posts or pages anywhere on the internet, the URLs will be indexed by search engines and your privacy will no longer exist.

Note:  You can use Blog Surfer to keep up with contacts who have blogs here on WordPress.com, particularly those with private blogs that you can’t subscribe to via RSS.

lock2.    Comment Moderation – If you have a subscriber you do not wish to post any comments from then you can  set up comment moderation up on this page > Settings > Discussion. Then you can screen comments and mark them as “trash” or “spam”,  if indeed they are spam.
Reference links: Freedom of speech; Abuse ;Complaints

3.    Comment Blacklist  – Also note on that same page > Settings > Discussion you have the ability to comment blacklist. This will send all comments from that individual directly into your spam queue.

When a comment contains any of these words in its content, name, URL, e-mail, or IP, it will be marked as spam. One word or IP per line. It will match inside words, so “press” will match “WordPress”.

As ISPs are placing hundreds of users in the same IP block one can end up sending hundreds of potential readers to your blog’s spam queue rather than just one.  Also note that many have dynamic (ever-changing) IPs,  and anyone who is determined to can get a new IP and/or email address and /or user identity very easily.

4.    No IP blockingWordPress.com will not block IP addresses for you.

Discussion

Have you had to deal with any annoying subscribers on your blog?

Related posts found in this blog:
Why blog comment moderation is a good thing
F-Bomb Free Blogging
Blogging: Comment Baiting
WordPress.com Comments and Discussion Settings
A comment policy for your blog

24 thoughts on “Dealing with Annoying Subscribers

  1. Hi! I have just discovered this website and I am really thankful for the tips on blogging.
    I have a certain concern related to “unwanted subscribers”.
    I am quite new to blogging – in fact I have only just created my blog (yesterday night!) and the curious thing is that I already have subscribers . I have barely had the time to write anything. It seemed to me as though the moment a new blog appears, someone detects it and subscribes without even checking the contents. Is it possible? Is that blog spamers ?
    Thank you!

    • Yes, it’s possible. In fact sploggers ie. content thieves steal content within secods of its publication by subscribing to RSS Feeds and they are abundant. That’s why I have set my RSS Feeds fo “summary” on this page > Settings > Reading.

      Syndication feeds show the most recent __ items
      For each article in a feed, show
      __Full text
      __Summary

    • Thanks for the positive feedback. I hope you never have an occasion to comment blacklist anyone but if the occasion does arise you will know this is available to you.

  2. So far I’ve not experienced much in the way of unpleasant commenters in my blogs, certainly not on WordPress. but then I moderate all comments. My first ever blog online, though, did get the attentions of one who was persistent and so annoying that I reported him to his ISP. They responded but didn’t do anything about him. Eventually that and some unwanted visitors via google made me delete my blog and start again on another host that had better security.

    Sorry you had to go through any of this stuff, TiTi.

  3. I have experienced a particularly annoying and disconcerting commenter, who comments anonymously. He’s (assuming it’s a he) been off my blog since I fed his IP address to block address. But who know?

    This is an interesting post, and I hope there’ll be a way soon to keep off these mischief-makers.

    I like your Gravatar, too, timethief.

    • Hello there,
      I’m sorry to hear you are being harssased. Do be aware of the fact that the most persistent of these people can get another IP as well as another mail address quite easily so continue to moderate comments and be watchful.

      P.S. Thanks for your nice comment about my avatar. assed:)

  4. Only once, and that was before I switched over to WordPress for my blogging. The guy was some batshit wingnut who claimed I stole his Google Rank, which is of course impossible.

    • Hi there,
      It’s been a long time since you commented here. My blog has also attracted two wingnuts who have submitted outrageous and off-beat comments. They were all fed to the spam filter as that’s were garbage belongs ie. in the jaws of Akismet.

  5. Thank you so much TT for this valuable reminder! So far, my quiet little blog has been a happy little place without any fuss or bother from insolence and disturbance. I so hope to keep it that way. However, in the event such troubled people do wander into my village of peace, I now feel well equipped to be able to deal with them! I hope . . .

    • Hi Patti,
      It’s always good to hear from you. You are talented writer who has a way with words and I hope your blog never attracts a problem person. Setting up comment moderation especially for first time commenters is a valuable tool. Hopefully, you will never need to do more than that.

  6. Turning all comments off works. Pretty radical but comments can be an overwhelming business operation of itself. Anyway I use the comment moderation list which I have fine tuned on my WordPress sites to also prevent hacker and bot spam Have never had a problem.

    I’ve never had to ban someone either which is a bonus.

    • I don’t have comments on my tumblr blog. It’s strictly for my own pleasure and I haven’t had time to contribute anything to it for months. As for my WordPress blogs I have them on full moderation. I hope you never experience an annoying commenter /subscriber.

    • Yes we can send the comments from any persistent person who violates our commenting policy to the spam queue. Thereafter all comments that person submits go directly into it. The downside though is the one I mentioned in the posts about ISPs saving money by putting hundreds of users in the same IP block. That means when we scan the spam queque we must be watchful.

  7. I’d never thought there might be a comment blacklist or a commenter blacklist that could be activated, so thank you for this.

    I have never had anyone or any word I have needed to blacklist, but it is good to know how that it can be done and how to do it.

    I always moderate comments, however, because it only take one spam comment to be published to open the gates to hundreds.

    • Hi David,
      I have used the comment blacklist to list two trolls who kept submitting personal attack comments that weren’t at all focused on the subject matter in my posts. If they had been focused on the subject matter and simply had a different POV to share I would have approved and posted their comments but they weren’t. There are troubled people in this world and some are online SHRUG
      I hope you are enjoying your summer. We keep waiting for ours to arrive while others are sweltering in the heat.

      • Hi TT,
        We are having very changeable weather and it’s been raining and quite cold today. That’s England for you ;-)

        Except there was one lovely five minutes when the sun was streaming golden light across the city as it grew towards dusk today.

        • It sounds like your weather is similar to ours ie. changeable and disappointing. My motto is enjoy the sunshine when and where you can.

  8. Not yet. I am relatively new to blogging. Not so popular now. Maybe in future I will have a lot of subscribers and some of them may turn out to be annoying. Then I will surely remember this post :)

    • Hello there,
      I hope you enever need to use the comment blacklist. It’s good to know you have bookmarked it in case the need to use it does arise.

  9. All of my commentors and subscribers have been quite gracious and have caused no trouble. I suppose as my site is so small, I don’t have that probability of spammers or unwanted comments. Very nice article, as always. :)

    • This post was prompted by those who have asked me what to do about annoying subscribers that they cannot delete. I hope you never experience harassment online and never have to recall this information and comment blacklist another blogger. I never expected to but I did and so did those who contacted me. Thanks for reading and commenting too.

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