Comment spam policy update for Bing blogs & forums

The Bing blogs and forums team are grateful for the growing participation and readership of our user community. We’ve worked hard over the past year to provide compelling content that will help our users get the most out of the Bing experience. We sincerely hope that our readers and participants continue to find value in the content we produce!

The reader comments left in the Bing blogs and forums have always been governed by our published Code of Conduct policies. Over the past year, we have implemented additional, clarifying policies to help minimize the incidence of irrelevant comment spam in the Bing blog and forums without affecting the ability of our community to contribute to the ongoing conversations. While those policy updates have helped reduce the amount of spam from past levels, we’ve received enough feedback and requests to persuade us that we need to do a bit more. We want to take this opportunity to reiterate our existing policies on comment spam and introduce some policy updates that we hope will further improve the experience and value our community derives from perusing the user comments we receive.

Starting on May 24th, 2010, the Bing community blogs and forums will observe the following policies on comments:

  • All users must adhere to the published policies in the Bing Community Code of Conduct.
  • Anonymous visitors are not allowed to post comments.
  • Empty or blank comments will be deleted.
  • Duplicate comments within the same blog or forum thread will be deleted.
  • Comments that are blatant sales pitches or contain offensive language will be deleted.
  • Off-topic comments that do not advance the conversation may be deleted at the discretion of the moderator.
  • Comments that include backlinks unrelated to the thread of the conversation may be edited to remove the backlinks or may be deleted at the discretion of the moderator.
  • All backlinks left in comments (including signatures) will be configured with the <a> tag attribute rel=”nofollow”, meaning that even if the backlink is retained in the post, there is no search engine backlink value attributed to the linked page from the Bing community. The function of the <a> tag’s rel=”nofollow” attribute applies to all search engines that crawl the Bing community blogs and forums, not just the Bing crawler.
  • Users who egregiously fail to observe these policies may be disallowed from posting further comments.

Our goal is to improve the value of the community by improving the value of the content it contains. We look to minimize the disruption that comment spam introduces into the community. We want to encourage everyone to participate in the Bing community! The things we do not want (and neither do our readers) are unwanted sales pitches, off-topic comments, inappropriate language, or irrelevant backlinks that cloud the environment for this growing community of users.

Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to reading even more of your comments in the Bing community!

— Rick DeJarnette, Bing Webmaster Center

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Editor’s note: Wezley, one of the commentors below, asked for some clarifications that I wanted to capture here. Since the big problem with comment spam is with gratuitous and irrelevant backlinks (especially in signatures), follow Wezley’s lead by putting your backlinks in your Bing community profile page and leaving them out of your comments. Since your Bing community name is linked to your community profile, any visitor to the blog can visit your profile to find and follow your backlinks (where rel=”nofollow” is not used, unlike here in the blog comments). It’s a win-win idea for everyone! Thanks, Wezley! –Rick

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