Comments Will Be Closed After Two Weeks

One thing I've noticed over the years is that most comments on posts over a couple weeks old tend to be comment spam. Disqus makes it very easy to delete comment spam (you just reply to the email with the word delete), but even so it's a bit of work to keep old threads clean of spam.

So I've decided to close comments after a post is two weeks old. I hope everyone is ok with that. Please let me know in the comments if you think that's a problem.

If you have a disqus powered comment system and want to do the same thing, you can go into the settings page and select a time period for "automatic closing". 


Comments (Archived):

  1. Glenn Gutierrez

    I think that makes sense. The oldest post I’ve ever commented on was probably 2-3 weeks old on AVC from the time I read it. But commenting on it that late is rare. The only time I post comments on other blogs beyond 2 weeks time from its publication is when I find an article via google search for a topic I’m interested in and only if there’s someone worth replying to in the early part of the comment thread.

  2. Phil Plante

    My only concern with this is that someone may miss out on an opportunity to advertise their new blog. Otherwise I think its perfectly fine.

    1. fredwilson


  3. sass

    Makes sense from the spam point of view. On my blog I have a two year old post called “Facebook Is Viral Viagra” that to this day gets regular “erectile dysfunction” spam… lol. My only suggestion to you would be to consider the individual post topic rather than have a hard and fast two week rule. Some of your posts, by nature of their subject, may be inclined to have a longer lifespan for the conversation… Just a thought…

    1. fredwilson

      that’s harder to automate but one idea (that disqus doesn’t offer at thistime) would be to close it after a week or more of less than three commentsper day

      1. sass

        That would be a good feature. To take it a step further, when the comments are auto-closed, Disqus could insert a message: “Comments on this post are now closed. To leave a message for the author please click here: <link to=”” feedback=”” form=””>” And just forward the form to email… Spammers and bots can’t benefit, but someone with a legit thought to add can still get it to you…


    The intent doesn’t bother me, but I have to confess that I have encountered situations where I have wanted to comment on posts that have been closed in the past. It happens particularly when a post or person gains some sort of new relevance – perhaps the subject is hot again, or the blogger has been linked to by a notable peer. It would be nice to meet this halfway somehow. What troubles me is that this feature’s sole goal is to fight spam. I venture that you wouldn’t object to non-spam comments, even if they trickled in six months later? It seems to me that as Disqus auto-closes the post to comments, Disqus needs a way of auto-opening it back up to comments as well – or at least allow you to reset the timer due to a wave of new activity.

    1. fredwilson

      i wrote a post on this blog a long time ago about the lone star cafe in 2004…<http:“” a_vc=”” 2004=”” 11=”” the_lone_star_c.html=””>i still get a fewcomments about great shows people saw therei wrote a post about my high school in 2005…<http:“” a_vc=”” 2005=”” 12=”” james_i_oneill_.html=””>i got comments on thatfor several yearspeople would search for the place on google, find my post, and leave acommentso i agree with you, there are some posts that should remain open forever

      1. daytulu

        I agree with NICCAI. Recently I commented on Albert’s blog. Some time later I bumped into some information that slightly changed my view on that subject and I thought he and his readers would benefit from reading it. I went back and posted the link (of course, he had already seen it). I guess my point is you will lose the chance of knowledge aggregation and prolonged discussion on that subject. I am not sure how important for you to keep the discussion going. When I read your post, I thought the decision should depend on the community’s participation level on the subject. Then read the comments and saw your idea of closing the comments if the activity is low. I really like that idea. Personally, I would like to be able to comment after two weeks.

  5. Marko Saric

    I think it is a good idea, have been thinking of doing the same on my blog. Just wanted to let you know that even without using Disqus, WordPress now allows you to close comments on posts. Go into Settings then Discussions and select “Automatically close comments on articles older than X days”.

  6. daryn

    Every now and then I come across something that reminds me of updating an old thread, but the value of that is most likely overshadowed by the benefit you’d get in doing this. I say go for it.Maybe you need an AVC “wall” too?

    1. fredwilson

      it’s not an easy call to be honestbut i have so much comment spam on my old typepad posts that i can neverclean up without a huge amount of work that i am not going to doso i really want to keep my disqus threads clean

      1. ShanaC

        I wanted to tell you that once…but I didn’t have a polite way of saying so…

    2. kidmercury

      def needs a wall and all the other standard soc net stuff

  7. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

    I remember a couple times when I went back to an old post and wanted to add something, so ideally I’d prefer if you didn’t do that, but I understand that it’s a hassle and wouldn’t mind if you did.

  8. aanwar

    I think its fair if you disable comments after a post is 2 weeks old. If someone wants to perhaps contribute to a post or has a question for a post 2+ weeks old they can send you an email.

  9. billc124

    I guess for the most part it is OK, can you do it on a post by post basis? I subscribed to comments on another blog for one specific post about referral sharing for banking sites, etc… I still get emails from new comments over a year later and none have been spam so far. I tend to stumble upon things I want to talk about a little late sometimes, to be able to comment on it and reinvigorate that discussion is nice sometimes. But, hey, it’s your blog, you can do what you want, that is the beauty of having your own blog.

  10. Ryan Brohman

    What about closing 2 week old threads for Guest posts only? I’d think that requiring users to sign in would eliminate the spam while still allowing legitimate continuation of threads.

    1. DGentry

      The comment spam I’ve seen has come from registered accounts. Presumably botmakers have figured out how to get past the Disqus anti-bot countermeasures.

      1. Scott

        I imagine Disqus is already on top of this, but what if they required a CAPTCHA for a registered / verified user’s first 10 comments. Or 5 comments. Or some further barriers to entry that made it harder and harder for bots to get registered / post comments but not enough of a pain to prevent real commenters from posting comments. I’ve got to imagine that SPAM can be controlled to a certain extent so that bloggers don’t have to close comments on posts.

        1. ShanaC

          This is an excellent idea, but even then, if you look around, people are trying to break through that.

        2. kidmercury

          yes. spam and user permission settings are closely related. people like myself and you who have commented here in the past should be granted greater freedom than some random bozo with no street cred.

          1. fredwilson

            Totally. That’s how spam filters work. Mail ip addresses get reputation over time for good behavior

      2. obscurelyfamous

        Our anti-spam has gotten much, much better recently. The issue hasn’t been with bots, but it has been with people creating accounts, verifying them, and continuing to spam SEO-type messages.They’re real people and they’re manually posting this comments. Sometimes they even read the post and respond legitimately, only to sign it off with a link to a spammy website. It’s weird and a very sad.We are trying to curb this without making the barrier higher for real, actual people to engage in communities, and that’s the tricky part.

  11. TwitsNation

    Perhaps there could be some kind of “trusted contributors” list function where you can decide who is able to post comments after a 2 weeks period?

  12. DGentry

    I understand the reasoning and do not have an alternative to offer, but as other commenters have noted its frustrating being on the other end of a decision. On several occasions I’ve found something interesting via search engines and wanted to leave a comment, only to find the author considers the post old news and has closed the comments.Closing the comments is the right thing to do, but it does make the site ever-so-slightly less discoverable.

  13. Bruce Barber

    I understand that you’re conflicted, but If moderating comments on legacy posts is interfering with your ability to create new content, your decision feels like a bit of a “no-brainer”.

  14. Derek Neighbors

    Good content is relatively timeless. Preventing comments on it in the future limits interaction. It is unfortunate that a comment system that is better at reducing spam couldn’t be used instead. Two weeks is reasonable if you feel you must shut off comments. Thirty days might be better.

  15. theslingsrwer

    Exellent idea. FYI, I notice PEhub is charging for archived info

    1. theslingster

      Archived info means articles that are more than a few doays old

  16. Ric

    No problem with the auto closing – do the same myself. Only issue is the elapsed time, but you’ll soon work out (with help from your community no doubt 🙂 ) whether two weeks is right, and it’s easy to play around with. Later comments could be posted elsewhere and brought to your attention via (eg) Twitter, as well …

  17. Lani Rosales

    I’m torn- some of my older posts pick back up again arbitrarily and dozens of comments stream in, but I find it most desirable for people to focus on the new, honestly. I think it’s fine, although I would use a plugin to have a quick sentence at the end of all of your posts or in the comment area that notes that you close comments and why and a quick contact point just in case. Like “due to the volume of comments here (or whatever valid reason you care to share), comments close after two weeks although I do value your input and invite you to comment on a recent post found by clicking here (link “here” to homepage maybe), otherwise I’m always available by email (link “email” to your contact page).” Maybe that way it makes sense to passerbys and it shows that you’re not doing it to be a jerk and you have valid reason as well as a desire to connect regardless of your new policy.

  18. Ari Herzog

    As long as you’re open to tweaking the time period for closing comments, you should be OK. I think 2 weeks is far too soon, though, unless your post content is news that is old after 2 weeks, which it isn’t. Similar to what Marko commented earlier, I recently set my wordpress panel to close comments after 180 days…then switched it to 365 days.

  19. ShanaC

    I get the conflict. Sometimes I fall behind on comments. Also you have an interesting problem here. I’ll pose the same question to you that was posed to me at my critique, rehashed: What’s the difference between a blog and a message-board? Particularly here- where there is a really strong sense of curated community? There are running injokes and ideas that are irrelevant to the posts, and the blog could be seen as much as a message board as it is a blog. You just happen to author all the threads. We all keep in touch around other things that are happening.That isn’t to say you shouldn’t close the threads. Message boards do lock threads, and they do try to keep people from resurrecting old threads for some of the same reasons you are experiencing. That being said, there are such thing as always open glued on top threads for that reason with a message board. Blogs don’t have that (I think?)I still think you should think about the question though. In terms of creation of content, both emotional and written, what is going on here? What is this medium? It might guide you through the “I hate spam but I have this community to curate” issue.This is what you get from someone who finds spam fascinating as an artistic subject….

  20. Dave Pinsen

    Whatever you want to do on your blog is fine with me, but IMO you are canceling one of the selling points of Disqus: keeping older comment threads relevant. That’s one of the reasons I’m planning on using Disqus on my new blog. I didn’t get the point of Disqus initially, but that’s one of the things I like about it.

  21. Prokofy

    Leave the old posts open. Get an intern to clean out your comment spam.I only come on here once a month or so so I would miss a lot. Actually, I bet you’re relieved to hear that.Disqus could have a way of closing comments after two weeks to *open* posts, but put them into a moderation queue after that, and then if you or the intern had time to go looking for the pearls after that, you could.

    1. Mark Essel

      I would certainly miss your counterpoints Prokofy

  22. OurielOhayon

    Yep Fred. i did that long ago on my blog but with a 4 weeks rules

  23. kidmercury

    i understand, you are a venture capitalist trying to take it to the bank, not some dude who deletes spam. but as a bona fide blog star i think the AVC community has transcended you a bit. this relates to my beef with all the big blog content management systems; they’re not structured enough for a community. i also think disqus will need to find a way to address this issue, although i wonder how well they can via how they are positioned technologically.ultimately i think moderation requires humans. what is spam vs not spam not only depends on who is leaving the comment, but also the context of the covnersation and the values of the community. all of this stuff is so abstract and subjective that i question if it can be quantified and automated with the current technical resources the majority of developers use. i’m biased, of course, but bouncers ftw.

  24. RacerRick

    That’s a good idea. I’ve noticed your spam problem too.However – using an old post comment was always a good way to get through your inbox overflow.

    1. fredwilson

      I have 600 unread right now and most is non spam

  25. cyanbane

    I think you should expand it to 30 days. People take vacations for more than 2 weeks at a time.

    1. fredwilson

      Agreed. Will do

  26. GeekMBA360

    I’m a fan of Disqus’ “Mark spam” -> “Add Commenter to blacklist” -> “Also apply to existing comments” workflow. It really helped me reduce the amount of spams on my blog. It takes a little bit of manual work, but it’s really useful.I also tend to think two weeks is short. Sometimes people might have come up with new ideas/thoughts about an old post and would like add comments.

    1. fredwilson

      Good suggestions. I just moved it to four weeks

  27. Morgan Warstler

    Fred / Daniel,What about a setting that allows those who have commented in the first two weeks to continue unabated on that thread? I think from a coding perspective it would be an easy look up, no?In my experience every once and a while, a couple users will get a discussion going that grows deeper, and has lots of value to both the site (and search engines.)

    1. fredwilson

      Great idea

    2. obscurelyfamous

      I like this idea, Morgan. Thanks.

  28. Geoff

    Its a reasonable idea – a better one IMHO is to make it a lot more difficult to post comments on older posts eg only ‘regulars’ can post comments after an allotted time. Obviously you can make yourself a regular by posting on newer posts first.

    1. fredwilson

      Yup. This is smart and I’m going to see if I can get disqus to add some features in this direction

  29. ilan peer

    what about a facebook page for the comments rants and spam ?…”HUGE SALE ON RoleX, TIFFANY & CO Jewelry, AND Louis Vuitton”

  30. JeremiahKane

    It’s a tough call. It would be cool if Disqus had a way to deputize members of the community to police spam in older threads.It’s probably a good call, my only concern it this becomes standard practice and creates a new blight on comments streams… the person who waits until the end of the two weeks to post “LAST!”

    1. obscurelyfamous

      Yeah. Fred could add you as a moderator today if he wanted to.Maybe it would be easier if the system designates certain abilities once you are an active-enough participant of the community.

  31. Dries Buytaert

    Disqus should have Mollom integration.

  32. JoeJoomla

    If you close comments you run the risk of missing out on a real gem of a comment. Some brilliant person may have just discovered your blog and you won’t have the benefit of their point of view. What if a famous person wanted to comment on your blog and couldn’t because you closed it.If I landed on a blog and the comments were closed I might not bother checking anything else from the site thinking it is old or inactive. You are giving into one of the negative aspects of the web, ‘spam’. Don’t give into it, fight it.I understand if you have hundreds or thousands of blog posts you might be spending a lot of time fighting spam. If you have that many blog posts you are probably doing really well with the blog and perhaps could afford to hire a journalism student to do this for you. That way you turn something negative into a positive.

    1. fredwilson

      I don’t want anyone else touching this blog. This is meI wouldn’t have anyone read my email, tweet for me, post for me, reply for me, or moderate comments for meAnd I do have thousands of posts.But I do appreciate your point. It bothers me too. I don’t want to close anything to be honest

      1. JoeJoomla

        I do appreciate and respect your comment “I don’t want anyone else touching this blog. This is me”. This gives a little insight into your personality.It is said that an entrepreneur has no need to be recognized, he/she just wants to be successful. A freelancer, on the other hand, needs to be recognized. Your desire to do it by yourself seems to show a tendency towards the freelancer personality.This is not a negative thing. It is just the difference between personal values; fame vs fortune. Of course some people have both fame and fortune. Widely syndicated cartoonists will have a staff that draw and create cartoons for them under their direction. The hugely prolific Tweeter Guy Kawasaki has several people Tweeting for him (see ).Closing off comments after a period of time certainly makes sense and is more manageable for someone who is doing everything on their own.

        1. fredwilson

          I can’t believe guy kawasaki has people tweeting for him. That’s ridiculous

          1. JoeJoomla

            I know! I was so surprised when I found out. I guess it just shows the difference in how people think and their approach to things. It never occurred to me to do that. I still don’t have other people who Tweet for me but I’m not as popular as Guy either. 🙂

  33. software_critics

    It would be a little bit of additional work to do for dofollow blogs.

  34. Greg Cohn

    +1 on this being a good idea, but i also think you should move to some kind of moderation other than purely closed after the initial period (eg captcha + reputation).

    1. fredwilson

      I thought about that but that means the comment doesn’t get auto posted

  35. ShanaC

    me. artistic practice. it’s whatever in the front page that stays important… though you can also see that people do visit the back pages here…

  36. fredwilson

    I might go to four weeks given the commentary here. I am not thrilled about closing anything to be honest. Seems antithetical to everything I believe in