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Moderation Settings

Quick Start Guide for setting up Moderation filters

Ryan avatar
Written by Ryan
Updated over a week ago

This article explains how to configure your moderation tools, to ensure that unwanted content is removed or sent to pending for moderator review. You may access all of the tools in the Settings -> Moderation page of your moderation panel. For instructions on moderating comments and using the moderation panel itself, please go here.

In addition to what's listed here, Pro and Business publishers will have access to additional AI filtering and tooling covered in Advanced Moderation.

Getting Started

Setting up Moderation Profiles

The first step in setting up your moderation tools will be to choose a Moderation Profile. This will configure your rules and apply presets for general content safety, which you can then customize as needed.

There are two Moderation Profiles:

  • Balanced (applied by default)

    • Comments containing Restricted Words are deleted automatically

    • Comments labelled Toxic will be sent to Pending for moderator review

    • Guest Commenting is allowed

    • Comments Flagged 5 times will be sent to Pending for moderator review

  • Strict (recommended for publishers who want to be considered Brand Safe by advertisers)

    • Comments containing Restricted Words are deleted automatically

    • Comments labelled Toxic are deleted automatically

    • Comments containing links are sent to Pending for moderator review

    • Comments Flagged 3 times will be sent to Pending for moderator review

    • Images and Videos not allowed in comments

    • Threads are automatically closed to new comments after 30 days

Adding Restricted Words

Any time a comment or name contains a word you've specified in this filter, it will be sent to the Pending queue. We pre-populate this list with a recommended set of words, which can be edited at any time. You may access the list from the left-side menu in your main moderation panel page, or may visit it directly here. Up to 2,000 words may be added to the list.

You may use wildcards by entering a .*, but be careful where you use it; for example,

s.*ck will match suck, but also sock and stack.

In addition to being set as Pending, Comments containing a Restricted Word will highlight the trigger word with yellow background and will contain a red "Restricted Word" tag.

Note: If a restricted word appears in the display name of an account, that account’s comments will remain pending until explicitly approved. Additionally, words are stripped of punctuation when measured against the Restricted Word filter, so adding “hell” will also set all comments containing “he’ll” to Pending until approved by a site moderator.

The restricted words list will also work for blocking certain HTML code.

Setting Moderation Rules

All sites are able to add automated moderation rules based on comment toxicity and their Restricted Words list. Sites on the Pro and Business plans will have access to additional moderation rules to target objectionable content more specifically by category and severity. More information on our Advanced Moderation Rules may be found here.

As an example, a rule could be set up so that comments containing Restricted Words will be deleted automatically, without any action from moderators. Clicking on each rule will expose analytics, showing how many comments from the last 30 days fit the conditions in your rule, and how you moderated them. This can be used to forecast how effective each rule will be.

More information on setting up Moderation Rules may be found here.


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Pre-moderation options can be found in your forum's Disqus Admin > Moderation Settings page. Setting Pre-moderation to "All" will set all incoming comments to Pending and will prevent them from appearing publicly until they've been explicitly approved by a moderator.

Pro and Business publishers will also have the option of Pre-moderating "New Commenters", or commenters who have not posted to their site before. This can help catch Spam and unwanted trolling, without interrupting the posting ability of longstanding site commenters. When using this feature, you'll also set the number of days that you want New Commenters to be sandboxed, before they are subject to the same moderation rules as the rest of your users.

You may also choose to pre-moderate comments containing links by enabling the setting for Links in Comments.

With Thread-level Pre-moderation, sites can choose specific discussion threads (article pages) to apply Pre-moderation. This added flexibility allows you to apply Pre-moderation to specific threads without pre-moderating comments across the rest of their sites.

You can enable pre-moderation for an individual thread either via the Moderation Panel or in the dropdown menu in the comment embed.

Guest Commenting

Guest commenting allows users to leave comments without creating a Disqus account. Guest commenters are required to provide an email address for notifications and moderation purposes. However, the email address input will not be verified by Disqus.

As Guests are posted without a verified account, all Guest Comments will require explicit Moderator approval, regardless of whether Pre-Moderation has been enabled.

Note: Registered users must verify their email address prior to posting a comment. More information on Guest commenting may be found here.

This setting will allow you to decide if comments containing links (including any posted images and videos) will require moderator approval. When this feature is enabled, all comments containing links or images will remain in the Pending folder until they are approved by a site Moderator.

Flagged Comment Moderation

You can choose to email all moderators when a comment is flagged. You can also specify how many unique flags are needed to hide a comment (if any). More information on Flagging may be found here.

Note: We don't count duplicate flaggings based on the user and IP address.

Images and Videos

You can choose whether or not Images and Videos are enabled for your forum. If enabled, thumbnails for images and YouTube links will display within comments.

Gif Picker

The Gif Picker can also be enabled or disabled from the Moderation settings page. More information on the Gif Picker may be found in the Gif section here.

Automatic closing of comment threads

You can specify globally how long you want a comment thread to remain open after it's created. Entering 0 will disable the automatic closing process. This can be overridden for particular threads using the Settings panel on the embed.

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