All Collections
Advanced Moderation
Advanced Moderation

Disqus Advanced Moderation Rules

Ryan avatar
Written by Ryan
Updated over a week ago

Available with our Pro or Business plans, our AI-informed Advanced Moderation tooling will provide more specific categorization and controls to your site’s comments, allowing you to remove objectionable content with heightened precision and automation. For additional moderation tools available to all sites, please see our Moderation Settings and Toxicity Filter documentation.


Within Disqus’ Advanced Moderation, there are a number of different categories of objectionable content. Each category can be restricted or allowed independently. Multiple categories may be applied to a single comment.

The categories are as follows:

  • Hate Speech

  • Violent Content

  • Sexual Content

  • Bullying

  • Promotion


Within each category, comments are also graded based on severity. Comments with a grading of “3” will be the most explicit or extreme content for that category. Comments with a grading of “1” will be the least extreme content that still fits the content category.

Below is a breakdown of the severity ratings within each category:

Hate Speech
3 - Hate Speech: Slurs, hate speech, promotion of hateful ideology
2 - Slurs: Negative stereotypes or jokes, degrading comments, denouncing slurs, challenging a protected group's morality or identity, violence against religion
1 - Informational: Positive stereotypes, informational statements, reclaimed slurs, references to hateful ideology, immorality of protected group's rights

Violent Content

3 - Intimidation: Serious and realistic threats, mentions of past violence
2 - Instigation: Calls for violence, destruction of property, calls for military action, calls for the death penalty outside a legal setting, mentions of self-harm/suicide
1 - Description: Denouncing acts of violence, soft threats (kicking, punching, etc.), violence against non-human subjects, descriptions of violence, gun usage, abortion, self-defense, calls for capital punishment in a legal setting, destruction of small personal belongings, violent jokes

Sexual Content

3 - Explicit: Intercourse, masturbation, porn, sex toys and genitalia
2 - Intent & nudity: Sexual intent, nudity and lingerie
1 - Statements: Informational statements that are sexual in nature, affectionate activities (kissing, hugging, etc.), flirting, pet names, relationship status, sexual insults and rejecting sexual advances


3 - Brutalizing: Slurs or profane descriptors toward specific individuals, encouraging suicide or severe self-harm, severe violent threats toward specific individuals
2 - Profane: Non-profane insults toward specific individuals, encouraging non-severe self-harm, non-severe violent threats toward specific individuals, silencing or exclusion
1 - Insults: Profanity in a non-bullying context, playful teasing, self-deprecation, reclaimed slurs, degrading a person's belongings, bullying toward organizations, denouncing bullying

(there is only one severity rating for Promotion)
Promotion: Asking for likes/follows/shares, advertising monthly newsletters/special promotions, asking for donations/payments, advertising products, selling pornography, giveaways

The severity descriptions above are also visible from your Moderation Rules section. Simply click into the white space of the rule to view the breakdown for that content category.

Setting up Rules

When setting up moderation rules on the content categories, please note that a rule for a certain severity level will also be applied to all severity levels above it. For example, if you set a rule to delete all comments that match the lowest tier of Bullying (1 - Insults), this rule will also delete comments labelled as Bullying 2 (Profane) and Bullying 3 (Brutalizing). If you instead set a rule to delete Bullying 3 comments, this will only delete comments matching Bullying 3, and comments matching Bullying 2 and Bullying 1 will not be removed.

For each category, you can set a severity level and determine what happens to comments matching that severity and above. Comments matching the severity level for that category can be automatically Deleted, automatically set to Pending for Moderator review, or automatically marked as Spam. Additional instructions on setting up moderation rules may be found here.

Monitoring and reviewing comments

Comments will show the category and severity ratings regardless of whether they are removed by an automated rule. These gradings will appear in tags on the comments in the comments stream of your Moderation Panel. Viewing the tags on your existing comments can help give a sense of what automated rules to put in place.

Additionally, moderation filters can be applied to view only comments matching one or more of the content categories. If you’d like to view or moderate only comments that contain Bullying comments, you can select the Bullying filter here:

Once the Rules have been active and running, clicking into each rule will give a report of the amount of comments that have had action taken on them by the given rule, as well as a link to view your past comments that fit the category. This can help you determine which rules are functioning as desired, and which should be adjusted.

Did this answer your question?