Who Owns Blog Comments and Is it OK to Edit Someone Else's Comment?

I wrote this researched article awhile back about who owns blog comments.

The answer is: the commenter does. Read the article for more information.

But I want to talk about something that upset me awhile back and I thought I’d let it go, but it’s still bugging me. I’ve been a long-time reader and subscriber to Randy Cassingham’s This is True, and I like to read the Jumbo Jokes and Weird News and such. Mr. Cassingham (and I call him this for a reason) always provided interesting reads and good commentary. I particularly enjoyed reading his stance on Zero Tolerance, a subject very near and dear to my (and my son’s) heart.

For all the years I’ve read and was a (paid) subscriber to Mr. Cassingham’s newsletters and such, I had never commented on a blog post of his. One blog really struck a chord with me and I wanted to say so, so I penned a comment to him. In that comment, I started it like this:

“You know, Randy, [blah blah blah praise and comments I’d been a long-time reader]”

I then clicked the button to submit and it said my comment was pending moderation, and I signed up to receive notification of new comments on the blog, because I was interested in the subject and what others had to say.

When my comment came out of moderation and was posted on the blog, the part that you see quoted above: “You know, Randy…” was removed.

Yes. Mr. Cassingham delete my familiar use of his first name from the comment I had made. I guess I’m not allowed to call him by his first name? I get called by my first name a lot, by people I’ve never talked to before. I’ve never once been offended or upset by it, neither have I ever edited a commenter’s comment. In fact, unless there is profanity, vulgarity or hatred in the comment, I don’t even moderate comments to remove them unless they are blatantly spam. I believe people have the right to their opinions, however misinformed or wrong they might be, even when or if they disagree with mine.

But this wasn’t a cause of Mr. Cassignham editing my comment or the opinion or my stance and it wasn’t a case of me disagreeing with him (since I was actually agreeing with him in the comment). He simply edited out my familiar use of his first name and the phrase, “You know…”

I don’t know why. I didn’t ask why either.

Quite frankly, I don’t care why. I do know, I’ll never comment on Mr. Cassingham’s blog again.

What I do care about is the fact that I penned that comment and he altered it before publication without my permission, and because blog comments are owned by the writer, not the blogger, he had no right to do that without my permission. If he could edit that comment, what’s to stop him or someone from editing to make it appear I said something I did not say? I’m not saying Mr. Cassignham would do this, but he or someone else with the same software (and WordPress allows this too) could do this.

How do you prove what you originally wrote?

So my question to you guys is two-fold: 1) have you ever edited a comment someone else left on your blog? 2) how do you feel about someone else being able to or actually editing a comment you made on their blog?

And one last thing: If you know someone edits blog comments, will you ever post on their blog?

Love and stuff,
Michy