FastComments provides a powerful suite of features for discussion moderation for all available product plans.

This guide will start with an introduction to the various tools, and then go into detail for common use cases and gotchas.

Moderators Internal Link

Moderators are special users that only have access to the Moderate Comments page of your FastComments account.

They cannot add or remove other moderators or edit moderation settings. They do however have full control over the comment data shown in the Moderate Comments page and can take all actions that an admin can on an individual comment basis. They can also execute bulk actions.

They do not have access to the data management tools (importing/exporting/migrating comments).

Removing Moderators Internal Link

To remove a moderator, in the Edit Moderators page, simply click "delete".

They will immediately no longer have access to moderating your comments, and will receive an email notifying them that they have been removed.

Note that if you simply want to update their email, you can do that by clicking "edit". This is preferred as their statistics won't be erased.

Comments can be searched with the following example syntax:

  • Fuzzy word search: cats love
  • Exact phrase match: I love cats.
  • By Page Title: page:"Page Title"
    • Supports autocomplete.
  • By Page URL: page:""
    • Supports autocomplete.
  • By User: user:"Bob"
    • Supports autocomplete.

You can share search results with other moderators or administrators by sharing the page URL from the moderation page. The search field value will be included in the URL in your browser after you hit "Go".

With FastComments, it's possible for moderators to share links to the moderator dashboard that go directly to a certain page with some filters.

For example, the following use case:

  • Moderator A goes to the Comment Moderation dashboard
  • Moderator A filters by Comments Needing Review
  • Moderator A searches for a comment with the text "My Company Name"
  • Moderator A finds something interesting on the second page of the resulting searched comments.
  • Moderator A can share the link of this page directly with Moderator B.
  • Moderator B can see what Moderator A did.

Moderation Actions Internal Link

With FastComments, there are a number of actions that Admins and Moderators can take on each comment, namely:

  • Deleting that comment
  • Delete that comment + Ban the user (Permanent or Shadow, more details later)
  • Edit that comment
  • Adjust the votes of that comment
  • Mark that comment Reviewed or Not Reviewed
  • Mark that comment Approved or Not Approved
  • Mark that comment as Spam or Not Spam
  • View all comments from the same IP address *1.
  • Reset the Flag Count on a comment.

For example, to keep a comment around but hide it, we can simply mark it as Not Approved.

Additionally, Admins and Moderators can pin comments, but this can only be done from the comment thread itself.

*1 We do not store raw ip addresses for this feature.

Deleting Comments Internal Link

There are a few things to consider when removing comments.

  1. What the user that originally wrote the comment sees.
  2. What happens to any replies of that comment.

When you delete a comment, that comment is also gone for the user that wrote it originally.

Additionally, that comment is removed from the screens of any users reading that comment.

If this comment has replies, and replies of those replies, they will be immediately deleted as well. Parent comments in the thread are retained.

Moderation Actions From Comment Widget Internal Link

A subset of moderation actions can be taken directly from the comment thread itself, without having to go to the Comment Moderation page.

When you are logged in, click the edit button in the top right of a comment. You should have the following options as a moderator:

  • Pin that comment
  • Delete that comment
  • Delete that comment + Ban the user (Permanent or Shadow, more details later)
  • Edit that comment
  • Mark that comment Approved (show it) or Not Approved (hide it)
  • Mark that comment as Spam or Not Spam

Closing Comment Threads

Moderators and administrators can lock, or close, comment threads, by selecting Close Thread in the three-dot menu in the top of the comment area, if they are logged in. They can select Re-Open Thread later, at any time, to re-open commenting.

Closing a comment thread prevents new comments, but still allows voting, and for users to delete their comments if desired.

Closing and re-opening comment threads instantly affects all users viewing the thread.

You can also mark a thread read-only which removes vote and delete options as well, by creating a customization rule specifically for that page.

Updated Live

All of these actions will update the comment threads of other users right away without them having to reload the page. However, the moderator actions like hiding a comment or marking it as spam, do not remove the comment from the moderator's screen so that if needed they can quickly undo the action. To indicate that comment is hidden it will be highlighted in comparison to the other comments (the highlighting color depending on the reason for removal).

For example, given users A (commenter), B (Moderator 1), and C (Moderator 2).

...and the following scenario:

  1. User B (Moderator 1) hides a comment.
  2. For User A (commenter) that comment is immediately hidden.
  3. For User C (Moderator 2) that comment is immediately hidden.
  4. For the user that made the change, User B (Moderator 1), the comment remains on their screen, but is highlighted as removed. They have the option to undo their action, in which case the other users will see the update, live, again.

Live Moderating Internal Link

All actions taken on the moderation page are live.

If someone is viewing the comment thread, and you approve a previously unapproved comment, it will automatically appear for them.

The same goes for editing, deleting, and marking as spam.

Banning Users With Wildcards Internal Link

It is possible to ban users using certain email providers using wildcards.

For example, if you find that all comments from are spam, you can simply ban that whole email provider by entering "*" in the email input field when adding a banned user.

Note the "*" before the @ in the email.

Spam Detection Internal Link

By default, FastComments comes with trainable spam detection.

As you moderate comments, and mark them as Spam, or mark comments automatically found as Spam as Not Spam, the spam detection system will learn from these actions to more accurately determine what you want to be spam.

Comments marked as Spam will not be automatically approved, so they will not show until explicitly marked as Not Spam.

Spam Detection can be disabled via the Comment Moderation Settings page.

Different Spam Detectors

FastComments supports three ways of detecting spam:

  1. A traditional Naïve-Bayes classifier that is continuously trained, which is shared across all tenants.
  2. A traditional Naïve-Bayes classifier that is continuously trained, which is isolated to your tenant.
  3. Using ChatGPT 4.

Everyone has access to the shared and isolated Naïve-Bayes classifiers.

The ChatGPT 4 option is selectable in the Comment Moderation Settings page if you are on Flex billing, since it bills based on tokens used.

Trust Factor

FastComments adjusts the spam filter for a user based on how much they are trusted for the given site.

For example, if administrators have pinned lots of their comments, then probably they are a very trustworthy user. Or, if they have been a member of the site for a long time and have a lot of comments, then their trust factor may be high as well.


Comments posted by SSO users can be considered spam, and will be checked as such. The exception is if the SSO user has the same email as a tenant user who has one or more of the following permissions:

  • Account Owner
  • Super Admin
  • Comment Moderator Admin

SSO users with these permissions will not have their comments checked for spam.

Repeated Messages

FastComments will detect and prevent repeated messages. It will also detect repeated message that are very similar to help prevent spam. This cannot be disabled as it prevents our platform from being used for abuse. If you have a high trust factor, this is taken into account when doing repeated message prevention.

In Conclusion

You've reached the end of our Moderation documentation. Let us know what further comments or questions you have below - you may also reach out to us via the Support Page.