Keeping unposted comments

I am the webmaster for a governmental website. We are investigating the software on the market for blogging. One of our requirements is that we must review all comments before they are posted. I understand this functionality is available in most blogging software these days. Our requirement need goes one step further however, as our Attorney Generals office has determined that we must “keep” all unposted comments that come in. In the event that we ever receive a public disclosure request, we must be able to produce ALL activity on the blog - whether we posted it for public viewing or not.

I am not sure how Wordpress works. I don’t know whether comments(records) are deleted from the database when a moderator marks it NOT to be posted, or if it the record is flagged in some way so that it remains in the DB table, but is not displayed. And, if it is flagged and remains in the table, how might I get access to everything at a later date, if heaven forbid, we were to receive a public disclosure request?

Can anyone tell me what choices are available for the moderation of comments?

To the best of my knowledge, Wordpress will not automatically delete anything. Unposted comments will remain in the database alongside the approved ones for as long as you want.

The Akismet spam filter plugin (included with Wordpress, but disabled by default) will automatically purge comments, but only those flagged as spam, and you have time to review them first. If all comments are being moderated anyway, you can probably do without Akismet.

All comments, whether published or not, are viewable via the WP admin interface.

You can get a definitive answer by posting in the Wordpress support forum.

If you want useful replies, ask smart questions.