Friday, November 30, 2007

Comment Policy

Update: It's been awhile since I authored this comment policy, and now that it's been sitting up for awhile it's due for a few changes, mainly to serve the goals of clarity and simplicity. So:

1. We welcome contentious debate. We do not welcome abusiveness, hostility, denigrating, sexist, racist or completely substance-free comments. A comment wherein you call someone a moron while disparaging their point on substance is probably okay. A comment that consists of little more than an ad hominem attack (or worse) will be deleted unless it is very, very funny. We will never delete your comment simply because we disagree with it.

2. Spam comments will be deleted. Don't leave a link to your website unless it is 1) relevant to the post or 2) relevant to the topics we discuss on this blog in general.

3. Now that we employ the JS-Kit commenting system, it is far easier to ban users from commenting. Spam commentators will be banned immediately. No other commentators will be banned until they have been warned and had multiple comments deleted for violations of our comment policy. We also reserve the right to edit your comment to make you look ridiculous, and say mean things in the process (we reserve this power for the worst offenders.)

4. Never accept anything approaching legal advice from this blog, or from other commentators. In fact, we make no warranties as to advice of any kind you may receive here, legal, relationship or otherwise.

5. That we permit comments on this blog does not mean we endorse what our commentators say.

6. Do not think that if you post anonymous, you are shielded from legal liability for making defamatory statements. Defamatory comments are likely to be deleted in short order but regardless, we are no interested in fighting to protect your "right" to say whatever you want about us, other commentators, or anybody else in general. You and you alone are responsible for what you say on this blog.

7. If you have a complaint about a comment, or anything else on this blog, or would prefer to contact us regarding a matter that you would prefer not to have open to the public, PLEASE contact us at our email address,

8. Whatever guidelines we may issue, please don't think we don't welcome comments. We do. We love comments because honestly, we have no way of telling who's reading this blog otherwise!

Update: Nat-Wu here. We want to clarify that this should not in any way discourge anyone from leaving comments, even anonymously. But we will not allow thread hijacking. That pretty much covers what Xanthippas already wrote, but in case it's not 100% clear, comments on posts must pertain to the subject of the post. It's not that we don't want or allow people who disagree with us to have a voice. But if someone is looking at our blog, the idea is that when they're researching a topic they will see further arguments in that topic thread and perhaps links and just general discussion. Abuse, of course, is not allowed.

Again, lest you think we're not open-minded, we have had guest bloggers write for use before with different points of view from us. We don't mind that. And if you have a topic you want us to talk about (such as Hugo Chavez and media bias for or against him) you should contact us at (the link is just below our banner on the right side of the main page). Or if you just want to write us and tell us we're full of shit (which has happened), just write us an email. We might actually respond to that, but if you just want to put abusive, harassing, or completely off-topic comments in a post, too bad, the sentence is summary deletion for all.

You're all grown-up net-users, so it's obvious that netiquette applies as much here as anywhere. Oh, and in case it wasn't clear, we don't care much about language so much as substance, but certain minimum standards of grammar, spelling, and syntax must be met. Don't write us messages like you'd send a text message: "BshChaney r so dum". Thank you.

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