I want there to be lively debate in my comments section. I’m not going to ban anyone for disagreeing with me. But I have to enforce the following rules to fend off the forces of chaos and douchebaggery:
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My comment policy in short: I’m mostly hands-off, but if you’re persistently offensive, disruptive, or tedious, I’ll delete comments; if you continue, you’ll get a short-term ban or, in rare cases, be banned permanently. Big no nos: nasty personal attacks and/or slurs. I usually warn people first; if you persist after a warning, expect at least a short-term ban.
Don’t say things so vile and hateful that if you said them to Gandhi, he’d punch you in the head. Calling someone an idiot is fine. Lots of people are idiots. Just use caution when moving much beyond this level of invective. Back-and-forth namecalling is tedious for everything.
A few specific things that will get your comment (and perhaps you) banned as soon as I see it: the words “cunt” or “faggot,” used to disparage people or groups, references to sex organs, hateful slurs, gratuitously nasty personal attacks, flagrant lies about me or anyone else, threats.
If you regularly post comments that violate these basic guidelines, you’re done here. I’ll delete every comment you make, even those that don’t violate the guidelines.
REALLY IMPORTANT CAVEAT: If your comment simply doesn’t post, it’s not because I deleted it. It’s because Blogger’s spam filter has filtered it. The spam filter is unreliable, but unfortunately I can’t turn it off. If your comment follows the guidelines, and wasn’t filtered because, say, it was full of profanity and slurs, I will un-filter it as soon as I see it. That may take awhile, as I am not always in front of my computer.
EDIT: ADDITIONAL RULES:
Stay on topic, more or less: We all go off-topic from time to time. If you’re constantly going off topic in a way that’s tedious or disruptive, I’ll delete your comments.
No more than two posts in a row, unless you are responding specifically to arguments from other commenters and want to break it up into different comments. If you have an afterthought, or a correction, and want to post a second comment, that’s perfectly fine. If your comment is so long it needs a second part, that’s ok, but seriously think about being more concise. Posting every thought that pops into your head in comment after comment? No. Blog comments are supposed to be about dialogue, not monologue.
Don’t quote entire articles. If you want to post about something you found elsewhere, post a brief excerpt and/or summary and a link. Don’t post the whole thing.
Don’t misrepresent what other commenters say or put words in their mouth. This is already covered in the “don’t lie” bit above, but I want to reiterate it. If you misunderstand something someone else says, or have a different interpretation (and a good argument to back that up), that’s fine. But repeatedly misrepresenting others, particularly after they have corrected you, will get your comments deleted.