While we retain the right to edit, censor, or delete comments with or without cause or explanation, this policy is intended to describe and outline our perspective on comment moderation.
Free speech is a treasured principle for everyone, and as a result comments are fundamentally appreciated regardless of the author or viewpoint. However, free speech isn’t an excuse to be an idiot. We are incredibly reluctant to edit or delete comments and view it as a last resort.
Comments should also add something to the conversation – if they don’t, or if the contribution isn’t relevant to the topic, the comment may be removed.
Play nice. Really – it’s that simple.
Finally, this comment moderation policy is not perfectly outlined or executed. We will strive to be fair and consistent in our comment policy, inevitably we will fail to adhere to our own guidelines at some point. If you feel a comment should or should not be moderated, please contact us to bring it to our attention.
The Actual Policy
Comments may be deleted or edited when:
- They contain profanity (PG profanity like the word “damn” may not be edited so long as it’s not excessive)
- They contain words that are offensive to someone’s sexuality, race, religion, etc
- They contain self-promotions, advertisements, or links that are only included for the purpose of self promotion
- They contain threats or personal attacks
- They contain more than 50 words that have been cut-and-pasted from another site (rather than including content word for word, please use a link)
- They repeat or re-hash previous comments to excess
- The commenter does not use a valid email address (very important)
- The commenter fails to have an attached Gravatar
- The commenter doesn’t use their real name
- The commenter uses a name with keywords or promotional intent
- The blog owner decides a comment is not worthy of being published, with or without cause or explanation
Comments will be automatically held for moderation when:
- They contain a link
- They contain any sort of profanity
- They contain mention of spam words like “viagra,” “soma,” etc.
- The automated comment management system determines moderation is appropriate i.e. too fast entry or minimal words
- They exceed a certain length
When a comment is held for moderation, it will be reviewed as soon as possible.
Comments must be conversational
If a commenter refuses to engage in a conversation, i.e., they leave comments but refuse to respond when addressed, their comments may be deleted. If a commenter attempts to dominate a blog post with multiple comments, those comments may be deleted. If a comment isn’t related to the topic at hand, it may be edited or deleted.
Commenters will be banned when:
- They fail to heed warnings about any behaviour described above
- They clearly have no interests in contributing to the community. If a commenter constantly leaves adversarial comments for the purpose of “stirring things up,” they may be banned from commenting and/or visiting the site.
- If the comments never add – and only detract – the commenter will eventually be banned.
- They are obviously unreasonable, illogical, or insane
Attacks and criticism of blog authors and commenters
Criticism of the blog content is always welcome, as are challenges and disagreements – that’s just healthy and different points of view.
Attacks on the blog authors or fellow commenters, however, are inappropriate and may be deleted. If a comment crosses the line, the commenter may receive an email from the blog administrator describing exactly why their comment has been edited or deleted.
What to do if you don’t like the way comments are managed:
- Contact us and voice your opinion.
- Re-post your comment and send us a note so we can be sure it’s not accidentally being deleted or incorrectly marked as spam
- Start your own blog on WordPress.com – it’s free, it takes about 5 minutes, and it gives you the power to do and say almost anything.
Play nice. Really – it’s that simple.