Ladies and gentlemen, since the inception of this blog over a year ago, I’ve held all of you to a sort of informal comment policy, and it has worked fine for that time. However, as the blog has grown, I have seen the need for a more formal comment policy. Note that while I am only writing them on a dedicated page now, all of these were in effect since the beginning. While it is certainly a part of it, this is not just a list of rules I am imposing on you; rather, it is a contract between you, your fellow commenters, and the writers of this blog.
- Above all, keep it civil. I enjoy political debates as much as the next person, but no matter our differences, we are all human, and while I do not know specifically where everyone is coming from, I would wager that many of us are also from the same country.
- On that note, due to the nature of the internet itself, all we know of each other is what is said in the comments. As the writer, you know a fair amount about me, but your fellow commenters only know a username and what has been said. Because of these last two points, I will not tolerate personal attacks of any sort.
- Try to keep the explicit language to a minimum. Chances are, you can make your point without cursing at someone. This kind of behavior is not enough to get a comment moderated on its own, though I will go in and put stars in place of letters, such as f***.
- I promise not to censor comments. Being a political blog, you all have your differences. Regardless of political affiliation, in the US we all have a right to have them heard. I will only moderate comments that do not follow this policy, and in most cases I will comment with a warning to the person as well. If I see the same IP address keep attempting to publish personal attacks or other things against this Policy, I will put that IP on a blacklist, meaning all comments from that address will automatically be marked for pre-moderation before they appear on the site.
- That being said, if you’re trying to leave a comment that is clearly trying to get a backlink to your site, I’ll edit it out, though most of the time I’ll leave the name intact. This only goes for things that are completely unrelated, spam sites, and the like. If you’re leaving a link to a site that’s at least somewhat related to politics and current events, or if I visit the site and nothing raises my eyebrows, I’ll leave it alone. Some people do leave comments saying “nice post”, or something along those lines, but they link to a site that isn’t one you’d really want to go to because they’re full of affiliate links, spam, etc.
I have no problem with things like “+1″ or “nice post” – I’ve said +1 on comments myself several times. My issue is with the obvious spam links.
- This point also goes for creating a user account on the site. I’m still trying to figure out just what to do with it, specifically how to integrate the user accounts with subscribing via e-mail (don’t worry, you’ll get to opt-in to any e-mails from me as always), and what else to do with it.Seriously, though, if I can tell at a glance that you’re a spambot “user” account (improbable e-mail address, gibberish username/username trying to sell something in any language, and so on), your account’s getting deleted. I recognize wanting to use a random string of letters and numbers as your username, so I’ll let you appeal on those grounds by sending an e-mail to feedback at newageofpolitics dot com to verify that you are, indeed, human. This might include a little test involving math, something on the blog , or something else I might think of. If it hits my spam filter, well, you know the result.
Inappropriate usernames (held to roughly an “R” rating standard – we’re mostly adults here, after all) will not be tolerated at all, and there is no appeal. Feel free to make a political statement in the username you use for commenting, but if it sounds too offensive (see the points above about keeping it civil and respecting each other), you risk deletion.
- This list is not exhaustive. Generally, follow common sense when posting your comments, and of course, I can add to, update, or change this policy at any time as necessary.