Comments policy

You are at risk if you read the lower half of the internet.

Comments on blog posts are a double-edged sword. They help provoke debate, but comment-based debate is generally of a poorer quality than blogpost against blogpost. Commenters generally feel they have free rein to write what they want, especially anonymously; commenting is also easier than writing a post, in the sense that it’s easier to pick a single—sometimes point-missing—hole than it is to weave the original narrative structure and overall sense.

Broadly, then: you’re welcome to comment here and of course you’re welcome to generally disagree with me. However, remember that comments on my blog sit on my virtual property: this blog is a permissive path, not an adopted, public right of way.

That means that you have to be polite. You’re welcome to be rude on your own blog, but not here. You’ll probably even get trackbacks if you’re rude on your own blog, in order to preserve the great conversation of the blogosphere and in a spirit of good will: creating your own blogpost shows that you’ve at least put effort into being rude, rather than merely been rude because it was the easiest alternative.

Also, your arguments might be ignored or potentially merely ridiculed if you have any words fully capitalized, or if you spell or punctuate really badly without good excuse. If you don’t know how your typographical style translates to your online voice then you should learn such reasonable practices before commenting here. This blog is not your training ground. It is not your safe space.

I also reserve the right to delete any particularly abusive comments. I don’t doctor comment threads long after the fact, but I see no reason to host what you can quite happily have hosted elsewhere for free. Cagers, geocaust deniers, anti-empiricist creationists and even goggly-eyed Dawkins fanbois can all expect to find their comments deleted or even “hilariously” disemvowelled or turned into animal impersonations without notice.

Not having read this policy will not generally be considered a reasonable excuse.

One Response to Comments policy

  1. Ray says:

    This comment policy certainly seems to have achieved its aim.
    All websites should have a comment policy, I guess I had better write mine now.

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