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Official Commenting Policy, Updated

No SpamI posted an Official Commenting Policy a few years ago, but I figure it's time for an update. Additionally, this policy will now get a link in the sidebar so that it's available for everyone to see.

This policy is an attempt to foster constructive discussions, as well eliminating spam.

  1. As usual for any blog, I reserve the right to do anything I want. This is my blog, not a completely open public forum. If you disagree with my reasons for deleting a comment, write about it on your own blog.
  2. Threats or extremely vile comments will be deleted (not that I've yet had any problems with that).
  3. No one line insults, please. I've been fairly liberal in the past about leaving these up, but it really adds nothing to the discussion if your only contribution is to call me an ass (example). If you disagree with me, please take the time to point out where and why you think I'm wrong.
  4. Do not simply copy-and-paste comments from other sites. This isn't a problem if you're only leaving the comment on a couple sites, but it is irksome if I do a Google search and find your comment repeated on a few dozen sites. If you're using the same comment on so many sites, it probably means the comment isn't targeted to my post or any possible discussion in the comments.
  5. Do not copy-and-paste articles to post as a comment, even if it's something you wrote yourself. You can leave links and a brief summary of the article, or short, relevant excerpts from other sources, but not entire articles. Also, if you're only copying excerpts, be sure to reference what you're quoting, preferably with a link, and not presenting it as your own original material.
  6. This is more of a request than a rule, but please, please, please provide references for any factual claims you make. Anybody can claim anything they want in a comment, but you'll give your claim some credibility if you back it up. However, keep in mind...
  7. There is a limit of two links per comment before the comment will be tagged as possible spam. If you want to include more links, simply e-mail me right after leaving your comment, and I'll approve it.
  8. Spam and pure advertising comments will be deleted. I've had such a problem with this that I tend to err on the side of caution. Links to commercial sites are allowed, but if it seems like nothing more than an advertisement, the comment will be deleted. If the comment linking to a commercial site doesn't add anything constructive, it will be deleted. If the comment is nothing but a short compliment about how great my writing is, with a link to a commercial site, it will be deleted. I've noticed a trend of spammers parroting part of my original entry, and then giving links to commercial sites with no relevance at all to the entry. Deleted.

All that being said, I try to remain fairly open. I don't usually delete comments, even if they're not particularly constructive (for example, the first comment on the entry where I acknowledged my atheism, or the numerous comments disagreeing with my stance on MBT shoes or politics). In short, comments are welcome, even (especially) comments disagreeing with me. Just please, leave comments that further the discussion at hand. Spam will be deleted, as will any comments in the grey area between spam and legitimate comments.

On a side note, let me just add that I love the canned meat product, Spam. So, don't confuse the image in this entry as being in any way against that delicacy.

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