Comments Closed

I have closed all comments on the last two posts, and will also disallow comments on new posts for at least the next week.

This is, in a sense, my fault; the tone of commenting on this site had grown progressively less productive and I have not been able to moderate things as closely as I should. As a result, several commenters recently were involved in an exchange that involved the threat of a violent interaction in real life.

While I suspect these threats were merely posturing, readers surely understand that these kind of comments pose a potential legal liability for me as the owner of the website. I have no money for a lawyer, no interest in returning to the US to sit through a lawsuit, and no reason to undertake that kind of risk. There is no payoff for me in enabling anyone to publish threats.

The offending commenters have been blocked, and when comments return to this site in a couple weeks, they will not. But please be aware that I’m not only turning comments off because of that incident. Lately, there have been many comments that violate our comments policy.

From the beginning, I had hoped this could be a site where reasonable, respectful debate could occur. Obviously, we’re a good ways away from that, so let’s all just take a deep breath.

Below, in case you’re unaware, is our comments policy. Since comments are temporarily disallowed, it’s currently irrelevant, but it will be relevant again soon enough:

Comments Policy

You have the right to express any opinion you like, as long as you express it in a civil manner. I can’t believe I have to explain what that means, but apparently I do, so here goes:

  • Name calling, ad-hominem attacks, excessive cursing, or any other sort of violent, threatening language will result in your comment being “disemvoweled” (all the vowels in your post will be removed) or deleted entirely.
  • Speculation or comments about any commenter’s personal life, and/or posting of someone else’s personal data (such as a phone number), is prohibited.
  • Racist remarks (and other sweeping generalizations) are not allowed.
  • Comments should be relevant to the post they’re attached to or another comment on that post, repeatedly posting the same thing across posts or repeatedly posting off-topic comments will be considered spamming. Obviously, spam is also not tolerated.
  • You may post comments anonymously, but pretending to be someone you are not is not permitted, and should you be discovered doing this, your posts will be deleted and you will be banned from making future comments.
  • If you put too many links in a comment, it will be held up in moderation or marked as spam automatically by our system.

If you need help figuring out whether your comment is inappropriate, try asking yourself one of the following questions:

  • Does my comment make a sweeping, unfounded generalization about a race or nationality?
  • Does my comment address the personal life of another commenter?
  • Does my comment contain the phrase “Suck it, fuckwad!”?
  • Could my comment be confused for an advertisement?
  • Does my comment make its point in a way that is uncivil?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, your comment is going to get deleted.

To the commenters who have kept things respectful and civil, I’m very sorry that this is necessary, but I think it is. I hope you’ll keep sharing your thoughts with us a few posts from now, when comments are unblocked again.