A Brave New World (of Commenting)

Earlier today I had a crazy idea, and since this is my blog, I get to try my crazy ideas. So here goes.

In the hopes of raising the level of debate round these parts, from now on the following restrictions apply to all comments:

  • You must support any claims you make with sufficient evidence.
  • Your argument must be free of logical fallacies.

What constitutes sufficient evidence?

Internet and book citations are both OK, but the source must be reasonably respectable. Academic websites and works of scholarship are best. Wikipedia citations are OK provided the page you’re linking to is properly sourced and you haven’t just edited it to say whatever you want. Ideally citations should be in English; Chinese is also OK, but other languages should only be used in the event that there’s literally nothing in English or Chinese about it, since most users here cannot read languages other than English or Chinese.

What happens if I fail to do this?
Generally speaking, the first time you will get a warning and be asked to rewrite your post and submit it as a new post; the old post will be deleted. After the first time, if you insist on just posting and ignoring these rules, your comments will be deleted immediately and you may be blocked from future commenting.

Who will enforce this?
All of us. Obviously I have the real ultimate power in terms of editing and deleting posts, but I’m hoping that (a) commenters will keep me honest and following these rules and (b) commenters will let me know via email if someone else is violating the rules, as I don’t always have time to check these boards.

Wait, now my comment isn’t showing up! WTF?

Yes, the downside of this approach is that anything with more than one link often gets caught in our spam filter automatically. If you posted a comment but it isn’t showing up, send me an email (custerc at gmail) and let me know; I’ll free it up for you.

I want my comments to look pretty

You can use HTML in comments, so if you want to avoid having a bunch of messy links, you can use the a href tag to make a link. Don’t start putting ridiculous crap in, though, or I will just disable HTML in the comments. No images, no bigger-than-the-default font sizes. Just links and emphasis (bold, italic) if you want it.

If there are other questions, please ask them in the comments. These rules are now in effect for ALL comment threads, even older posts.

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