Moderation policy


If you are commenting on this blog for the first time, you should be aware that it is actively moderated by several people. Freethought Blogs requires that you log in with an account before you can comment, and comments by new members will automatically be held for review by a moderator. If you’re not seeing your comments for a while, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve been blocked.

Most new commenters who aren’t posting obvious spam will be approved, and once this happens you will be free to post as often as you like. However, posts with a large number of links, even by previously approved members, will also be automatically held for moderation.

Moderators may at their discretion toss out your posts and/or ban you permanently before you’ve successfully posted a single thing. We don’t block people for simple disagreement with our positions; we welcome it. Moderation is a subjective activity and will generally require a judgment call, but here are some things you should probably take into consideration:

  • If the very first post you write contains personal attacks, insults, abuse, or ad hominems against people on this blog, there is a very high probability that it won’t be approved. This is true whether the target is show hosts, moderators, or active commenters. We would like constructive conversations to take place, and a person who creates an account just to insult somebody else probably does not share that goal.
  • Disagreement is welcome; bigotry is not. Insulting blanket statements about groups of people are likely to get you banned. That includes women, racial groups, homosexuals, transsexuals, and YES, sometimes even religious groups. Want to know the difference? “Here’s some horrible stuff I found in the Qur’an”: not bigoted. “This one terrorist group was driven by Muslim ideology”: not bigoted. “All Muslims are terrorists”: bigoted and untrue. “All Muslims have intercourse with farm animals”: very bigoted and not that funny.
  • Uninvited sexual comments about the hosts, other commenters, or public figures, are not cool. “Yes, but what if…” NO. NOT. COOL.
  • A first comment that says something snide about the moderation policy, such as: “I bet you don’t have the guts to approve comments from me!” are likely to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Congratulations, you have proved your own point. Be proud of yourself.
  • Once your first comment is approved the moderators are likely to lighten up on you. However, a repeated pattern of violating the above rules, or saying the same thing over and over again without acknowledging any of the responses, can still get you banned. You may get a warning first from a moderator. If you do, you are totally allowed to insult and taunt the moderator! …And then you are free to leave the blog. If you enjoy commenting here, you might want to consider complying instead.
  • These rules can absolutely be enforced in an unfair or biased way. This is our blog and they are our decisions. Life’s not fair.
  • For complaints about violations of your free speech, please refer to: http://xkcd.com/1357/