I’ve decided to replace my long comment policy with a very short, simple one. The long version is stricken out below in case you’d still like to see some examples of things I don’t like.
Comments that do not contribute to what I view as a productive, interesting conversation will be deleted. Commenters who are abusive or who consistently make nonproductive, non-interesting comments will be banned. In this corner of the internet, I am the dictator. I owe you absolutely nothing.
Short version: don’t be an asshole. Long version: Although I hesitate to call this blog a “safe space,” there are limits to the types of discourse I’m willing to provide a forum for. Respectful disagreement is okay. Sexism, racism, hetero-/cissexism, ableism, rape apology, and other stuff in that vein is not. I don’t really care about your supposed “free speech,” as you can go do that somewhere that isn’t my blog. Negative comments have to make a substantial argument. “lol you feminists are just as delusional as the creationists” will not be allowed; “I think feminists are wrong on [insert issue here] because [insert reasons here]” will be. This isn’t because I can’t handle criticism of stuff like feminism; on the contrary, it’s because I can. But you have to actually criticize rather than just spew baseless claims. On a similar note, no personal attacks. I know you can do better than that. :P I usually try to respond to comments that merit a response, but I’m not obligated to. No sockpuppeting, i.e., keep a consistent identity while you’re here and don’t pretend to be someone else to bolster your argument. If you’re resorting to that tactic, you really might as well just give up arguing. If you use a condescending or otherwise rude tone, I’ll probably call you on it and ask you to stop. Or I might just respond in kind. Depends on my mood. My blog is not a newspaper, research journal, or public forum, and I don’t treat it as such. Whiny comments to the effect of “but you didn’t present the opposing opinion!” or “but that’s not a random sample!” will probably be made fun of. If you make it obvious in your comment that you haven’t actually read the post you’re commenting on, I will tell you so and you’ll feel silly. Try to stay reasonably on topic. Obviously, in the course of a good discussion people often go on tangents, and that’s fine. But if you go on posts to debate random subjects that aren’t even under consideration in the post itself, you should consider not doing that and getting your own blog instead. Trolls will be deleted. What qualifies as trolling is up to me to determine, since, you know, it’s my blog. Generally I use that term to refer to deliberate attempts to provoke others into a negative reaction. Don’t do that shit. It’s childish and unoriginal. If your comment gets deleted and you start leaving additional comments whining about that fact, that’s a quick way to get banned from commenting entirely. If you think your comment was deleted erroneously, explain why you think that. “Free speech” is not a reason. If your comment is abusive as opposed to merely inane, you’ll be banned, and then I will never see your comments again. You’ll have to email me if you want to try to appeal that, but good luck. If we’re arguing and I point you to an article that cites evidence for my point and you refuse to read it, I’m done arguing with you. That’s just a waste of my time. I generally make it a point to link to fairly brief and easy-to-read articles (or, occasionally, abstracts of academic papers), and it’s not my job to restate them for you. You can, of course, read it and then argue that it’s misleading or false or that I’ve drawn the wrong conclusion from it, but you can’t just refuse to read it for no good reason. This rule brought to you by: this thread. If you say something ignorant and/or bigoted enough that your comment gets deleted, I’m not obligated to educate you about what you did wrong. I have a list of social justice resources that may be useful to you, however. I can change/add to this comment policy at any time! Yay! Generally speaking, I’m here to write and interact with cool people, not deal with assholes. Sometimes I may delete comments or ban people unfairly. I hope to avoid doing that. But I’d rather accidentally delete/ban when I shouldn’t than not do so when I really should. Ignore this policy at your own peril. I get pretty snarky when I’m irritated. :)