1. Comments are allowed in English, German, French, Italian, Russian, and Latvian.
Those are the languages that I speak. Unfortunately, I cannot allow comments in other languages that I don’t understand.
If you comment in German or Latvian, I can answer in those languages. If you comment in French, Italian, or Russian, I will answer in English. I don’t have a Russian keyboard. My French and Italian are good enough to understand everything, but not good enough to express myself completely freely.
I know that there are non-native English speakers who read English blogs, but are reluctant to participate in the discussion, because they feel that their ability to freely express themselves is insufficient. Or maybe they feel that they are making too many grammar mistakes. (This is exactly how I feel about my ability to use French and Italian.) This is why I’m offering the opportunity to use other languages in my blog’s comment section.
Of course, a multilingual discussion can be problematic, because some people don’t understand some language, but I have seen it work in other websites, so I’m willing to at least try it.
2. Use your judgment to decide what to write.
This isn’t kindergarten, you aren’t kids, and I’m not your teacher tasked with telling you how to behave or what to write. I do not intend to police other people’s vocabulary or give them strict guidelines. You will have to use your own judgment and common sense instead.
Slang and rude words are allowed if you so choose. But do keep in mind that what you write influences how other people will perceive you. Personally, I prefer constructive comments. If you type, “Andreas is an idiot, fuck him,” I won’t be impressed. If you write, “I disagree, because…” then I’m more likely to listen to you and pay attention to what you wish to say.
As for insults, I appreciate creativity. Calling somebody an “angry cheeto” is more interesting than calling somebody a “piece of shit.” If you want to insult me, at least put some creative effort into it. If you want to insult nasty people we all collectively hate, I won’t hinder you in any way. After all, sometimes venting anger is useful.
3. I reserve the right to delete comments or ban a person from commenting.
I hope that I won’t have to ban anybody (policing other people’s words isn’t something I want to do), but I do reserve the right to do so just in case. Don’t promote racism, transphobia, homophobia, misogyny, ableism, or any other form of bigotry. Don’t abuse other people. Don’t post spam and don’t be a troll. People who do any of these can be banned even without a warning if I deem it necessary.
Please, don’t be overly irritating and tedious either. Since this is more subjective, there will be a warning before I ban anybody for these reasons.
I want my blogs’ comment section to feel safe for people who belong to various minority groups. If you feel like another person is abusive towards you, contact me, and I’ll sort it out. Personally, I have a thick skin and I can take a lot of verbal abuse before I even start to pay attention to the offender. Yet I do understand that other people can be hurt much more easily than me. In my blog’s comment section, I prioritize the wellbeing of people who are polite and know how to behave. Giving free rein to abusers and making them happy by providing space where they can freely hurt other people isn’t something I’m interested in. If you feel that somebody is overstepping the boundaries and being abusive, stalkerish, creepy, or threatening, just let me know.
This website has a spam filtering system that will catch comments with multiple links in them. The algorithm can be triggered by various other factors too. If your comment gets stuck in the spam box, send me and e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I block you and you want to discuss it offline, you can send me an e-mail.
If you believe that I’m being abusive towards you, Freethoughblogs has other bloggers who, as a group, run things here. You can complain about my behavior to PZ Myers or any of the other bloggers here, and they will discuss the matter.