Once upon a time, I would read every comment on this blog and try to respond individually to every one of them.
Now I only have time for reading and sometimes responding and discussing, but I do still read every comment I get.
I haven’t ever really wanted to write a comment policy for this blog. That is because, for the most part, I allow free speech on this blog, and I’m pretty easy-going about whom I allow to participate. I don’t like playing the role of your mother and telling you to behave when you’re presumably a grown-up who knows what polite behavior looks like. The only people who get banned or have their comments edited, deleted, or disemvoweled are:
- Obvious spambots.
- Drive-by trolls.
- New commentators who act like total jerks from the get-go.
- People who have an established history of poor behavior on LDS-Evangelical blogs.
There really is only one overarching rule on this blog: Don’t piss me off. That doesn’t mean you can’t disagree with me; you can disagree with me as much as you like. I welcome disagreement. I suspect that most of my regular readers harbor major disagreement with me on serious points of religion, philosophy, and politics, yet we get along just fine.
But if you’re someone I don’t know, tread politely until we get to know each other better. There’s only room for one egotistical butthead on this blog, and that’s me. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can insinuate that I’m stupid, duplicitous, or emotionally unstable and still maintain your commenting privileges here.
If you follow the well-known guidelines for courteous blog commentating—don’t copy and paste long sections of material from other sources, don’t make comments just to advertise stuff you have written that is only tangentially related to the topic, go easy on the swearing, etc.—you should have no trouble here. In 21 months of running this blog, so far, only 3 commentators have been permanently disciplined. I prefer to keep the discipline low and the free speech high.
Last thing, use the words “cult” and “anti-Mormon” sparingly, if at all. I consider those words to be two sides of the same coin: they both have useful meanings in some sense, but abuse of the term by either side has converted them into thought-stopping rhetoric nearly useless for the purpose of meaningful discussions on Mormonism. Counter-cult or rabid ex-Mormon hysteria and Mormon paranoia are viewpoints that are not very welcome here. There are plenty of places on the Internet for those types of discussions; this isn’t one of them.
I allow comments to have up to two hyperlinks in them without needing comment approval. If your comment has three or more links, it gets queued until I release it. I usually check my queue daily, but feel free to do a follow-up comment asking for your comment to be released if you want to speed things up.
If your comment completely disappears without telling you that it’s in the moderation queue, that means the spam filter got it. Please comment again and let me know that your comment has disappeared, or e-mail me. I no longer check my spam filter, so if you don’t tell me that your comment disappeared into spam, I will delete it when I flush my spam. If you tell me, I can rescue it.
You will notice a field on the comments form asking you to answer a simple addition question. This was installed in October 2010 due to the ridiculous amounts of spam comments that were slipping past Akismet and being posted. I apologize for the mild inconvenience in commenting, but something had to be done, and I’m told this is preferable to those graphics generators that ask you to enter a word that you can barely read.
At this time I have yet to install a comment editing plug-in (it’s on the to-do list). If there is a typo in your comment that is driving you crazy, feel free to ask me for a correction. I always grant them. I generally correct HTML tag errors without asking as it makes comments easier to read.