I grow so weary of going to websites where the host allows comments to degenerate into name calling and team politics. I also hate when people post spam to the comments, talking about how they make $5,000 a minute from home. I do my best to moderate that, but understand that I can’t let this blog become too much of a time waster for me, because I have a life and it is a busy one. Even writing posts takes anywhere from one to three hours a day, counting research, writing, and editing. This blog gets between 2,000 and 10,000 hits a day. It gets between 20 and 100 comments a day. So keep that in mind when you see how I moderate the comments:
I don’t mind disagreement. I encourage it. It is through disagreement and debate that we grow and modify our stand on controversial subjects. With that being said, there are a few basic things that keep this place running smoothly:
I don’t allow personal attacks. I do this because I want comments to stay on topic and not degenerate into the name calling mess that the comment sections of so many other websites. I will let some minor transgressions slide, but I do my best to keep things from becoming too heated. Attack ideas all you want, but don’t let it get personal.
I don’t allow comments that are advertisements. Note that I don’t advertise products or services here at all. Not even my own. When I do articles about products, I don’t do them because I stand to make money. I am even careful to include disclaimers. At my discretion, I will edit your comment to remove advertisements or simply not allow the comment. How that goes depends on a few things: Are you a long time commenter? If your first comment is an advertisement, it likely goes in the trash heap. In the nearly 16 years of this blog, I have made only three exceptions to this rule that I can remember. In each of them, the post and/or comment was because of injuries or danger to a child, and were directing people to a donation site so people could donate to help the child’s family. In each of those cases, I was contacted by email and asked to post the information.
The only other ask is those few occasions that I ask for donations to cover the costs of running the site.
I close posts for comments after 21 days. No use beating a dead horse.
One other rule- at the end of the day, this is my blog. I pay for everything here from the server space to the software that runs it. Since it’s my property, I can modify the rules here anytime that I want to. There have been commenters who have come here and demanded that I allow them to say what they want under the guise of “free speech.” I’m not preventing you from starting your own blog at your own expense, but people comment here on my dime, and that means I get to set the rules.
Violate the rules, and I may give you a warning, I may edit out offensive words, advertising links, or I may just toss your comment in the trash. I won’t ever change your comment to make it something that you didn’t say. ( I did it once to a supposed self described “hacker” who was trying to be very personal and publish threats against me. I changed his comment to make it seem like he wanted to perform a certain homosexual act on me. Childish, but funny. I deleted it once he saw it.)
If the violations are bad enough, I will ban you, or your entire IP address. I moderate all comments, thanks to the aforementioned hacker who wouldn’t take “go away” for an answer. That particular person was making death threats as well as posting my address.
Anyhow, comments have been relatively calm for several months, except for a few spammers. I just wanted to remind everyone of the rules.