Comments Policy

Comments Policy

Welcome to Idiomatic Composition!

This page describes the current moderation policy of the site, and the comments policy to which prospective commenters are expected to abide.

The comments policy here is not so much a set of hard-and-fast rules as a set of guidelines for commentary. For each item of the policy, I will endeavour to indicate how strictly you can expect it to be enforced, what common exceptions might exist, and what sort of offence will result in more stringent moderation.

Please note that the below policies cannot be considered to be 100% comprehensive. Human interaction is a complex affair, and there will always be situations the policy does not account for or handles poorly. In such cases I will use my judgement, and you, dear commenter, are expected to do same.

Moderation Policy

Currently, all comments go into the moderation queue, and remain unpublished until I approve them.

This will remain the case for the foreseeable future, until such time as the volume or nature of comments gets over some threshold (whether it's an absolute number of comments per day, or the appearance of discussions between commenters not involving myself).

Checking for comments in moderation is a task I can perform on an infrequent basis (0-2 times per day, depending on what's going on that day). So you should probably expect a delay of up to 1 day before your comment is published, and possibly longer if I'm away on vacation.

As blog operator, I possess the privilege of approving or not approving any comment for any reason (or no reason at all), and will exercise that privilege at my discretion.

In general, you can expect that any comment posted that is in conformance with the comments policy will be approved for publication. Exceptions may occur from time to time, though hopefully they will be rare.

Comments Policy

  1. No spam. Comments which are judged to be spam will not be published. (Particularly amusing examples may be referred to in future posts mocking spam.)
  2. No threats. Comments which are judged to be threats will not be published, and may be brought to the attention of pertinent authorities.
  3. No doxxing or 'outing'. I'm lazy about holding up my pseudonym. Nevertheless, comments discussing my real identity will not be published, nor will comments revealing personal information about any other person. If you want to convey your own personal information (including email address) to another commenter, contact me and if possible I will furnish it to that commenter, but I won't publish it on the blog.
  4. Personal attacks are rarely acceptable. In general, such comments will not be published, unless they either mirror the tone of the original post, are judged to be satire or humour, or are exceptionally insightful otherwise. (If available, I will look at the commenter's prior posting history elsewhere to evaluate.) Comments that are published anyway will usually be followed by a warning. Personal attacks on public figures are exempt from this rule so long as they relate to specific patterns of behaviour, and do not violate other items in the comments policy.

    Repeated personal attacks will not be published, and may result in banning.
  5. No bigotry. This includes sexism, racism, homo- and transphobia, ageism, childism, body-shaming, classism, and ableism. Falling under this rule are comments stereotyping or smearing large blocs of people on the basis of their political or religious (or irreligious) beliefs. These sorts of comments will not be published.

    Comments speaking critically of certain features of political, religious, social, or similar organisations or movements do not fall foul of this policy. An example of an acceptable comment would be "Evangelical Christianity writ large has problems handling sexual assault among its adherents". An extreme example of a comment that crosses the line would be "Christians are unrepentant child rapists".
  6. Commenters are expected to engage in good faith. This applies to engaging with the original post or with other commenters in the comments. What, exactly, constitutes engaging in good faith is not an easy thing to pin down, and different people might reasonably have varying ideas on the subject. Rather than attempt to come up with a comprehensive definition of 'engaging in good faith' for the purposes of this blog, I will instead describe typical behaviours that won't pass muster. In general, if I perceive a comment as not being made in good faith, it will not be published. Questionable posts will be published with a warning.
    • Excess repetition: Repeating a point that you have either failed to defend, or that was debunked in the original post (OP), or that you have otherwise brought up before, without adding some new insight, evidence, support (etc.), or reason why the point should be given further consideration.
    • "Sloganeering"/Proselytization: I consider comments to be "sloganeering" or proselytization when they do not appear to address the substance of the OP or of other comments, when they appear to lack insight or some sort of interesting feature, or appear to consist of simple/simplistic assertion without something interesting to justify their publication.
    • Trolling: Comments that appear designed to provoke an angry response first and foremost.
  7. Comments should generally be on-topic: In general, comments should be related to the topic of the original post. Most of the time, however, I'm not particularly concerned about how topical the comments are, and this guideline will very likely be poorly enforced. The sort of circumstances where the comments policy will be applied rigidly as regards topicality include (but are not limited to) the following:
    • Heated discussions from one post/thread may not spread to others unless they are on-topic, or unless the new thread is an open thread and comments have been disabled on the original post.
    • Off-topic criticisms of myself or other commenters will not be published, even if they would otherwise pass muster with the policy.

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