This blog is getting a few more comments these days than it used to. Overall, the quality of the comments has been quite good, and the exchanges have been mostly civil. However, things have bordered on rudeness a few times, so I thought I should come up with a formal comment policy.
I’m hoping that we don’t need a set of strict laws. Maybe these few guidelines will be sufficient:
- No spamming. (The only real violators of this rule are spambots.)
- No gobs o’ links. The spam filter automatically holds for review any comment that contains more than one link. If you aren’t a spammer, I will probably approve your comment within 12 hours. However, your bunch o’ links should be somehow contributing to the discussion. For example, one time, a creationist didn’t like one of my posts, so he tried to post a comment. His comment consisted mostly of single sentences followed by a link, such as “See how Darwinists are wrong: [then a link to Answers in Genesis]”. It was about eight links. It contributed nothing to the discussion, so I didn’t approve it. (I did, however, send him an email explaining why.)
- If you make a factual statement (vs. an opinion) that contradicts common knowledge, back it up. If you are challenged on a statement (and I agree with the challenge), you will not be allowed to make new comments until you support the challenged claims. Example of common knowledge: Evolution is a fact. Example of a statement that contradicts common knowledge: The Bible is the inerrant word of God (This is a factual claim, but it fails on two counts: (1) There is no evidence that a God exists, and (2) No evidence that the Bible contains God’s word.).
- No quote mining. Quoting something once is fine, but quoting many things or posting a series of comments with quotes does not add to the discussion. If you can’t use your own words, then you obviously have nothing to say.
I might add to this as I think of other things, but I’m hoping that you folks don’t give me any reasons to add much more. The main thing I want to do is maintain the comments as a quasi-pleasant place to be. If somebody is making it unpleasant, that will have to be fixed.