adopted from: The Comics Curmudgeon
(suggestion submitted by a reader)

This site is a “blog,” which makes it part of what all the oracles are calling “Web 2.0,” which derives its strength from the fact that it’s “interactive.” What this means is that you can post comments on individual posts, and can also participate in discussions with others.

I like to think everything we really need to know,  we really learned in kindergarten,  including the basics of human interactions.  However,  sometimes simple facts can be forgotten in the heat of online discussions.

We’re generally too lazy to police either the discussions or the posts on a moment to moment basis. You can preview your comments on the main site before they go live. If your post contains certain words common to spam, or if the spam filter decides for its own inscrutable reasons that you fit a spammer profile (usually this just means that you’re a new poster but you have posted several comments relatively quickly), then it may go into the spam filter; we will need to free it before you can post again, but since I’m a loser and spend most of my day in front of the computer compulsively checking my e-mail, that shouldn’t take long.

We are usually content to allow a free flow of discussion, whining, cuss words, and so forth go on the site, and we cheerfully proclaim that all comments are the responsibility of those who post them, not us. However, this is our private playground, and if any of the admins or regular posters feel that someone is being so disruptive as to make other users’ lives unpleasant and/or drive away traffic, we also cheerfully reserve the right to erase any comment we please and ban any user we please, for any arbitrary reason.

So, how can you avoid such a sad fate? Just follow the four golden rules:

1. Don’t post a FIRST COMMENT! just for the sake of posting a FIRST COMMENT!
2. Don’t post commercial spam.
3. Don’t consistently, persistently, and mean-spiritedly attack your fellow commentors or members, and remember that this is a very diverse community and that racist, sexist, homophobic, and other prejudicial stuff will inevitably be an attack on one of your fellow commentors.
4. Don’t be an insufferable prick.

We’re deliberately keeping these rules vague because the sort of people who are most likely to be such pains in the asses that they get banned are also (surprise surprise) the exact same sort of people who like to argue about the rules that they have or haven’t broken to get banned, to which I can say: see rule number four.

These people are also the sort of people who will then say that we’re censoring them and what about their free speech, man? To which I can offer no better response than the one included in the FAQ for the inimitable Wendy McClure’s awesome Pound blog:

Q. I’m trying to post my very angry comment on your blog using my totally fake name and email address, but you won’t let me! What are you, some kind of fascist?!

A. Yes. But maybe one day freedom will prevail, and not only will you be vindicated, but recognized as a martyr for free speech, and a statue will be built, for everyone to see, right in the middle of the internet, honoring you, FATCHICKSSUCK at lardbutt@yahoo.com!

To this I can only add that you can get your own blog for free, so go to town.

Anyway. Hopefully this doesn’t all sound too pissy. In fact, we’ve only banned a handful of people in all the time I’ve run this site, so this isn’t a major problem in my life. But I just want to put all the cards on the table. Most people seem to enjoy the discussion. I think you’ll be among them. Have fun!

UPDATE: Based on experience, we have chosen to add a very specific rule to this list:

5. Discussing Mallard Fillmore in the comments only pisses everyone off and contributes nothing. Anyone doing so will be banned on the first offense we catch.

–Ken

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