Rules for commenters

I didn’t think I’d have to do this, but recent battles on the comments pages of a couple of posts have forced me to spell out the rules of engagement if you want to comment on this blog:

  1. Be civil. Your mother doesn’t accept that kind of language from you and I shouldn’t have to either.
  2. Stay on topic. This shouldn’t be a problem but I’m  saying it just in case.
  3. This blog is about ideas and discussion. I welcome opposing points of view but calling religions evil and people liars is a good way to get banned. If you have an opposing viewpoint, you should be able to discuss it civilly without resorting  to namecalling. (Also see #1).
  4. I use Akismet, so your commercial spam messages about male enlargers and pyramid schemes will get filtered by a machine.
  5. I reserve the right to ban any commenter for violating any of these rules. I also reserve the right to close comments at any time. Currently I do that manually but I might move to doing it automatically based on the age of the post in the future.
  6. If you don’t like these rules but want to engage with me anyway, get your own blog and comment there, under your own name. Taking responsibility for one’s words and opinions in one’s own space is, in my opinion, a great way to engage on the Internet.

I’m going to build a document that refers to these points and link it into the commenting form as well.