Comments Publishing Policy

Published on 2 March 2008 in , ,

Since comments were launched on this blog, I’ve been generally been rather pleased with what’s been coming through. However a couple of recent comments have made me pause for thought, and I’ve made a few decisions here and there. A small number of examples have resulted in minor editing or non-posting of comments.

Because I like being transparent I have decided to publish my policy on the decisions which are made about comments and their publication on this website. The full details are below, but if you’d rather have the executive summary, it’s “Be nice, have your say and don’t be bad, and your post will be published. Be an idiot or try to abuse this website for your own gain, and your post won’t.”

The Policy In Full

  1. All comments are post-moderated. No posts are published on this website without being physically checked by myself. Not even if I have known you for twenty years.
  2. Comments may be made to the vast majority of blog entries. Comments of all views are allowed, unless they fail to meet the criteria below . However I reserve the right to decide not to allow comments on a particular post, or to close a post to comments without explanation, nor defence.
  3. The right is reserved not to publish comments which are abusive, racist, sexist, homophobic, which insight violence or hatred, are libellous or similar, or which in some other way, break the laws of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Any comments which are found to include links to other websites which contain the above, will be removed.
  4. Comments will be published as soon as possible. However posters should be aware that I am not at my computers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and as such, at certain times publishes may take up to 48 hours. During planned absences of period longer than 72 hours, comments on all posts may be temporarily suspended.
  5. All comments are checked automatically for spam. There are two different sets of checks made. The first checks for highly obvious and deliberate spam. Such comments will be rejected immediately, with the poster being clearly informed by this. Any posts which pass the first test will then be checked by Bayesian and other filters. Comments which pass this test will be then be submitted to myself for a final check prior to publishing at their earliest convenience. Comments which for whatever reason fail the Bayesian check, go into a “Spam” folder. These are usually manually checked prior to deletion. Any comments which erroneously fail the Bayesian check will then be published – however there may be a significant delay in publishing times due to this. At the time of writing, no genuine comments have failed the Bayesian check and as such, this is not an expected problem.
  6. Comments which pass all spam filtering will generally be published. However should a manual check suggest that a comment is an attempt at advertising, the right is reserved not to post that comment, or to remove brand names, or URLs. In certain circumstances, where it looks like an innocuous post is being made, but which includes a link to a spam-related website, I reserve the right to remove the URL whilst leaving the comment.
  7. URLs in comments will be made into links automatically.
  8. The right is reserved to automatically block any commenter who regularly and consistently seeks to break the above.
  9. The right is reserved to change these rules at any time, without prior notice.
  10. This website is not a free-for-all forum, does not guarantee freedom of speech, nor is it a democracy. It is my website, and I decide the rules. If you don’t like that, well tough. Go set up your own blog, with your own rules.

Edit: 7 March 2008 – previously the “nofollow” attribute was added to all links supplied in comments. However this is no longer the case.