Last updated: 2017-01-19.
Having a website with an interactive comment section is a great way to facilitate honest and open discussion. However, with this feature comes the possibility of abuse carried out by various trolls and troublemakers.
This website is not a platform for pseudoscientific nonsense
Getting a comment published on this blog is a privilege, not a right. This blog and associated social media pages are not a free-for-all platform for spreading pseudoscientific nonsense or bigotry. This means that the worst of the worst bullshit comments may be declined publication. However, I try to be fair. When I decline publication, I often round up all comments on a subject and respond to it in bulk, either in a mailbag post or in a response to critics post. Cranks will often get a fair hearing, just not in a location of their choosing.
Information about the spam filter
The Akismet spam filter is currently a bit broke, so it will put a lot of legitimate comments in the spam queue. If your comment does not show up, this might have been the reason. Also, it puts links with two or more links in the moderation queue automatically to prevent link spammers.
Due to the ever increasing number of spam comments submitted to this blog (it recently passed 1/2 million in total), comments are automatically closed on posts older than 1 year. The other option was to require registration to post comments, but that was not done because of the possibility that it would reduce reader participation.
1. Spam and excessive copy/past texts will be deleted.
2. Excessive verbal abuse and irresponsible character assassination is not acceptable, although some rare and precise insults may be acceptable in the right circumstances (post at own risk).
3. Any kind of group discrimination, including but not limited to, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, ableism, ageism etc. is unacceptable.
4. Encouraging other people to harm themselves either directly or by telling them to stop using their medication is unacceptable.
5. Doxing any target is not allowed. For the purpose of this document, doxing means posting sensitive personal information that cannot easily be located on the Internet by “a moron in a hurry”. If you have to do research, use your wits or external tools, it will qualify as doxing under this definition. This section is left purposely vague.
6. Repeating the same old canards over and over again without addressing counterarguments or presenting evidence, being a dishonest troll and repeatedly posting mindbogglingly stupid stuff is unacceptable.
7. Using another identity and/or IP to avoid a ban is not acceptable and the new identities and IPs will also be banned.
8. These guidelines may be changed at any point at my discretion.
If you have any questions or comments about this comment policy, please go to the about page to find the contact email.
2017-01-19: Minor text revision with no changes to the rules. Increased time until comment section automatically closes from 200 to 365 days.
2016-01-23: Minor text revisions with no changes to the rules.
2015-12-21: Updated and organized the text, one rules revised.
2015-10-06: Added section about doxing.
2014-10-15: Changed automatic closing of comment section due to receiving enormous amount (several hundreds per week) of advertisement spam on really old posts.
2013-12-24: Turned on “comment author must have a previously approved comment”.
2013-08-09: Added “or presenting evidence” to section 7.
2013-08-04: Clarified section 8: changes “sock-puppet” to the more accurate “another identity and/or IP”.
2013-05-29: Removed the two-warnings-before-ban section, added a section on the unacceptability of sock-puppets identities.