Having watched how some other blogs have allowed their “Comments” section to deteriorate into incessant rants and contentious babbling, we would like to avoid all that while still encouraging our readers to share their thoughts and opinions freely and openly about our posts and Op-Eds.
We also want to operate in a way that encourages our readers to interact with one another in a respectful manner – and to disagree with one another without being disagreeable.
Towards those ends, we have established some basic guidelines for anyone who wants to post comments on Trials & Truths – with the understanding that we will amend those guidelines if/as the need arise (We also hope our readers will share with us any ideas they may have to make commenting a more enjoyable experience – both for them and for our other readers).
So, in no particular order, here are the initial guidelines that we’ve created for those who want to post comments on Trials & Truths:
- Commenters will be allowed to post under their real name, a self-chosen screen name, or anonymously (Note: Those who simply want to post anonymously will be assigned a unique screen name: i.e., Anonymous #1, Anonymous #2, Anonymous #3, etc.).
- Gravatars are encouraged but not required.
- Personal avatars will be allowed but not commercial avatars.
- Comments should be relevant to the topic of the post or the Op-Ed – or in response to a prior comment. “Reply” strings will be unlimited so that readers can comment back-and-forth as much as they want, provided that their comments are relevant and in accordance with these guidelines.
- Comments will be posted as soon as possible, but all comments will subsequently be reviewed by our Blog Monitor – and run through our autocorrect system (Our long-term goal is that all comments will be published as soon as they are made but we are still searching for software that will automatically block inappropriate comments from being published). Inappropriate comments will be removed by the Blog Monitor – and most grammatical and spelling mistakes will be revised by the autocorrect system (For purposes of the Trials & Truths blog, the term “inappropriate comments” will include, but not be limited to, comments that contain foul language or language or links to material that is objectifying, pornographic, racist, sexually explicit, or sexually offensive). Commenters will also have the option of editing their own comments in the same way they do on Facebook.
- The Blog Monitor may give directives to commenters (e.g., “Stop posting comments that are off-topic”; “Please refrain from making personal attacks on other commenters”; etc.). Commenters who fail to abide by those directives will have their commenting rights suspended or permanently terminated.
- Links to other blogs/websites may be included in a comment provided that the other blogs/websites do not involve illegal activities – and do not contain language or links to material that is objectifying, pornographic, racist, sexually explicit, or sexually offensive.
- No spamming is allowed – and any commenters who post spam will have their commenting rights suspended or permanently terminated.
- Whenever possible, commenters who include quotations should include appropriate links back to the source of the quote.
- Trolls who just come to Trials & Truths to stir up trouble will have their commenting rights suspended or permanently terminated.
- SEO spammers who just parrot prior comments will have their commenting rights suspended or permanently terminated.
Disagreements among/between commenters will be allowed – and, in fact, encouraged – but all such disagreements must be limited to differences of opinion, perception, philosophy, etc. Ad hominem attacks and doxing will not be allowed – and commenters who engage in such activities will have their commenting rights suspended or permanently terminated. The same is true for commenters who resort to “flame-wars” when others disagree with them.
Trials & Truths reserves the right to publish any submitted comments – or groups of submitted comments – as a separate post on the blog (All such published comments will be attributed to the reader who authored them).
Reposting of posts from Trials & Truths is not allowed without appropriate attribution and links back to the original post – and copyright protections will be enforced.