Commenting guide

Commenting guide

Please share your views about the posts on the Polity blog. There aren't many rules about comments, but there aren't quite no rules, either.

Thank you for visiting the Polity blog, and for considering making a comment. I welcome comments from all people and points of view, and I especially welcome comments that are evidence-based and/or amusing.

You are welcome to put your point of view as forcefully as you like, including if it contradicts my own point of view. I am broadly with Voltaire on this one, although I do place three limitations on free speech in this corner of the web:

  1. Really bad language is not allowed. For clarity: "exceptionally stupid" is OK but "fucking retarded" is not. Really creative, Tuckeresque swearing can sometimes get special treatment, as it re-crosses the line back from bad language into awesome language.
  2. Personal abuse of me is not generally allowed. "Personal abuse of me" is, of course, quite different from "disagreeing with my views." I pay for this website and assert the right to be free from personal abuse here, if only here. Having said that, you are welcome to argue that I am a liar or a hypocrite, but only if you have some evidence.
  3. Other comments that offend my sensibilities will be deleted. My sensibilities are not easily offended, but the time I have spent on blogs has taught me not to underestimate certain sections of the online commentariat.

People who persistently break these rules can end up getting banned from making further comments, in the interest of everyone else having a good online experience here. My naïve hope is it will never get to that.

Having made all those rules, here is my commitment to all commenters: I will treat your comments with respect, and will endeavour to reply to all reasonable questions raised in comments. I also will refrain from posting comments that include bad language, make fun of you, or are otherwise offensive. Unless, that is, you go there first.

Thanks again for visiting, and I look forward to your comments.

- Rob Salmond