Monday, July 13, 2009

Comment Policy

I can delete them.

Ok, under what conditions? I don't mind if people disagree with me. Indeed, I expect it. As I was saying last night to a graduate student/frisbee teammate, we in academic actually need people to disagree with us or else how many citations will our work get?

So, given the comments I received when I asked my readers about the pool controversy, I have a few rules for deleting comments:

  1. If a comment posts personal information about anyone (me, commenters, people in the news, whatever). Someone posted the address and phone numbers for someone I had mentioned. Sure, people can get that info elsewhere, but they are not going to get it here.
  2. If a comment is offensive, I will remove it. Yes, offensiveness is hard to judge, and I did call the people running the pool "a bunch of weasels." But it is my blog, and you don't have to read it. I don't have to keep comments I find offensive. Since I don't think I am that sensitive (you can disagree), I will delete comments rarely. And for those who want to cite the freedom of speech, the First Amendment covers the actions of governments, and, last time I checked, I am not a government (nor am I a lawyer). Plus I am in Canada, where speech is not quite so free anyway (a topic for another day).

I will probably have to revise this as I go along. But the general idea is to be respectful as you opine, and I will try to do the same. The rule as I have set it is that calling someone a weasel is ok, but beyond that, well, not so ok.

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