A word about S&R’s comment policy

Periodically we find ourselves needing to remind everyone about our comment policy, which is quite a bit different from what you find on other sites. This isn’t a problem for a vast majority of those who visit us, but every once in awhile…

So, here’s the link to the policy, which not only lays out how we do it but also, in a good bit of detail, explains why. In general, I’d note the big difference in how we do it. Other places work off the assumption that all comments are accepted unless they cross a line and need to be removed. We don’t assume that any comment should be accepted automatically, and we don’t post anything without reading it and actively approving it. Instead of thinking about the approach as a standard blog comment policy, we act more like a newspaper’s letters to the editor section. We post the most interesting and relevant things we get.

Here’s what we look for:

  • We work very hard to generate thoughtful, insightful posts on subjects of importance to our culture. (Yes, we horse around sometimes, too, but you’d be amazed how often even the goofing goes in service of a deeper editorial agenda.) As such, we value commenters who engage as thoughtfully as we do and whose reactions further the discussion, adding to the overall quality of the site’s experience.
  • We tackle a variety of issues and always try to do so in good faith. We don’t care if you disagree with us, and even if you agree it doesn’t mean you’re automatically doing so for the right reasons. So what you have to say, per se, is less important than why. We’re wrong sometimes – we know we are, and we disagree with each other frequently. So disagree, critique, point out the flaws in our reasoning, but do so in good faith with the goal of advancing the discussion so that we all come away from it smarter than we started.

There are things we really don’t like, too.

  • Trolling. Nobody likes to be jerked around. If we can’t respect each other, it’s better that you go find a place where your contributions are more appreciated.
  • Threadjacking. Comments should be about the subject of the post. You might have all kinds of interesting ideas about an unrelated topic, and we respect your insights. But those comments should be submitted to a post that’s actually on that subject.
  • Ad hominem. Should this even need saying?
  • Bad behavior. We’re all intelligent adults here, or we should be. Life is too short to be wasting energy on blog posts. Be smart, and be civil.

And we really hate it when somebody walks in and does two or three of these things all once.

So there. Thanks for reading and thanks for helping us make S&R a more rewarding place for all of our visitors.

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