The Sciences

A Reiteration of the Comments Policy

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyMar 8, 2007 2:18 PM


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I have laid all of this out before (um, I hope). But it may be helpful, once again, to explain--so that there's no misunderstanding--about how I handle comments to this blog. First: Comments do not appear immediately. I go through and read each one and "approve" it. Virtually all comments are approved, although sometimes, especially when I'm traveling or when it's overnight or over the weekend, there can be a significant delay before a comment is published. Second: Not all comments are published. While I always try to err on the side of more discussion rather than less, comments may not be published if:

1. They are completely off topic. Especially at the beginning of a thread, I find it very unhelpful when someone goes off on a tangent, thus potentially derailing the whole discussion. 2. They are slanderous, ad hominem, etc. This is a judgment call on my part, but the basic rule is this: The only person you're allowed to libel on this blog is me. Say whatever the hell you want about me, but for everyone else, keep it above the belt, keep it substantive, or don't expect to see your comments published. That means no calling someone a "fraud" without evidence, no claiming that someone is "knowingly" doing something objectionable if you can't prove that behavior is intentional, no claiming that your intellectual opponent suffers from mental illness, beats his wife...and so forth and so on.

To a journalist like myself, this stuff is obvious. To others, it may not be. But let no one say I haven't tried to explain it....

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