Blog Comments Policy, or Rules for That Knife Fight

One of the things I did not expect when we set up this blog was, I have to approve all comments. This presents a dilemma because it means a) reading said comments and b) approving them. This is normally the point at which a blogger encourages civility; reminds you that it is his, her or its own blog, after all; and expresses hope that a meaningful dialogue can occur.

But here’s the thing: I am not overly fond of Internet comments. There’s a place for them, sure, but they are often obnoxious, ill-informed, poorly written, and/or libelous. This was driven home to me by a bunch of tedious comments on the altar boys post. I haven’t approved them and probably won’t because I just don’t feel like it.

So feel free to try to comment here but here are the ground rules for approval:

1. The only time you have something approaching an absolute right to be heard here is when I criticize you by name.

2. Related to the first point, if I criticize a group then I will allow one or two or more of the aggrieved parties to be heard.

3. If you are going to insult me here, it had better be a good insult.

4. If you want to get the green light, say something smart and say it well. I really am a sucker for good writing.

5. If you become a regular commenter to Jeremy Lott’s Diary, over time I will give you more deference and I might even respond.

Those are the rules, folks. If they’re acceptable to you, great. Have at it. And if not, then go troll under somebody else’s bridge.


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