The BFD is a private enterprise. Our goal is to make sure that the comment section is interesting to read and respectful to everyone. Your opinion will not be moderated, but how you express it can be.
The moderators at The BFD are editors of the comments on posts. They do this by enforcing the Ten Commandments. While they aim to be fair and consistent and do discuss some flagged comments before making a decision, the moderators are human and there will be variations in response.
Comments come to the moderators’ attention in two ways. The first is via an auto-sideline feature run within WordPress that responds to certain words, phrases, letter combinations etc. The second is by other commenters reporting comments of concern via the down vote or by flagging the comment as inappropriate.
Moderators look at each flagged comment and consider:
- Whether the commenter is a BFD regular
- The quality of their commenting history
- Whether they have broken the commandments previously and how seriously
- The seriousness of the current infringement and
- Anything else they deem relevant.
They then decide if:
- the comment will be deleted, with or without a warning to the commenter, or
- a temporary ban (for a specified or unspecified time period) or permanent ban will be imposed on the commenter.
Please be aware that not all commenting blocks are caused by The BFD. We estimate that about 10% of blocks are caused by a Disqus bug.
My comment got deleted. Does that mean I’ll be banned?
If the moderators delete a comment here and there, then there’s nothing to worry about. If you find your comments are deleted on a regular basis then it’s probably time to re-read the Ten Commandments. If your deleted comments start to mount up, a temporary ban is likely.
Can I be told why my comment was deleted?
In a perfect world, yes. In this one, no. If you read the Ten Commandments you should find the answer in there somewhere. Please just take it on the chin and accept that it is not a personal attack. Try thinking of yourself and others as submitting comments for consideration. Some will fail because they don’t abide by the commandments.
What do I do if I think I’ve been unfairly banned, temporarily or permanently?
Moderation queries MUST be expressed VIA EMAIL and not by posting a comment. To check if your ban might have been caused by Disqus, or to ask for a banning decision to be reviewed, email the voluntary HELP DESK with your Disqus username in the subject line). Please be respectful and do not make demands.
NOTE: If you have chosen to block your commenting history on Disqus, it means that the moderators can’t look at your past behaviour and follow their usual consideration process. Without access to that information they are much more likely to ban you.
If you have not been banned by The BFD moderators, they will try to help you get back on.
If you have been banned by the moderators and request a review, you will be given a final decision. Please accept it gracefully and learn from it.
I’m only a new commenter. Why have I been banned already?
Firstly, read the Ten Commandments.
Secondly, The BFD does not want commenters who are captured by a single issue, to sign up and then dominate the discussion. Often, because they don’t know the Ten Commandments, these commenters will troll, swear, go off topic and mock other commenters directly. This will result in an instant and irrevocable ban.
It is better to read the commandments, get the feel of the place, get to know other commenters and let them get to know you. Then, when something comes along that really has you fired up, you will know how to comment and survive. If you have a track record of posting respectful and interesting comments, then the moderators may give you a little more leeway the first time you break a commandment.
How do I get back as a commenter after I have been banned for an unspecified time period?
If your ban is not permanent but you were not banned for a specific time period you will need to email the voluntary HELP DESK with your Disqus username in the subject line) to ask politely to be let back in. There is a process that you need to go through.
If I have been banned for a specific time period, such as three months, how do I regain my commenting privileges?
Short-term bans for a specific time period will automatically be removed by the system. There is no need for you to contact The BFD.
Why are you censoring my comments?
You have entered The BFD‘s “house” and your host has established and published the commenting rules, known as the Ten Commandments. The host determines which comments are not suitable for publication. You are welcome to comment here if you respect our commandments. If you want 100% free speech then you can have it by starting your own site.
Does The BFD censor comments to suppress a contrary point of view?
The BFD edits the comments so that respectful and interesting comments are published and disrespectful and empty ones are not. We welcome different opinions that are respectful and follow the Ten Commandments.
Is there ever an amnesty for banned commenters?
There has been in the past. That is up to our moderation team. Please do not ask for one.
I am a BFD subscriber or I donate to The BFD. Why have I still been banned?
The BFD really appreciates the financial support of our subscribers and the generosity of those who donate.
We deliberately do not give our moderators access to any information about donations, no matter how generous or frequent. They do not know who is a subscriber and who isn’t because we want them to make their decisions based purely on the content of the comment under consideration.
While we appreciate commenters who also contribute financially, being a subscriber or donor does not buy anyone the right to break the Ten Commandments. If you choose to withdraw your financial support because you received a temporary or a permanent ban then we accept your decision. If losing your financial support is the cost of maintaining our high standards then it is a price that we are willing to pay.
If you really value what we do then we know that you will support us even if you lose the ability to comment for a short period, or even forever.